Difference between Lexus IS, ES and GS

Updated on January 25, 2016

Luxury cars that sold under the brand name Lexus ( luxury car division of the Japanese Toyota Motor Corporation) sound very similar in name. They are called Lexus IS, Lexus ES and Lexus GS. Yet, there are substantial differences between the three series as represented by the 2014 variations of the Lexus IS 350, ES 350 and GS 350, and we will explore them in the following article.

Definitions

Lexus IS
1999–2005 Lexus IS 200 (GXE10R) sedan, photographed in Zetland, New South Wales, Australia

The Lexus IS refers to an entry-level in the luxury cars family. The series was introduced in 1998, and  marketed under the brand name Toyota Altezza. The first-generation Lexus IS 200/300 was used across the globe by many notable sports cars teams in races.

Lexus IS cars are winners of many prestige awards among the sports cars class. Among them are:

  • In 2006 and 2007: The IS 250 was the winner of Best Prestige Car in Australia’s Best Cars awards.
  • In 2006: British automotive magazine Top Gear named the second-generation Lexus IS as the Executive Car of the Year.
  • -In 2011: The Lexus IS came first in the ‘J.D.Power’ car satisfaction survey in 2011.
The Lexus ES 300h
The Lexus ES 300h (AVV60; facelift)

Since its introduction in the year 1989, the Lexus ES series has gone through a number of transformations. It was, subsequently, a compact sedan, a middle-size sedan, and, finally, as of now, a full-size luxury sedan. The “ES” stands for “Executive Sedan,” or “Elegant Sedan.”

For a long time the Lexus ES was the only front-wheel drive car in the Lexus line-up, until in 1998 the Lexus RX was manufactured.

The recent Lexus ES generation is marketed by the company as a luxury car, with an emphasis on the interior quality, smooth ride and overall quietness of a vehicle.

In the United States, the Lexus ES has been the top-selling Lexus car for over fifteen years.

Lexus IS representatives are winners of many prestigious awards. Among them are:

  • In 2009: The Lexus ES 350 was titled “The Best Upscale Car for the Money” by the U.S. News & World Report magazine.
  • In 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2006: The Lexus ES 300 was called “The best entry luxury car in Initial Quality” by J.D. Power and Associates.
  • In 1997, 2001 and 2007: The Lexus ES 300 was termed the most appealing luxury car by J.D. Power and Associates.
  • In 1992: The Lexus ES 300 gets into Top Ten All-Stars of the prestigious Automobile Magazine.
The Lexus GS 450h F Sport
The Lexus GS 450h F Sport

The Lexus GS is a series of mid-size luxury cars. There have been four generations of the Lexus GS produced since 1993. In Japan, the series is marketed under the name Toyota Aristo. The most recent, fourth generation, was presented in 2011. The models included the V6-powered Lexus GS 350, the hybrid Lexus GS 450h, and the performance-tuned Lexus F-sport.

The Lexus GS representatives are winners of many prestigious awards. Among them are:

  • In 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005: The GS series was acknowledged as “The best mid-size luxury car in Initial Quality” by J.D. Power and Associates.
  • In 2007: The German automotive magazine Auto Bild during its “Auto 1” awards, named the Lexus GS 450h the “best sedan.”
  • In 2007: In Germany, the Lexus GS 450h won the IF product design award, showcased by the International Forum Design group.
  • In 2005: The authoritative magazine Consumer Reports titled the Lexus GS as the highest ranked car in predicted reliability in the luxury car class.

Comparison chart

2014 Lexus IS 3502014 Lexus ES 3502014 Lexus GS 350
Built on Toyota’s N platformBuilt on Toyota’s K platformBuilt on Toyota’s N platform
Exterior dimensions: 183.7 inches long, 71.3 inches wide and 56.3 inches highExterior dimensions: 192.7 inches long, 71.1 inches wide and 57.1 inches highExterior dimensions: 190.7 inches long, 72.4 inches wide and 57.3 inches high
Interior dimensions:

Front seats: 38.2 inches of headroom, 55.9 inches of shoulder room, 54.3 inches of hip room, and 44.8 inches of legroom.

Back seats: 36.9 inches of headroom, 53.4 inches of shoulder room, 54.0 inches of hip room, and 32.2 inches of legroom

Interior dimensions:

Front seats: 37.5 inches of headroom, 57.6 inches of shoulder room, 54.8 inches of hip room and 41.9 inches of legroom.

Back seats: 37.5 inches of headroom, 55.0 inches of shoulder room, 53.8 inches of hip room and 40.0 inches of legroom

Interior dimensions:

Front seats: 37.8 inches of headroom, 55.7 inches of shoulder room, 54.1 inches of hip room and 42.3 inches of legroom.

Back seats: 37.8 inches of headroom, 56.0 inches of shoulder room, 54.1 inches of hip room and 36.8 inches of legroom

The engine is the 3.5-liter V-6 with 306 hp; 8-speed automatic RWD, 5-speed automatic All WDThe engine is the 3.5-liter V-6 with 268 hp; 6-speed automatic RWDThe engine is the 3.5-liter V-6 with 306 hp; 8-speed automatic RWD
Accelerates 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 secondsAccelerates 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 secondsAccelerates 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds
The base price is US $39,615 for the RWD version and $41,850 for the AWD versionThe base price is US $36,620The base price is US $47,700
In competition with the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Audi A4In competition with the Mercedes-Benz E350 and C300 Sport; the Toyota Avalon, Buick Lacrosse, Lincoln MKZ and Hyundai AzeraIn competition with the Audi A6, the BMW 5-series, the Cadillac CTS, the Toyota Infinity Q70, and the Mercedes Benz E-class

Lexus IS vs ES vs GS

What is the difference between the 2014 Lexus IS 350, ES 350 and GS 350?

Differences in the platform

The rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive Lexus IS is similar to the Lexus’s larger GS model. Both are built on Toyota’s N platform, also known as “Mark II platform,” or “Crown platform”, after its main applications, but sometimes also referred to as the “Lexus GS platform”. The front-wheel-drive Lexus ES, on the other hand, is built on the Toyota’s K platform, the same platform as Toyota’s full-size models Avalon and Camry. The platform is also known as the Toyota Camry platform.

Differences in the exterior dimensions

Lexus IS350 belongs to a compact sedan class. The 201 IS350 is 183.7 inches long, 71.3 inches wide and 56.3 inches high, and with a 110.2 inch wheelbase. On the other hand, the Lexus ES350 is 192.7 inches long, 71.1 inches wide and 57.1 inches high. This model is with a 111-inch wheelbase. The Lexus GS350 is 190.7 inches long, 72.4 inches wide and 57.3 inches high. The GS350 is with a 112.2-inch wheelbase

Differences in the interior dimensions

The 2014 Lexus IS350’s front seats provide 38.2 inches of headroom, 55.9 inches of shoulder room, 54.3 inches of hip room, and 44.8 inches of legroom. The Lexus IS350’s back seats provide 36.9 inches of headroom, 53.4 inches of shoulder room, 54.0 inches of hip room, and 32.2 inches of legroom.

The Lexus IS350 interior
The Lexus IS350 interior

The 2014 Lexus ES350’s front seats provide 37.5 inches of headroom, 57.6 inches of shoulder room, 54.8 inches of hip room and 41.9 inches of legroom. The Lexus ES350’s back seats provide 37.5 inches of headroom, 55.0 inches of shoulder room, and 53.8 inches of hip room and 40.0 inches of legroom.

The Lexus ES 350 interior
The Lexus ES 350 interior

The 2014 Lexus GS350’s front seats provide 37.8 inches of headroom, 55.7 inches of shoulder room, 54.1 inches of hip room and 42.3 inches of legroom. The Lexus GS350’s backseats provide 37.8 inches of headroom, 56.0 inches of shoulder room, and 54.1 inches of hip room and 36.8 inches of legroom.

The Lexus GS350 fourth generation interior debut
The Lexus GS350 fourth generation interior debut

Differences in engines & transmissions

  • The 2014 Lexus IS350 is powered by 3.5-liter, dual-overhead-cam V-6 engine. The motor produces 306 hp at 6,400 rpm and 277 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. The rear-wheel-drive IS350 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, while the all-wheel-drive version came with a 5-speed automatic transmission.
  • The 2014 Lexus ES350 is powered by the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It generates 268 hp at 6,200 rpm and 248 foot-pounds of torque at 4,700 rpm. All ES350s came standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
  • The 2014 Lexus GS350 is powered by the same 3.5-liter naturally aspirated gas V-6. The motor produces 306 hp at 6,400 rpm and 277 foot-pounds of torque at 4,800 rpm. The GS350 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Differences in the performance & driving experience

  • The Lexus IS350’s class is a compact, or sports sedan class. This model is a winner in terms of performance between the three models we are discussing. The IS 350 accelerates 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. This car is definitely for those who like to drive fast.
  • The Lexus ES350 shows 6.5 seconds (0 to 60 mph.) The ES 350 offers its passengers a more laid-back driving experience.
  • The Lexus GS350’s acceleration is 5.7 seconds (0 to 60 mph.) Due to its excellent performance qualities combined with the exterior and interior design, this model is a unique representative of the sports executive sedan class.

Differences in pricing on the American market

  • The 2014 Lexus IS350’s base price is US $39,615 for the rear-wheel-drive version and US $41,850 for the all-wheel-drive version.
  • The price on the 2014 Lexus ES350 starts at US$36,620.
  • The 2014 Lexus GS350 is priced around US $47,700

The competitors

  • The Lexus IS350’s competitors include the BMW 3-Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Audi A4.
  • The Lexus ES350’s competitors include the Mercedes-Benz E350 and C300 Sport, the Toyota Avalon, Buick Lacrosse, Lincoln MKZ and Hyundai Azera.
  • The Lexus GS350’s competitors include the Audi A6, the BMW 5-series, the Cadillac CTS, the Toyota Infinity Q70, and the Mercedes Benz E-class.

 

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