The 2020 model year will be the last call for the Lexus GS line, and that includes the incredibly flawed high-performance GS F.
With a charming V-8 engine, proper rear-wheel drive ratios and a great interior, the Lexus GS F 2020 speaks to me, but the competition has better movements, more power, and less controversial designs. That is even before tackling the infotainment system.
I spent a week in my favorite Lexus, the GS F, before I left the stage this fall. This is where it hits and fails.
You won’t find turbochargers here. The GS F is powered by a silk-smooth, its 8-speed automatic shifts aren’t as fast as those of the 8-speed ZF in German rivals or almost every high-performance dual-clutch setup on the market, but it shifts clean and responsive like 5.0 revs to a glorious 7,300 rpm. The 5.0 is underpowered compared to cars like the Audi RS 6, BMW M5 and Mercedes E63, but the noise it produces leaves no competitor behind. Power does not appear as suddenly as in those forced induction rivals, but it is more linear and certainly satisfying.
The worst thing about the GS F, as with most modern vehicles in Lexus showrooms, is the infotainment system. The main interface of a moving vehicle should not be controlled by a mouse-like device. It is awkward, difficult to use, requires manual dexterity and is distracting as hell. It also requires multiple clicks, even when you can find the right icon, to perform simple tasks like switching from the radio to the climate control or navigation functions. Worse yet, there is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (Lexus doesn’t offer the latter on most models), and the infotainment system can’t (and won’t) be updated to accommodate these features, as they require both hardware and hardware updates. hardware. software. Living with the system is only tolerable because you can turn off the sound and listen to the V-8.
Take a brief look at the center console and you might think that the hard buttons and knobs for the audio interface and climate controls come from a high-end home audio system. Silver volume and tuning knobs, small square displays for temperature readings, and buttons feel and look high-end. They offer the added benefit of bypassing the infotainment system for basic functions such as changing the temperature, air flow, and audio source.
I love the GS F gauge cluster. It has a very LFA supercar vibe with the large front and center digital tachometer, the small analog speedometer on the bottom right and the digital accessory gauges on the left. Design is not the problem, it is implementation. Sunlight can remove the digital portions of the gauge cluster, rendering you unable to read the tachometer and fuel, oil, and coolant temperature gauges. Worst of all, the digital speedometer is located inside the tachometer, so it can also be washed, leaving you forced to look at the small analog speedometer that is marked in 10 mph increments in a widely spaced design.
The GS F’s 5.0-liter V-8 wants premium 91-octane fuel and its mileage can vary … widely.
EPA ratings are 16 mpg city, 24 highway, and 19 combined.
Around town, and even in mixed driving, that 16 mpg rating is optimistic. In heavy traffic, you will be happy if you see double digits and must be ecstatic if you drive 15 mpg in mixed driving. It is bad.
But driving on the highway is a completely different story. With two adults, two children, a dog, and a trunk full of luggage for a weekend in the north, I saw an average of 27.1 mpg, according to the trip computer, over the course of just over 200 miles. The drive home was less efficient, probably due to the wind, and I got 24.5 mpg. Average of the two and that’s 25.8 mpg over the course of 400 miles at speeds above 70 mph. At 467 horsepower and eight gears ahead, the GS F easily passed the EPA’s highway fuel economy rating.
Okay, the moment you step foot on it it starts consuming gas quickly. Those magical engine noises will cost you
2020 Lexus GS F
Base price: $86,035
Price as tested: $89,510
EPA fuel economy: 16 mpg city, 24 highway, 19 combined