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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Lexus GS 350 – finally catching up with BMW?

Lexus’ reputation for quality luxury cars is now legendary, at least in North America. Quiet, reliable, comfortable, practical and nice looking were the words usually used to describe their cars. I’ve never been a big fan, but I like the styling of the ES and IS sedans and the perfect balance of size and utility of the RX 350. Sportiness was never a factor however, and the performance sedans from Audi, BMW and M-B far surpassed anything Lexus could offer, with the exception of the limited production sports cars and the IS-F sedan. The GS was always a pretender but at the end it could not match the feel and handling of the German cars.

The all-new 2013 GS 350 is about to change this. The car’s performance, especially with the F-Sport Package, closely matches that of the BMW 535. The suspension design and technologies used result in fast turn-in, excellent roll control and remarkable stability.

I find the exterior styling fluid, if a little bland, but shaped well enough to look fresh for many years, something the Germans do exceptionally well.

The interior is sculpted with perfection and attention to detail equal to Audi. The materials used are first grade as well. The centre screen 12.3” display is something I’ve been expecting from at least a couple of carmakers for many years. The controls are large, easy to read and comprehend. Driving position is proper and the seats are excellent, offering great support and just the right firmness.

Lexus has kept the lid on pricing as well with the fully loaded GS 350 AWD Technology Plus Package coming in at $70,845 (including Freight), 12 grand less than a loaded 535i xDrive.

Need I remind you that Lexus finished first in this year’s J D Power reliability study?
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner here. This Lexus just made my top ten list.

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