Anyone cross-shop a Lexus GS F-Sport with an S60 T6 RD?
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    1. #1

      Anyone cross-shop a Lexus GS F-Sport with an S60 T6 RD?

      Hello all, I'm strongly considering picking up a '14+ S60 T6 AWD RD (I6 engine only - not drive-E). This would primarily be my wife's car, but I would also drive relatively frequently. It would be my first Volvo, so I am still learning about the brand. I'm also considering a '13+ Lexus GS350 F-Sport. My primary car is a Lexus ISF, so I'm more familiar with that brand. Lexus builds a nice, reliable (and FAST in the case of the ISF) vehicle, and the GS puts out respectable power. However, I used to drive a BMW 335i, and loved the fat low-end torque curve of the turbo I6 - that's what initially drew me to the S60. I tend to buy cars with 20K-40K miles and drive them to 100K+, and do not want to own another car into higher mileage that has the reliability issues of the BMW or other Germans. I've driven the GS, but have not yet driven an S60 - I expect to do that this weekend. Does anyone have any experience either cross-shopping or owning both vehicles? Obviously this forum is going to be pro-Volvo, but honest experiences and feedback are welcome. Thanks.

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    3. #2
      Junior Member adale's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tom2769 View Post
      Hello all, I'm strongly considering picking up a '14+ S60 T6 AWD RD (I6 engine only - not drive-E). This would primarily be my wife's car, but I would also drive relatively frequently. It would be my first Volvo, so I am still learning about the brand. I'm also considering a '13+ Lexus GS350 F-Sport. My primary car is a Lexus ISF, so I'm more familiar with that brand. Lexus builds a nice, reliable (and FAST in the case of the ISF) vehicle, and the GS puts out respectable power. However, I used to drive a BMW 335i, and loved the fat low-end torque curve of the turbo I6 - that's what initially drew me to the S60. I tend to buy cars with 20K-40K miles and drive them to 100K+, and do not want to own another car into higher mileage that has the reliability issues of the BMW or other Germans. I've driven the GS, but have not yet driven an S60 - I expect to do that this weekend. Does anyone have any experience either cross-shopping or owning both vehicles? Obviously this forum is going to be pro-Volvo, but honest experiences and feedback are welcome. Thanks.
      I just cross shopped the Lexus GS350 F Sport. I love the Lexus and the reliability, but as far as performance, it is not the T6 RD. The Volvo isn't the fastest car in the world but on the highway, the power is always there. The Lexus V6 doesn't have the power without flooring it. Plus the AWD makes a difference too. Just my opinion.

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      I've been looking at an IS350 F Sport, which seems to get similar reviews to the Volvo, not bad, but not spectacular. It makes sense to compare them

      For me, I looked at it like this:
      Lexus Pros - Handling, looks
      Lexus Cons - Interior, fuel economy (dont really care)
      Volvo Pros - Interior
      Volvo Cons - Handling, looks

      I know the IS is not the same as the GS, just thought i would throw out my opinion of cross shopping the brands. My only concern is that they are both old engines, the Toyota 3.5 has been used for ages and is surely due for an update. The Inline 6 T6 is at the end of its life and has already been replaced.

      Good luck with the decision. Id buy the Lexus
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    6. #4
      I suspect the Lexus would be substantially quieter than a T6 out on the highway, where my T6 has a lot of wind and road noise. It's not nearly as buttoned up at speed as I would have liked. Be sure to not only test them around town, but get them up to highway speed as well. An S60 can be a pretty noisy car. It has character and looks good and it's speedy, but if you are looking for refinement and a sense of isolation and luxury, the Lexus might be worth looking at more closely.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bunnspeed View Post
      I suspect the Lexus would be substantially quieter than a T6 out on the highway, where my T6 has a lot of wind and road noise. It's not nearly as buttoned up at speed as I would have liked. Be sure to not only test them around town, but get them up to highway speed as well. An S60 can be a pretty noisy car. It has character and looks good and it's speedy, but if you are looking for refinement and a sense of isolation and luxury, the Lexus might be worth looking at more closely.
      I wonder if things have come a long way since 2011. Mine is eerily quiet at high speed (where i do most of my driving). I found the change to a different tyre did a lot for me.

      Maybe mine will loosen up and begin to creak over time.
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    8. #6
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by MidnightSnooze View Post
      I've been looking at an IS350 F Sport, which seems to get similar reviews to the Volvo, not bad, but not spectacular. It makes sense to compare them

      For me, I looked at it like this:
      Lexus Pros - Handling, looks
      Lexus Cons - Interior, fuel economy (dont really care)
      Volvo Pros - Interior
      Volvo Cons - Handling, looks

      I know the IS is not the same as the GS, just thought i would throw out my opinion of cross shopping the brands. My only concern is that they are both old engines, the Toyota 3.5 has been used for ages and is surely due for an update. The Inline 6 T6 is at the end of its life and has already been replaced.

      Good luck with the decision. Id buy the Lexus
      Volvo looks are a con? You're kidding right? It's one of the best looking rides on the street, and pretty rare at that (read exclusive). Now let's talk about that horrid face on any Lex. I think most can agree that a car with the face of the Predator is not a good look.


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    9. #7
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bunnspeed View Post
      I suspect the Lexus would be substantially quieter than a T6 out on the highway, where my T6 has a lot of wind and road noise. It's not nearly as buttoned up at speed as I would have liked. Be sure to not only test them around town, but get them up to highway speed as well. An S60 can be a pretty noisy car. It has character and looks good and it's speedy, but if you are looking for refinement and a sense of isolation and luxury, the Lexus might be worth looking at more closely.
      What wind and road noise? All I hear is exhaust...
      Last edited by Bmo Pete; 04-19-2017 at 12:03 PM.
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    10. #8
      Yeah, the Lexus grill is definitely polarizing - many love it and many hate it. Fortunately the GS didn't go full predator until 2016. The 13-15's hint at the new Lexus beak design, but it's not as bad...

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bmo Pete View Post
      Volvo looks are a con? You're kidding right? It's one of the best looking rides on the street, and pretty rare at that (read exclusive). Now let's talk about that horrid face on any Lex. I think most can agree that a car with the face of the Predator is not a good look.
      I think the Lexus looks good, its got aggressive angles and nice reflective lines that catch the light

      The Volvo looks good from most shots, but a front quarter shot shows off the raised front, overly bulged hood and quick drop away that gives the impression its hit a wall.
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    12. #10
      Junior Member Synesis's Avatar
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      I cross-shopped the S60 with the GS F-Sport (and IS F-Sport) as well as several other sport sedans as chronicled in this thread, and this thread as well. You'll find my comments as well as many other member's comments and experiences there.

      I was coming from an S80 V8 Sport Package and was looking for something more in the sport sedan vein. I loved the S80 V8 but it was more of a sporty luxury car than the S60RD. I drove the F-Sport GS and found it to be a sort of Lexus execution of the S80 V8. Excellent luxury cars with a sport edge, but just a bit too big and heavy, and oriented more toward luxury than sport. I also drove the IS F-Sport and found it to be much more comparable to the S60 RD, but I found the tire and road noise, ironically for a Lexus, to be intolerable. Another down side of both cars for me is that I found the user interface very clumsy and counter-intuitive to the point of being a distraction at the least, dangerous at the worst. Further, I was able to find a low mileage, mint example of an S60 for fully $10k less that either of the Lexi. Both the GS and IS F-Sport cars are excellent vehicles, with exceptional fit and finish, but one of the things that struck me about both is that they seemed soul-less.

      Overall I could not be more pleased with my decision relative to the other choices I considered. Six months later, I love the S60R, appreciate it even more each time I drive it, and would easily do the same thing again knowing what I know now. I have great respect for various executions and interpretations of the sport sedans I tested and drove, but came away with the utmost respect for the overall balance that the designers of the S60RD T6 brought to fruition.
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    13. #11
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by MidnightSnooze View Post
      I think the Lexus looks good, its got aggressive angles and nice reflective lines that catch the light

      The Volvo looks good from most shots, but a front quarter shot shows off the raised front, overly bulged hood and quick drop away that gives the impression its hit a wall.
      "A front quarter shot.." (from 2.5' height at 37 degrees?). Come on?! You can't seriously compare these two with a straight face. Inside and out, the current Lexus offerings are crap, especially for the price. Cartoonish exterior aside, the interior quality has been going downhill for years.
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      Inside the Volvo is streaks ahead in terms of design, but on the outside, there is almost no design elements to talk about. For some people, thats not a bad thing, Volvo owners tend to fly under the radar.

      But if you want something that has road presence, the Lexus has got to be the better option

      Also worth noting is the weight distribution. 63/36 FR for the Volvo S60, 52/48 FR for the Lexus (BTW - Toyota Camry 63/36)
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    15. #13
      Member Bmo Pete's Avatar
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      S60 Design elements:
      Organically sculpted hood
      Serious headlight impression in support of the extended purposeful snout
      Race inspired lower air damn
      Dominant sculpted shoulder line broadening into Volvo's traditional "Swedish Hips" at the rear quarter.
      Exaggerated fastback roof design with short trunk for GT coupe-like sporting flair
      Unique "Hockey Stick" 3D tail lights

      Sophisticated and athletic with "naughty" intentions and skills.

      The Lexus design is trying awfully hard to sit at the adult table; trying everything. Due to its adolescent limited knowledge base, applies exaggerated anime creature themes, and inconsistently, resulting in the wrong message for it's more sophisticated audience. Noticed yet dismissed as an over hormonal amateur, out of its league.
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    16. #14
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      If you're still looking for opinions, I found the GS350 to be way less fun than the 3.0L T6 in the Volvo.

      If you want something that feels rocket-like and thrilling to pound on, stick with a Turbo or Supercharged 6-cylinder or better.
      If you prefer the more calm, controlled, and linear acceleration of an NA, the V6 cars like the GS350 and Infiniti Q50 will be okay.

      Also, not sure if you're looking at the RWD or AWD model, but don't the RWD 350's have the 8-speed and feel a lot more thrusty than the AWDs?

      The GS F is really a great car, but the problem is at that price point there are even better options.
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    17. #15
      Great discussion, and good threads that you pointed to, Synthesis - enjoyed reading about your journey. I have yet to drive an S60RD - and the whole month of May is going to be lots of travel for me - not sure when that's going to happen. Matt, if I go GS350, it would be RWD F-Sport. I live in AZ, so no need for AWD - but in a car like the Volvo, that is based on a FWD design, I'd pick the AWD version all day every day. And yes, the 14+ GS350 has an 8 speed - the 2013 F-Sport I drove had a 6 speed. The Lexus drives well and can be driven aggressively, but as several have suggested, it just feels a little souless and not as fun. I feel like I should have been more moved by the car than I was. And the point about the turbo torque is a huge point for me. The Lex has to be wound up to high rpm to really feel the grunt. I would definitely prefer a turbo for that fat, low torque curve. Really, the Volvo only has 2 strikes against it at the moment 1) I haven't driven one yet (easily fixed). Based on what I've been reading, I think I'll love it, but who knows. And 2) I doubt it would compare equally with the Lexus on a reliability. But I DIY all my post-warranty fixes, and as long as the Volvo fares better than my old 335i, I think I would trade a bit of reliability for more soul...

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      Another point to pay attention to is the transmission. There is a fair bit of complaints about the Volvo's 6 speed tranny. Don't let the fact that you are overwhelmed with the power distract you from the transmission. Drive it in as many real life situations as you can.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Almaz View Post
      Another point to pay attention to is the transmission. There is a fair bit of complaints about the Volvo's 6 speed tranny. Don't let the fact that you are overwhelmed with the power distract you from the transmission. Drive it in as many real life situations as you can.
      +1. The 6 speed auto in the Volvo is not the most willing partner. It's smooth enough in normal driving and it hasn't been unreliable, but I find it to be too soft in normal drive mode and too aggressive in sport mode. It can be caught napping all too easily when you want a quick downshift.

      The other big issue (for some) is that the Volvo is so obviously front wheel drive in almost every way. It's very nose heavy, torque steer is a bit of a problem (may not be as bad on the AWD R-Design), and it has loads of understeer (again, may be a bit better with AWD R-Design). Even the way it looks makes it obvious this is a front drive car. If you are used to rear wheel drive cars, the way the Volvo drives might disappoint.

      That said, the 3.0L T6 is a sweet engine, it extremely smooth and has plenty of power all over the tach. I have found my car to be rock solid, my 2014 has 71K on it and it feels and drives like new. It works really well for me, as I rack up 30K miles per year driving for work so comfort and safety are very important.
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    20. #18
      Member matt1122's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Tom2769 View Post
      And 2) I doubt it would compare equally with the Lexus on a reliability. But I DIY all my post-warranty fixes, and as long as the Volvo fares better than my old 335i, I think I would trade a bit of reliability for more soul...
      I don't think many of us have had problems with the 3.0L T6. It's a phenomenal engine.

      The few quirks 2014 and later 5- and 6-cylinder cars have don't tend to be real "reliability" issues that will ever leave you stranded or (maybe worse in AZ) without Air Conditioning. From what I understand, Lexus has just as many electronic issues and has even had some which are more significant for early adopters of the newer infotainment system.

      There are annoyances and electrical gremlins, and the newer 2.0L 4-cylinders have presented some issues in reliably providing power, and people have had issues with things like engine start/stop which are not present on the 3.0L.

      If I was going to have problems before 100k miles, I'd expect the transmission to be where they happened simply because of the amount of torque being input. It's been beefed up in the R-Designs, but I question if it's enough. And of course the turbocharger always slightly increases the chance for problems inherent to their use. Either way, unless you're throttling it every chance you get I wouldn't expect any problems.
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      Member matt1122's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Almaz View Post
      Another point to pay attention to is the transmission. There is a fair bit of complaints about the Volvo's 6 speed tranny. Don't let the fact that you are overwhelmed with the power distract you from the transmission. Drive it in as many real life situations as you can.
      Any issues I had with the transmission not knowing what to do in certain situations or not reacting quickly enough I've worked around simply by shifting in and out of Sport (you just slide the shifter to the left to do this).

      Using Sport mode this way, I've been completely satisfied and have great control over when upshifts and downshifts occur when I'm preparing to pass or finishing up a sprint.

      For example...


      Quote Originally Posted by dmc79 View Post
      It can be caught napping all too easily when you want a quick downshift.
      Just slide the shifter to the left when you want to downshift and this is not a problem. Plus, it has paddles if you like those...


      Quote Originally Posted by dmc79 View Post
      The other big issue (for some) is that the Volvo is so obviously front wheel drive in almost every way. It's very nose heavy, torque steer is a bit of a problem (may not be as bad on the AWD R-Design), and it has loads of understeer (again, may be a bit better with AWD R-Design). Even the way it looks makes it obvious this is a front drive car. If you are used to rear wheel drive cars, the way the Volvo drives might disappoint.
      It definitely drives like an AWD car, not a RWD car. It will stay planted and if you get it un-planted it's not going to feel like getting a RWD loose.

      But the R-Designs with the sport chassis and AWD don't feel FWD at all in my opinion. I have experience with the older Haldex and DSTC and pre-DSTC systems and those did feel FWD most of the time.

      The system in the P3 S60 is set up to be a full-time AWD vehicle with a strong FWD bias when possible, but the Haldex coupling is always working it seems. Under spirited driving, the car feels front -heavy but never FWD.

      The P2 cars and SPA cars are set up to be more FWD with AWD on-demand (except in Dynamic Mode on the SPA cars).
      Last edited by matt1122; Yesterday at 09:47 AM.
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      Didn't Polestar say that it cars sit at 70% FWD most of the time. When in Sports mode it splits of a maximum of 50% available to the rear.

      I've driven both the FWD and AWD and cant pick the difference on a dry road. Snow might be another matter.
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    23. #21
      Junior Member Synesis's Avatar
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      I find that the IPD Sway bar makes the S60 T6 AWD car neutral and balanced to the point that I am seldom, if ever, aware that it's fundamentally a FWD platform.
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