Strong V6 engine, refined handling and ride quality, quiet and plush cabin, outstanding fit and finish.
Minor ergonomic oversights, touchy brakes, headroom might be insufficient for taller occupants.
The 2009 Lexus GS 350 delivers exceptional road manners at a moderate price, making it an excellent choice for a luxury performance sedan.
Competition among luxury midsize performance sedans can seem tighter than an Olympic 400-meter relay. In the years since its introduction in 1993, the Lexus GS -- which was aimed at unseating well-established German marques in this segment -- impressed us with its sharp styling and impeccable fit and finish. But unfortunately, it lacked the athletic handling and power of its European adversaries.
Times have changed, and the 2009 Lexus GS 350 has nearly leveled the playing field. A capable 303-horsepower V6, available all-wheel drive, a luxurious cabin and plenty of standard and optional features are enough to keep just about any luxury-sedan buyer happy. It's not quite best-in-class in terms of handling prowess, but the GS's overall ride and balance make it an exceptional highway cruiser.
But as good as the 2009 Lexus GS 350 is, we must admit that the venerable BMW 5 Series still reigns supreme over the Lexus. Other alternatives to consider over the GS 350 include the Audi A6, Cadillac STS V6, Infiniti M35, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and even the new Hyundai Genesis. While these competitors offer similar comfort with comparable or better performance, the GS 350 remains a solid choice that is sure to live up to its exceptional reputation.
2009 Lexus GS 350 models
The 2009 GS 350 is a midsize luxury sport sedan offered with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. In typical Lexus fashion, the car is available in a single, well-appointed trim. Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, a sunroof, leather seats, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats and a 10-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer, an auxiliary audio jack and a cassette player. Factory options include rear park assist, adaptive headlights, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, a rear sunshade, 18-inch wheels with summer tires, a rear spoiler, adaptive variable suspension dampers and an upgraded 14-speaker Mark Levinson DVD surround-sound system with navigation and a rearview camera.
The 2009 Lexus GS 350 remains unchanged from the previous year.
Performance & mpg
Powering the 2009 Lexus GS 350 is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 303 hp and 274 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic with a manual shift mode is the only available transmission. Acceleration is brisk; the GS 350 achieves zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. EPA fuel economy ratings for rear-wheel-drive versions come in at 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive models achieve 18/25/20 mpg.
In keeping with Lexus' reputation for safety, the 2009 GS 350 includes antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front- and rear-seat side airbags, driver and front-passenger knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A pre-collision system, which is part of the optional adaptive cruise control, uses radar to detect an impending crash and responds by pre-tensioning the seatbelts and activating brake assist. In crash testing, the Lexus GS 350 received the highest rating of "Good" for both frontal-offset and side-impact collisions from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The 2009 Lexus GS 350's reserves of power, serene ride and respectable handling should easily satisfy most drivers. The capable V6 is civilized enough for the daily commute, yet possesses enough grunt for spirited driving. The GS confidently carves and corners, thanks to its rigid chassis and sophisticated suspension, but lacks the athleticism found in other sport sedans. Initially, we found the brakes had a bit too much grab, but they were certainly effective, as our testing showed the GS 350 could stop from 60 mph in just 114 feet. For those who expect to drive in inclement weather conditions, the all-wheel-drive option makes an excellent choice.
The 2009 GS 350's interior is flawlessly assembled and surrounds its occupants in supple leather, genuine wood and aluminum trim. Four adults fit comfortably, and although the sedan technically seats five, the elevated rear center seat can make for a tight fit. Overall headroom is fine for average-sized passengers but might feel confining for taller occupants.
The display on the optional navigation system is easy to see, thanks to its high-resolution touchscreen, although the integrated audio system controls aren't particularly intuitive. Minor complaints include the highly polished wood trim that occasionally produces a troublesome glare, and the drop-down dash control panel to the left of the steering wheel impedes driver entry and egress if left open.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Lexus GS 350.
I have owned now three GS models 2000, 2006, and now 2009. Which I just picked up last week.
The car is great - I had a couple of concerns with my 2006 model and I'm hoping that I'm not going to have this problem with my 2009 model.
The Car has a very "sexy" look it to, Sporty and Classy, built for Comfort and Sport. It's a great combination of both, a real Sharp Car over all.
5 out of 5 stars
Lexus of Ann Arbor and my GS350
4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I came out of a 2008 BMW 535i xDrive prior to this. I was told by my BMW dealer that the GS350 AWD would be a disappointment in comparison. He could not have been more wrong. Everything about this car handles better. Although the performance may be a bit less than the 535i, I don't miss it at all. The GS is tighter and the luxury aspect is much better. Lexus of Ann Arbor has been able to answer all my questions and they seem to know a lot more than the BMW people did. This is the best vehicle I have ever owned. I tend to only keep cars for about 2 years, I am already excited to see what Lexus does to make this vehicle even better. I am very happy and would strongly recommend!
5 out of 5 stars
Should have done it sooner!
4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I owned a Volvo S80 T-6 then a Volvo S80 V-8 AWD before trading the for the GS350. Yes, I miss the V-8 growl of the Volvo, but that's all. The GS is superior in every regard and I only sacrificed 8HP. The GS is much easier to live with having 225 series tires rather than the much softer and lower profile 245's on the Volvo. I loved my Volvo, but I knew everyone in the dealer's service department by name. I experience Lexus reliability with my GS. Routine maintenance and that's it. The GS is fun the drive, corners like a cat, and scoots like a scalded dog.
5 out of 5 stars
Luxury Dream Machine
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
Smooth, Powerful, "silky". The perfect combination of sports performance with 5.7 sec, 0 to 60 from 303 HP and a sumptuous, quiet interior.
The Used 2009 Lexus GS 350 is offered in the following submodels: GS 350 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 6A).
The Used 2009 Lexus GS 350 comes with all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic.
The Used 2009 Lexus GS 350 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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