5.24.2011

2011 Lexus GS 350 Review

Front view of black 2011 Lexus GS350


The face is familiar, you say? No surprise there. The Lexus GS has been around quite a while...with even its more thorough re-designs being careful to maintain an immediately identifiable look.


Front 3/4 view of black 2011 Lexus GS350 parked


The GS is Lexus' mid-size sedan...larger than the ES, smaller than the LS...and it's rear-wheel drive.

The one we sampled for a week courtesy of Bell Lexus in Phoenix was the V6-powered GS 350 as opposed to the V8 GS 460. Having driven the 460 (a fine car), I'd pick the 350. Plenty of power, better handling with less engine weight on the nose, and only a 4/10ths of a second difference in zero to 60 time (5.8 seconds versus 5.4 for the V8). And there's about a $9,000 price break when you choose the RWD 350 over the RWD 460. That price spread jumps to more than $10,000 between the all-wheel drive 350 and 460.

Interior shot of 2011 Lexus GS350

The interior has gotten a bit of a refresh, as well..with a newer nav/entertainment screen in the dash and the final step into the new milennium...the 2011 GS is the first one not to have a cassette deck below the CD player.

Optioned sensibly, you can get a very luxurious, very comfortable, quick and good handling sedan for just a shade over $50,000 (starting price is $46,900).  That's well below what any comparable competitor will cost.  And very few, if any, can touch the GS 350's 19 city/26 highway miles per gallon.

No, it's not cutting-edge styling. But if Lexus can maintain freshenings and updates, this could be a classic...and it's well worth your time for a test drive.

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