May 2, 2013
During March and April, we put just 1,706 miles on our Lexus GS 350, mostly in around-town driving. The F Sport deserved a rest from clocking 3,000 miles during a five-day road trip to Austin, Texas and back. Our best tank during the two months yielded 25.1 MPG, though our GS is still underachieving its EPA combined MPG estimate by 1.5 MPG.
March 20, 2013
My recent road trip to Austin, Texas and back revealed a few things about the fuel economy of the 2013 Lexus GS350.
First, the EPA highway rating of 28 mpg is totally achievable so long as you're not taking full advantage of the 75 and 80 mph speed limits found across Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. One tank we've already talked about came in at 30.0 mpg and the last 337-mile tank I burned across western Arizona and the breadth of California worked out to 28.6 mpg when I officially called it a trip and made my last top-off at the Shell station just around the corner from my house.
But most of the journey did take place on high-speed interstates at 80 mph, so several tanks occupied the 25-to-26 mpg space. The trip average was therefore 26.4 mpg over 2,929 miles of data. Not bad at all considering the pace.
These figures come from direct calculations using miles driven and gallons pumped at each fill up. We do this routinely because in-car mpg gauges can rarely be trusted not to overstate a car's performance. Conspiracy theorists and engineers familiar with the ways that carmakers respond to things like the JD Power Initial Quality Surveys suspect that some such displays routinely err on the high side (within the tolerance, of course) to make it appear to the customer that their car is doing better than it actually is.
A few months back we started recording a long-term car's in-car mpg gauge readout at every gas stop to track this issue, so I was able to compare my calculated results with the GS 350's on-board MPG computer data to see if it can be believed.
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.
March 5, 2013
Nearly 80 miles into its current full tank, our 2013 Lexus GS 350 is averaging 21.7 mpg.
Make sure to check back this Monday, March 4 as we begin to post February's monthly fuel updates for all of our long-term cars.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 13,556 miles
March 4, 2013
During February we drove our 2013 Lexus GS 350 over 4,000 miles. I'd say we met our 1,700-mile goal for the month. The total was particularly high thanks to a road trip Dan Edmunds made from LA to Austin, Texas.
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 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 4, 2013
For December and January our 2013 Lexus GS 350 managed to get its best range to date (412.5 miles) and hit a new record for worst fill (14.7 mpg). Good times.
In December, our 91 octane-only GS traveled 1,154 miles and averaged 19.6 miles per gallon. Then in January we got a bump in both miles and fuel economy, up to 1,411 miles and 20.9 mpg. We're not really hitting the EPA estimate of 24 mpg in combined driving, are we?
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor @ 9,631 miles
Worst Fill MPG: 14.7
Best Fill MPG: 29.4
Average Lifetime MPG: 21.1
EPA MPG Rating (City/Highway Combined): 19 city/28highway/23 combined
Best Range: 412 miles
Current Odometer: 9,631 miles
September 13, 2012
Last week during my 700+ miles road trip in our long-term Lexus I risked it all and drove the sedan down to "0 Miles" on its fuel cruising range readout. I then immediately pulled into the nearest fuel station and filled the tank. The GS took 15.5 gallons of 91.
Now Lexus says the GS has a 17.4 gallon fuel tank, so theoretically I had a two gallon cushion.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
September 7, 2012
I just completed my very first road trip in our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350. On Wednesday I drove the car from Los Angeles to Palo Alto, CA and on Thursday I drove it back. A total trip of 727 nearly all interstate miles.
By the way, here's a photo of the sedan parked at my Silicon Valley hotel just to prove I was there.
Now that you believe me, I'm ready to report that the GS averaged exactly 25.0 mpg during the trip running on its required premium fuel (91 octane). The EPA rates it at 28 mpg on the highway.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 2,086 miles