This rating has been carried forward from a prior year because the newer model has no substantial differences.
With world-class design both inside and out and a smooth and potent V6 engine, the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport is one of the more compelling vehicles in the class. There are a few tricky interior bits and the optional 4-wheel steering (sold as Dynamic Rear Steering or DRS) isn't for everyone.
PerformanceThe Lexus GS 350 F Sport moves out nicely, though it isn't a threat to the quickest cars in the segment. It is, however, effortlessly smooth, nimble and poised. We have mixed feelings about the DRS rear-steering option, though.
The GS 350's 5.8 second 0-60 time lags behind the segment leaders, but the 3.5-liter V6 still packs sufficient punch. And it's ultra smooth and makes some fairly good noises when you rev it.
Stopping distances are average for the class, but the GS 350's brake pedal tends toward jumpy and the car exhibits some nosedive during harder stops.
The optional four-wheel steering (DRS) is quick and precise yet very light, producing an over-eager feeling that may not be for everyone. It also makes exceptionally tight U-turns.
In F Sport trim, the nimble GS 350 drives like a much smaller car and offers impressive cornering response, grip and stability.
The six-speed automatic shifts incredibly smoothly when it should and shouldn't. Sport and Normal driving modes provide drivers with their preferred steering effort and throttle response.
ComfortWhile the Lexus GS 350 F Sport sells itself as a sport sedan, it doesn't abandon comfort to achieve that title.
Heated and ventilated front leather seats are an F Sport package highlight; sufficiently bolstered for sporty driving, but still comfy. Excellent thigh support. Seat bottom a bit flat for some, though.
An active, adaptive variable suspension helps this GS 350 split the difference between sport sedan and proper Lexus. The ride is generally smooth and controlled, with little harshness on rough roads.
A bit of noise eminates from the large summer performance tires, but it's not bothersome. And there's precious little wind noise, even at Texas speeds. Just as you'd expect from Lexus.
InteriorA large, highly functional interior with very good materials is slightly offset by a unique but akward infotainment control setup.
The highlight and downfall of the GS 350's otherwise-logical interior is the mouse-based infotainment system. It's a novel approach, but it's confusing, inconsistent and demands too much attention.
In traditional Lexus fashion, the GS 350 is built for real people. The doors are wide, the sills are narrow and the seats are relatively high. Very easy to get in/out of.
The GS 350 is a big car and the interior reflects that. Lots of hip, leg, head and shoulder room for the front passengers. The story is the same in back unless you are very tall.
Excellent forward visibility and minimal blindspots. Front and rear parking sensors and a rear camera takes care of the rest. Fantastic high beam headlights on the open road.
Cabin has plenty of storage cubbies. The trunk offers a middling 14.3 cubic-feet of space, and the rear seatbacks don't fold; locking ski pass-through seems like a consolation prize.
ValueValue is a tricky word in luxury cars over $60,000, but the Lexus GS 350 feels special, offers ample ammenities and Lexus prestige.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Everything you touch in the Lexus feels high quality and purpose-built. The important pieces like steering wheel, shifter and door sills all offer extra padding and quality leather.
With an as-tested price of $63,427, this Lexus GS is loaded with a sport pack, blind spot monitoring, intuitive park assist, dynamic cruise control and a 12.3-inch nav screen.
A simpler, less feature-packed GS 350 is available (the F Sport pack alone adds $5,690) but this is a reasonable cost for the quality/content provided.
According to the EPA, the GS 350 should get 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 combined. We've bested the highway with a 30.1 mpg trip, but have not regularly matched the combined rating.
The GS 350 carries a 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. Bettern than some, but not exceptional.
The first service is complementary, but Lexus does not offer any free maintenance for the GS 350.
Fun To DriveFor a sport sedan, the GS 350 F Sport leans too far towards 'comfort' to win many converts from the BMW ranks. Still, this is a responsive and quick sedan.
The GS 350 F Sport manages to appeal to sporting sensibilities without offending traditional Lexus owners. It's a very good sedan no matter how you drive it.
Thanks to a serious effort on the design front on both the interior and exterior, the GS 350 F Sport is dripping with personality. Whether you like that or not is another matter.
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