Full 2007 Lexus GS 350 Review
What's New for 2007
The Lexus GS 350 is the updated version of last year's GS 300. The name change reflects a more powerful V6 engine for 2007. It makes 303 horsepower, which is almost 60 more hp than last year. The only other significant changes this year are an updated version of the optional navigation system and a cut-out switch for the stability control system.
The original Lexus GS was intended to boost the company's credibility as a legitimate competitor to German sports sedan rivals. While it was an attractive, well-executed vehicle, its hefty curb weight and underpowered 3.0-liter engine didn't win it any accolades. Lexus has worked tirelessly to create a sports sedan that is as powerful and engaging to drive as it is luxurious. It may have finally succeeded.
The 2007 Lexus GS 350 enters the market as a more powerful version of the third-generation GS 300 that was introduced last year. Replacing the previous 245-hp 3.0-liter engine is a new 303-hp 3.5-liter V6, which delivers a 0-60-mph time of just 5.7 seconds, according to Lexus. A new direct fuel-injection system also helps keep fuel economy respectably high. Surprisingly, the new output actually gives the 350 more hp than the V8 in this year's GS 430.
True to Lexus form, the GS 350 only comes in one trim level and is loaded with comfort and safety features. Factory options include a wonderful 330-watt 14-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, run-flat tires, rain-sensing windshield wipers and Lexus' Pre-Collision System, which uses radar to detect if a collision is inevitable and if so, immediately activates the seatbelt pre-tensioners and brake assist when the brake pedal is depressed.
With the new 3.5-liter V6, impressive multilink suspension and available all-wheel drive, the 2007 Lexus GS 350 is an impressive choice for a midsize luxury sedan. Naturally, one might also want to check out the Infiniti M35, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6. Overall the GS 350 comes highly recommended.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Lexus GS 350 midsize luxury sedan comes in just one trim level, but is available in rear- or all-wheel drive. It comes equipped with a long list of standard amenities that include automatic dual-zone climate control, 10-way power driver and front passenger seats, a 10-speaker premium sound system and a moonroof. Factory options include a fantastic Mark Levinson DVD-audio sound system with navigation and a rear back-up camera, park assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, ventilated front seats, adaptive cruise control and run-flat tires.
Powertrains and Performance
The GS 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 303 hp and 274 pound-feet of torque. It is coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift that can be adjusted for normal, power or snow driving. Thanks to a highly advanced engine design with direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, the GS 350 races from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds (5.8 seconds for the all-wheel-drive model) and also has an EPA rating of 21/29 mpg city/highway (20/27 city/highway for the all-wheel-drive model).
Standard safety equipment includes front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, a tire-pressure monitoring system and adaptive headlights that swivel when you turn. Options include run-flat tires and Lexus' Pre-Collision System, which comes with the adaptive cruise control. It uses a millimeter-wave radar sensor to detect objects in front of the car, coupled with a computer that determines the GS's speed, yaw rate and steering angle. If the computer determines that a collision is inevitable, it automatically stiffens the suspension, retracts the front seatbelts and executes brake assist so increased braking is applied immediately when the brake pedal is depressed.
Interior Design and Special Features
A luxurious, elegantly designed cabin has become the Lexus trademark. The interior is spacious and can easily accommodate taller individuals. Genuine wood trim complements the rich leather and the gauges are chrome rimmed, which gives it a modern look. Fit and finish is flawless and precise. One thoughtful touch included in the interior is a drop-down panel that conceals many of the lesser-used switches and secondary controls, such as power mirror switches and the dimmer switch for the interior lights.
The 2007 Lexus GS 350 is a joy to drive, thanks to its commendable blend of luxury, power and sporty handling. The V6 engine provides more than enough power for daily commuting and spirited jaunts, and the cabin remains blissfully silent. A rigid body and solid chassis provide confidence during cornering. The all-wheel-drive model is an excellent choice for those who need extra traction control in harsh conditions.