Normally, as the saying goes, there’s “no rest for the wicked,” but in this case it would be more accurate to say, “no rest for the successful.” Even though it was just last year that Lexus made major overhauls to their two midsize sedans – the Lexus GS 350 and GS 450h hybrid – they’re making even more changes this year for the 2014 model year. This is probably because, despite the massive overhaul for the 2013MY, sales are down 10% compared to 2012, although the GS is still regarded as the top of its class in the United States.
As you continue reading, you’ll learn what’s new, what’s staying the same, and what you can expect overall from the 2014 Lexus GS 350 and 2014 Lexus GS 450h sedans.
Updates for the 2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan
We got our first peek at the 2013 Lexus GS 350 at the end of 2012, and at the time were very impressed (we still are). The 2013MY updates included major design changes to make the midsize sedan fit into the premium Japanese brand’s new and more aggressive aesthetic themes, complete with the controversial “pinched” Lexus grill.
While there won’t be any noticeable design changes for the 2014MY, there will be at least one major mechanical update – the 2014 Lexus GS 350 will now feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. This replaces the six-speed automatic we’ve had in the 2013MY. Among other things, this new transmission will make the sedan’s EPA-rated fuel economy come out at 19/29 mpg city/highway, a 1 mpg improvement over the 2013MY. In addition, the sedan should run more quietly now thanks to a reworked intake/exhaust system.
In addition to the upgraded gearbox, the new Lexus GS 350 will feature a variety of technological updates. For example, the 2014MY will get a new full-color HUD (head-up display), Siri Eyes Free for drivers with an iPhone, improved sensors for the Intuitive Park Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and power folding mirrors for use with the Blind Spot Monitor. The Luxury Package will include a media display for rear-seat passengers, LED fog lights and Superchrome 18” wheels.
Updates for the 2014 Lexus GS 450h Hybrid Sedan
While the Lexus GS 450h hybrid won’t be getting the same transmission changes as the GS 350, it has been slightly reworked to more accurately imitate a conventional gearbox for “more engaging performance”. The regenerative braking system has also been improved for more efficiency, although the improvements won’t affect the sedan’s EPA-rated fuel economy – it still gets the same 29/34 mpg city/highway while bursting from 0-60 in less than 6 seconds.
Other than the gearbox, the GS 450h gets all the same updates as the GS 350, but instead of Superchrome 18” wheels it gets Liquid Graphite 18” wheels. Additionally, the Climate Concierge system in the 450h now features heated and ventilated seats to keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
All in all, these updates seem like just the thing to help the GS 350 and GS 450h maintain their position at the top of the midsize sedan segment. But, we’re not the only ones with an opinion… Let us know yours in the comments below: