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GS - 4th Gen (2013-present) Discussion about the 2013 GS models

New G4S owner - comments, complaints, and questions. Please help!

 
Old 02-25-19, 08:15 AM
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ahsm
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Default New G4S owner - comments, complaints, and questions. Please help!

Hello everyone,

I've been spending a lot of time on this forum reading posts and browsing for the last couple of months and this seems like a good community with people helping each other out and not being dicks like some other car manufacturer forums.

I come from a long line of BMW ownership, the cars that I've owned is as follows: 2001 BMW 528i, 2006 BMW 330i ZHP, 2003 BMW 540i (E39 M5 LSD swap), 2006 BMW 330i. All of these were 6 spd manual and Sport package. All of my friends have BMW's as well and other high performance cars, I have a lot of experience driving E46, E92 M3s, E34, E39, E60 M5s, M6s, my friend had a 600hp S4, another friend has a Panamera, a 535i, E55 AMG, etc. Just to paint of picture of the type of cars that I am very familiar with and their handling dynamics, all of them are incredible to drive, the way they handle and feel on the road and track is fantastic. That being said, all of them had had to be repaired continuously and extensively. The worst car I had in terms of repair was the 540i, everything possible on that car went, I changed the cooling system twice, fan clutch, spark plugs, coils, flywheel, clutch, rear main seal, VCG, secondary air pump, various suspension bits here and there, the main controller that controls that heat/AC blew, dead pixels, water starting leaking in through the rear doors, the differential decided to explode on the highway, and probably more that I am missing. Whenever speaking to someone about these issues they would say "OH yeah bro they all do that, it's a common issue LOL!". The last time I've owned was the E90 330i, well built car, handles AMAZING, so smooth, that 6spd transmission shifts like sticking a hot knife into butter and it's not slow either, it feels quicker then my 4GS.

That being said - the amount of family members in my family has increased and my priorities changed. I needed a vehicle that was reliable and big enough for a family of three (myself, wife, and kid) that wouldn't require repairs every couple of months and that I wouldn't be scared of driving outside of the CAA towing radius. I wanted to take my family on a road trip to Montreal and Quebec City but was a bit reluctant when I had the 330i because it had 160,000KM and the electric water pump was a ticking time bomb. So after some research, there weren't many other cars that interested me that much that were reliable and "presentable", nothing from the Honda lineup, Acura TL A Spec is pretty nice but was a bit out of my price range, Toyota - a bit worse than Lexus, the German cars were out of question, and nothing else really appealed to me.

So I ended up buying a 2013 Lexus GS350 AWD (only AWD is available in Canada) Luxury package with 86,000KM, seemed to be a demo car at one point then a one owner vehicle and then I bought it. It looks like it is fully loaded with every option except Lane Keep Assist (has that stupid night camera instead that is useless). I chose Lexus because I kept reading online about how reliable they were and generally well built vehicles and my father has a 2006 Lexus GX460 that he now has for 5 years and I think 70,000KM. In those 5 years and 70,000KM he has had to spend 0 dollars on the car (except timing belt and water pump at 130,000KM when he bought it) compared to me having the 330i in one year and 30,000KM and spending 3K on it in that one year.

Big change coming from BMW to Lexus... here my comments, complaints and questions.

- Nice interior, feels solid and well put together except for the door panels, looks like its not leather and will rub away after time and I am starting to notice the material bunch up together where the hand opens and closes the door.
- I don't see what's so bad about the infotainment system, I honestly don't. It's fine, you have the controller and choose the options that you need, you can customize a lot of settings and do everything you need to do. It responds quick and doesn't lag, doesn't freeze or reboot.
- Visibility is bad, the read window is on a big incline and can't see much out of it, the windows are all small on the doors and can't see much out of them, the C pillar takes up a lot of room. I've almost hit someone when I just got the car backing out of my driveway and in parking lots. I got used to it now, but definitely not the best visibility of the cars I've driven.
- Meh gas mileage, right now in the winter I am averaging 14L/100KM driving 50CITY/50HWY.
- Manual mode isn't really manual, the gears will switch after it hits the redline and doesn't bounce off it.
- Can't really get the car to go sideways for a long time in Sport S+ mode, trac off (yes and holding the button) and in manual mode in second gear, it should be easy because it has a long wheelbase. I will try later in a big parking lot with snow to see if I can get it sideways for a while but seems to always catch itself.
- Transmission is horrible, can't decide which gear it's supposed to stay in and always flip flops between the gears. In Sport S + mode sometimes the gearbox is smooth and changes gears quickly and something it jerks. For example, switching for 3rd to 4th or 4th to 5th, and so on is usually done with a pause, a jerk and the gear switch.
- The steering is horrible, I understand the car has the variable steering ratio and electric steering which is probably something I am not used to as I am used to hydraulic steering. There is no connection to the road and sometimes it feels like I don't know what the car will do.
- The car is not good at handling, it feel like a bit road and floats, lots of body roll.
- The car doesn't feel stable on the highway at 120-140KM/H, it feels like it's always squirming, and hard to keep it in a straight line. It was like this when I bought it, so I got four new years (DWS06) and got an alignment at Lexus and asked them to inspect the suspension components for any wear and tear, and to pay attention to the control arm bushings. They said everything is fine. It feels very "twitchy" and not pleasant to drive as I always have to keep correcting the car to stay within the lane.
- The car has a tendency to pull to the right, before the new years and alignment and after the new tires and alignment. I've tested this on various roads, various highways, and all three lanes on the highway. I took it for a drive with the shop foreman at Lexus who said this is within spec. I don't feel this is right. Another thing I've noticed is that if I am standing still with the wheel straight and I turn the wheel let's say a quarter turn to the left and start slowly driving the wheel will correct itself to the right about 15-30 degrees, hard to explain the steering wheel will assume not the dead centre position but will assume a position to the right. I can make a video of this to better illustrate my point. The shop foreman said he hasn't seen this before and it might be normal but will check other 4GS they have in the shop and see if it does the same thing. He let me drive a 2016 F Sport and it seemed like a different car altogether. Should I have the dealership calibrate the steering wheel angle?
- I believe I made the mistake of buying the Luxury package and not the F Sport package.
- I am going to order the Swift springs and install them, hopefully this will help a bit with the handling and will lower the ride height as I've never owned a vehicle where I can fit 4 fingers between the wheel and fender.
- Power folding mirrors should be standard on a car like this but they are not.

It's not a bad car, it's a good car but probably the wrong car for me. The plan is most likely to drive it for a year or two, save up some cash and buy a newer F Sport model or if things go as planned get a GS F. I've done a lot of research on the GS F and without driving it, based on the car reviews I've watched and read, it may seem like the perfect balance of reliability, durability and performance that I am looking for in a daily driver. I am meeting with a local forum member who owns a GS F next week, he promised to show me the car so I can see it first hand as there isn't a single used one for sale in Canada. I'm trying really hard to like the GS350 and maybe all of my complaints above are pointless and maybe I've been spoiled with cars in the past and have the bar set pretty high. Can someone knock some sense in to me?





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Old 02-25-19, 08:44 AM
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Congrats on the GS - first thing I noticed was that you got the Lux package. Based on the long line of performance based cars you've come from, the lux version of the 4GS isn't going to knock your socks off. I think its something that everyone who is a performance enthusiast has to understand is: the purpose behind the vehicle they are buying...

A Lux package GS is not the right version of the GS for you based on your comments. If you have any expectations of throwing it around, grip, handling, speed, and general high performance etc. out of the GS line, you will need a RWD F-Sport GS350 with rear-steer or possibly an AWD F-Sport (AWD will be a little heavier, non-staggered wheels/tires, no option for rear steering, smaller brakes but gives you the sure foot of AWD).

I started by saying to understand the purpose of the vehicle. I remember renting a corvette convertible a few years back and immediately went back to Hertz and took a Volvo hardtop convertible instead. The Corvette felt unrefined at idle, I felt every imperfection on the road b/c of the suspension/wheels/tires and it had no trunk space. Engine sounded amazing, straight line acceleration/torque was outstanding and handling was great...too bad driving around the city wouldn't ever let me really enjoy those performance attributes!

I think the right 4GS for you is the GS F. Prices for 2016 GS F models have come down significantly from their original $85k. If the true purpose of the car is to be a family hauler that is comfortable, reliable, safe, etc. then a Lux package GS is the "right" Lexus (one could argue ES350 here as well). If you really want some performance out of the car, you'll need an F-Sport variant. If you want a true performance GS, the GS F is the only one to consider.

Great vid on why the GS F is relevant in this category of "performance" cars:

Last edited by AJLex19; 02-25-19 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 02-25-19, 09:54 AM
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Congrats & welcome! It's a shame you're not too happy with your new GS as it's beautiful but like you said, you made the wrong choice when getting your GS. You should've gotten an F-Sport at a minimum.

As far as getting the car to go sideways, I mean, you bought an AWD model. I understand RWD is not available in your market but what do you expect? These cars are rear biased but don't have torque vectoring or drift modes or anything like that, so not sure expectations are reasonable here. Lexus is also pretty conservative when it comes to stability control. Not sure if they actually allow it to be fully turned off without reactivating if you get too crazy. If you want to go sideways, you should've gotten a GS-F, that's a fun car to go sideways in. Or if possible, sourced a RWD GS350 F-Sport with rear-wheel steering and limited slip diff.

Agree with you on visibility. These cars have a pretty high beltline and small side windows + small windshield. It's easy to get used to though.

Being an AWD model, your car does not have the variable steering (in Lexus-speak, this is called "Variable Gear Ratio Steering" or "VGRS"). This is only on RWD F-Sports.

2013 was the first model year for the GS so many updates & new features were added during each model year after. Power-folding side mirrors were added in 2014.
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Old 02-25-19, 10:21 AM
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ahsm - I wouldn't spend any money on the car trying to make it something it's clearly not. You should admit to yourself that you failed miserably doing simple due diligence about the Lexus GS 350 in general, and even worse by not learning about the different GS 350 models. You have already conceded that the car is probably the wrong car for you, so don't make an already disappointing mistake even worse by keeping it and fruitlessly spending money on it trying to make it something that will satisfy you. It sounds like you will be better served to get rid of the GS 350 and buy something that meets your expectations better. Just be sure that next time you do your homework...
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Old 02-25-19, 12:58 PM
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There actually is not a huge amount of difference between a F Sport and Luxury model, they have basically the same suspension setup, both have variable shocks. The F Sport has Brembo Brakes and a Staggered Wheel Set Up and Rear Wheel Steer if you get the RWD version but if you are trying to save money the Brembo's are going to cost more to service and tires are going to cost you more/wear out in a staggered setup. The difference between ride/handling of a F Sport and Luxury are not very noticeable, same basic setup aside from a RWD F sport and even then it is not that noticeable in my opinion, at least on the short test drives I had. AWD ride height can be addressed by springs or changing out shocks to RWD, the AWD F sport has the same ride height as the AWD Luxury, has same sized tires all around, and does not have rear wheel steer, ride and handling is basically the same as a Luxury.

Why do you need to get sideways? Why is that so important on your daily driver? Where do you even do it at aside from empty parking lots or a track? Drifting you vehicle ruins the tires quickly and wears/can damage suspension and engine/transmission components much faster, if you are trying to save money, not have to replace things the last thing you want to do is drift your daily driver aside from maybe a rare circumstance or two.

Going to a F Sport you will lose some things from your Luxury, you lose some seat adjustment, you lose seat memory on the passenger side, you lose rear seat controls, you lose the nicer semi aniline leather, wood trim, likely fog lights, possibly head lamp washers, side window shades I believe, swivel headlights I believe and a few other things.

If you really want the big difference and the performance GS you are better off stepping up to a GS-F which won't be cheap over getting rid of your luxury just for a F sport, they are a lot closer then you may think.

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Old 02-25-19, 01:12 PM
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I'd like to know what model car goes sideways better than a GS? I'll have to see if I can get mine to do that, NOT!
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Old 02-25-19, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by AJLex19 View Post
Congrats on the GS - first thing I noticed was that you got the Lux package. Based on the long line of performance based cars you've come from, the lux version of the 4GS isn't going to knock your socks off. I think its something that everyone who is a performance enthusiast has to understand is: the purpose behind the vehicle they are buying...

A Lux package GS is not the right version of the GS for you based on your comments. If you have any expectations of throwing it around, grip, handling, speed, and general high performance etc. out of the GS line, you will need a RWD F-Sport GS350 with rear-steer or possibly an AWD F-Sport (AWD will be a little heavier, non-staggered wheels/tires, no option for rear steering, smaller brakes but gives you the sure foot of AWD).

I started by saying to understand the purpose of the vehicle. I remember renting a corvette convertible a few years back and immediately went back to Hertz and took a Volvo hardtop convertible instead. The Corvette felt unrefined at idle, I felt every imperfection on the road b/c of the suspension/wheels/tires and it had no trunk space. Engine sounded amazing, straight line acceleration/torque was outstanding and handling was great...too bad driving around the city wouldn't ever let me really enjoy those performance attributes!

I think the right 4GS for you is the GS F. Prices for 2016 GS F models have come down significantly from their original $85k. If the true purpose of the car is to be a family hauler that is comfortable, reliable, safe, etc. then a Lux package GS is the "right" Lexus (one could argue ES350 here as well). If you really want some performance out of the car, you'll need an F-Sport variant. If you want a true performance GS, the GS F is the only one to consider.

Great vid on why the GS F is relevant in this category of "performance" cars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIHQfqwLYys
I agree, if I was him I would just keep the Lux model he got a good deal on and save up for the GS-F/focus on looking for a GS-F, he is going to lose some nice features/luxury trying to get a F Sport for just a little more sporty handling, might as well go for the GS-F which is significantly faster and more fun then any GS350.

I disagree about the F Sport going to make much of a difference to him over the Lux especially the AWD F Sport as they have basically the same suspension setup, handling characteristics. They make the same power, neither is quicker, both have variable ratio shocks and Sport+. Luxury may be slightly heavier then a F Sport but not by much. If he goes with a 2016+ the GS350 is going to be slower too, this is proven out by 0-60 times. RWD F Sport will make some difference but I would not call it night and day either aside from RWD cars being much easier to drift/get sideways then most AWD cars.
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Old 02-25-19, 01:33 PM
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UDel Luxury & F-Sport suspension hardware is the same but they are tuned to perform very differently.

Originally Posted by peteharvey View Post
Good video.
However, be careful.
The base model with non-electronic shock absorbers have the softest shock absorber valving.
The electronic shock absorber valving on the Luxury and F Sport at Normal Mode is firmer.
The Luxury's AVS on Sport+ Mode is firmer again.
While the F Sport's Sport+ Mode is most firm.











It certainly puts to rest a small number of posts that imply/claim that AVS electronic variable shock absorber valving automatically has a better ride.
In truth, the actual ride quality depends on the size of the shock absorber valving, hence resistance to oil flow inside the cartridge.
The wider the opening, the less the body control, for a lower frequency of vertical oscillations which is more comfortable.

Only 79 lbs of weight difference between 350 & 200t - the weight of a child - hints that spring and damper rates should be roughly compatible between 350 and 200t.
​​​​​​​

Last edited by signdetres; 02-25-19 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 02-25-19, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by UDel View Post
I agree, if I was him I would just keep the Lux model he got a good deal on and save up for the GS-F/focus on looking for a GS-F, he is going to lose some nice features/luxury trying to get a F Sport for just a little more sporty handling, might as well go for the GS-F which is significantly faster and more fun then any GS350.

I disagree about the F Sport going to make much of a difference to him over the Lux especially the AWD F Sport as they have basically the same suspension setup, handling characteristics. They make the same power, neither is quicker, both have variable ratio shocks and Sport+. Luxury may be slightly heavier then a F Sport but not by much. If he goes with a 2016+ the GS350 is going to be slower too, this is proven out by 0-60 times. RWD F Sport will make some difference but I would not call it night and day either aside from RWD cars being much easier to drift/get sideways then most AWD cars.
Yeah I agree - i said "possibly" AWD because it looks like where OP is located, AWD would be a smart choice lol. The right order here if he wanted to consider a 4GS would be:

RWD GS F
RWD GS350 F Sport with rear-steer
AWD GS350 F Sport (if he was willing to give up a little performance for more snow traction)
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Old 02-25-19, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsm View Post
Hello everyone,
- The steering is horrible
- The car doesn't feel stable on the highway at 120-140KM/H
- The car has a tendency to pull to the right,
Glad to see another Ontarian on the board.

I think you need to get your suspension/alignment/steering problems sorted out first. That is definitely not normal.

Mine is stable as a rock blasting down the 401... in fact it feels just at stable at 160 as at 60, which is a big problem if you've been intoxicated by the engine scream above 4k and not watching your speed.

Originally Posted by ahsm View Post
Hello everyone,
- Can't really get the car to go sideways for a long time in Sport S+ mode
This is the AWD system doing it's work, once slip is detected, more power is routed to the front wheels, so the oversteer becomes understeer. Unfortunately we don't have a "hand brake" lever to yank, so it does take a ton of speed and commitment to get it to go sideways.
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Old 02-26-19, 01:05 PM
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Lexus may be the wrong brand for you in general if you wish to make your car go sideways.

I would rethink what type of vehicle you're after and go from there - are you trying to track your car? drift your car often? do you want luxury? do you want a daily drive? do you want straight line acceleration? do you want reliability? do you want efficiency (high mpg)? etc etc. What is most important to you and what can you sacrifice on?

Based on your post, it seems you would be better suited with a car from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

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Old 02-26-19, 01:09 PM
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Old 02-26-19, 01:43 PM
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Part of the reason I bought new, ya never know if a previous owner treated his car like the video.
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Old 02-26-19, 06:52 PM
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OP - This is what you need to satisfy your 'sideways' desire, but I doubt seriously you could handle it...

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Old 02-26-19, 08:28 PM
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Thanks for the replies and answers everyone. I wish I could have rented this car for about a few days or a week to fully test it out before buying it. I want the Lexus build quality and reliability so I will have to stick with what I got. I did do some research before buying this car and I did not choose and F Sport because to be honest I like how the Luxury model looks a bit more than the F Sport, not sure why, it has that more "classy/conservative" look. While reading the forums I was under the impression that the F Sport models are different than non F Sport models by mostly exterior styling, gauge cluster, and the front brakes which are more expensive to replace. I believed that the suspension and engine were the same, I did not know the suspension was programmed differently. I live in Canada so only the AWD models are available here, I believe the IS lineup comes in AWD and RWD. Not here to offend anyone, seems like a few took it as a personal offense that I didn't fall in love with the car, maybe I need some more time. I just migrated from a completely different world.

QUESTION #1) Are the suspension components/part numbers the same for the F Sport and Luxury models and only the programming is different? Can I have the dealer program my Luxury model do have the suspension profile of the F Sport?

QUESTION #2) Are the Swift springs the ones that are compatible with the stock suspension for AWD that don't shorten strut/shock life? What are the options for springs to drop the AWD?

There aren't any GS F for sale in Canada except new models those are out of my budget. I would have to get a GS F from the US and A Looks like this is the right one for me and prices for decent looking ones from 2016 are about 45-50 USD. I will have to save up a bit for a year or two and hopefully the prices will drop a bit by then.

Originally Posted by signdetres View Post
Congrats & welcome! It's a shame you're not too happy with your new GS as it's beautiful but like you said, you made the wrong choice when getting your GS. You should've gotten an F-Sport at a minimum.

As far as getting the car to go sideways, I mean, you bought an AWD model. I understand RWD is not available in your market but what do you expect? These cars are rear biased but don't have torque vectoring or drift modes or anything like that, so not sure expectations are reasonable here. Lexus is also pretty conservative when it comes to stability control. Not sure if they actually allow it to be fully turned off without reactivating if you get too crazy. If you want to go sideways, you should've gotten a GS-F, that's a fun car to go sideways in. Or if possible, sourced a RWD GS350 F-Sport with rear-wheel steering and limited slip diff.

Agree with you on visibility. These cars have a pretty high beltline and small side windows + small windshield. It's easy to get used to though.

Being an AWD model, your car does not have the variable steering (in Lexus-speak, this is called "Variable Gear Ratio Steering" or "VGRS"). This is only on RWD F-Sports.

2013 was the first model year for the GS so many updates & new features were added during each model year after. Power-folding side mirrors were added in 2014.
I thought that if I completely turn off the trac control then it becomes RWD. I would have to go to the states to get a GS F or GS 350 RWD / LSD which I think was only available in 2017, the eariler RWD models simulated an LSD effect by braking one of the tires which is power wasted IMO as opposed to applying it to the other wheel.

Originally Posted by UDel View Post
Why do you need to get sideways? Why is that so important on your daily driver? Where do you even do it at aside from empty parking lots or a track? Drifting you vehicle ruins the tires quickly and wears/can damage suspension and engine/transmission components much faster, if you are trying to save money, not have to replace things the last thing you want to do is drift your daily driver aside from maybe a rare circumstance or two.
I want to go sideways for fun I don't do it often but nice to be able to do it when I want to and mostly on snow or wet surfaces or cold weather conditions where traction is low.

Originally Posted by UDel View Post
I agree, if I was him I would just keep the Lux model he got a good deal on and save up for the GS-F/focus on looking for a GS-F, he is going to lose some nice features/luxury trying to get a F Sport for just a little more sporty handling, might as well go for the GS-F which is significantly faster and more fun then any GS350.

I disagree about the F Sport going to make much of a difference to him over the Lux especially the AWD F Sport as they have basically the same suspension setup, handling characteristics. They make the same power, neither is quicker, both have variable ratio shocks and Sport+. Luxury may be slightly heavier then a F Sport but not by much. If he goes with a 2016+ the GS350 is going to be slower too, this is proven out by 0-60 times. RWD F Sport will make some difference but I would not call it night and day either aside from RWD cars being much easier to drift/get sideways then most AWD cars.
Thanks for your comments. I test drove a 2016 GS 350 AWD F Sport and it felt like a different car to be honest, more nimble, less body roll. I believe I will focus on a GS F in about 1-2 years.

Originally Posted by er34 View Post
Glad to see another Ontarian on the board.

I think you need to get your suspension/alignment/steering problems sorted out first. That is definitely not normal.
I'm thinking there may be something wrong with my car. I had the dealer check it out (Northwest Lexus) and they said everything is fine, suspension is fine, no issues anywhere. I asked the tech to pay careful attention to the suspension and bushings but they didn't find anything. I have an early model 2013 and I read somewhere these early ones had issues with the steering rack causing the car to drift around at high speeds and feel twitchy. Perhaps it's the car that I got that is having issues that soiled my opinion of the GS. Where in Ontario are you? I am in Mississauga.

Originally Posted by AJLex19 View Post
Congrats on the GS - first thing I noticed was that you got the Lux package. Based on the long line of performance based cars you've come from, the lux version of the 4GS isn't going to knock your socks off. I think its something that everyone who is a performance enthusiast has to understand is: the purpose behind the vehicle they are buying...

A Lux package GS is not the right version of the GS for you based on your comments. If you have any expectations of throwing it around, grip, handling, speed, and general high performance etc. out of the GS line, you will need a RWD F-Sport GS350 with rear-steer or possibly an AWD F-Sport (AWD will be a little heavier, non-staggered wheels/tires, no option for rear steering, smaller brakes but gives you the sure foot of AWD).

I started by saying to understand the purpose of the vehicle. I remember renting a corvette convertible a few years back and immediately went back to Hertz and took a Volvo hardtop convertible instead. The Corvette felt unrefined at idle, I felt every imperfection on the road b/c of the suspension/wheels/tires and it had no trunk space. Engine sounded amazing, straight line acceleration/torque was outstanding and handling was great...too bad driving around the city wouldn't ever let me really enjoy those performance attributes!

I think the right 4GS for you is the GS F. Prices for 2016 GS F models have come down significantly from their original $85k. If the true purpose of the car is to be a family hauler that is comfortable, reliable, safe, etc. then a Lux package GS is the "right" Lexus (one could argue ES350 here as well). If you really want some performance out of the car, you'll need an F-Sport variant. If you want a true performance GS, the GS F is the only one to consider.

Great vid on why the GS F is relevant in this category of "performance" cars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIHQfqwLYys
I was hoping it would be more like a 5 series. Obviously I was willing to lose some performance. You are absolutely right, looks like the GS F is the one for me further down the road. Unfortunately there are none for sale in Canada so when shopping around it wasn't an option.

Originally Posted by bclexus View Post
OP - This is what you need to satisfy your 'sideways' desire, but I doubt seriously you could handle it...

https://youtu.be/5qanlirrRWs
cool story bro you must be the local forum badass
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