Thursday, January 13, 2011
Lexus GS 350 Offers Elegant Simplicity
The GS comes with a 303-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability.
Lexus also makes the GS 460 with a V-8 engine, should you desire more power, or a GS 450h hybrid model if you want better gas mileage.
Lexus says the GS 350’s V-6 has direct injection and variable valve timing technologies that distribute power to the rear wheels or an all-wheel drive system, which is what the test model was.
The GS's fuel economy ratings of 18 mpg city and 25 highway are good for a sedan of this size In a week of mostly highway driving, we got 24 mpg.
It would be tough to describe the driving qualities of the GS as sporty, but rather more accurate to say solid.
Acceleration is easy; the V-6 provides plenty of power on demand.
Handling is decent, even if the GS doesn't exactly grab corners.
Braking is very sure, thanks to brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution systems that, along with antilock brakes, provide superb stopping power.
Lexus says the Vehicle Stability Control system gives traction and stability control to maintain a steady road presence and help avoid collisions.
The overall ride is smooth and quiet.
On the inside, you'll find all the luxury features you'd expect from a Lexus, such as the leather-trimmed power front seats with heat and optional ventilation functions, polished metal and handsome wood trim.
Other amenities include the smart access remote system, with push-button start and stop and the Lexus Premium Audio System with 10 speakers, six-CD changer and USB media device connectivity.
The test model included the Lexus Enform system with Safety Connect, which features stolen vehicle location and crash notification functions.
Other safety features include the adaptive cruise control, which detects potential collisions and notifies the driver. There's a brake override system that cuts engine power when the brake and accelerator pedals are pressed simultaneously, to avoid unintentional acceleration.
The GS has a neat, attractive design, both inside and out, that might not necessarily turn a lot of heads, but is worthy of admiration for its seamlessness.
The test model carried a sticker price of $51,754.
The elegant simplicity of the GS 350 makes it a worthy entrant in the luxury sedan market.