2013 Lexus GS 350 Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Inspected and Sold

September 13, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

When you're selling your car, it's important to screen potential buyers. First there are the lowballers who offer over five grand less than you are asking and flash the word "CASH" hoping to get your attention.

Then there are the shoppers who start out normal and then get downright creepy. In the case of selling our 2013 Lexus GS 350, this was the person who asked me for my home address more than once, despite me telling them that the car was in the Edmunds parking lot.

This screening process ultimately helps you spot legitimate buyers. These people will not mention price first. They ask you questions about the car and want to know more about its history. After three weeks of little activity and the flakes just discussed, a real buyer finally surfaced.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Alternate Appraisals

September 6, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

I was pretty disappointed with the $40,000 that CarMax offered for our 2013 Lexus GS 350. I wanted to improve on that offer and decided to list it on AutoTrader for $47,500. This was roughly its private-party sales value, according to the Edmunds True Market Value estimate.

In the meantime, I decided to get other price quotes to test if CarMax's offer was in the ballpark. I ended up learning a few things in the process.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 5, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

We drove our 2013 Lexus GS 350 1,020 miles in the month of August. The bulk of those miles were during a business trip I took to San Diego. We averaged 21.4 mpg over the course of four fill ups, which is slightly under our lifetime average of 22.1 mpg.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Carmax Appraisal

August 23, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Carmax likes to place its luxury cars front and center in all its car lots. The first two rows are always filled with cars from Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes. So, I figured our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 would bring in big bucks when I took it in for an appraisal the other day. Boy, was I wrong.

Before you hit the jump, take a guess as to how much we were offered. For reference, Edmunds.com's trade-in TMV was $44,907. Keep in mind the car has just over 20,000 miles.

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2013 Lexus GS350: 20,000-Mile Service

August 13, 2013

2013 Lexus GS350

The "Service Engine Soon" light was flashing on our long-term 2013 Lexus GS350. This meant that it was time for its 20,000-mile service.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: 20,000 Miles

August 12, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport ticked over the 20,000-mile mark recently, after eleven months in our long-term fleet. For the last 5,000 miles, our Lexus has been problem-free and hasn't required any trips to the dealer other than the scheduled maintenance at 15,000 miles.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: New Car Wash

August 8, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

I took our 2013 Lexus GS 350 to a new car wash this weekend. I give it mixed reviews.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Fuel Economy Update for July

August 5, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Great news! The month of July saw the fuel economy of our long-term Lexus GS 350 jump by a full tenth of an mpg! After 20,000 miles, our GS is getting 22.2 mpg on 91-octane fuel, or since MPG is Stupid , 4.5 gallons per 100 miles.

This would be against the EPA's estimated combined number of 23 mpg, or 4.35 gp100m.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Analog Elegance?

July 18, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Is it just me or is an analog clock out of place in an interior as modern and functional as the GS 350's? After all, there's a 12.3-inch display screen just above it. Such a strange mix of old and new.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Plastic Engine Bay

July 16, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Is the engine ugly because Lexus uses an engine cover or does Lexus use an engine cover because the engine is ugly?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Attention To Detail

July 15, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Here's a detail you likely won't see on a less expensive car. Lexus filled the gap between the front seats and the center console in the GS 350 to prevent the inevitable. We've all lost small items from our pockets down that gap and found ourselves on our knees doing some uncomfortable yoga pose to retrieve them. Well, not in the GS.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Paint Protection Film

July 12, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our 2013 Lexus GS 350 came with the optional $429 paint protection film. It covers portions of the hood, front quarter panels and front and rear bumpers. It's invisible except at the edges and its installation is perfect.

But is it worth $429?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Trying Really Hard

July 10, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

The Lexus GS 350 is trying really hard to convince the world it's a sporty performance sedan. So why not build a rear diffuser into the rear bumper valance to drive home the point?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Automatic Parking Brake

July 9, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Because of a juvenile attachment to yanking the emergency brake to execute big, dumb slides, I've never loved electric parking brakes. But Lexus turned me around with the electric parking brake on the GS 350.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Finding Car Heaven

July 8, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

A few weeks ago I drove our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 from Santa Monica to San Jose, CA and back. And on the way home I paid a visit to car heaven.

Canepa Design is car heaven. Located in sleepy Scott Valley, CA between Monterey and San Jose, Canepa is part restoration shop, part repair shop, part car lot and part museum. I can't pass through the region without stopping and checking it out.

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2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport: Road Trip Report

July 5, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport

Okay, the 262-miles from Los Angeles to Buttonwillow, CA and back make for a pretty measly weekend road trip, I admit. Mostly our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 just sat in the paddock while my LeMons team, Eyesore Racing, endurance-raced a hoopty in the middle of the desert. In late June. During a heat wave. Yes, we are geniuses.

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2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport: Fuel Economy Update For June

July 2, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport

In the month of June, our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport was turned loose on the open road for some long-haul driving, spinning an additional near-1,642 miles onto its odometer. It consumed just over 73 gallons of 91 octane fuel during June, working out to 22.4 mpg. Those road trips probably explain why the GS 350 did better this month than its lifetime average of 22.1 mpg.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Yellow Tinted Windows

June 28, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our Tesla has a tinted windshield, which is odd, but our Lexus GS 350 seems to have oddly yellow-tinted side windows. Out front everything is normal, but to the side it looks like you're somewhere in Mexico in Steven Soderbergh's stylized movie "Traffic." Note the color difference of the building and pavement on each side of the A pillar, as well as the side view mirror that further enhances the jaundice effect.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Road Trip MPG

June 27, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Last September, when our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 was brand new, I grabbed the keys to the sedan and drove it from Santa Monica to Palo Alto, CA and back. The total trip was 727 miles and I averaged exactly 25.0 mpg on 91-octane premium fuel. (The EPA rates the GS at 28 mpg on the highway.)

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Dark-Finish Wheels

June 24, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 has a dark finish on the alloy wheels. As part of the F Sport package, we get 19-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels with a dark graphite finish.

I like the way they look in combination with our Nebula Gray Pearl paint. It gives the car a subdued edginess.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: The Windshield Wiper Trick

June 14, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Last February, during what passes for winter here in southern California, an alert reader noticed that the windshield wipers on our 2013 Lexus GS 350 were in the winter park position.

He was right of course, but several of us hadn't noticed. Snow is something we generally keep at arm's length in these parts unless we choose to ski on it.

The so-called "Snow/Service" position reduces the chance that light to moderate snow accumulation will bury the wipers. It keeps them out from under the edge of the hood so they can be lifted and unstuck.

But it's more than that, and GS owners in warm climates like ours should know what's up. That's because this raised position improves access to the wiper blades when they need changing.

During my road trip to the Circuit of the Americas, I put the wipers back in the summer position after reading the manual while I sat munching enchiladas in a café in Grants, New Mexico. I took pictures, filed them on my laptop, then promptly forgot all about them.

So here they are. Better late than never, right?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Off-Road at the Fishing Derby

June 6, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Okay, so the title is misleading. The extent that our 2013 Lexus GS 350 drove off-road was up a ramp to get onto the lawn. So why is the GS 350 on the lawn anyway?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Fuel Economy Update for May

June 4, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Here is the fuel economy update for our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 during the month of May. We added 1,500 miles to the Lexus since last month, which is a shade behind the 1,700 per month we try to average.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Rear Seat Comfort

May 21, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

If you have to use your 2013 Lexus GS 350 to shuttle some family/friends/coworkers around, the people sitting in back should be pretty comfortable. The outboard positions are nicely contoured and are raised to offer useful thigh support. There's also plenty of padding on the rear door armrests and center armrest. The center position isn't suitable for adults given its high perch and the hump on the floor, but that's pretty typical for this class.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Are Six Speeds Enough?

May 16, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

The BMW 5 Series comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. You'll find eight forward gears in any all-wheel-drive Audi A6. Jaguar has just dropped eight speeds into all of its 2013 XF sedans. Heck, you can get an eight-speed auto in a Dodge Charger now.

Then there's the 2013 Lexus GS 350. Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel would be very disappointed that its transmission only goes up to six.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Escape From the Mundane

May 15, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

I really enjoy the combination of luxury and performance of our 2013 Lexus GS 350. When I get behind the wheel, I'm always impressed by the GS's interior, which is of high quality, nicely detailed and packed with upscale features. And on the move, the GS is suitably sporty when I want it to be (thanks to the adjustable suspension, paddle shifters and nice-sounding V6) and impressively comfortable when I'm just cruising.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Five Reasons To Get the F Sport Package

May 13, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

If I were buying a 2013 Lexus GS 350, I'd add the F Sport package like our car has. This isn't necessarily because I'm an octane-fuelled car enthusiast who lives his life a quarter mile at a time. I just happen to think that what the F Sport version offers is ideally suited for what I'd want from a midsize luxury sport sedan. Here are five reasons why.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: 15,000-Mile Service Complete

May 10, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

I'm late in bringing you this update, but on the last day of April, our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 and I strolled into Santa Monica Lexus unannounced.

"I'd like to get a 15,000-mile service for the car," I told the porter.

After a five-minute wait, a service advisor came to help me. I'd already consulted the GS 350's separate maintenance booklet, so I knew the action items for this maintenance visit, or at least I thought I did. I pointed to the booklet and told the advisor I wanted all these services performed.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: More On Adaptive Cruise Control

May 9, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our 2013 Lexus GS 350 is equipped with adaptive cruise control (as part of the optional Pre Collision system), which can adjust the vehicle's cruising speed based on vehicles ahead. If you're looking to buy a GS and are wondering about whether to get adaptive cruise control, I have a few observations.

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2013 Lexus GS350: Fuel Economy Update for March and April

May 2, 2013

2013 Lexus GS350

During March and April, we put just 1,706 miles on our Lexus GS 350, mostly in around-town driving. The F Sport deserved a rest from clocking 3,000 miles during a five-day road trip to Austin, Texas and back. Our best tank during the two months yielded 25.1 MPG, though our GS is still underachieving its EPA combined MPG estimate by 1.5 MPG.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: 15,000 Miles

April 29, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

We've hit the 15,000-mile mark in our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350. As Mark mentioned before, this car is due for service at 15K miles.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Every Car Should Have a Cargo Net

April 24, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

This is so simple and yet so useful. And sadly, the cargo net is all too often regulated to the options sheet. Nothing illustrates this more profoundly that our Lexus GS350 F-Sport.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Extra-Padded Center Console

April 22, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

I'm not one to bang on about center console padding, but I do know there are those who find the hard plastic that often comes in contact with their right leg to be a constant pain in the, well, right leg. Sometimes it's the car, sometimes it's the way that person sits, sometimes it's a combination of both.

I don't imagine anyone ever complaining about the Lexus GS 350, as its center console rates about a 7 on the Squish-o-meter, where a 1 is a slab of concrete and 10 is Santa Claus wrapped in memory foam. Not only is it squishy, but it's also covered in either leather (doubtful) or some believable imitation.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Time for Maintenance

April 18, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

As our long-term Lexus GS 350 nears the 15,000-mile mark, it's time for some scheduled maintenance. At least, that's what the computer is telling us. The good thing is, there's a dealer right down the street from us so we'll let you know how it all goes.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 14,380 miles

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Bonus Sounds

April 4, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

HD radio sounds great in theory, but all I've noticed in most of our HD-equipped cars is how the signal wafts in and out of the broadcast. One second the signal is rich, full and enveloping, the next it compresses into a thin, almost single point-source sound. The Lexus GS 350's system works better than most, though. Perhaps it has a better buffer that holds the HD signal longer, as I don't notice it wavering near as much as other units (looking at you, BRZ).

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Road Trip Fuel Economy Reveals Believable MPG Gauge

March 20, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

My recent road trip to Austin, Texas and back revealed a few things about the fuel economy of the 2013 Lexus GS350.

First, the EPA highway rating of 28 mpg is totally achievable so long as you're not taking full advantage of the 75 and 80 mph speed limits found across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. One tank we've already talked about came in at 30.0 mpg and the last 337-mile tank I burned across western Arizona and the breadth of California worked out to 28.6 mpg when I officially called it a trip and made my last top-off at the Shell station just around the corner from my house.

But most of the journey did take place on high-speed interstates at 80 mph, so several tanks occupied the 25-to-26 mpg space. The trip average was therefore 26.4 mpg over 2,929 miles of data. Not bad at all considering the pace.

These figures come from direct calculations using miles driven and gallons pumped at each fill up. We do this routinely because in-car mpg gauges can rarely be trusted not to overstate a car's performance. Conspiracy theorists and engineers familiar with the ways that carmakers respond to things like the JD Power Initial Quality Surveys suspect that some such displays routinely err on the high side (within the tolerance, of course) to make it appear to the customer that their car is doing better than it actually is.

A few months back we started recording a long-term car's in-car mpg gauge readout at every gas stop to track this issue, so I was able to compare my calculated results with the GS 350's on-board MPG computer data to see if it can be believed.

It can.

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2013 Lexus GS350: Busy

March 19, 2013

2013 Lexus GS350

That's a busy screen, all 12 inches wide of it. It looks slightly worse because I've also got the music info sidebar displayed with the main information window. If the climate or settings screens were displayed in the sidebar, it might not look as dense. Still, it's easy to get lost in here. The Lexus mouse Remote Touch thing doesn't help matters. It's only marginally less distracting than a touchscreen, and not as good as a dial-and-button array.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Soft Machine

March 18, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Of course you expect soft-touch surfaces from a $60,000 sedan. No surprise there. And it's not like the Lexus GS 350's surfaces are lined underneath with down or memory foam. But they are likably soft at all the right pressure points. The photo I wanted to show is no photo at all, just an image of part of a denim-covered leg next to the junction of the GS's center stack and center console. A photo exceptionally devoid of drama, it would have still shown you one of the attributes I most love about the GS: the knee rest. Instead, I give you a photo of the armrest's pliability.

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2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport: Overzealous Steering

March 15, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport

Move the steering wheel of our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport a fraction of an inch in either direction and you're in the next lane.

The steering in our GS is very sensitive, almost precise to a fault. You get used to it, of course, especially if you drive it often. But it can really throw you a curve (pun intended) if you're not prepared for it.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Exhaust Trim Charade

March 6, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

I like our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 a lot. I think it's a great car to drive in a city like Los Angeles and it has some awesome trim options. It's comfortable and performs well, but it has some quirks when it comes to cosmetics. As Mark and Donna pointed out, it looks a bit like an evil space monster from the front. My specific point of contention is the exhaust pipes, or lack thereof.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Van Horn, Texas To Home

March 5, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

This road trip has been great, and the 2013 Lexus GS 350 was a good choice, but I'm ready to be home.

So I'm getting up at sunrise and hammering out the remaining 909 miles in one go. I'll get there after dark, sure, but tomorrow night I want to sleep in my own bed.

But I'm still in Texas. I need to finish up here, and then tackle New Mexico, Arizona and California before I get back within whiffing distance of the Pacific Ocean in Orange County.

I have two things going for me. Two things that will get me home by my usual bedtime. I'll gain two hours as I cross from Central to Mountain to Pacific time during the day, and only the last couple hundred miles in California will be posted below 75 mph.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 4, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

During February we drove our 2013 Lexus GS 350 over 4,000 miles. I'd say we met our 1,700-mile goal for the month. The total was particularly high thanks to a road trip Dan Edmunds made from LA to Austin, Texas.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Fuel Economy

March 5, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Nearly 80 miles into its current full tank, our 2013 Lexus GS 350 is averaging 21.7 mpg.

Make sure to check back this Monday, March 4 as we begin to post February's monthly fuel updates for all of our long-term cars.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 13,556 miles

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Circuit of the Americas to Van Horn, Texas

February 28, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

No, I was not allowed to drive our 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport around the Circuit of the Americas racetrack outside Austin, Texas. Nevertheless, the COTA track is a big reason why I came here.

The Jeep brass chose Austin, Texas as the base of operations for the launch of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and for two solid reasons. The nearby Inks Ranch has some Moab-like rocks that make for decent off-roading, and the new Circuit of the Americas racetrack has more than enough asphalt and challenging corners for the 470-horsepower SRT version.

Even though the Lexus GS 350 was forced to sit on the sidelines throughout, I was allowed to hammer around America's newest Formula One circuit in the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT with nary a speed limit or lead-follow pace car.

The lapping ended just before noon. After a nice chat with longtime friend Lon Bromley, the Director of Safety at the track, I eventually rolled out through the gate and pointed the Lexus west toward home at noon-thirty.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Rolling Into Austin, Texas

February 27, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

How unusual. I stand a very good chance of wheeling our 2103 Lexus GS 350 into the driveway of the Four Seasons in Austin, Texas before nightfall. I'd better, because my first official appointment starts at 6:30 pm and I need some time to relax and scrub the road off of me.

I've never been to Lubbock, Texas, before, and I don't know much about the place. The best I can do is admit that I've heard of it. Saw it on a map, perhaps, or heard it in one of the few country and western songs I've listened to all the way through. *ducks*

Before I leave I take a look at the local guidebook in my hotel and discover this place is big into Buddy Holly because, well, he was born here.

That explains the Crickets senior living center behind my hotel. And the nearby Crickets Laundromat. I could go on.

As it turns out the Buddy Holly Center is on Crickets Avenue, one block east of Buddy Holly Avenue.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Kingman to Lubbock

February 26, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our last episode of the 2013 Lexus GS 350 road trip left off when I refilled my tank in the morning after a nighttime sprint out of town. Today, we pick up as I rejoin Interstate 40 from in Kingman after some crummy complimentary hotel coffee that wasn't worth the price.

Yesterday's opening stint left me with road butt after the first 100 miles. I spent the rest of the night fidgeting in my seat. After an hour this morning I was in the same boat once again.

It's not the driving position, which is most excellent. The seats even adjust to my liking. But it's the seat bottom cushion itself. It's too hard and drumlike. It seems like it deflects downward as a single unit. It needs a pillow-top like my mattress at home. It needs more cush for the tush.

This is not the first time I've had such an impression (or lack thereof) in a Lexus leather seat. I remember similar experiences in the 1990s. I can only conclude this seat conforms to some internal design standard that doesn't conform to reality.

And you know the best part? I have another 2,000 miles to go. Whoopie!

At least the Arizona and New Mexico interstates are great for making time because they have 75 mph speed limits. I burned through the first tank of the day without much delay until I started to see smoke on the horizon.

Within a mile or two the freeway came to a dead stop. After 5 minutes we started creeping forward to see a semi burning to the ground on the other side of the road. There was no second car and the smoldering wreckage was neatly parked, so I can only surmise that it was a mechanical problem and the driver got out fine.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Headlights Look Good and Work Well

February 25, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Headlights have become a fashion statement on most modern luxury cars. With each new model comes a new method of using its light signature to define the front end. They sure look distinctive, but they don't always make for great headlight performance.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Lexus GS 350 in VA is:

$194 per month*
* Explanation
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