The 2020 Lexus GS Is Breathing Its Last Reliable Breath

Oh, here we go again! You can always trust the suits at accounting to be party poopers. Going by experience, any car enthusiast would have been thrilled when they heard the launch announcement of the 2020 Lexus GS. It did not disappoint as it came with the signature Lexus GS perks: a vast array of luxury features and exhilarating performance. 

Come May 2020, there was a disturbance in the force with reports saying the GS was about to be axed. How does a car that has racked up some serious reliability points on Consumer Reports’ (CR) get axed? 

The Lexus GS is being discontinued 

Well, you can’t say you didn’t see the warning signs. The Lexus GS started its journey back in 1993, the second generation made its mark in 1997, while the third generation heralded a new era of powertrain options that included a hybrid variant in 2006. That is where the sales slump began as it struggled to stamp its mark in the market. 

In a bid to stay relevant, the fourth generation made its bow in 2012 with a complete redesign. Lexus added new features and a unique design language that focused on its sporty nature to try to seduce new customers to the model. Despite all the rave reviews about its solid handling, sporty disposition, rock-solid reliability, and overall good ratings, customers remained unconvinced.

At its peak in 2005, Lexus managed to ship 33,000 units, a respectable figure for a fringe luxury sporty sedan. However, sales dwindled year-on-year; the worst was 2019 when the automaker only sold 3,378 units. As a result, the model lineup grew thinner with each passing year, with 2020 only offering two sedans.

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Cars take time to make, the sales team must have gone through the 2019 sales figures and decided they had seen enough, but the 2020 model must have been beyond the point of no return production wise. MotorTrend made the report in early April that the GS would be no more come August 2020.

How does CR come up with its reliability figures? 

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A brief look at CR’s 2020 Lexus GS overall reliability verdict over the years shows what a reliable car the GS is; 2020 should be no exception. How exactly do they arrive at those reliability figures? 

CR’s reliability verdict gives specific models’ past performance to provide a pointer of how future models will perform. The CR offering is pretty comprehensive as it is a survey that covers all the latest reports from 329,000 vehicles from its subscribers. 

The survey covers cars from 2000 through 2020, scrutinizing 17 potential trouble spots such as transmission, engine, brakes, and electrical system. The 2019 and 2020 models do not receive indicators since the test samples are not large enough to draw a conclusion. 

How a car model gets its reliability score depends on the ratings given by CR members who report on the problems they have encountered over the past 12 months. Members report severe matters because of the cost, safety, downtime, and failure rate of any highlighted trouble spots.

How the Lexus GS made the list as a reliable 2020 vehicle

At its heart, the GS sports a standard V6 engine that develops 311 hp, with an option of either a six- or eight-speed auto transmission configuration. 

A peek at the CR reliability chart reveals strong scores across the 17 trouble spots across the years. In recent years, the only trouble area it had was the minor issue with the fuel system in 2018, and significant problems with the climate system in 2017 and the brakes in 2016, all of which Lexus fixed in the next models. Overall, its previous performance gives CR the confidence to grant the 2020 Lexus GS a predicted reliability score of five out of five.