April 22, 2013
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.
March 18, 2013
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.
February 20, 2013
Believe it or not, one of the things that our readers ask us about most here at Edmunds is ride comfort. The trend among manufacturers seems to be about developing cars that are more performance-oriented, but there are still plenty of shoppers out there who prioritize a smooth and comfortable ride above all else. Most of the time, these are people with health issues (back or shoulder problems) that make a smooth ride a must-have.
February 11, 2012
Something is moving under my butt.
It's the first time I've driven our long-term GS 350 F-Sport. I'm slowing the car to a full stop at a red light, and my brain registers a little buzz or flicker coming from beneath my tush. At first I assume it's my phone letting me know that a new email or text message just arrived. But my phone's not in my back pocket; it's in a cupholder. And a quick glance shows that there's no new text or email.
January 31, 2013
This 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport is a dual personality sedan if there ever was one. It's plenty capable of providing a smooth, quiet and comfortable Lexus-like driving experience. It's no LS, mind you, but the adjustable suspension endows the GS with ample ride cushioning.
Turn the Lexus Drive Mode selector knob over to Sport Plus and the suspension goes into full-stiffie mode. Suddenly, the F Sport turns in like a champ. Precise, confident. And fun.
If you drive it like the majority of earthlings, the transmission shifts around 3,200-3,400 rpm, where the V6 stays nice and quiet. Admittedly the power is a bit soft down there.
But put your right foot into it like you're serious, and not only does the V6 move the GS down the road right quick, but the engine gives a much meaner-sounding note. Snarly, even.
In other words, the GS 350 F Sport is capable of giving you whatever you want. Whenever you want it.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 9,362 miles
January 31, 2013
My neighbor came over to inspect the Lexus GS parked in my driveway.
"That's a handsome car," he said.
It's kind of nondescript so I never really gave it a thought. So I gave it another look. Handsome means good-looking but also well-proportioned. And the word denotes masculinity. So, yeah, I guess it's handsome. I've seen worse.
What do you think are some of the better looking cars on the road?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @donnaderosa
January 11, 2013
Our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 is equipped with the F Sport package, which includes a sport-tuned suspension. So during two recent highway drives when I put on about 600 miles, I was curious to find out how comfortable the GS would be for long stints behind the wheel.
Overall, I found our GS' ride quality to be pretty agreeable, with the caveat that F Sport is not going to be for everybody. The F Sport's 16-way sport driver seat was comfortable and supportive, and I was able to find a very nice driving position that I liked. The ride quality is firm, no question. When you drive over rough pavement on the highway, you're going to feel it. But I didn't find it to be objectionable given that this is supposed to be a sport sedan, and it has a sport package equipped. One thing I did notice was a fair amount of tire noise for this class of car, though; the F Sport's wider summer tires might be the culprit.
I think the F Sport package brings some welcome character to the GS, and I'd order it if it were my car. But I would caution the potential GS buyer that that it does make a difference. If they're expecting the more typical levels of Lexus isolation, then I'd suggest skipping F Sport.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 8,502 miles
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
October 19, 2012
What we're looking at here is the side of the center console on the Lexus GS 350 F Sport. If this was your average car, it would be covered with some form of hard-ish plastic material.
On the GS 350, it's a strip of very well-padded leather. And that's a nice touch, because it's where your right knee rests quite often.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 4,798 miles.
September 23, 2012
Our 2013 Lexus GS 350 cost us $63,427, driven up from its base price of $47,795 by all the options we put in it, including the F Sport package which gives it its striated aluminum interior trim. Looking at these snaps, think the interior materials are befitting that of a $63K car?
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
September 22, 2012
Yesterday I had to take my dog Mya to the vet. Unfortunately she had a tumor that needed to be removed from her shoulder. Poor puppy. And I drove her to the vet wayyy in the Valley in our 2013 Lexus GS 350. Fortunately, the luxe sedan was a decent way to do it.
Since LA is suffering from scorching temperatures right now, the cabin of the GS was boiling when we first got into it, but I was able to quickly cool it down by turning on the car and blasting on the A/C before bringing Mya in. The rear seat does have a couple of vents pointing its way from the front-seat center armrest but for some reason I couldn't figure out how to increase its fan speed. The fan speed control up front only seemed to work for the front vents. The only control in the back allows you to open or close the vents. So it just gently blew cold air in Mya's direction. To get her more air back there I had to point all the vents in the front dash her way. I could tell this worked when her desperate panting eventually stopped 10 minutes into the ride.
I like how the seatbelt fasteners protruded from the seats, making buckling her in easy. Very important because I had to be oh-so-gentle around her surgery area which displayed an impressive Frankenstein's monster-like scar (8 inches long!) and didn't want to have to struggle too long with fastening her in while the seatbelt strap pulled her harness against her new stitches. Eesh.
Since Mya's shoulder is tender, when she tried to jump down from the backseat she tried to do it from the footwell to get as low to the ground as possible first. But her big cone kept catching on the door's protruding storage area. Not that this would be an issue for cone-less dogs but it was just sad seeing her struggle to get out while the cone kept catching on the door. Would have removed the cone but at this point she made up her mind to get out of the car and wouldn't stop.
In the end, the GS 350 did fine as an injured-doggy hauler. I'm looking forward to the time when Mya's feeling better and we can use it to take her on a road trip.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
September 17, 2012
Above, our 2013 Lexus GS 350 passenger seat looks perfectly harmless. But take into account that it's been sitting under the hot afternoon sun for hours, L.A. is suffering from record-breaking heat and I'm wearing a slip of a summer dress.
Fortunately after opening the front doors and the windows and blasting on the seat coolers, which both front seats are equipped with, I was able to safely ease into the cabin and the seat without yelping. I've had painful experiences with hot leather seats before so was kind of gun shy here.
But the cabin and seat cooled down quickly. By the time we were halfway down the block, the A/C made us forget that it's 94 degrees outside. Man, I LOVE seat coolers!
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor