Friday, May 26, 2017

2017 Lexus GS 350 F Sport: The Brand's Midsize Luxury Sedan

Highlight: The GS is available in a 4-cylinder turbo, which has a starting price of approximately $47,000.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $ 61,260 (base model $55,805)

Seating Capacity: Five

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a blind spot monitor with a rear traffic cross alert system; Daytime running lights; an electronic brake distribution system; a backup camera; a tire pressure monitoring system; a vehicle stability control system; a departure lane warning system; and Lexus Enform Safety Connect system

Standard Equipment: 18-inch wheel and tires; a 6-speed automatic transmission; electric parking brakes; automatic headlights; a push-button ignition starter system; Lexus memory setting to control driver’s seat, exterior mirrors and steering wheel; 12.3-inch infotainment screen; a navigation system; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a power sunroof; a dual zone automatic control system; leather seats; and power heated/ventilated front seats

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a heads up display system; a Mark Levinson 17-speaker/835-watt audio system; black brake calipers; a power closing trunk; cargo mat; trunk mat; illuminated door sills; and a F Sport Package, which consist of 18-inch wheels, summer tires, a F-tuned suspension system, a variable gear ratio steering system, 16-way power F-Sport driver’s seat, a black headliner and a rear trunk spoiler lip

Other Trim Level: GS 200t; GS 350; GS 450h and GSF

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 12-speaker AM/FM/HD with SiriusXM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder/311-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New:  With the exception of Lexus’ array of safety driving features becoming standard this year, the 2017 GS is basically a carryover for the model year.

Why: The midsize GS is available in a variety of powertrains, trims and price points. In the fourth-generation GS, Lexus offers everything from a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder turbo to a hybrid to a power-packing, high-performance 8-cylinder.

The GS, which can be configured as a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive, offers a variety of driving modes. Each driving mode slightly adjusts the engine throttle setting, the suspension and the steering. This all-weather vehicle allows for both a personalized and a more engaging driving experience.

Added to that, for those seeking to enhance the look and feel of the GS, they can opt for the F-Sport package. Our review vehicle included the F-Sport package, which included a massive matted spindle grille, larger spoke wheels, sportier seats and an enhanced steering suspension. We must note Lexus for approximately $30,000 GS fanatics can opt for the GSF trim, which offers a large engine, a bolder exterior design and a more pronounced interior package.

So, besides the appearance, our vehicle was outfitted with Lexus’ all-new standard safety system. This system included a pre-collision braking system, a lane departure warning system, a radar-activated cruise control system and high-beam automatic headlights. All of these features combine compliment the rear cross traffic alert system and a blind spot electronic lane changing system, pushing the GS to be closer toward an autonomous vehicle.

Furthermore, the GS can be outfitted with a humongous 12.3-infotainment screen, which house a navigation system, an audio system, the climate control system and Apps. All of these functions can be controlled through an interactive mouse pad.

But: Despite the GS being offered with a variety of powertrains from a 4 cylinder to a 6-cylinder to an 8-cylinder to a hybrid, sales continue to decline. The aging design, the confined interior cabin and the brand’s controversial signature wide-mouth spindle grille is making this vehicle a difficult sell in a market, where crossovers are the dominant vehicle choice.  So far this year, sales of the GS have fallen roughly 54 percent as of April of this year, when compared to the same period last year. This is the largest decline of any vehicle that is still being produced in the Toyota and Lexus portfolio.

Verdict: The well-built GS offers all of the amenities one has come to expect in a Lexus. There are a variety of powertrains and price points to cover almost every budget in the luxury segment. However, being that sales are down significantly with the GS, buyers in the market for a reliable midsize luxury sedan should be in a perfect position to negotiate an unbelievable deal.

Competition:  Acura RLX; Audi A6; BMW 5-Series; Cadillac CTS; Genesis G80; Infiniti Q70; Jaguar XF; Mercedes-Benz E-Class; and Volvo S90

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