2012 Lexus GS350 F Sport

19 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2012 Lexus GS350 F Sport отключены
Lexus GS Electric Cars

2012 Lexus GS350 F Sport

Sep 10, 2012

The GS F Sport feels like a serious sport sedan. All the Jello has been squeezed out of the suspension and steering, leaving an athlete that responds instantly to your inputs. In fact, it’s a bit too twitchy: It tends to dart left or right in response to seemingly slight steering inputs, bolt forward at the tap of the gas pedal, and stop in its tracks if you so much as brush the brakes. The steering isn’t as heavy as I’d like, though it does communicate rather well.

Overall, the driving experience is not quite as fluid as in a Jaguar XF or an Audi A6. But, then, a Jaguar XF or Audi A6 will probably be nowhere near as reliable as a Lexus GS, so nobody’s perfect.

The interior is the best designed I’ve seen in a Lexus. The red highlights and flat-bottomed steering wheel may be a bit hot dog, but it’s a marked improvement over the dour, takes-itself-too-seriously cabin in the smaller IS-F. My one gripe is with the center display.

I love that it’s so large and easy to read, but I wish the graphics weren’t reminiscent of Windows NT.

Don’t be mistaken — this is an F-Sport GS, not a full balls-to-the-wall GS F, in the vein of the IS F performance sedan. The upgraded suspension is welcome here, but the Sport+ transmission setting exclusive to the F-Sport car turns the throttle from responsive to overly sensitive, and the brakes are hard to modulate because they’re so grabby.

The 306-hp V-6 is strong and throaty and paired with a six-speed automatic that smoothly executes downshifts, but — unless you’re in Sport+ — it hasn’t been tuned for enthusiastic driving due to the fact that it rushes to sixth gear and will stay there unless the throttle is given a good prod. In true Lexus form, the steering is devoid of feedback; at least here it’s not feather-light, although the weight feels utterly artificial. Also a return to form for the brand is the luxurious and inviting cabin — it’s serene and isolating with the softest leather hides, the most precisely milled metal trim, and beautifully crafted interior panels that are the benchmark for fit and finish.

Sadly, in what appears to be a cost-cutting move, the Lexus L badge on the steering wheel is no longer silver metal, but a dull plastic dark bronze.

Donny Nordlicht . Associate Web Editor

My first few minutes behind the wheel of the 2013 Lexus GS F-Sport were confusing. Small impacts could be really harsh while the bigger undulations in the road resulted in the typical floating sensation that has become synonymous with the Lexus name. I couldn’t tell if this was supposed to be a sportier sedan that still let in a bit of wallowing or a comfortable sedan that happened to be a bit too stiffly sprung.

Lexus GS Electric Cars

I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I found myself wishing for the ride quality I’ve come to expect from Lexus. Perhaps the confusion is a result of the F-Sport package’s sport suspension. I want to try a regular GS to see if the standard model retains the trademark comfort.

Even though Lexus isn’t leading the class in ride and handling, the integration and calibration of the powertrain is as good as it gets. BMW would be wise to examine the way a Lexus GS can authoritatively leave a stoplight without tossing the passengers around. The primary objective in a car of this size is luxury with sportiness coming in second and the GS does a much better job filling the luxury role than BMW does.

I always appreciate a Lexus cabin because it’s so quiet and the materials used throughout are high quality. In this car, however, I cannot get past the mouse-style controller and the dated graphics on the navigation system. It was incredibly awkward to input the destination in the navigation system with the mouse controller. I much prefer the iDrive/MMI/COMAND control functions offered by BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, respectively, or a touch screen for inputting a destination.

An owner would probably get used to it, though.

Lexus has done a great job catering to the sizeable crowd that prefers luxury over sportiness. I hope they haven’t forgotten about all the people who just want to be comfortable.

Phil Floraday . Senior Web Editor

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