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2015 Lexus GS 350 F - F Sport For More Fun - Chicagoland Review


2015 Lexus GS 350 With F-Sport (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Lexus GS 350 With F-Sport

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel


There are sedans, and there are sport sedans. Once the domain of European brands, or is that more narrowly German brands, the field has expanded to American and Asian brands.


2015 Lexus GS 350 With F-Sport (select to view enlarged photo)

A 4-door sport sedan is fun and a bit more practical than a 2-door sport coupe. Even if you are mostly using just the front seats, easy access to the rear seat makes life a little easier. Whether you’re stowing your briefcase, small packages, or perhaps taking your young child to day care, that rear door is nice to have. And after you drop off that child, the road is yours to enjoy as you like.

The 2015 Lexus GS 350, from the same company that brings you sedans-for-the-masses, is one, very fun car to drive. The 5-passenger GS 350 is available in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Powered by a 306HP DOHC 3.5-L V6, the rear drive model uses and eight-speed automatic to get the power to the wheels. With all-wheel drive the automatic has six speeds.

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Pricing for the 2015 GS 350 starts at $48,600 for rear drive. The all-wheel drive model starts at $50,850. An F-sport package is offered on both bringing the price to $53,425 and $55,490, respectively.

The media-loaner GS 350 I drove was the AWD F-sport model that topped out at $60,185. Options equipped on this car included $700 for blind spot monitor and power fold outside mirrors, $2000 for pre-collision system, and $900 for head-up display. I also had a Navigation system to play with which was a no-cost option on this model.


2015 Lexus GS 350 With F-Sport (select to view enlarged photo)

You know you are in the luxury segment with items like 16-way power adjustable front seats, power tilt and telescopic steering column, power tilt and slide moonroof and lots of leather covered interior surfaces. Even though the power-fold outside mirrors are optional, this is a feature I would buy because is is really valuable in a crowded big city. I am always folding the mirrors if I park on the street and often folding the mirrors to squeeze between a parked car and a double-parked UPS delivery truck.


2015 Lexus GS 350 With F-Sport (select to view enlarged photo)

The Lexus GS 350 provides loads of features in a very comfortable and luxurious interior. New for 2015 is an improved optional navigation upgrade. A multi-mode 12.3 inch split-screen lets drivers view and control up to three systems at a time, such as climate, audio and navigation.

The 306HP V6 provides plenty of performance. Zero to 60 mph is in 5.7 seconds, which is plenty quick for a stop-light get away, highway on-ramp merging as well as passing and overtaking. In my mostly around-town driving with a few highway runs in the Chicagoland area performance was always strong. Top speed is 142 mph in case you were wondering.

EPA test fuel economy ratings for the rear-drive configuration are 23 mpg combined, with 19 city mpg and 29 highway mpg. The AWD model is rated the same in the city test and gets 3 mpg less for 26 mpg in the highway test. Remember your mileage may vary and a heavy foot for more fun will take its toll on fuel consumption.

The GS has sharp handling and the F Sport package provides even better handling for those who want more performance with little trade off in comfort. Most of my driving was in big-city environs. I would have liked to take a long road trip with the GS 350 to really feel it stretch its leg.


2015 Lexus GS 350 With F-Sport (select to view enlarged photo)

The F SPORT has more than just an exterior badge to tell onlookers what it is. There’s a unique front bumper, rear lower valence, mesh front grille inserts and rear lip spoiler. On the performance side you get larger front brakes, special tuned adaptive front suspension, variable ratio steering, and 19-inch staggered width split five-spoke wheels with summer tires for RWD, single width with all-season tires for AWD. The F SPORT interior includes striated aluminum trim, F SPORT aluminum pedals and door scuff plates, unique perforated leather trim and black headliner.

I liked all the F-sport features and equipment, and the unique styling elements help the GS 350 stand out a bit in a crowd and provide a bit of personalization. The suspension and tire combination wasn’t too harsh for typical every day city driving, like many sport sedan can be. As always the RWD vs. AWD decision should be carefully weighed. In many areas of the country AWD is not really necessary but folks buy it just for the peace of mind and the just-in-case driving situation.


2015 Lexus GS 350 With F-Sport (select to view enlarged photo)

There’s lots more detailed information and specs on the 2015 Lexus GS350 only a mouse click away at www.lexus.com. If you want to compare the Lexus GS 350 models to other midsize luxury sport sedans you can do that right here on TheAutoChannel.com.

Driving enthusiasts today can buy sport sedans with American, British, Italian, Japanese, Korean, German or Swedish heritage. There are lots of good choices from many reputable brands.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy