2017 Lexus GS 350 Review
Edmunds expert review
The current generation of the GS 350 first hit the market as a 2013 model, and after a full year in one, we came away mighty impressed by its well-appointed and accommodating interior, willing powertrain, sure handling and smooth ride. But Lexus did not rest on its laurels. In 2014, the 3.5-liter V6 was treated to a new fuel-injection system, and rear-wheel-drive versions received a new eight-speed transmission. Just last year, a lower-priced GS 200t turbocharged four-cylinder model was added one rung lower in the GS lineup, and the GS 350 received a mild V6 engine power increase and an infotainment system upgrade.
In other words, the fourth-generation GS 350 has been incrementally improved year over year from its strong initial starting point. Today, it's even more the luxurious, smooth, comfortable and engaging midsize luxury sedan it was at the outset.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
Choice is something the GS 350 lineup provides in abundance. At its core, it's a well-equipped rear-wheel-drive luxury machine powered by a 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, and that's what you get when you buy the base GS 350. Step up to the F Sport for a sportier look and sharper handling. Those in snow country can buy all-wheel-drive versions called the base AWD and the F Sport AWD.
Oddly enough, the base AWD version is the price leader this year because the formerly standard leather interior is now optional on this one model. Also, all-wheel-drive models retain the six-speed automatic transmission.
Eighteen-inch wheels and all-season tires are standard, as are LED headlights and heated, power-folding mirrors. The interior is very comprehensively equipped with things such as keyless ignition and entry, a sunroof, power-adjustable and heated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, and an automatic climate control system that optimizes airflow based on where passengers are seated. Standard tech content includes Bluetooth, the Remote Touch infotainment interface, a navigation system, voice controls, smartphone app integration, a 12.3-inch display screen and a 12-speaker sound system. A variety of driver safety aids (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the Lexus Safety System Plus suite of advanced active safety features) are also included.
Leather is optional by way of the Premium package, which also includes heated and ventilated front seats, automatic wipers and a power rear sunshade.
Next up the price ladder is the base GS 350, which is a rear-wheel-drive machine that is otherwise identical except that it comes standard with leather seats and the other Premium package items, and it has variable gear ratio steering and an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-season tires are once again standard, but stickier summer tires are a zero-cost option.
The rear-wheel-drive F Sport ups the ante on the handling front by adding 19-inch, staggered-width wheels and summer performance tires, a sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension (AVS) and bigger front brakes. It offers the option of four-wheel steering or a limited-slip rear differential. The F Sport has more aggressive front and rear bumper and grille styling, power sport seats and different interior trim pieces.
Finally there's the F Sport AWD, which is identical to the F Sport on the inside but reverts to a six-speed automatic transmission. Its 19-inch wheels are the same width all around, and they are shod with all-season tires that are better suited to snow and cold weather. For similar reasons, the bigger brakes are absent, and the steering ratio is fixed instead of variable.
Those who are not interested in the F Sport but like some of its appointments may want to consider adding the Luxury package to a GS 350 or GS 350 AWD. This option pairs 19-inch all-season tires with the AVS suspension and outfits the interior with wood trim, upgraded power front seats, premium leather, heated rear seats, and three-zone climate control with rear-seat climate and audio controls.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test and an extended yearlong test of the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport (3.5-liter V6; 6-speed automatic).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the GS 350 has received some upgrades, including an eight-speed automatic transmission for the rear-wheel-drive models, a more sophisticated fuel-injection system, engine upgrades that added 5 horsepower, LED headlights and more capable entertainment system software. Our initial findings remain broadly applicable to this year's GS 350.
Noise & vibration4.0
Ease of use3.5
Getting in/getting out4.5
Child safety seat accommodation3.5
Audio & navigation3.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.