2012-2014 Lexus GS350 AWD Reliability?

Messages
603
Location
Earth
Thread starter
Hey all I was hoping for some info on these cars, may not be needing an SUV but I still need more room then my 12 G37x sedan. The Infiniti is great fun but I'd also like something a little more comfortable for me and the dog. I really am not up to date on the RWD chassis Toyta/Lexus sedans and was wondering if there any major teething issues with these? Are these another 200-250,000 (easy) mile engine and transmission cars like the old GS300 and LS400/430? I was thinking a 12-13 because I'd rather have the 6 speed AISIN AWD transmission then the 8 speed in the 2014+ which I've heard still has issues at least pre 2016, and that is out of my budget. I figured one of these would be significantly less expensive to maintain then an 11-12 LS460 AWD which is also in the cars but would be open to those as well if the AT issues are sorted. Thanks in advance.
 
Messages
394
Location
CT USA
I own a 2015 GS350 AWD I bought CPO. Had 11k miles on it when I bought it. Now 30k. Totally reliable, although this is not a lot of miles. Mine has the 6 speed transmission. The 8 speed was only on the RWD models. Not sure when that changed. A good friend has a 2013 AWD with 155k. Has only had recommended services and normal maintenance. Absolutely flawless. Drives as new.
 
Messages
4,166
Location
Los Gatos, CA
I also bought a 2013 GS350 F Sport RWD on CPO. Wonderful car. The 8 speed started in 2014, I believe; RWD only. The AWD cars continued to use the 6 speed. This is one of the best Lexus, and that is saying something. Except gas mileage... But who cares with a car this fun?

GS Side.jpg
 
Last edited:
Messages
744
Location
New Hampshire
I don't know a lot about the GS 350 but I do know a little something about the LS460...and the years you mentioned 11-12 AWD...really in my opinion are pretty darn good cars in terms of reliability and performance/luxury/comfort. I think you'd be able to put 150,000 miles on one of those with very few issues. Control arms are the "big repair" and believe those are the single most overblown issue on the entire internet. The drive train in the LS460 was the same from 2007-2018...it's pretty solid and reliable (excellent 8 speed Aisin's transmission...I'm talking bullet proof...absolutely an excellent piece of machinery that enabled me to average nearly 26 mpg in a V8 car). They're so reliable that you can buy one on ebay for under $1,200 bucks (because no one needs them, they don't break, there is no demand). But I'm sure the GS 350 is a great car too.
 
Messages
603
Location
Earth
Thread starter
Appreciate all the responses. It sounds like all you guys are pretty happy with your Toyota/Lexus sedans and how they are holding up. It's nice to hear people with AWD versions are also are passing 150k miles without any powetrain issues and just normal maintenance on their cars. Coming from the G37 I'm thinking I'd like something that's still a bit of a drivers car so that is why I am leaning toward the GS but I've really got to test drive an example or two of both again to figure out which I'd prefer. Not that worried about control arms, I'd rather have to change them then say and I'm just spit-balling here a transmission or inner timing cover gasket and timing chain driven water pump (raises shaking fist to sky while screaming Why Nissan Why!)
 
Messages
4,166
Location
Los Gatos, CA
The AWD is a good choice if you need it, such as in snowy areas. Otherwise RWD may make sense... The GS350 F Sport RWD have different size wheel and tire for front vs back, so you can't rotate. And there are fewer tire choices; my car has the Michelin Pilots; aka expensive! AWD and non-GS F Sport cars have the same wheel tire, so you save $$ there. Either way, these are great cars. I highly recommend the GS.
 
Messages
40
Location
vancouver
I have 13' GS350 awd with 110k miles on it. Got it in 2014 used, the car is totally bullet proof, the only thing that "broke" is battery, rapleced 2 months ago, beside that nothing but regular maintenance.
 
Messages
10,013
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by JeffKeryk
I also bought a 2013 GS350 F Sport RWD on CPO. Wonderful car. The 8 speed started in 2014, I believe; RWD only. The AWD cars continued to use the 6 speed. This is one of the best Lexus, and that is saying something. Except gas mileage... But who cares with a car this fun?
I drove this particular Lexus a lot, and if it is fun, it s at the bottom of the list. Only Lexus can make RWD car with understeer tendency.
 
Last edited:
Messages
603
Location
Earth
Thread starter
The Germans build better handling cars and wagons I agree. Their interiors are unmatched on the high end stuff. Lexus and Mazda are just imitating them and modern Infiniti interiors seem inspired by a drunk child's take on a last gen Volvo. Break downs can be dangerous in some very remote areas I have to travel to, reliability is a first line priority, sporty handling is secondary to that. If work allowed and I was gonna be in one location for a good length of time I'd probably pick up a B7 S4 or 07-9 335i or Audi TT to fix up and play with before flipping because well their fun as heck. I cannot think of any AWD Audi or MB or BMW with 300+hp in an NA engine that will be reliable as a daily driver well past 100k miles without major engine (rod bearings or valve seals or worse) or transmission work.
 
Messages
603
Location
Earth
Thread starter
Thanks, glad to hear the car has treated you so well! Have you gotten a chance to put the AWD system to the test in any snow/ice?
 
Messages
603
Location
Earth
Thread starter
Need AWD and I'm probably the one guy out there that wants the base rims, I prefer 17's with the 225/50/17's thicker sidewall for some of the roads I find myself on. Upon purchase I will shod it in some Conti DWS's or BF Goodrich G Sport Comp2 A/S's, or if I'm feeling flush the Michi Pilot Sport 3 A/S's. They all handle dry and wet very well and with a decent AWD system can take on any snow up to bumper height, which is all you can ask from an A/S tire.
 
Messages
10,013
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by GZRider
The Germans build better handling cars and wagons I agree. Their interiors are unmatched on the high end stuff. Lexus and Mazda are just imitating them and modern Infiniti interiors seem inspired by a drunk child's take on a last gen Volvo. Break downs can be dangerous in some very remote areas I have to travel to, reliability is a first line priority, sporty handling is secondary to that. If work allowed and I was gonna be in one location for a good length of time I'd probably pick up a B7 S4 or 07-9 335i or Audi TT to fix up and play with before flipping because well their fun as heck. I cannot think of any AWD Audi or MB or BMW with 300+hp in an NA engine that will be reliable as a daily driver well past 100k miles without major engine (rod bearings or valve seals or worse) or transmission work.
As I stated on other thread, of more than 30 cars I owned, I had three Japanese, Mazda Millenia, and currently Toyota Sienna and Land Cruiser (In Europe). Only Millenia and Sienna did not want to start out of nowhere. I worked for consulting company that had several of these GS350. They are OK vehicles, underwhelming in every aspect. If you want AWD, get used Audi A6 3.0T with supercharge. Engine proved itself as very stout, AWD is best in business, and ZF transmission is something Lexus might offer in 50 years.
 
Messages
603
Location
Earth
Thread starter
Well come on man,the Mazda Millenia had an electrical system that seemed to be desgined by the prince of darkness himself so no surprises. Pretty sure it's on the list with the 96-99 Taurus with cars mechanics won't pay $500 for. The Siesta is a dog and another US built teamcraft Toyota I wouldn't own, it's not like I was considering a Honda Oddity or a Dodge Gypsyvan either, vans are terrible for a variety of reasons. None of those have anything to do with a modern(ish) GS350 AWD. I need a reliable surefooted AWD sedan or wagon that is first and foremost reliable and secondly can be repaired away from the dealer chain if an issue does crop up and third doesn't cost too much to run in repairs and maintenance costs. Owning any Audi outside of warranty in a lot of places I travel in the Pac Northwest, Nevada, Idaho ect means paying near a grand in towing to the nearest dealer (200-500 milles in some cases) if/when something does break that I cannot figure out or fix it myself. It's also pretty easy to get a competent independent mechanic that works on Honda, Toyota, Chevy, Ford and Subaru stuff within 30-50 miles of most small Western US towns, worst case scenario. And most of those guys will be happy to pop the hood on a Lexus or Acura even if they charge you a little more. None of the ones I've met has the scantools to talk to an Audi or MB or BMW product..
 
Messages
603
Location
Earth
Thread starter
IF I could find an affordable bidirectional scan-tool that could talk to an Audi/VW product (under $1000 with low/no yearly) I'd actually consider owning one used more seriously. Any idea what are the best years with regards to reliability for the ZF box/3.0 SC combo? Any years with particularly glitchy electronics or sensors that should be avoided? Aside that, I don't have German car money, wish I did but I don't.
 
Last edited:
Messages
10,013
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by GZRider
Well come on man,the Mazda Millenia had an electrical system that seemed to be desgined by the prince of darkness himself so no surprises. Pretty sure it's on the list with the 96-99 Taurus with cars mechanics won't pay $500 for. The Siesta is a dog and another US built teamcraft Toyota I wouldn't own, it's not like I was considering a Honda Oddity or a Dodge Gypsyvan either, vans are terrible for a variety of reasons. None of those have anything to do with a modern(ish) GS350 AWD. I need a reliable surefooted AWD sedan or wagon that is first and foremost reliable and secondly can be repaired away from the dealer chain if an issue does crop up and third doesn't cost too much to run in repairs and maintenance costs. Owning any Audi outside of warranty in a lot of places I travel in the Pac Northwest, Nevada, Idaho ect means paying near a grand in towing to the nearest dealer (200-500 milles in some cases) if/when something does break that I cannot figure out or fix it myself. It's also pretty easy to get a competent independent mechanic that works on Honda, Toyota, Chevy, Ford and Subaru stuff within 30-50 miles of most small Western US towns, worst case scenario. And most of those guys will be happy to pop the hood on a Lexus or Acura even if they charge you a little more. None of the ones I've met has the scantools to talk to an Audi or MB or BMW product..
It is GS350 not Toyota Corolla. What you described (and I live in Wester US, and I travel that region a lot) if it is like that, you need 4Runner with manual transmission. All scantools today, decent ones will read any European car. If mechanic does not have scantool that can read specific codes, I would not give him tire to change, let alone to open the hood of GS350. On Amazon one can find Autel or Foxwell for $100 that will read all specific codes on any car. I think you are overestimating how simple GS350 is.
 
Messages
10,013
Location
Colorado Springs
Originally Posted by GZRider
IF I could find an affordable bidirectional scan-tool that could talk to an Audi/VW product (under $1000 with low/no yearly) I'd actually consider owning one used more seriously. Any idea what are the best years with regards to reliability for the ZF box/3.0 SC combo? Any years with particularly glitchy electronics or sensors that should be avoided? Aside that, I don't have German car money, wish I did but I don't.
Anything A6 post 2012 has robust 3.0T (pre 2012 had bit iffy PCV and some had leaky water pump). Any scantool will read any Audi specific code. You can find Autel for $200 that will do things like EBC release etc. on Audi. I used on my BMW X5 Carly for BMW that I paid $110, and app $49. That thing could do anything on BMW, even unlocking options specific to European market. ZF8 is far more reliable than anything Aisin, just for your info. Unlike Aisin, ZF8 never had any issues. It is by far the best transmission on the market in last 10 years (not that ZF5 or 6 were any less reliable). Of course, if you feel uncomfortable with any car, you should not get it. But, I am just throwing this in. Quattro Pete has Q5 with 3.0T for several years, he can give you his take.
 
Last edited:
Messages
1
Location
Hartford, CT, US
I'm just going to throw my two cents in as I own a 2014 GS350 AWD FSport, bought CPO in June 2017 at 36K miles, currently at 51K miles. I was in a similar situation, wanting something sporty, luxurious, and reliable at the time I was looking around. My priority was reliability as I have owned a '96 A6 Quattro (first car) and had an absolute nightmare of a time with it (at 11 yrs old and 100K miles, the entire electrical system starting failing intermittently while driving so the sunroof would open and close on its own, the entire suspension had to be replaced, catalytic converter & exhaust were replaced, burned oil constantly, had check engine light on constantly (which failed emissions), etc all of which equated to $$$ which I didn't have much of as a teenager working as a cashier). After totaling it, I went with a much tamer 2010 civic (but my wallet seriously thanked me for it, almost no issues except for routine maintenance). Fast forward to 2017 when I was looking for something bigger and more fun to drive, I test drove a 2014 3 series which was an amazing drive & offered premium luxury features that I was looking for but then after digging further into the reliability and talking with some buddies who had recently purchased one, I heard nothing but horror stories and quickly changed my mind. That's when I looked into the GS and have never looked back ever since. This is a premium vehicle that is fun to drive (not as fun as a BMW, mind you) but still fun nonetheless, but most importantly, very reliable. I've had no issues with this car and have just done routine maintenance (oil changes, brakes, tires) so far per the owner's manual recommendations. The AWD system does help somewhat with the snowy winters in New England, but does not match up to the Audi AWD system which I would rate as one of the best. I've found that having AWD, while it certainly helps, is not as important for handling in the snow as the tires on the car, especially when it comes to stopping distance when braking. This is where snow tires really shine and are worth the additional cost. If you do get one of these, try to get it with the Blind Spot Monitors & Winter Package which don't come standard, especially if you're going to be driving in colder winter weather. The F Sport package disappointingly does not offer any additional HP or torque, but offers two different Sports Modes (Sport & Sport S+) & Eco Mode buttons (Sports Mode stiffens up the suspension, tightens steering, & holds gears longer while Eco saves on fuel). I was pleasantly surprised when turning on Sport S+ Mode as it really does make it feel much sportier and aggressive when you want it to be. I wouldn't hesitate to get the F Sport version which won't be much more than a non-F Sport. The only complaint I have about this car is the horrible gas mileage (I average about 17 MPG city & highway, but do tend to drive aggressively), but then again, any fun car will sacrifice MPG for HP. Overall, I'd highly recommend.
 
Messages
40
Location
vancouver
Yes, gas millage isn't great in mine either, but I don't have any other unexpected expenses, If reliable transportation is priority GS is no brainer, recommending anything German instead, is kind of weird. I had 3 different MBs before I decided that I have enough of German engineering.
 
Top