2020 Lexus GS Models with Comparisons & Configurations.What do you get with each? Find out below..
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Like many other sedan line-ups from economy to luxury price ranges, the 2020 Lexus GS is seeing a reduction in its trim levels. This year, the GS 300 is gone while the 350 carries over unchanged from 2019. That means the only options you get are the 350 standard and 350 F Sport.
Why is this happening, you might wonder? Well, to be truthful, sedans are becoming a burden on a lot of automakers. More and more, consumers are demanding larger vehicles that are also becoming more fuel efficient. Sedans are becoming less convenient for larger families and people who need extra cargo space.
But luxury sedans are not yet a thing of the past. Lexus will, however, need to expand some of their offerings on the GS if they want it to sell though. For example, you cannot get smartphone app integration with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It is odd that Lexus is leaving things like this out since technology sells.
What do you get on the GS 350? And how does the F Sport differ? Is one of these two options better than the other? This article will compare the 350 and its F Sport variant. In the end, we will determine which one of these two 2020 Lexus GS options we think will most appeal to the average buyer.
Compare the 2020 Lexus GS 350 vs 350 F Sport Model. What is the difference?
There are only two options that you can get on the 2020 Lexus GS, as already mentioned. This leaves you little leeway for customization. However, both of these trim levels come as rear- or all-wheel drive, so you do at least have some choices there. However, a lot of the mechanical features remain the same between these two variants. They are both powered by a 3.5-L V6 engine that gets 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The base 350 has a 6-speed transmission while the F Sport does get upgraded to an 8-speed. The engine has 4 valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. 19-inch alloy wheels are standard on both versions of the GS, but the base 350 does offer 18-inch and smaller 19-inch alloy wheels as options. Power steering comes standard, as do front and rear stabilizer bars. Also, the wheels are outfitted with standard all-season tires on the base 350 while the F Sport gets conventional wheels.
There are a few things you should know about the F Sport's handling. It is more dynamic than what you get on the base 350. The F Sport has a sport tuned suspension that is made by the team of designers who created the LFA supercar. Therefore, expect to see many of its elements carry over into the F Sport. There is a Torsen limited-slip rear differential which is only available on the RWD. This system shifts power to the rear wheel that has the best road grip. Additionally, the F Sport gets 14-inch front brakes and Lexus' Dynamic Handling System with a rear steering system with dynamic functionality that is able to adjust the steering angle of the rear wheels by several degrees based off of its yaw rate, lateral Gs, and the vehicle's speed.
So, what about standard luxury and convenience features? After all, those are typically such huge selling points for vehicles. Either auto makers hit or miss the mark here. Lexus kind of misses it. The GS 350 and 350 F Sport both come equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, a built-in navigation system, and a 12-speaker sound system. However, on both, you can choose to upgrade to the 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, which provides excellent sound quality for all your listening needs. This sound system comes as a 7.1-channel, 835-watt, 17-speaker set-up that gives you surround sound throughout the vehicle. The sound quality is concert-like, so go ahead and spend a little extra on this optional feature!
Also, a power moonroof is built into the roof as standard equipment. You cannot get a panoramic glass roof though, which is something you will find on other vehicles in this segment.
The front seats are highly adjustable, but there are no rear vents for the climate control system in either vehicle. There is a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a dual-zone automatic climate control system with front vents, and controls that can be voice activated. You do get standard pre-wiring for SiriusXM Satellite Radio and a trial subscription to its services. A rear spoiler comes standard on the F Sport but is not optional on the base GS 350. A rear window sunshade is also standard on the F Sport but unavailable on the base 350 trim level. Other standard features on both trim levels include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, adaptive cruise control, a HomeLink universal garage door opener, and standard smart-access through the Smart Key system.
Again, it is worthwhile to mention that there is no smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which is something you can easily get as standard on even some economy vehicles. Lexus, for whatever reason, has chosen to not add these features at all at this time.
When it comes to safety and security features, Lexus hits a few high notes on the GS 350 and 350 F Sport. Standard features include LED headlights, a standard vehicle dynamics integrated management (VDIM) stability control system, front driver and passenger side airbags, side airbags for the second row, and knee air bags for the front seat occupants. You also get standard daytime running lights, electrochromic side mirrors up front, heating for the side mirrors, electronic traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. The Lexus Safety System Plus gives the vehicle a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, a lane departure monitoring system with lane keep assist, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, and intelligent high beams that give both you and other drivers better visibility when it is dark outside and otherwise hard to see the road ahead.
Take some notice of how the F Sport is styled on the inside too. It is definitely built to have that sporty inner vibe. On the outside, the front bumper is unique to the F Sport, as are the signature grille inserts on the upper and lower areas of the grille and the F Sport badging, of course. On the inside, though, you get treated to a stylish cockpit done in black and red with bolstered front sport seats. You also get an ergonomic steering wheel done in chic perforated leather, a racing inspired instrumentation panel, and sporty aluminum pedals. The seats and trim feature unique stitching and accents that make the F Sport look more athletic and aggressive than the base GS 350.
Other features that you can get include a head-up color information display that projects important information about your gears, RPMs, speed, and audio onto the windshield in front of your eyes. You can tinker around with the settings to get the system to show you only the information that you want to see. There is also a 12.3-inch infotainment display that lets you access and control everything from navigation to climate controls. You can switch to a 3D City View if you do not like the basic map display, and the navigation system can be set up to recognize voice commands in English, Spanish, and French. You can even check to see where the closest gas station is located.
Lexus Enform comes equipped as well, and this system bundles features that let you connect with others. You get Lexus Enform Safety Connect so that you can reach out for Roadside Assistance, and it is standard issue for the first 10 years you own the vehicle. You also receive Service Connect, which provides you with important data on your vehicle's maintenance and repair needs. Enform Remote adds the ability to start the engine and use climate control by accessing your vehicle through devices like Alexa or your smart-watch. You can even use the Lexus app to find your vehicle's location when you need to. Destination Assist gives you 24-hour live access to a real response center agent who can help you find a point of interest or a certain business you are trying to get to. Finally, there is the App Suite itself, which has everything from nationwide live radio to checking on what fuel prices are in your area. Just download the app on your smartphone and go from there.
Let us talk a little bit more about the accessories and packages before closing out this section of the review. The GS 350 and 350 F Sport have single add-ons like all-weather floor liners, key gloves with the F logo emblazoned on them, all-weather floor mats, a cargo net, a carpet trunk mat, and an emergency first aid kit. Packages include the Premium Package (for the base GS 350, which gives it leather trim, heated and ventilated front seats, and rain-sensing wipers) and a Cold Weather Package for the AWD variants. If you get this package, you will get to use its headlamp washers, the de-icer for the windshield wipers, and front door glass that repels water. Other than that, you cannot choose to add anything on in a bundled package.
Which Model to Choose?
The real problem with the 2020 Lexus GS is that you are left with little room to get creative and customize the vehicle to your liking. For being a luxury sedan, you would think it would have a few more standard features available, especially smartphone app integration, which is an incredibly simple alternative to using a lot of the vehicle's built-in features (like navigation). And the Premium Package will be a must-have for a lot of people since it includes features that you might expect to find as standard. But it does make the price go up, that is for sure - and this is already a fairly expensive vehicle.
The F Sport is kind of nifty to look at on the inside, and there is not much of a price difference between it and the base GS 350. For the extra handling and steering boosts it gives you, the F Sport is actually the more feasible choice here. The handling feels much more aggressive, which is what you should expect from a luxury sport sedan. AWD does take the sporty feel down a notch, but it might feel like an essential choice if you live somewhere that often experiences inclement weather. Having AWD can make the vehicle even more secure on slick roadways. But, if you do not live in a climate like that, you should do just fine with RWD.
Just bear in mind that you will likely want to add a few things on, like the Mark Levinson sound system. Keep those features in mind as you budget out your expenses. If you have a freer budget, definitely splurge on the optional sound system and a few of the other stand-alone options, like the cargo net.