GS 350

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2015 Lexus GS 350 Overview

Automobiles such as the 2015 Lexus GS 350 show us that the Japanese, though relative latecomers to the high-end sport sedan market, can seriously compete with the traditional European luxury performance offerings. The GS 350 is a 5-passenger sport-oriented midsize luxury sedan that’s long on just about everything the well-heeled commuter could want. The second generation of this sporty Lexus 4-door comes in a single Base trim and a distinctively styled Crafted Line, each of which comes standard with rear-wheel drive but can also be had with all-wheel drive (AWD). An F Sport package focused on performance is available throughout the lineup.

A few changes are apparent for this class-laden 4-door in the upcoming model year, the most apparent being a hefty upgrade to the available Enform infotainment system, whereby the optional 12.3-inch screen can be split to display up to 3 different functions, including GPS navigation info, audio settings, climate control settings, and so on. Also new for 2015 are standard 18-inch alloy wheels aboard the Base trim.

A roomy and well-endowed cabin returns to offer loads of creature comforts and techno-goodies, but be advised that rear-seat space is panned by most reviewers as somewhat challenging for average-size adults. Curiously, no fold-down rear seatbacks are offered in this posh people-hauler, so the trunk's 14.1 cubic feet of capacity are, except for a narrow center rear-seat pass-through, pretty much all you have to work with. Don’t worry, though, the heady driving dynamics of this peppy performer, especially with the F Sport package, will keep you and your shotgun rider amused enough to ignore complaints from long-legged folks in the back seat.

All the various GS 350 convolutions, by the way, remain delivered with a standard rear-wheel drivetrain (RWD), but each is available with full-time all-wheel drive (AWD) for those who occasionally face wintry weather.

Power to all variations of the 2015 GS 350 returns in the form of a 3.5-liter V6 that’s good for 305 hp. An 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission returns in RWD variants (with standard steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters), while available AWD versions use a 6-speed shiftable automatic. Look for 277 lb-ft of torque from this peppy 6-banger, while auto engine stop/start technology helps keep mileage at a respectable 19 mpg city/29 highway in RWD variations and 19/26 in AWD trims. Oh, and the available F Sport upgrade additionally boasts Drive Mode Select with Normal, Sport, Sport + and Eco settings to adjust your mood to the commute.

Standard appearance goodies in the Base GS 350 for 2015 include new-for-2015 18-inch alloy wheels and a power sunroof, as well as heated reverse-tilt power-adjustable mirrors.

Inside, look for such plush creature comforts as leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and full power accessories, not to mention cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, a rear-view camera, a remote garage door opener, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, memory for driver’s settings and dual-zone auto climate control.

Standard techno-gizmos, meanwhile, include Bluetooth-integrated Enform infotainment with a Remote Touch interface that sports Smartphone apps, Siri Eyes Free voice-recognition technology for mobile devices and an 8-inch touchscreen. Said apps can be programmed to control such niceties as remote start, remote climate control adjustment and audio settings. All this is again complemented by a CD/MP3 player boasting 12 speakers, satellite radio, a video monitor and an auxiliary audio input that also comes standard.

For an even sportier look and feel, check out the available GS 350 F Sport version with its 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive sport-tuned suspension, variable-ratio steering, rear spoiler, upgraded brakes, sport front seats, and unique interior and exterior styling details.

The F Sport Crafted Line sub-trim, meantime, comes with an Ultra White exterior paint job that complements Obsidian Black door handles, mesh grille and side mirrors. Furthermore, 2-tone black-and-scarlet leather upholstery with contrasting stitching surrounds such perks as GPS navigation, Park Assist auto parallel-parking help and blind-spot monitoring. And all of this is accompanied by a complimentary set of TUMI premium luggage pieces, as well as Meguiar’s New Car Kit to keep this baby looking sharp.

Further options for the Base 2015 GS 350, which remain available mostly in package form, include the upgraded-for-2015 touchscreen display, rear-wheel steering assist (Dynamic Handling system), a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, upgraded leather upholstery and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio package.

Finally, standard safety equipment aboard the 2015 GS 350 includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), front and rear head airbags, front and rear side-mounted airbags, daytime running lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and Enform emergency alerts and communications (Safety Connect). A post-collision safety system also returns as standard safety equipment, as do self-leveling high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and a remote antitheft alarm. Meantime, front LED fog/driving lights are a safety option again for 2015, as are such available safety features as adaptive cruise control with pre-collision warning, a head-up display and lane-keeping assistance.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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