Lexus GS 350: High Quality and Enjoyable to Drive

Roseville, Calif.- Although not a fan of the Lexus “spindle grille” when it first came out several years ago on its midsize SUV, we’ve grown fond of its aggressive, edgy styling that was once described here as Darth Vader-like.

When the Lexus design team wanted something attention-grabbing, they came up with the eye-catching grille. They suddenly had folks taking more than a casual look at its cars that were previously rather vanilla in terms of style.

We like the bold, oversized grille on the 2017 Lexus GS 350. It gives the midsize luxury sedan a certain aggressive demeaner to go along with the vehicle’s elegant styling. It’s a nice blend that works here.

There’s plenty to like concerning the GS 350. We love that there are three distinct performance-laden engines. Note that the GS class also includes a 450h hybrid model that’s not reviewed here.

Every version of the GS 350 features a luxury interior, first-rate technology and fine driving characteristics, resulting in a vehicle that can hang with many of its rivals.

2017 Lexus GS 350

* Performance: 2.0-liter, turbocharged four cylinder, 241 horsepower; 3.5-liter, V6, 280 horsepower; 5.0-liter, V8, 467 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 22-30 mpg; 19-29 mph; 16-24 mpg
* Price estimate: $51,500 to $ 85,000
* Warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles; drivetrain: 6 years/70,000 miles; roadside assistance: 4 years/unlimited; corrosion: 6 years/unlimited

And this is not an easy crowd to hang with. The competitors include the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series and Cadillac CTS.

Like its luxury rivals, the Lexus GS 350 features strong performance in all three of its traditional offerings.

We had no issues with the standard model that features a 3.5-liter, V6 that generates 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. It’s quick from a starting point, going 0-60 in a brisk 5.8 seconds. Mileage estimate is 19-29 mpg.

The turbocharged model is no slouch, but can’t keep up with the V6 model. The turbo is a 2.0-liter, four cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s been clocked going 0-60 in just over 7.0 seconds. Gas mileage ranges from 20-32 mpg.

If supersized power is your thing, check out the 5.0-liter, V8 that produces a whopping 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. While the speed (0-60 in 5.7 seconds) is impressive, what might not be is the 16-24 mpg.

One expects a Lexus to deliver fine driving traits and that is indeed the case with the GS 350. It moves effortlessly and provides a poised and smooth ride, even on uneven surfaces. We enjoyed the versatility of being able to pick from Eco, Normal or Sport mode.

The GS 350 interior possesses a smart layout with many fine features that will be enticing to car shoppers. It provides space, comfort and a good blend of technology.

Interior room is excellent for front seat occupants. There’s an abundance of head and leg room even for people taller than 6-foot. Both driver and passenger are spoiled with the comfy 10-way power seats.

The back seat is also roomy and can accommodate even three adults. Trunk space is solid at 18.4 cubic-feet.

Mastering the GS 350 interior is not a huge assignment. A lot of things come intuitively because the buttons, knobs and switches are fairly simple to master. Some complaints online include the mouse-style interface that controls navigation and entertainment. But no complaints here.

Lexus continues to deliver a high-quality sedan in the 2017 GS 350. It’s an enjoyable car to drive, has terrific performance, handling, and the exterior and interior are smartly designed.

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