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The 2020 Lexus GS: GONE WITH THE EXHAUST NOTE

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The 2020 Lexus GS: GONE WITH THE EXHAUST NOTE

The 2020 Lexus GS:

GONE WITH THE EXHAUST NOTE


If you haven’t already heard, the Lexus GS is going away.  That’s right, the 2020 model will be the last of its kind.  It’s a shame that this big, beautiful, refined sedan will disappear from the Lexus showrooms, but sales are down and everyone wants to drive a SUV/crossover.  With that, I may be one of but a few disappointed by this news.

I test drove an Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2020 Lexus GS F Sport and came away mightily impressed.  And at almost $90K, its price tag was also impressive.  You can pick up a base GS with a V6 engine for $51,065, but that would be a very different car.  The GS F Sport comes with a 467 hp, 5.0 liter normally aspirated V8 under the hood that sends all the power to the rear wheels.  It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and nets you an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.

This is a car for Lexus fans who appreciate the carmaker’s attention to a refined driving experience. You may not notice the big V8 power at first, but once you get used to the car and move up to the Sport mode, that big engine will spring to life. It can move the car very fast, a lot faster than you might expect. Also, the exhaust note is pretty cool but only if you have the windows down, as the quiet cabin doesn’t allow for the driver to truly experience that wonderful sound. It’s too bad that Lexus didn’t pipe the sound into the cabin.

The interior is roomy, with plenty of space – even for passengers in the rear.  The dashboard display is massive and beautifully arrayed.  The seats in the F Sport are designed to hold you in place while negotiating a winding mountain road. And the exterior is sleek with that in-your-face Lexus grill.  And almost in spite of that grill, it’s still a gorgeous car.

But the key to loving the GS F Sport is that burbling V8 under the hood.  Drive it like a little old lady when you want and it behaves, well, like a little old lady.  It’s those times, however, when you want to unleash the tiger inside that engine that the GS really shines.  Turn the drive mode dial to Sport or Sport + and step on the gas.  The GS will fly down the highway, leaving just about anything (EVERYTHING) behind.  If only you could hear that exhaust note roaring. 

This is a great 4-door sedan that wasn’t appreciated nearly enough. Goodbye Lexus GS, I’ll miss you; you sure were fun while you lasted.

Steve Kursar

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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