2011 Lexus GS 350 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Lexus GS 350 Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lexus GS 350 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 303 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Lexus GS 350

  • The 2011 Lexus GS 350 delivers plenty of performance and luxury features at a reasonable price, but is ultimately outclassed by its stout competition.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Impressive power; refined ride and handling balance; quiet and well-appointed cabin; outstanding fit and finish.

  • Cons

    Minor ergonomic shortcomings; touchy brakes; headroom might be insufficient for taller occupants.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Lexus GS 350 carries over mostly unchanged from the previous year.

Full 2011 Lexus GS 350 Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Lexus GS 350 carries over mostly unchanged from the previous year.


On its own merits, the 2011 Lexus GS 350 is a fine choice as a luxury sport sedan. It delivers performance, prestige, comfort and plenty of upscale features to please some of the most discerning of shoppers. Pit the GS 350 against some of the competitors from Europe, however, and its appeal fades, as those sedans seem to do most things just a little bit better.

The GS 350's drawbacks, as minor as they are, include a bit less headroom and a less responsive suspension. For average-sized drivers with little desire for athletic handling, these faults are easily forgiven, since the Lexus excels in nearly every other category. The quiet and calm cabin delivers segment-leading comfort while enveloping occupants in top-notch materials and expert craftsmanship.

The 3.5-liter V6 produces an ample 303 horsepower to give the GS 350 relatively swift acceleration, which should satisfy the vast majority of luxury sedan buyers. There is also a V8-powered GS 460 for more power-hungry drivers and a slightly more fuel-efficient GS 460h hybrid (both of which are covered in separate reviews). Regardless of which GS model you might be interested in, you can expect an abundance of standard features and state-of-the-art safety systems.

Among the 2011 Lexus GS 350's competitors, the most appealing ones come from Germany. The 2011 BMW 5 Series offers more cabin space and higher performance. The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is hard to beat in terms of style and prestige, while the 2011 Audi A6 presents a well-rounded and understated alternative. Luxury sedans hailing from Asia are also worth a look, with the 2011 Hyundai Genesis representing a relative bargain, as does the 2011 Infiniti M37 with an added dash of performance. Even though the 2011 Lexus GS 350 might not be a front-runner in this segment, its reputation for reliability and quality should not be overlooked.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Lexus GS 350 is a midsize luxury sport sedan offered in a single, well-appointed trim level. The related GS 460 is reviewed separately.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, foglights, a sunroof, power trunk closer, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power front seats with driver memory and lumbar adjustment, Safety Connect emergency telematics, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 10-speaker stereo with six-CD changer, satellite radio and USB/iPod interface.

The Luxury Value Edition package adds a 14-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, a hard-drive navigation system, real-time traffic and weather, a rearview camera, voice controls, Bluetooth phonebook downloading and enhanced telematics features.

Other options include an adaptive suspension, 18-inch wheels with summer tires, adaptive cruise control (includes a pre-collision system), adaptive headlights, automatic wipers, heated and ventilated front seats, a power rear sunshade and a wood-trimmed steering wheel. Note that the availability of optional feature for the GS depends on the region where you're shopping.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2011 Lexus GS 350 is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 303 hp and 274 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift mode is the only available transmission, but buyers can choose between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

In Edmunds testing, a rear-drive GS 350 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a brisk 5.7 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined, while the all-wheel-drive version rates a bit less at 18/25/20.


Standard safety features on the 2011 Lexus GS 350 include antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, stability control, front and rear side-impact airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Safety Connect, a traditional telematics service with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and emergency assistance button is also standard. Adding the optional adaptive cruise control includes a pre-collision system that detects impending collisions and responds by pre-tensioning the seatbelts and activating brake assist.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the GS 350 its highest rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact collisions. In Edmunds brake testing, a GS 350 with 18-inch wheels and all-season tires came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 114 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

Upholding Lexus' reputation for finely crafted interiors, the 2011 GS 350's cabin surrounds occupants with supple leather and rich wood and aluminum trim. Average-size adults will fit comfortably, but taller passengers may desire a bit more headroom -- at least compared to other sedans in this class. This is especially true for those relegated to the center rear seat, which is slightly elevated compared to the outboard seats.

Our gripes are minor and include less-than-intuitive audio controls and a distracting glare from the highly polished wood trim. The GS reclaims some points for its optional high-resolution touchscreen and easy-to-operate navigation system.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Lexus GS 350 delivers sufficient V6 power to please the majority of drivers as well as a comfortably smooth ride and respectable handling. Those expecting the type of athleticism found in other sport sedans may be disappointed with the Lexus' more leisurely reactions when cornering. The brakes can be a bit touchy at first, but they offer a solid feel and competitive performance. The AWD option should be of interest to buyers in areas with inclement weather, while the V8-powered GS 460 should satisfy drivers with a larger appetite for power.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Awesome car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus GS 350

I've had my 2011 GS350 for 3 years. It was the last one of this body style on the lot and I got an amazing deal on it! This is my 4th Lexus, and my wife drives 2012 RX350. Amazing car. It is dead quiet at only 87 dB on the highway at 65 mph as measured by my sound level meter. The GS350 handles great, drives great, takes bumps nicely, and is fun to drive. At 25K miles I have never had a single issue with it, nor with any of my other Lexus or Toyota vehicles. Best "value" Lexus sedan out there. I think the snappy performance has saved me from an accident more than once. I will be in market for GX460 soon just for something different.

Miss my is-350 but then

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus GS 350

I've had this car for two years now after never thinking I'd get rid of my IS-350. But I needed something bigger and with more features and this car is still awesome after two years. It's not as fun to drive as the IS but it's more of a laid back ride that has more features and makes you feel more important when driving it, ha ha. But the only things I would improve is the trunk space, speaker sound, and the passenger side wiper blade. Also I'd add the sunglass stowage back to this car. Why did they remove it? All in all I still love this car as I am just a big Lexus fan and I after two years of driving this car, I'm pretty happy with the choice I made to trade my IS in for the GS

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Like a magic carpet

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus GS 350

This car is absolutely incredible. I came from a 2004 BMW 330xi that was a complete nightmare from beginning to end, so I was looking for a car that was not made in Europe. The GS is rocket fast, quiet, extremely luxurious, and has impeccable build quality. The only option I wish I had was the Levinson sound, but I must say, the 10-speaker factory audio is not too shabby at all. I am hoping this beautiful beast will be far more reliable than the joke/gouge-fest that is BMW.

3 of 11 people found this review helpful

Too many issues for the

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus GS 350

Dash squeak in the cold, there is a coolant smell every once in a while and in the summer if you have the windows down there is a sulfur smell coming from the exhaust. This is a nice car, but with the amount of issues and the price I would never recommend it. Also I have noticed that Lexus dealers are very quick to deny or just use the excuse that its not a big deal when they are approached with issues. Very disappointed in the car and in the way Lexus deals with issues.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

So-so audio

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus GS 350

This is my first Japanese luxury car, coming out of 2 Audis and 1 MB. Though it doesn't have the tight road feel of the German cars, it blows them away with the technology, rear camera, parktronic and nav. But, having said that the audio sound system is disappointing, We don't have the Mark Levenson system. Our sound system doesn't have the fullness or the sharpness of even the basic systems in the German cars I have had. You shouldn't have to pay an extra $2,000 to get a really great sound in a $50,000+ luxury car.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Mpg a big problem!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus GS 350

I have never checked the mpg on a car in 40 years of driving. I complained to the dealer from day one and am still trying to get some help. My average is about 13 mpg freeway or city streets got it up to 15 mpg on the road. I have heard really stupid comments from Lexus, but I am concerned, and if no other drivers have this problem guess it must be the car and a problem. If other drivers (cars) do have the problem I would really like to know. 3000 miles at present on the car

Talk About The 2011 GS 350

2011 Lexus GS 350 Discussions See all Started By

Has anyone bought a GS since Oct. 2011? It is interesting that nobody has posted anything since Oct. 2011. Anyways, if you have bought a 2013 or 2014 GS 350, please share your purchase information. ...

2010 gs 350 AWD 36 months 15K miles per year...

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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