2013 Lexus GS 350: All-Arounder
December 18, 2012
Here's the irony in writing about cars for a living: you get to drive really nice cars that you'll never make enough to afford. I don't mean exotics or 911s or AMGs, but your mainstream luxury coupe or sedan. In my case, I've developed an unfortunate appetite for $60,000 cars: E-Class, Cayman, and our GS 350, for example.
If you're a driving enthusiast who lives among crappy or non-existent public transportation, you've probably resigned yourself to two- or three-car ownership: your commuter, maybe a significant other's commuter, and a weekend fun car. On the surface, that sounds like some real One Percenter privilege, but I'm guessing it's not uncommon among car folk.
For a daily commuter, you could do worse than the GS 350. It soaks up the bumps, blocks noise and generally buffs out the daily grind. There's a great divide between driver and passenger seats, with a thick wide armrest that encourages Lincoln Town Car-type repose.
You're not going to take the GS to the track. You're not gonna wake up early to take the GS running with the motorcycles in the local hills. You are going to drive it home after a long workday. You are going to drive it to take your lady out to a nice dinner. You're going to drive it out of town every few months for a long weekend.
The GS wins on all counts. But I don't love everything about it. I don't like the twin red-eyes staring back at me from atop the steering column. And I don't like the instrument panel and steering wheel pockmarked with buttons (see photo) that activate features like lane-keeping assist or heads-up display -- features seemingly easily integrated into the central command. Instead, they just hung a button on the IP. This is a tech-heavy car that requires too much time in the driveway just to get dialed in.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 7,320 miles