Car sales are down – that fact is resonating across the automotive industry with each month’s sales figures, and luxury brands are no different. But that is not to say passenger cars are bad, in fact they are the best they have ever been, and this 2017 Lexus GS 350 F Sport is no exception.
The current Lexus GS luxury performance sedan is a little more than half way through its life cycle that we typically see for automobiles with the current platform arriving as a 2012 model. For 2016, Lexus gave the lineup some updated styling (including that big grin of a grille up front) while also adding the 200t turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the mix. For the 2017 model year they have upped the engine power of the GS 350 V-6 while also adding limited-slip rear differential and making the Lexus Safety System+ standard.
Our tester, as mentioned above, is the 2017 GS 350 F Sport rear-wheel drive sedan. It is powered by the Lexus 3.5-liter V-6 that now produces 311hp and 280 lb. ft. torque. All-wheel drive is available on the GS sedan but our tester featured RWD via eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Lexus throws in the Drive Mode Select so drivers can operate the vehicle in Eco, Normal, Sport, or Sport+ modes. Yeah, my week was spent mainly in the last two drive modes. The GS 350 rides on front independent double-wishbone and independent rear multi-link suspension systems and yes, we did have the limited-slip rear diff.
As mentioned, our tester rolled in on the F Sport package that adds ventilated front sport bucket seats, power rear sunshade, 19-inch split five spoke alloy wheels, staggered fitment with summer tires, sport tuned adaptive variable suspension system, sport steering system, unique interior trim, model-specific front fascia, grille, and badging, rear valence, and rear lip spoiler. This vehicle also came with Lexus’ Dynamic Rear Steering technology for exceptional handling, agility, and cornering.
The Lexus Safety System+ technology includes pre-collision system with pedestrian detection and brake assist, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam, full speed dynamic cruise control, blind spot monitor, and rear cross traffic alert.
Some of the technological highlights found in the 2017 Lexus GS sedan include navigation with 12.3-inch color screen with remote touch interface controller, Lexus Enform safety connect, and HD and SiriusXM satellite radio. Our tester also included a few extra options such as Mark Levinson 835-watt premium 7.1 surround sound audio system with 17 speakers, intuitive park assist, and one touch power trunk.
Pricing for the 2017 Lexus GS 350 begins at $50,695 with our F Sport RWD tester arriving with a final window sticker of $61,955. Fuel economy is rated at 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
Driving the GS 350 F Sport was not quite as exhilarating as the GS F we tested last year but this car is a very nice daily driver. I did find the sport tires a bit noisy for my taste but overall I really enjoyed my week behind the wheel. There were times that I could turn things loose a bit and enjoy the Sport+ driving mode, and those extra ponies Lexus found under the hood were a real treat. This car handles quite well without ever being too obnoxious. I guess consumers are getting away from driving enjoyment and expressing their wants with their purchasing dollars as car sales continue to decline. Shame, really, as there are vehicles like the Lexus GS 350 that will keep your driving experience from ever becoming mundane.