By on December 6, 2011

Sometimes I have troubles viewing Lexus with an objective eye. The first car that ever excited me was the 1993 Lexus LS400 my best friend’s dad bought. It wasn’t the driving experience that delivered the “wow” factor; it was the fact that everything inside seemed deliberately perfect from the leather seams, to the wood that wasn’t bubbling and peeling like a 2 year old Jag.  In truth, the LS400, like most Lexus models, was a bit boring, but as this LS example has survived almost 20 years and 300,000 miles with an owner that doesn’t believe in regular maintenance, excitement is not the biggest selling point, but perhaps it should factor in there somewhere. We’ve heard it from Lexus before: wait! We have an exciting car this time! This year’s example: the 2013 GS. You’ve heard my comrade Jack’s take in part one, lets dive into part two.

The previous generation GS was unremarkable looking, so much so that when I was car shopping in late 2006, the dealer had a single all-new (at the time) GS model on the floor getting zero foot traffic while shoppers gravitated towards LS and IS models.

So how about the new mid-size sedan? The new GS may raise some eyebrows with its swoopy profile and hourglass-shaped “spindle” grill, but the design is far from adjectives like: dramatic, exciting, or polarizing. (Admittedly, the E-Class is not very stirring either.) The overall look is sporty, sensible and thoroughly Lexus. Sort of like a sensible sneaker rather than a snazzy pump. Under the hood of the GS beats only one engine choice: the same 306HP 3.5L V6 and 6-speed automatic as in the lighter, more nimble IS350 in regular or hybrid flavors. (Gone is the V8 from previous models due to sagging sales.)

Lexus told us at the press event that less than 5 percent of  mid-size luxury vehicles (including BMW, Mercedes and Audi) were purchased with a V8 last year, I’m thinking that number is a stretch based on the number of E550s I see on the road. True to form however, Lexus indicated that those who desire V8 power will be satisfied with the 338HP hybrid GS450h.

This year’s 450h gets a tweaked 3.5L Lexus V6 with a revised RWD Hybrid Synergy Drive transmission. While 335HP sounds fun, the competition delivers 400+ turbo-charged in their V8 models, I’m not sure the hybrid provides true competition. What it does however is deliver 30+ combined MPGs with its refined CVT and more green-cred than anything in the segment except perhaps the M35h. Lexus tells us that while the GS350′s transmission is mostly caryover, there is a reason: Lexus’ track testers found an 8-speed transmission hunted more than they would like. Haven’t we been saying that all along?

Inside the GS we see more sweeping changes. Gone is the dominating center stack that flowed into the center console, in its place we get a decidedly BMWeque dashboard with a strong horizontal theme dominated by a large 12.3-inch wide-screen LCD and an old-school analogue clock (an interesting choice for an interior trying to be youthful). The interior arrangement is certainly dramatic, the downside is that Lexus has swapped the easy to use touch screen for their awkward joystick device.

If you think iDrive is a pain to use, Lexus’ new Enform system may take you to an all-new level of frustration. Since all the GS sedans at the release event were equipped with the navigation system, we can’t comment on the look sans-nav which I am told uses a smaller screen.

Luxury shoppers love dead tree as much as they love dead cow and the GS delivers on both counts. While full-leather upholstery is still not on the menu, you do get the latest in auto trends: a stitched leather dashboard. The stitched dash, improved seats and available “un-lacquered” wood trim make the interior look almost Scandinavian in design, a great improvement over last year’s interior.

Hybrid buyers are treated to a first in automotive interiors: bamboo. The light wood is far more attractive in person than pictures might indicate, and while I question the “renewable resource” marketing on a large luxury sedan, like the hybrid drivetrain, I’m sure it will make shoppers feel special, and that’s what luxury is all about anyway. Bamboo is definitely renewable, you need a nuclear device to stop it from growing.

Improvement rather than re-invention seems to be Lexus’ mantra, and this theme repeats itself with the hybrid battery pack. Instead of sporting lithium-ion batteries like the Infiniti G35h, the GS450h still gets by with “ye-olde” NiMH batteries with improved packaging to net more usable trunk space. One body in the trunk is OK, but two are still a squeeze.

Since Lexus has always been “the Japanese Mercedes”, it should come as no surprise that the GS350 comes with some of the most comfortable seating available. Base model GS350s receive 10-way power adjustable seats, F-sport models get 16-way seats with adjustable side bolsters and four-way lumbar support, and should the “luxury package” tickle your fancy, you’ll get 18-way thrones covered in semi-aniline cow. Wondering what the 18-ways are? The high end throne has an articulating back, the same inflating bolsters, adjustable thigh support, four way lumbar and “butterfly” headrests. Needless to say, if you have trouble finding a comfortable seating position, you’re not human.

On the gadget front, the GS is playing catch up with the competition. Of course, most shoppers check only a few option tick-boxes, and that’s what Lexus is counting on. Available goodies include an adaptive suspension system, full-LED headlamps (hybrid only), radar cruise control, night vision, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, smartphone app integration, pre-collision warning, a single-color heads-up-display, and an 835-watt Mark Levinson sound system. Much to my surprise, shoppers won’t find any collision mitigation systems (the ones that auto-brake for you) in the GS, nor will they find a radar cruise control system that will handle stop-and-go traffic, “virtual bumpers” massaging or anti-fatigue seats, snazzy 3-D Google maps, iPod voice control or even automated parking.

In contrast, the Infiniti M has more nannies than a pack of trust fund babies. The nannies will intervene in fairly drastic fashion to keep you from spilling your milk. The GS takes a different approach with the Lane Keep Assist providing only the slightest of nudges when you drift from your lane. The pre-collision warning operates in a similar fashion: it will let you know your bacon is in danger, but won’t do much to save it, that’s up to you. Since we were driving pre-production vehicles that still needed some gizmo-tuning, I’ll save my final word for a full review, but if you are anti-nanny, then Lexus’ gentle reminders of your bad driving habits may be more palatable than the systems from the Europeans.

Out on the open road, the GS continues to deliver the Lexus signature smooth and quiet ride. Keeping in mind we were driving pre-production cars, both Jack and I noticed the GS models seemed to be wanting in the thrust department. A quick run in each car yielded some lackluster 0-60 times of 6.8 seconds in the GS350 F-Sport and 6.4 seconds in the GS450h, more than a full second behind the 5.5 seconds Lexus quoted. While the E350 is no speed daemon, the 535i is notably faster than the GS, in a straight line. If you were about to write off the GS for poor road manners, as Jack said in part one; the GS350 surprisingly provides not only better balance but significantly more front end grip and more road feel than the 535i.

As I have said before, I usually prefer the better handling slower car to the poorer-handling faster car, The GS is no different and scores serious points with me. The decision not to include an Infiniti M35h in the track line-up seemed a strange one to me as it is the GS450h’s main competitor in the minds of everyone I quizzed at the event. In this match up unfortunately the GS450h’s only main selling point is a smoother transmission. Maybe that’s why it was conspicuous by its absence. You can check out our recent review of the Infiniti M35h for more information.

While Lexus has yet to release pricing, a little birdie told me to expect a slight increase in the base price. The whole price range should be similar to the outgoing model. Therefore, I would expect the GS530 to start around $47,000 with the GS450h starting near $59,000. Unless Lexus can pull a rabbit out of their hat, this makes the GS350 only a very slight bargain compared with the E350, 535i or A6 3.0T, but still a significant amount more expensive than the 528i or A6 2.0T, not to mention the Volvo S80 T6 or Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec.

If production models don’t meet the 5.5 second 0-60 time, then despite 306HP, the competition for the GS350 will really be the 528i and A6 2.0T. Interestingly, Mark Templin from Lexus indicated they do not plan on attacking the Germans at every front, instead staying focused on the meat of the Luxury market. For Lexus, this means (for the moment at least) no V8, and no dedicated performance line. Sound like Volvo? In a way, with the GS not competing head on with the big-boys they are making themselves more of a direct competitor for a 2ndtier luxury brand such as Volvo or Hyundai’s Genesis.


Since Lexus only brought along a BMW and Mercedes to play with, I must go off memory on the Genesis and S80 T6. Both the Genesis and S80 T6 provide more performance for the dollar than the Lexus (especially the Genesis 5.0 R-Spec) but the Lexus leads in refinement. The S80′s FWD biased AWD drivetrain makes it a competent highway cruiser and the turbocharged 3.0L engine makes it faster in our testing in a straight line, but the GS is by far the better handling vehicle.

The Genesis presents an incredible value proposition, it does not have the GS’ array of safety technologies, lacks rear seat climate control, a heads-up display and night vision, but it is significantly cheaper. You also get three different engine options to choose from, two of which are more potent than the Lexus offerings and all of which are cheaper than we expect the base GS to be. Still, there are only a small segment of shoppers willing to cross-shop a mainline luxury brand with  Hyundai, but the number is growing. Lexus’ reputation for reliable engineering is of course still a factor, but the competition has also been paying attention. Stay tuned for a full review on the GS350 and 450h in the coming months.

 

Lexus flew Jack Baruth and Alex Dykes to Las Vegas, put us up in a swanky hotel, and gave us a delicious chocolate car. If you want to know more about that chocolate vehicle, you obviously aren’t a fan of us on Facebook. For shame.

 

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61 Comments on “Review: 2013 Lexus GS350 and GS450h, Part Two...”


  • avatar

    “Lexus told us at the press event that less than 5 percent of mid-size luxury vehicles (including BMW, Mercedes and Audi) were purchased with a V8 last year, I’m thinking that number is a stretch based on the number of E550s I see on the road. True to form however, Lexus indicated that those who desire V8 power will be satisfied with the 338HP hybrid GS450h.”

    350HP in a car this size is what I consider acceptable – after driving the M37 and my uncle’s Lincoln MKS Ecoboost.

    The one thing I’ve never liked about Lexus, however, are the lifeless plastic buttons. The only Lexus I’d even be remotely interested in is the LS, and just find it so boring.I like the interior materials in this car, but, it’s a testament to how BMW changed the game 10 years ago.

  • avatar
    JJ

    They may be right on the 5% V8 percentage if they’re talking worldwide sales. In the US gas is still dirt cheap but in much of the other markets these midsize premium cars sell in numbers it’s becoming ever more expensive to buy the big V8, especially now the V/I 6s have 300+ HP.

    Here in soviet Holland (ok, definitely not the biggest market for these cars), not only is gasoline taxed to the max, but you also pay tens of thousands of euros in taxes simply because a 550i for instance doesn’t have the best fuel consumption. A base 550i here costs 97.650 Euros. A 535i OTOH with the slushbox is a still hefty but significantly cheaper 66.135 Euros.

    The war on nice expensive things CO2 emmissions really takes its toll.

  • avatar
    alluster

    Has anyone realized that Lexii and Toyota’s are perceived to be reliable for the very fact that they are not exciting? The kind of people who buy these cars are the ones that never push them, drive 10 miles below the speed limit(in the left lane), get everything done at the dealership(getting ripped off in the process), Change everything that the dealer suggests due to their lack of knowledge or understanding of cars (Which actually provides a sense of reliability). This is the very reason Toyota killed the Supra which would affect their average reliability scores.

    • 0 avatar
      Coley

      I think that your characterization is a little excessive, but I agree that there will be at least some selection bias in car-reliability statistics. The people most concerned about reliability buy the cars rated to be the most reliable, then they take much better care of them than does the average driver.

      I include myself in this group.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Um…I think Lexus and Toyota are perceived to be reliable because, statistically speaking (and…take it for what it’s worth…30+ years of family ownership experience)…they are. I think calling people out for having their cars cared for and serviced because they lack knowledge is a tad off the mark. Do you think that only Toyota folks take care of their cars properly? Look, nothing much Toyota produces right now excites me (although I do like my wife’s new tC), but I’ve seen five Toyotas in my immediate family over thirty years and beyond basic and customary care, they went 10+ years without fail (my son’s 1997 Tercel, with almost 200k is still a hands-down better commuter car than a lot of newer stuff out there, and boring as it might be, my mother’s 2003 Corolla could easily go another 10 years the way it’s running). And I’d say lackluster sales had much more to do with Supra’s demise than anything quite as conspiratorial as is suggested above.

    • 0 avatar

      great point. I typically see old people driving these cars and never very fast or very hard. It’s like being treated with kid’s gloves. Not to mention all these cars with small 4 cyl and 6 cyl. Definitely gonna be more reliable than a V8.

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      That’s a bit of a goofy argument, I sure don’t see Lexus owners driving like that around here. The folks I know that own BMWs and Mercedes are probably as nuts if not worse on the maintenance front, for all the good it does them.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Has anyone realized that Lexii and Toyota’s are perceived to be reliable for the very fact that they are not exciting?

      I agree – but for a different reason. Both BMW and Toyota only have a limited amount of engineering resources. When allocating these resources, BMW might chose to spend more time developing the power steering motor with the best feel, while Toyota would tend to concentrate of making it the most reliable motor – as an example.

      • 0 avatar
        srogers

        Except that if you read this review, you would see this:
        “GS350 surprisingly provides not only better balance but significantly more front end grip and more road feel than the 535i”

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        srogers,

        I was just using the power steering motor as a random example – not specific to this case. That said, I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that how boring a car is has something to do with the balance of engineering priorities.

      • 0 avatar
        srogers

        I agree. Different brands must chose to focus their money in different areas, whether it’s performance, efficiency, luxury or marketing.

        I just found it interesting that boring ol’ Lexus steers better than the competing BMW. That’s an example of BMW choosing to spend less of their development money on performance.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        BMW spends their money on toys, on green initiatives, and on styling studios now. Besides, there has always been a strong lobby within BMW that wanted to shed the enthusiasts car image and go after Mercedes-Benz on a model for model basis. Those guys have been calling the shots for at least a decade.

    • 0 avatar

      The reason Lexus’s senior models are perceived as reliable is that many people know someone that has gone many years and miles with few if any repairs, while few people have heard a horror story involving one. I never have, and I conduct a car reliability survey. Meanwhile, everyone has heard German luxury car horror stories.

      I also owned my father’s 2000 GS 400 for a few years with over 100,000 miles, and the only thing I had to replace was a brake caliper.

      So the reputation, in this case, seems well-deserved.

      Unfortunately, slow sales mean we don’t have good coverage of the GS in the survey. Will the 2013 be different?

      http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      “Has anyone realized that Lexii and Toyota’s are perceived to be reliable for the very fact that they are not exciting? The kind of people who buy these cars are the ones that never push them, drive 10 miles below the speed limit.”

      No.

      Toyota started from 0 in NA. Most of Toyota sales were conquest sales. It’s true that certain Toyota owners drive 10 mph below the limit. But the GMs these same people owned before were just not as reliable as Toyotas, given the same driving behavior.

    • 0 avatar
      mattfarah

      A bit extreme, but I agree with you here. My mother currently owns FIVE Lexus RX’s: a 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2010 model. With the exception of the ’99, in which a front shock had to be replaced this year, not a single thing on them has ever broken. Literally every Lexus RX she’s ever bought she still owns because they are totally functional, worry-free cars (despite the fact that I loathe driving every single one of them), and they are worth more as cars in the long term than as cash now, for her at least. She is majorly religious with the maintenance on them all though.

    • 0 avatar
      meefer

      There are still Supras running on the road today. I personally know of one with the original engine and automatic tranny and it has 250K miles. The Supra was killed because it cost over $45K in 1995.

      Babying a 335i doesn’t save the HPFP from failing. I’ve had my Lexus for almost 5 years and 110K miles, zero mechanical or electrical issues beyond wear and tear. And if you think all Lexus owners baby their car, I can assure you that I see my rev limiter at least once a day. And I doubt the vast majority of luxury brand owners take their car anywhere except the dealership, regardless of make and model.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    Ok, which brand is most reliable then?

    Be prepared to explain why?

    Hyundai and Kia were not exciting for years. They also weren’t very reliable. Care to explain why?

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      “Hyundai and Kia were not exciting for years. They also weren’t very reliable.”

      Wondering which part is going to fall off of your car next creates a very special type of excitement…

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Depends.

      In Germany, according to AutoBild (which does the most comprehensive analysis of reliability in the industry) the most reliable brand is Hyundai.

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    “Hybrid buyers are treated to a first in automotive interiors: bamboo.”

    Some recent BMW models had available bamboo interior accents. 3-series, X3. X5, X6.

    Example: “Bambus Maser Anthrazit” in a 3-series coupe: http://goo.gl/KHX80

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Hyundai/Kia are making exciting cars as their reliability is shooting up. I don’t think you can make these assumptions. Buicks were driven gently and cared for by the elderly for decades and never achieved Toyota’s reputation.

  • avatar
    Oren Weizman

    One thing you learn working in journalism is : NEVER trust the numbers, Never have I seen a company actually fulfill their HP numbers, EPA or actually any numbers whatsoever.

    That goes for governments too !

    Curious enough though, The R-Spec Genesis Sedan needed a 5.0L V-8 to do the 0-60 in about 5.5 ? vs a 3.5 for the Lexus

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Also, that dashboard isn’t merely BMWesque, it looks like a complete copy. Someone had the bright idea to move the passenger air vent maybe to avoid a lawsuit. Copying isn’t new for Lexus but this is something I’d expect from a Chinese manufacturer.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I laughed how you said everyone in the Lexus show room was looking at the IS and LS. Look at their sales, I think over 75% of Lexus models sold are the ES and RX. That is what everyone is really looking at.

    • 0 avatar
      JCraig

      I wonder how many people are looking at the IS and LS and driving home in the ES (cheaper) or RX (practical)…

      • 0 avatar
        Alex L. Dykes

        I would say a large number. When in Lexus dealers I don’t see many people immediately run to the ES and fawn over it, usually they drop by the LS and IS, etc then decide the ES is their speed. Happens at the Mercedes and BMW dealers as well, the larger more expensive cars seem to get more attention but due to the cost, the cheaper models are what move.

      • 0 avatar

        We went with IS. Note that it was the woman’s choice, although I agreed. As for RX, we already had RAV4, which is, of course, slightly smaller, but just as practical. I suppose I’d give it a look, but the price of that thing was just ugh. To throw money at wife is one thing, but to buy a luxury SUV is not quite where I want to go.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Very handsome dashboard. Derivative, but handsome. I’ve always thought overly shiny wood just looks fake. The unfinished/unlaquered look may wear with age, but at least it leaves no doubt as to the material’s authenticity.

  • avatar
    John R

    No Infiniti Ms to had, huh? Well, that screams volumes.

    “In a way, with the GS not competing head on with the big-boys they are making themselves more of a direct competitor for a 2ndtier luxury brand such as Volvo or Hyundai’s Genesis.”

    Then why weren’t any examples there? $47k basic might be the reason. I’d take a loaded 5.0 Genesis over a basic GS all day.

    This is tough. Lexus really needs to get off its high horse and start looking at Infiniti as real competitor. Lexus sells more cars, but that may be because Nissan doesn’t feel like sticking Infiniti badges on Maximas (read: Lexus ES).

    I also see more Ms and Genesis sedans than I do GS’s on the streets.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      “I’d take a loaded 5.0 Genesis over a basic GS all day.”

      Really? Maybe it’s because I grew up in Germany, and because there’s a lot more brand snobbery over there than here in NA, but I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Hyundai or Kia, >>especially<< when it comes to a luxury car. Image is everything when it comes to luxury vehicles, and the Korean makers simply don't have it (yes, I hear their quality is improving, blah, blah, blah, but it doesn't change this fact). They simply seems like chinese knock-off's to me.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        They simply seems like chinese knock-off’s to me.

        A good car is a good car – I don’t really mind who makes it – it should be judged on its own merits.

      • 0 avatar
        John R

        Holy cow. Talk about playing in the shallow end…

      • 0 avatar
        PenguinBoy

        “A good car is a good car – I don’t really mind who makes it – it should be judged on its own merits.”

        I don’t think it works that way in the Luxury segment – an ounce of perception is worth a pound of performance. Of course in the long run the brands need to back up their brand promise (look what happened to Cadillac in the Malaise Era for example), but it will take a technically excellent “brand X” car years of careful marketing to get taken seriously in this space.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @MR2turbo4evr

        The FLAGSHIP sedan of the Toyota corporate fleet is a TOYOTA and not a Lexus.

        Also, the original GS300 was derived from the Toyota Aristo which was BETTER all around – the GS didn’t have the turbo V6, V8 or AWD.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      The problem with the Genesis is the badge, or the lack of it. I am fine with it, if they proudly put a Hyundai badge on the front. But they don’t. How can I be proud of my car, if the car maker isn’t proud enough to put their badge on?

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Hyundai let the public decide btwn 2 grill designs – one w/ the Hyundai logo and one w/o.

        The public picked the grill w/o the Hyundai badge.

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        bd2, public? What public? If there was a referendum, I missed it.

        The thing is, a great product should dictate consumer behavior/opinion, not vice versa. That made money for Apple at least.

        For me, I won’t even look at a Genesis, until it gets a proper badge. A humble name is still better than no-name.

    • 0 avatar
      MR2turbo4evr

      @ bd2: What’s your point exactly? Toyota has been making quality cars for the past 40+ years (and Lexus since day 1), so I don’t see any problems with a Toyota badge on the grill. Hyundai has been building absolute POS’s up until recently.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @MR2toyotafanboi

        Let’s not fudge the facts, Toyotas weren’t seen as being other than cheap Japanese rust-buckets until the mid 1980s.

        And the point is that you seem to place too much emphasis on the badge, instead of the actual vehicle.

        And yes, Hyundai has only been building decent cars for 10 yrs but then again, Lexus just started boring cars that weren’t totally boring.

        Hyundai outsells Toyota in Germany – so I think the Germans are on to something.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      “Lexus really needs to get off its high horse and start looking at Infiniti as real competitor. Lexus sells more cars, but that may be because Nissan doesn’t feel like sticking Infiniti badges on Maximas (read: Lexus ES).”

      Do you mean the Infiniti I35? Nissan did put Infiniti badges on Maximas, but people didn’t buy enough of them because the Maxima isn’t as suitable of a basis for a luxury car as the Camry is.

  • avatar

    Sorry to split with Alex, but I loooooved the “Lexmouse” in HS, and if this “Enform” thing is anything like that, I’ll love it too. The subtle force feedback is especially awesome. They basically solved the unsolvable task: how to integrate a free-pointing cursor into automotive environment. Every other car has controls that cycle through UI elements, and it sucks so hard.

    Note though, the picture above has not one, but two controllers: on the passenger’s side is the “Lexmouse”, which is what I refer, but on the driver’s side is some kind of rotary that reminds me of BMW. That thing is yuk.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      The right side is a dial to switch between driving modes (EV, Eco, normal, & sport likely). I agree about the Lexmouse, though. I loved it on the CT200h that I test drove.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    I’m not sold on the styling of the new GS. The old one wasn’t special, but it was non-offensive and will age well. This new one just doesn’t do it for me in a similar way to the new Acura TL.

    As for the GS, those things have zero resale value. I bought a 2007 model in 2009 with not even 30k miles for $20k off original sticker of $55k. This was a vehicle for my now ex-wife and she was eyeing a FWD Acura TL so this was the best compromise we could find that wasn’t a tarted up Honda or Toyota (at least in obvious fashion). FWIW, she loves the car and I never did. The rest is history, ha ha, can I blame Lexus for my failed marriage?

    The fact of the matter is that in my personal story the GS was getting cross shopped with Acura and Infiniti. The Germans weren’t even on the radar, nor would I consider my boss’ 5 series even in the same class. People that spend $50k+ (new) on a vehicle #1 want the snob appeal the Bimmer has, and #2, can afford to fix the things when the break down (as they do often). At least I’ll consider Lexus in the used space – germans – not so much, but that doesn’t sell new cars, does it Lexus?

    BTW – service at a Lexus dealership is insanely expensive. Their reliability better not ever slip or they are screwed.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Lexus may have a reputation as the “Japanese Mercedes” but that does NOT automatically translate into good seats. Admittedly I’ve never driven a LS so I don’t know how the seats in those have stacked up over the years, but the seats in the Lexus vehicles I have driven have ranged from mediocre to absolutely terrible (RX300).

    It seems like the latest GS is Lexus’ first effort to get out of the typical Japanese “8-way is enough” trap, and actually pay someone to design a real seat. Don’t even get me started on how Acura used 4-way passenger seats up until about last week.

    I shop in this class, and for me driving position/seat comfort is #1, followed closely by proper steering weight/feel and interior design. The GS has always failed miserably at all three. This time I think they may have cracked it, but those acceleration runs are disappointing. You can’t just *say* your car can keep up with the 535i or the A6 3.0T if it can’t.

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    Alex – “You also get three different engine options to choose from, two of which are more potent than the Lexus offerings and all of which are cheaper than we expect the base GS to be.”

    Actually, all three are more powerful. The new 3.8 Genesis gets direct injection, and has 333bhp if memory serves right. They also all have 8-speed automatics, which some buyers will like, although I agree- that’s too many damn gears.

    Genesis R Spec over this 11 times out of 10. Lexus doesn’t do much for me, it’s got a nice interior but you’d have to really want the badge to get this at 47k over a Genesis R at 46. I like horsepower, and I think the Genesis is a light year better looking.

  • avatar
    BlackDynamiteOnline

    This place is the ONLY place that can’t get a 5 second time out of the GS to sixty…….
    BD


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