2013 Lexus GS 350 Review By John Heilig

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2013 Lexus GS 350

The Auto Channel


Model: 2013 Lexus GS 350
Engine: 3.5-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 306 hp/277 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with steering wheel paddles
Wheelbase: 112.2 in.
Length/Width/Height: 190.7 x 72.4 x 57.3 in.
Tires: P235/45R18
Cargo volume: 14.3 cu. ft.
Fuel economy: 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/20.7 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 17.4 gal.
Curb weight: 3,795 lbs.
Sticker: $63,232 (includes $875 delivery charge and $12,907 in options ($6,530 luxury package, $2,000 pre-collision system, $1,735 navigation package)

The Bottom Line: The GS is exactly what you'd expect from Lexus; style, luxury, performance. It's the real deal.

Lexus these days has a wide variety of vehicles on its palette. There are sedans, sport utilities and almost-trucks. It's a far cry from the early days when all there was was the LS and ES.

The GS 350 is listed as a midsize car, but all the numbers point to it being a full-size sedan. For example, the 112.2-inch wheelbase and 190.7-inch overall length definitely put it up a step from the Camry-based ES, for example. And with the comfort of a large sedan to go along with it, calling it a mid-size is pushing the envelope a bit.

No matter, the price tag alone would shift it into a different classification.

In addition, the GS 350 has a host of options and features that really set it apart from other vehicles. For example, among the options are a blind spot monitor, heads up display, intuitive park assist that guides you to what's around you on all four sides, pre-collision warning that lets you know when you've come too close to the vehicle (or immobile object) in front of you and there's a danger of hitting it, and closed-eye detection to wake you up if you nod off. And these are just the safety goodies.

The GS350 is a nice driving sedan. The front seats, which are used the most, are comfortable with some side support. Since the GS is a sports sedan, there could probably be more side support for when you decide to play with the "sport" side of the definition, but there's enough that you won't go sliding all over the place.

Those front seats are also heated and ventilated. the rear seats are heated as well. For that matter, so is the wood and leather steering wheel, although I found the wood top part of the wheel to be slippery. I would have liked more knee and leg room in the rear, but that might detract from the "sport" side of the equation. The rear seats have good visibility, the fold-down armrest has the heated seat controls and audio information, with the ability to change the station. Rear window shade controls can also be accessed with buttons in the console. The side window shades are manual.

We drove the GS 350 on Interstates and local roads. It was comfortable in all situations. The 3.5-liter V8 has a ton of power, probably more than you'd need. the 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth, with near-seamless shifts.

Luxury cars these days seem to be overloaded with features. In the GS, there's a menu of items that are controlled through a movable knob on the console that also serves as a "right button" on the mouse. There's also a hand rest that can be used by the driver or passenger to scroll through the menu.

Among the menu items are destination, information and apps, settings, radio, media (like USB), climate, phone, fuel consumption, traffic incidents, Lexus Insider, XM fuel prices, sports, stocks, weather. Lexus Insider works like GM's OnStar and puts you in touch with a real person if you have any questions. With XM fuel prices, XM will search your area for the best fuel prices. XM is also the source for sports, stock quotes and weather forecasts. Audio settings are also controlled with the knob/mouse. HVAC is controlled with a panel on the dash.

I was very impressed with the GS 350. It has all you'd expect from a luxury sedan, with a touch of sportiness added to keep you from looking dull behind the wheel.

2012 The Auto Page

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