• 2017 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport: A Modern Classic [Review]


    2017 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport
    [photo: Toyota]
    Lexus, Toyota’s luxury division launched their all new, fourth-generation lineup four years ago with the 2013 GS. It consisted of four model offerings: a base GS 350; a Luxury GS 350; a Lexus GS 350 F-Sport; and the GS 450H Hybrid model. They all came with new suspension, a Drive Mode Select feature with advanced technology in a package that blended luxury with Lexus’ new design philosophy. It’s the F-Sport package that we tested here.

    Lexus GS350 F-Sport RSF
    ‘Does this red make me look fast?’ The 2017 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport. [photo: Arv Voss]

    WHAT’S NEW

    Now for the 2017 model year, three levels of performance will be offered with added enhancements and advanced safety technology as standard fare.

    All will come with Lexus Safety System+ provided as standard fare. This includes Pre-Collision System, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam and Full Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. 2017 GS models also include as standard Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

    The 2017 Lexus GS350 F-Sport tested came with a base price of $54,810. Optional equipment and features elevated the final total to $60,035. Those options included: a Limited-Slip Differential; Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System; Black brake calipers; Intuitive Park Assist; Cargo and Trunk mats and Destination charge.

    Lexus GS350 F-Sport Eng
    The Lexus GS 350’s V6 puts out 311-hp/289 lb-ft. torque. [photo: Arv Voss]

    PERFORMANCE

    Power for the 2017 Lexus GS 350 is provided by a longitudinally front -mounted 3.5-liter DOHC, 24-valve V6 engine with Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, direct and sequential port fuel injection that makes 311 horsepower at 6,400 rpm while developing 289 pound feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. Motive energy is transferred to the driving wheels, either RWD or AWD through an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and four power modes: Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport +.

    The Lexus GS 350 offers an optionally available all-weather drive system featuring an electronically controlled center differential which provides a normal 30:70 torque split, with the rear-wheel bias favoring handling agility. The system reacts instantaneously to alter the split to as much as 50:50, depending on driving conditions, to help optimize traction.

    Suspension componentry consists of a Double wishbone setup with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and stabilizer bar up front, and a Multi-link unit with coil springs, gas-filled shocks and stabilizer bar. An Adaptive Variable Suspension with driver selectable shock absorber damping and comes standard on available F Sport and Luxury packages. The F-Sport Package adds bolder visual cues featuring bolder and more aggressively designed lower front and rear fascias, pronounced rockers, a rear decklid spoiler, a uniquely specific grille texture treatment and staggered 19-inch wheels as standard fare.

    The ride quality is exceptionally comfortable and the handling is indeed sporty, with crisp, precise responses. Acceleration from the 3.5-liter V6 is surprisingly rewarding for a relatively heavy luxury sport sedan. A unique Intake Sound Creator provides a healthy and menacing growl when prodded with gusto. The GS F-Sport rides on 19-inch staggered width wheels front to rear – with 235/40/19×8” front and 265/35/19×9” rear summer compound tires for a slightly more planted feel.

    Lexus GS350 F-Sport Dsh
    Lexus always amps up the luxe in its luxury performance vehicles. [photo: Arv Voss]

    COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE

    The F-Sport version of the GS 350 competes in a highly competitive market segment with the likes of Audi’s A6, BMW’s 5-Series and the E-Class of Mercedes-Benz. Many consumers will likely embrace it. Others will not. It is certainly the best-looking GS to come from the Lexus design team. It is an exceptionally good-looking vehicle, but the profile fails to produce what would be considered an emotional stirring within the soul for many.

    The interior ambience is most inviting and is particularly appealing. The 12.3-inch multi-info display allows for a 3-way split screen for information. A remote touch central controller is mouse-like in its operation for ease of function selection. Lexus Enform Safety Connect is standard on all 2017 Lexus vehicles, with access to Lexus Enform response centers 24/7/365. With Lexus Enform Service Connect, the vehicle can also send alerts for specific factory recommended maintenance, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. Use the MyLexusandBeyond mobile app (for iOS devices) or LexusDrivers.com website to set push-reminders and alerts for maintenance and service issues.

    With Lexus Enform Remote (one-year trial subscription included), the customer can remotely view and control certain aspects of the GS using a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Functions include remote door lock/unlock; remote start/stop for the engine and climate control; vehicle finder, guest driver monitor and more.

    The GS 350 F-Sport is designed to carry five adults comfortably in the cabin, with room for golf clubs and other personal gear in the trunk.

    TFLCAR’s TAKE: This latest iteration of the Lexus GS 350 F-Sport seems to have finally gotten pretty much everything right. It is loaded with luxury and the performance is certainly more than adequate. And in terms of performance it’s encroaching into BMW territory in terms of naturally aspirated six-cylinder power, while being more luxurious. But if you’re looking for more serious performance attributes, try on the 2017 Lexus GS-F with its honkin’ V8 power as Nathan and Roman experienced in the video below.


    SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Lexus GS 350 F-Sport RWD

    • Base Price: $54,810
    • Price as Tested: $60,035
    • Engine Type and Size: 3.5-liter DOHC, 24-valve V6 with Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, direct and sequential port fuel injection
    • Horsepower (bhp): 311 @ 6,400 rpm
    • Torque (ft./ lbs.): 280 @ 4,800 rpm
    • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic with wheel-mounted paddle shifters and Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport + modes
    • Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear Wheel Drive
    • Suspension: Front, Double wishbone with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. Rear, Multi-link, coil springs, gas-filled shocks and stabilizer bar
    • Adaptive Variable Suspension with driver selectable shock absorber damping, standard on available F-Sport and Luxury packages
    • Brakes: Power-assisted four wheel vented discs with ABS, EBD, BA and VDIM.
    • Tires: Bridgestone Potenza REO 50 – 235/40 R19 front / 265/35 R19 rear summer tires mounted on 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels
    • Wheelbase: 112.2 inches
    • Length Overall: 192.1 inches
    • Width: 72.4 inches with mirrors folded
    • Height: 57.3 inches
    • Curb Weight: 3,726 lbs. – 4,830 lbs
    • Fuel Capacity: 17.4 gallons
    • EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
    • Drag Coefficient: 0.27
    • 0 – 60 mph: 5.7 seconds.
    • Top track speed: 143 mph

     

    Review overview
    Summary
    5
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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