Lexus is a brand which has come and gone in the spotlight for decades—never really managing to hold onto glory and fame like BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota, and possibly even Cadillac.
Although Lexus itself as a name does not often ring up much hype in enthusiast circles today, it should be known that Lexus IS the second-best selling luxury brand in the US, according to 2015 data (it’s ahead of Mercedes, and just behind BMW—this is luxury, folks). It’s been doing very well in the US market for 25 years.
All these names have respect and legacy behind them and for good reason. They’ve produced legends both on the racetrack and on the streets of suburbia to the city.
Legends like BMW’S 528i, Mercedes’ C-class (both coupe and sedan versions) the Toyota Avalon, and the respected Cadillac ATS. Other chief competitors would be the Hyundai Genesis or Audi A6.
While these vehicles aren’t the top of the line, bleeding edge in technology or performance for their manufacturers, they all have the same intent in design.
That intent is to be sexy while being not breaking the bank. With numerous design options available straight from the get-go, one can customize everything from the dashboard accents to the perforation on the leather seats to having engines and other equipment on the same line as real, thoroughbred race cars. They’re excellent for city slicking or just hanging out with the crew, girls or guys; or even doing some Fast and Furious’ing on the sides (I wouldn’t recommend trying to imitate the events of Fast and Furious for the average driver).
Not so with the 2017 Lexus GS. In over 6 different trim (or style options—whatever Lexus means with that), you’re bound to find an option that suits you just right. Lexus has allocated a lot budget behind this car, as I believe the Lexus GS is meant to be the flagship vehicle marketed for the family, the student, or the rising professional—after all, looks are just as important as performance today. You’ve got to be able to make a statement and put your best foot forward now more than ever.
Cost-sensible, this car is. With four drivetrain options—two being F-Sport rear and all-wheel drives and the other two being standard rear and all wheelers, one has the option to drive a secretary’s car as if they were Randy Pobst on a wheel testing facility. The 2017 Lexus GS comes in three standard options: The Lexus GS, GS F Sport, and GS Hybrid.
Let’s go a little bit more into specs and numbers—it’s important for potential customers to know what they’re buying:
Pricing and Interior
MSRP is $50,365, but some models can be sold at a base price of $46,310— (according to usnews.com, it’s around $1,300 higher than average price).
A tad bit pricier than some of the competition in the family/executive sedan segment, but you do get what you pay for. The seats are roomy—with leather standard. The interior is luxuriously designed—one has the option to choose from wood or metal accents, and the steering wheel is fully leather wrapped. The infotainment system can be a bit awkward, but navigation and useful technologies like automatic high-beam sensing can make those long late night drives less of a neck stiffening experience, you can drive with ease. There’s also a large amount of seating adjustments available: even the crankiest child can find that perfect slouch to sleep in for when he or she absolutely does not want to go on a family vacation.
Trunk space is 18.4 cubit feet, this is about slightly higher than average in it’s class, you’ll easily be able to carry large bags and potentially crates and other boxed items. There’s also a portal from the back seat into the trunk, allowing for extra storage versatility for longer items. Just make sure they’re thin.
Speaking of driving ease…
Safety and Performance
With nearly 30 safety technologies, like Night Vision, Auto-On
Headlights, brake assist, disc and drum brakes and adjustable pedals, and the sorely needed Blind Spot monitor, driving is a breeze. No more worrying and double checking the rear window, or swivelling your head around to make sure that the lane next to you really is empty and that you won’t be swerving right into an eighteen-wheeler.
In fact, us news’s car ratings division has awarded it a perfect score of 10 out 10. Side impacts and root strength concerns are to be forgotten, your family will be safe.
The naturally aspirated, 3.5 Liter V6 on the GS350 is a powerful, compact machine. Possessing 311 horsepower, (more than the 200t) the engine is louder but does allow for more spirited driving. The sporty GS-F offers an incredible 467 HP, 5 liter V8 and reports 60 to dead-stop in 4.5 seconds. Top speed: 168 mph. It’s easy to glide off from stop lights at moderate pressure, but going for screaming, flat-footed launches as soon as the green light turns isn’t impressive. Torque is in the mid to upper 200’s at mid-range RPM. Turning isn’t as precise as a fighter jet but will be adequate nonetheless. Gas efficiency is 22/city and 32/highway—decidedly average.
Motortrend’s test shows that turbo lag is essentially mitigated only after 3000 rpm. By now, it should be clear that this car is not for aggressive drivers (especially not Dallas drivers). Turbo lag is essentially how quickly the engine can respond and deliver power, which ultimately translates to speed on the road.
Essentially, it’s less athletic than its’ European and Asian counterparts, though it does excel in ride quality. Transmission is smooth and is focused on providing a comfortable ride. A safe, roomy cabin and comfortable seats would make this an excellent car for trips and daily driving.
Life can be stressful, even sad at times. But your horse can make you happier, right? Who wants to ride a donkey to work when they can drive a noble steed? Lexus has finally managed to communicate the charming curves of European competitor Mercedes and the performance sensibility of Cadillac in this Lexus GS.
Lexus, in very recent years, has pinned its design language aesthetic on a general idea of edgy, semi-organic geometric luxury with the fish-mouth like front fascia and the angular, Japanese styled headlights and running light design. Rear lights are quite beautiful with long, sharply angular LED razor-blade lines in L shapes.
Spindle-grill awkwardness aside, the GS 200t, or even 350 and above are excellent for date nights to exclusive downtown eateries, mall trips with the family and friends, and perfect for elegantly arriving in the office parking lot, especially if you’re in an upscale, urban environment.
This is the language the car speaks, and the emotions it wants to evoke. It does so very well with sensible pricing, competitive performance, and consistently near-perfect safety ratings. One need only to decide on their personal styling options in order to project the look they desire most.