2013 Lexus GS 350 Long Term Road Test


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.

The exhaust you see on the exterior of on our GS isn't real. Exhaust pipes don't look like that. There are two plastic trim pieces that give the appearance of the exhaust coming through the rear diffuser on the car. Sure, the pipes end behind these plastic pieces and technically it's where they exhaust exits, but the trim pieces aren't connected to any piping directly, nor do they change the performance or sound of the car.

Granted, the GS 350 sounds great with the windows up between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm, but that's all engine noise.

2013 Lexus GS 350

I'd rather see Lexus just turn the exit of the mufflers down and leave the rear bumper alone. The exhaust 'tips' are unpleasant to me because they are a sign of a performance upgrade that isn't there. They remind me of the stacked exhaust tips on the Lexus IS F that simulate four exhaust pipes where there are only two. It's form imitating function, and for that reason I think it should go.

Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 13,387 miles

Comments

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I agree. More busy JA Pan & Co. "styling." This is how Japanese brands can go one year shorter on their design cycles than do European and American brands...and the European and American brands still end up looking sleeker and more timeless. They are still doing "surface excitement."

  • sniperruff sniperruff Posts:

    I actually thought "why doesn't Lexus just make that part of the actual exhaust tip?" Then I realized that it'd probably be expensive to replace.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Bit of a non-issue for me. It neither restricts the performance nor looks all that ugly. Shrug.

  • actualsize actualsize Posts:

    I get it. At one point I, too, felt fooled by this but now I happen to appreciate it. I began to rethink my position when my daughter burned the crap out of her leg on a exposed "live" exhaust tip when getting stuff out of the back of our 2007 long term Mini Cooper "S", the one with central exhausts. http://www.edmunds.com/mini/cooper/2007/long-term-road-test/2007-mini-cooper-s-central-exhaust-tattoo.html And then there's the issue of black soot, or in this case, no appreciable soot to clean off. Finally, from the automaker side, where I used to roam and work once upon a time, I know how difficult it is to center dual exhaust tips in the bumper cover cutouts when it's all hanging in rubber grommets. You wouldn't believe the number of people that run to the dealer or complain to JD Power if those tips aren't perfectly centered or symmetrical. As for the styling, we used to be saddled with standardized round or square sealed beam bulbs, and then at some point the laws changed and designers got free reign. Sure, they might overdo it in some cases, but my complaining days on this issue are basically behind me.

  • esteex esteex Posts:

    #1 - Funny how Mr. Ford is complaining about a Japanese design motif, when clearly Americans and Europeans are already copying it (see 2013 Ford Fusion / Mercedes E-Class) #2 - Interesting "gripe" about exhaust when clearly Ferrari Italia has the same fundamental design for exhaust "shrowd" - how could a V8 exit out 3 pipes? More or less its a design element that completes visual appeal as opposed to ugly exposed "normal" exhaust pipes...

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Well, I don't like that extra gimcrackery coming from any maker, but I think it's more prevalent from Japanese brands. In this car, I think it's the reflectors in the bumper cover, THEN the exhaust outlets stacked underneath those. Makes the rear end look tall, and when rear ends are already tall in sedans for aerodynamic reasons, that's an unfortunate effect, exaggerated by the fact that these design elements are obviously way larger than they need to be, when you look at the size of the actual exhaust outlet.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Well, I don't like that extra gimcrackery coming from any maker, but I think it's more prevalent from Japanese brands. In this car, I think it's the reflectors in the bumper cover, THEN the exhaust outlets stacked underneath those. Makes the rear end look tall, and when rear ends are already tall in sedans for aerodynamic reasons, that's an unfortunate effect, exaggerated by the fact that these design elements are obviously way larger than they need to be, when you look at the size of the actual exhaust outlet.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    American designs are timeless?? Have you SEEN the Chevy Malibu? The Buick SUV's and the Verano? The Chevy Cruze? The PT cruiser? American designs often look dated the year after they come out. There are some exceptions to this rule, but more often than not it is the Japanese cars that have a more timeless look to them, as has been the case for years and years. Of course with a name like Fordson, I'm not surprised why you would think that American designs are "timeless." I can see that happening for European designs, but definitely not American.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    I'll add that people used to whine about how boring Lexuses were, and now that they take a different approach, people still find a way to whine about Lexus. Also, fugly BMW GT models do NOT = timeless.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    Let's not forget Lincoln, too. Sleek? Nope.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    "Makes the rear end look tall" Um... have you SEEN the Buick Enclave rear in traffic? 'Dem proportions...

  • texases texases Posts:

    Yep hate that the R8 has that. What? We're talking about a Lexus? Oh...

  • tpsinha tpsinha Posts:

    I agree. I like the back of the 450h more with the hidden exhausts. I think it helps portray less mass in the back.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Guys, Ford is not an exclusively American car company, you know. My dad worked at Ford dealers, so that (and the tractor of the same name) is why I am Fordson. Right now I own a Ford, a VW and a Toyota. I am not married to any car company, or country of origin. And fortstring, the back end of the Buick Enclave looks tall mostly because it IS tall. It's an SUV. They want it to look tall, because moms like that high seating position.

  • 330i_zhp 330i_zhp Posts:

    This exhaust this reminds of the recent trend of "chrome clad" wheels. An unfortunate trend.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    Problem is that the RX350 that it competes with or is inspired by or tries to emulate or however you want to phrase it looks much less taller. There's less expanse of disproportionate sheetmetal. It's not because it IS tall. It's because of the design, bro. Comparable SUV's from Audi, BMW, Volvo, Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti (in the same class) don't look nearly as disproportionate. Do sit in traffic behind an Enclave. It's quite noticeable.

  • fortstring fortstring Posts:

    example: http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1301_2013_buick_enclave/photo_04.html ungainly from the rear. totally NOT timeless or sleek.

  • nvbanker nvbanker Posts:

    What's wrong with the exhaust ports? They look nice - they are real ports - You don't need anything else from them. I like 'em.

  • I disagree. I love the look of these tips even if they aren't technically connected. Who cares really, they look sporty and that's the point...

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

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