May 15, 2013
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.
May 13, 2013
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.
May 9, 2013
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.
April 29, 2013
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.
March 15, 2013
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.
March 6, 2013
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.
March 5, 2013
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.
February 28, 2013
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.
February 27, 2013
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.
February 26, 2013
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.
February 25, 2013
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.
February 22, 2013
See that blue hue above and between the tachometer and speedometer? That means the GS is in a good mood. And in "Normal" mode. Drive it around in the "Normal" Drive Select mode and the blue brightens and dims in proportion with speed and load. Come to a stop and it fades to black.
February 21, 2013
At the last minute I decided to take the 2013 Lexus GS 350 on the northern route through Flagstaff and Albuquerque on my way to Austin, Texas. The weather forecast was calling for snow during my return trip so it was now or never if I didn't want to drive the southern route through El Paso, Las Cruces, Tucson and Phoenix twice.
But the route across northern Arizona is over a hundred miles longer, just enough time and distance to prompt me to leave Friday evening instead of Saturday morning. My new plan involved 350 nighttime miles and an overnight stop in Kingman, Arizona so the rest of the trip would be more relaxed.
I waited until well after the dinner hour to get started, but a couple of lingering wrecks caused havoc and the early going was frustratingly slow. The roads emptied once I cleared the San Bernardino, aka the 909, and the Cajon Pass.
Out in the open desert the heads-up display proved brilliant, though the same can't be said for the GS 350's headlights. The high beams are fantastic, but I wish the low beam cutoff was a little higher (or, more specifically, manually adjustable from inside) and I really could have used more of that diagonal kick up to the right some cars have to better illuminate the eyeballs of critters that might be thinking about dashing in from the shoulder.
February 15, 2013
I have business in Austin, Texas next week. Never you mind what it is just now. You'll find out soon enough after I get back.
The 1,400-mile journey is right on the edge of the fly/drive boundary, which means I'll gladly drive, especially since the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport is available. It has plenty of electronic toys to play with to keep me busy along the way, from the Lexus Enform telematics to adaptive cruise and lane keeping assist. And, of course, there's the Dynamic rear steering and adjustable damping I highlighted in my recent Suspension Walkaround.
February 15, 2013
Look at what I saw on our 2013 Lexus GS 350 this morning. I remember as a kid that surprises were good things. Then I grew up and learned they could be really bad things too. This is one of the latter, of course.
I can't tell you how it happened, or when. That's the mystery. But it's there and now we have to deal with it. It looks like the tabs may still be intact. So there is a chance the grille will pop right back into place. I'm not holding my breath, but we'll try.
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 22, 2013
If I park on the curb the night before, which I often do, my first morning task consists of flipping a U-turn to get myself pointed toward work. More often than not that winds up being a three-point turn because, well, my quiet suburban street isn't all that wide.
But a funny thing happened in our 2013 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport. This largish 190.7-inch long machine whipped around easily. No sweat.
Smaller cars such as a Toyota Prius c Four (the one with the 17-inch wheels) have gone down to defeat. The same is true of numerous other cars and trucks of all brands.
How did the GS 350 and its longish 112.2-inch wheelbase pull it off? For one, rear-drive machines that ride on double wishbone front suspension can sometimes, but not always, offer more lock than front drive cars that ride on struts. But our 2013 GS 350 also has a trick up its sleeve that goes by the name of Lexus Dynamic Handling, which includes something they call Dynamic Rear Steering or DRS. Modern computer-controlled rear steering systems can do a lot of nifty things whether one is expertly carving up corners or inexpertly running out of talent, but a reduced turning circle in a situation like this is one of the technology's more mundane and practical benefits.
But how much is it worth? In an odd twist, I'm dealing with two sets of official turning circle numbers: one that matches the Lexus website (and ours) and another I got after a call to the Lexus PR department. Odd this may be, both sets of figures agree on one point: DRS shaves 1.4 feet off the curb-to-curb U-turn diameter. Not much, perhaps, but just enough here on my street.
Curious, I lined the Lexus up for a little test reenactment, starting as you see here with the outside edges of the tires lined up with the asphalt/concrete gutter seam as a reference line. Next I cranked the steering all the way to the left and then eased onto the gas.
November 15, 2012
This post has less to do with our 2013 Lexus GS 350 driving experience and more with the ownership experience. I was looking up another local deaelership on Google Maps when I saw this bubble over Lexus of Santa Monica. Looks like they need to hire a new marketing manager.
It turns out that this dissatisfied customer was the only to post a comment, so it pops up as the default. Well, it made me laugh. But just when I thought this dealer had lost its way, it did this...
We received a mailer with a coupon for $30 off our next visit. Thirty bucks isn't much, but it is something. It shows the dealership is at least making an effort. Not all of them do this nowadays.
Of course, maintenance at 5,000 and 10,000 miles is covered by Lexus already. So we'll have to hold on to this coupon for another 10,000 miles before using it.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 6,000 miles
November 01, 2012
Thanks to ergsum for our favorite Halloween caption.
Here are the others that gave us the chills.
On the I-405 no one can hear you scream. (ergsum)
It runs off of Prii. (hybris)
Just try and make me put on a front license plate. (boff)
What the F Sport is that? (boff)
It only hunts for sport cars. (ergsum)
This whole "in-your-grill" styling is really getting long in the tooth. (altimadude05)
Clawing for traction, biting with grip; this car is a real animal on back roads. (altimadude05)
The GS 350 is loaded with creature comforts. (ergsum)
Lexus active jaw control (stpawyfrmdonut)
Ripley's mobile (noburgers)
It just burst out of the garage door (noburgers)
Lexus runs deep (stpawyfrmdonut)
The relentless hunt of perfection. (sherief)
GS 350 F-Sport: Eats Germans for Lunch (natnut)
What was your favorite?
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
October 31, 2012
Halloween caption contest. Yay.
Thanks to Mark for making this lovely Alien vs. Predator vs. Lexus photo.
What's your spooktacular caption? We'll post our favorite tomorrow after we recover from our candy comas.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
October 30, 2012
South Bay is fogged in this morning. It never photographs well, though. Thankfully, that's about as severe as the weather gets around here.
I hope our East Coast readers weathered the storm. I have family in New Jersey, at the shore, and in Philly. Lots of water but everyone fine.
What about you? Everyone fine? Do any of you have car damage? Let us know you're OK.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor
October 22, 2012
It's been smooth driving so far in our new Lexus GS 350 F Sport.
With this car's mix of luxury, comfort and sport, you can bet it will prove to be a popular choice with the editors and we'll rack up the miles quickly.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ (you guessed it) 5,000 miles.
October 20, 2012
I think the 2013 Lexus GS 350, specifically the F Sport, is a decent-looking machine. Of course, a car's styling is totally subjective.
But (why is there always a "but?"), the 2013 model is missing something...
It's missing a distinctive "GS-ness." Like Michael Jordan, I too think the second-gen GS was by far the best-looking. Not even a competition.
The reason: It stood out from the crowd. You see one of those cars on the road today, and you know instantly it's a Lexus GS. Not just because of the quad head- and tail light clusters. But the whole shape was big sports sedan cool.
The current car? To me it comes across as little more than a meaner, larger IS 350.
Lexus forgot to incorporate "GS-ness" into the new car's styling. And that's a shame.
But you know what? Doesn't mean I like driving it any less. More on that later...
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 4,959 miles.
October 15, 2012
When I look at the front of the Lexus GS, I think about the influence that the Audi-style full-frame grille has had on the automotive industry. And when I look at the Audi A6 Allroad above, I think about how destructive this influence has become, both on Lexus and Audi itself.
Grilles, bars, LEDs, ducts and geometry of all persuasions. This is the kind of design that makes me want to call in the Haz-Mat unit for a cleanup.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com
October 4, 2012
It's true that driving 1,000 miles is a little far for a baseball game, but then I've done dumber things. The ability of the automobile to help you actualize such dumbness on impulse (as long as you have access to a credit card from a major fuel company), is one of the great things about it.
So that's how I came to be in the O.co Coliseum with the baseball expert in my family to see the A's play last weeked, and they did everything expected with a walk-off home run to win in the 10th. And here's the road report:
Over the course of two days of cruising on California freeways, I recorded a 250-mile run at 23.7 mpg, a 310-mile run at 29.4 mpg, a 356-mile run at 27.6 mpg, and a 274-mile run at 27.4 mpg. Over the course of 4,036 miles, the GS 350 F Sport is averaging 22.4 mpg.
Up in Oakland everyone was dancing the Bernie, a kind of rally thing. It comes from Weekend at Bernie's, a 1989 movie in which two characters manage to persuade a house full of guests that their murdered boss is still alive. A comic dance of the dead guy ensues.
The A's players got a hold of the idea and turned it into not just a thing on the field but also a promotional day with the actor who played Bernie throwing out the first pitch and even a video. It's quite something to see 20,000 people wriggling like spasmodic zombies. Kind of a total A's thing that seems to say, "If we're out of it, how come we're still dancing?"
A's won their division against all odds, so it must work.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 4,036
September 28, 2012
I like driving the 2013 Lexus GS350, really I do. Or at least I like driving it fast, as the F Sport rear-wheel steering makes it ever so much better than a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes-Benz E-class.
But the way it looks gives me the horrors. Since I still remember the introduction of the second-generation GS at Calty Design here in Los Angeles, when the car seemed like a miracle of good design -- the first-ever Toyota sedan that looked world-class great -- it makes me wonder how the GS?s design language has become so garbled.
Of course, it all started with the Toyota Cressida of the late 1980s, a fast car with an inline-6 engine, a five-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. It had a serious case of Nissan Maxima envy, even though it looked like the Hyundai Equus of its day. Giorgetto Giugiaro and his people at Ital Design began to sketch a sleek Euro-style body for the hardware in 1988, combining themes from the Lexus LS sedan and Lexus SC coupe, just then in the design stages themselves.
When the S140-type Lexus GS 300 finally came to America, we all thought it was just a version of Ital Design?s 1990 Kensington concept car, which had been built with a Jaguar inline-6 engine (though Ital Design later officially denied it). In any case, the first GS with its 1980s-style monochromatic paint treatment and unified, aerodynamic shape was an artistic success but a commercial failure, great to look at but stodgy to drive.
The S160-type Lexus GS just knocked us down in 1997, and Toyota must have been pretty excited as well, since it opened the gates at Calty Design for us to see it, one of the first times that journalists had been permitted access to the company?s design studio in L.A. The quad headlights came from the Lexus SC coupe, and the fender blisters and rear wing reflected the concept, which Lexus called ?HPS,? (High Performance Sedan). With the LS 400?s 4.0-liter V8, the GS 400 was the fastest sedan in the world until the latest BMW M5 was introduced a year later. No wonder the S160 was built until 2004 and you still see so many on the road today.
The S190-type Lexus GS came along in 2005, and it introduced a new design language for Lexus that was called L-finesse. There was a lot of controversy about the whole idea of L-finesse at the time, as less adventurous elements at Toyota tried to rein in the Lexus division. In any case, the monolithic, fastback shape of the new GS didn?t win any friends, even though the chassis had been worked over with some serious high-performance intentions, as it would be shared with the Lexus IS sedan. More power, a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive fulfilled the car?s high-tech mission. Nevertheless, it never caught on despite very successful sales, and aside from a introducing a fastback profile that soon became familiar from many different manufacturers, it didn?t prove memorable.
Now we have the L10-generation Lexus GS, and you can see some of the same design themes in the short front overhang and vaguely fastback roofline, while the GS 350 F Sport has a tricky rear-wheel steering system. Yet on the whole, the car seems even more monolithic than before, thick-waisted like a BMW 7 Series only with a more upright cabin. Meanwhile, a zippy cheese-grater front cap incorporates some of the styling licks from the Lexus LFA, while the rear wears a sci-fi bubble. Meanwhile, the interior tries to be inventive, yet it seems traditional instead of modern. This is a car that looks heavy and bland, though it?s trying desperately to be something else. Maybe it?s no wonder that Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda had strong reservations when he first saw the car in its early design iterations.
When you look at the details, the 2013 Lexus GS should add up. It still has a unique combination of high-performance technology that serves the ideals of comfort and convenience as well as speed, and this is what has always made the Lexus GS the ideal car in which to get quickly across town without being exhausted when you arrive. Yet the car looks heavy and plain, even though you can see in detail that it?s packing a lot of visual baggage. And it looks as if it?s riding its front tires like a front-wheel drive car, instead of leaning back on its rear tires in the way that the first two generations of the GS did so effectively.
If I were trying to fix the way the Lexus GS looks, I?m not sure that I?d know just where to begin. Maybe just paint it red, eh?
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 2,993 miles
September 24, 2012
This weekend I took our 2013 Lexus GS 350 on a weekend jaunt to Palm Springs. At only 240 miles roundtrip, it's not as impressive a drive as chief Oldham's 727-mile trip to and from Palo Alto but I was able to gather some impressions about the car during the trip.
The paddle shifters came in handy during the Friday mass exodus on the 10 East. Didn't have to tire myself out with pedal work before I even began the trip. The seats were comfortable and the ride plush enough so we didn't feel the need to stop midway to stretch our legs but just drove straight 2 1/2 hours to our destination.
The navigator came in handy since we were checking out places we've never been to before, but the only thing is that we had to plug in the addresses before we got moving as the nav doesn't allow you to type it in while the car is in motion. You can use it to find previous destinations or POIs though.
The A/C stood up to the desert temperatures of Palm Springs, keeping the cabin nice and cold and making it that much harder for us to tear ourselves away from its chilly embrace to face the oppressive heat.
Suffice it to say, the 2013 Lexus GS 350 was a comfortable, luxurious ride for our road trip and I'd gladly swipe its key again.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 2,847 miles
September 20, 2012
The Lexus GS 350 F Sport is a controversial car around these parts (what, am I a cowboy?), especially from an aesthetic stand point. I've heard that it's ugly or plain, while the interior draws similar negative feedback.
I actually like it.
The front end has a lot of interesting details -- especially the lower airdam -- and the rear is nicely done. True, it does feel a tad overly dramatic given the rest of the car's rather conservative shape, and I definitely don't need the silly rear diffuser. So perhaps it's overdesigned, but I don't think it's ugly, and I definitely don't think it's plain.
And no "buts" on the inside, I just flat-out like the modern, minimalist design featuring horizontal lines that reduce the dash's visual bulk. It's more technological than organic and I like that in an interior.
What say you, does the GS 350 look good?
James Riswick, Automotive Editor
September 5, 2012
I think I'm the first to road trip our new 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport. Today I'm driving it over 300 miles from Santa Monica to Palo Alto, CA and tomorrow I'm driving it back. Tune in Friday for a full mileage report.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 1,453 miles