2020 Lexus GS F review: So good, but far from the best

Matthew N. Henry


Flare Yellow is the finest and boldest color solution offered for the 2020 GS F customer.

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The 2020 Lexus GS F is just not the finest sport sedan, but I kind of appreciate it. Even with uncomfortable cabin tech creating it frustrating to are living with and the nagging emotion that there are better cars and trucks in this class for equivalent revenue, I’m often happy to settle into the vibrant yellow GS F, fireplace up the V8 and punch it. I am going to be unhappy to see it go.


  • Beefy V8 engine feels and sounds great
  • F Activity seat are relaxed and supportive
  • Even while it really is dated, the GS F nevertheless looks wonderful

Don’t Like

  • Enform cabin tech lacks modern options
  • Distant Contact controller is frustrating to use
  • Highly-priced relative to similar German performers

In spite of its flaws, I assume the GS F has nevertheless bought it exactly where it counts. It’s definitely carried out its section to battle Lexus’ status for uninteresting luxury cars and trucks. This specific example’s 193.five-inch duration has been coated in eye-catching Flare Yellow paint (a $595 solution) that turns heads just about everywhere I go. The exterior design is much more intense than the conventional GS, with sharpened front and rear aerodynamics, shiny black trim for the wing mirrors and rear diffuser and a carbon fiber lip spoiler on the trunk. Blistered fenders terminate in Lexus F’s trademark fender vents and you may place blue, stylized “F” badges from each angle.

And still, the GS F is nevertheless about as relaxed as the conventional GS. Its 112.two-inch wheelbase leaves lots of area in the cabin for travellers (ninety one cubic toes) and in the trunk for cargo (14 cubic toes). Apart from a a bit stiffer experience, the only true compromise the GS F would make is the reduction of its fold-down rear seats and trunk pass-by way of for hauling long items.

Yellow, not mellow

The GS F’s functionality components is a very simple a person: A major, naturally aspirated engine up front sending electric power to the rear. Tucked in powering the huge Lexus grille, you may discover a five.-liter V8 very good for 467 horsepower and 389 pound-toes of torque, which it sends to the rear wheels by using an 8-velocity automatic transmission with paddle shifters. In its sportiest setting, Lexus reckons a -to-sixty-mph sprint ought to consider just four.five seconds top rated velocity is mentioned at an electronically constrained 168 mph. Those people are respectable quantities for a major, four,034-pound sedan.

The GS F’s functionality components is a very simple a person. There’s no hybridization or forced induction to complicate issues. That, along with Lexus’ famous status for reliability, would make me confident that owners will be making the most of the GS F’s functionality for numerous yrs and hundreds of miles. Nevertheless, the GS F would not benefit from the efficiency gains of its much more innovative level of competition. At an EPA approximated 19 miles per gallon blended (sixteen mpg metropolis, 24 mpg freeway) the GS F’s fuel overall economy is great, but nothing at all to publish dwelling about. All through my week of testing, I averaged just seventeen.six mpg.


The GS F’s 467-horsepower mill is a person of the past naturally aspirated V8s still left in its class.

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Lexus’ Torque Vectoring Differential life on the rear axle exactly where it actively sends shifts electric power to the exterior rear wheel when cornering to greatly enhance the sedan’s dealing with. The driver can select concerning 3 modes — Typical, Slalom and Keep track of — for somewhat great manage around how the GS F changes instructions. Typical is the default setting for each day driving. Slalom boosts agility, supplying the most rotation on the limited, lower to medium velocity corners. Keep track of emphasizes balance on significant-velocity turns. That is in addition to the 5 generate modes — Activity, Activity As well as, Ordinary, Eco and Custom made — that have an affect on the GS F’s throttle reaction, transmission programming, steering sense and much more.

For the form of driving I enjoy most — hustling up and down twisty California mountain streets — the Slalom differential setting and Activity generate method confirm to be the most pleasurable blend. The GS F is just not the most highly effective design in this class, but you’d never observe with out a stopwatch. As well as, the V8’s great burble and linear, predictable throttle sense carry me much more joy than figuring out that my quantities are more substantial than the up coming guy’s. 


The GS F’s upgraded experience is supple about city, still confident in the corners.

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Meanwhile, the GS F is remarkably agile, still not at all punishing or twitchy around the uneven pavement a person frequently finds on these secluded stretches of highway. The GS F rides on a set of 19-inch, cast BBS alloy wheels in conventional matte black or an optional $600 hand-polished finish. The wheels are shod with Michelin Pilot Tremendous Activity tires and staggered with 255/35R19 tires up front and 275/35R19s at the rear.

Peering by way of the front wheels’ ten spokes are Brembo six-piston monoblock caliper brakes that grab 14.9-inch discs. Out again, you may discover complimentary Brembo four-pots and 13.five-inch discs out again. Suspending the automobile around the rolling inventory is a cast aluminum F Adaptive variable suspension with a double-wishbone setup for the front axle and a multilink rear. 

Like the powertrain, the dealing with office options some modern touches, but largely keeps it very simple. There’s no fancy air suspension or magnetic-experience dampers, just a effectively-tuned suspension that does an outstanding task balancing a sporty, still supple sense.


The conventional F Activity seats search and sense great.

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Unintentionally retro cockpit

Lovely F Activity seats with perforated leather and suede trim suspend the driver in the cockpit and are, I assume, the highlight of the GS F’s cabin. The sport buckets sense great — relaxed for the longest hauls with heated and ventilated surfaces, still quite grippy and supportive throughout much more spirited passages. And they search astounding alongside the steering wheel and change lever, with their matching perforated leather and white and blue contrast stitching, and the shiny carbon fiber trim on the heart console.

The relaxation of the cabin is much more subjective. On a person hand, the dashboard, local climate controls and tech sense a tad dated, primarily compared to the considerably much more modern level of competition. On the other hand, that provides to the Lexus’ classic charm. The GS F’s cabin feels like the most modern interpretation of late ’90s Lexus design and I kind of appreciate that.

The neatest tech feature is the LFA-styled motorized digital instrument cluster with its bodily sliding bezel that reveals a excursion computer system and other facts. The cluster offers electronic gauges that modify their type to match the latest generate method. The tech is a little bit more mature and not as flexible or highly effective as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit or Mercedes-Benz’s huge screens, but the design functions effectively with the relaxation of the Lexus cabin design and is often a handle to see in motion.

My illustration also options a $900 head-up exhibit that’s a great get, but likely not really worth the added dough.


The GS F’s cabin, while a tad dated, feels like it really is aged nicely.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Fashionable-ish protection tech

The GS F arrives conventional with the Lexus Basic safety Technique As well as superior driver support suite, which rolls in a number of common technologies. Up front, the conventional triple-beam LED headlamps feature smart significant beams that instantly activate on darkish streets and dip when an additional automobile is detected in advance. Also conventional is adaptive cruise manage that functions at all speeds, enabling for creeping throughout prevent-and-go website traffic. There’s a precollision braking guide function with pedestrian detection, blind-place checking, rear cross-website traffic warn and a conventional rear digicam. 

The GS F also options a freeway lane-trying to keep method with steering guide and lane-departure alerts. It’s not as superior as Toyota/Lexus’ hottest technology Lane Tracing Help, but not lousy for a automobile that has not been substantially current because the fourth-gen GS’ launch in 2012.

Lexus Enform: Technophiles need not apply

The location exactly where the GS F’s very simple and forgivably dated vibe falls aside in the infotainment tech. Central on the dashboard, a twelve.3-inch widescreen exhibit is dwelling to Lexus Enform cabin tech software package. This is an more mature version of Enform, shared only by the Lexus IS at this issue, with a frustrating menu method and an even much more infuriating Distant Contact manage scheme.


The Distant Contact controller is uncomfortable and imprecise to use at velocity. No, I you should not like it.

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You can interact with the method using the Distant Contact controller, a form of joystick located on the heart console, to transfer a cursor on the display screen. In exercise, this is a terribly imprecise way to transfer about the interface, necessitating a frightening total of my focus for very simple duties. Lexus does lock most of the superior options (these as destination entry) when the automobile is in movement. Even when stopped, moving into an tackle with the controller was laborous. 

With its incorporated a person year Lexus Enform Distant membership, you can consider benefit of Amazon Alexa integration and even monitor your automobile with a mobile phone or smartwatch application though away from the car. Nevertheless, there is no Android Car or Apple CarPlay connectivity to use though within the car.

Fortunately, there’s a good voice-command method and bodily controls for issues like radio tuning and local climate controls. After shelling out weeks with the newer Lexus LS and LC, which conceal very simple issues like their seat heater controls 3 levels deep in on-display screen menus, it really is wonderful to be in a position to faucet a damn button for numerous of the GS F’s much more usually employed functions.

If you you should not care about very good navigation software package, applications or smartphone connectivity, I assume you could finally establish more than enough muscle mass memory for the Distant Contact controller to get previous the annoyance. But the mastering curve is a steep a person and just not really worth the energy compared to newer, competing infotainment suites that regulate to cram much more options into less distracting interfaces.


Not a top rated-tier performer, still also not a potent price: The Lexus GS F is the kind of car that some will appreciate, flaws and all, though the relaxation absolutely forget.

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Price and level of competition

The 2020 Lexus GS F begins at a heady $86,035 like its $one,025 destination charge. My modestly outfitted illustration rolls in at an as-examined $90,395, with wheels, paint, quality audio and other odds and ends adding to the bottom line. It’s tempting to compare the GS F to the six-figure Mercedes-AMG E63 S, BMW M5 and their ilk. Among this cohort, the GS is a large amount less strong, but also substantially less highly-priced. Nevertheless, its genuine competition — economically and athletically — are basically a tier decrease.

Mercedes-AMG’s E53 sedan squeezes 429 hp from its turbo six-cylinder, is a bit faster to sixty mph at four.four seconds and begins at $seventy four,795 like destination. The 440-hp Audi S6 begins at $seventy four,895. BMW’s M550i xDrive receives you 523 horsepower for $77,795. All of these land in the ballpark of the GS F’s 467 hp with better fuel overall economy and all-wheel generate fairly than RWD. All have better cabin and protection tech. And probably much more importantly, all are about $10K less than the Lexus, comparably outfitted. 

The Lexus GS F is just not excellent, but it really is handsomely styled within and out, the V8 is a enjoyment to wind up and the experience is agile with out sacrificing each day driver ease and comfort. It’s nevertheless bought legs on the eve of its discontinuation, nearly a decade into this technology. It definitely wouldn’t be the best decision in this highly competitive and shrinking class, but if you discover a person for a cut price, you want to grab a piece of Lexus record though you can or if you might be just picking up what the GS F is placing down, it wouldn’t be a lousy decision, possibly.

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