It’s all about that style. The artistry that went into designing the 2014 Lexus GS350 and the 2014 Lexus GS450h is nothing short of boldly impressive. Both of these 4-door sedans are fully loaded with personality and style.
The salmon-colored interior of the GS350 draws you in to a wave of color, a dramatic contrast to the exterior’s obsidian— deep black—coat. The Riviera red with black interior of the GS450h inspires images of sitting on the patio of the 50thfloor of a condo in New York City enjoying a steak dinner while sipping a fine red wine and looking out over the city. It’s amazing how a color can take you places. You have a sense that you’ve experienced a little more than drivers behind the wheel of a candy apple red number.
What about the ride? Acceleration for the GS350, which features a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, gets more pick up on the highway than the GS450h, which features an electronically controlled variable transmission with intelligence (ECTV-1) and paddle shifters.
The GS450h features a 3.5 liter four cam 24-valve v-6 engine with dual variable valve timing and an electric drive motor with Lexus Hybrid Drive. Both feature the same 17-inch, 9-spoke alloy wheels with 225/50R17 tires.
When making your way around curves, the front seat of the GS350 hugs you almost like a bucket seat. It was enough for me to feel loved and protected. However, the 10-way adjustable power front seats turned out to be too much love for my front seat passenger who really didn’t want to be so tight in the seat “like a penguin.” I liked the ride and feeling the road. But my passenger thought the ride was stiff because they felt a little bump here and there.
Safety features on both range from more than enough airbags to Safety Connect, including automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location and emergency assist button. The higher end GS450h offers more safety features including 3-point safety belts for all seating positions and whiplash injury lessening front seats. However, the GS350’s option for the F Sport package with Cold Weather package makes it a formidable option.
Each sedan is unique. I was intrigued by the power rear sunshade of the GS450h, a heavenly gift in the heat of the summer. Start the car and the shading begins with no further prompting. I also appreciated the heated steering wheel and windshield wiper deicer that come standard on the GS450h but are extra on the GS350. Sitting behind the wheel of either one of these luxury sedans will inspire your imagination to go where it hasn’t gone before. The utilitarian creativity of your mind is just beginning.
The MSRP on the GS350 is $49,950; the MSRP on the GS450 is $59,600. You get better gas mileage on the GS450 with 29/34 city/highway. The MPG for the GS350 is 19/26 city/highway.