2013 Lexus GS 350: Liking It
October 15, 2012
I've lately spent some quality time in our longterm 2013 Lexus GS 350, and I'm finding this a very well-executed sedan. For starters, its V6 punches the GS around with such authority -- Toyota's 3.5-liter 2GR-FSE V6 has always been an overachiever -- that a V8 is not strictly necessary (did I just type those words?). Great throttle response, too.
And the steering, well...
... it's the best steering in a Lexus sedan to date. It's quick, linear, builds effort nicely and generally feels more honest than that of the current 5 Series. The rear wheel-steering system that's part of the F-Sport package is truly seamless in its operation -- it simply works.
Also, just because I think the 6-speed automatic isn't sporty doesn't mean that it's a bad gearbox -- on the contrary, in auto mode, it's right there with the top of its class, swapping gears smoothly and crisply and boasting an intuitive calibration that's not stingy with a kickdown right when you want it. It's just "meh" when shifted manually, that's all.
The F-Sport moniker might suggest to some that this GS is some barnstorming, hard-edged sport sedan. It isn't. Instead, the chassis tuning strikes a fine balance between comfort and ability (hey, why not just make all GSs like this?). This is a car that's got plenty of comfort a long-haul road trip but isn't afraid of a corner. It does shrink when you drive it hard.
So, yes, the GS 350 is a fine steer. Looking forward to more seat time.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor