The midrange luxury market is such a big market and I honestly do not know how people choose their next large family saloon. The market is huge and some models obviously offer more than others. The Lexus is one of those models that give you a whole lot of bang for your buck.
Okay to be truthful, R564 900 is not really just a buck but if you consider what a hundred-kay less gets you to what this is, it’s really light years apart. The GS is aimed competing directly with the 5 series, E class and Jag XK and it does a good job flexing its muscles. Speaking of those muscles, it makes 233kw and 368nm of torque. This makes the GS shove 100kph in just over 6 seconds. Luxury cars rarely have a good engine as they are, let’s face it, really supposed to be sort of civil. The engine note of the GS produces when your foot is flat is far from that. It a wolf-like howl, followed by some rather hard acceleration. If you engage sport mode, this takes things up a little more while the car holds its gears longer and produces more power in the midrange. It really transforms the car from the normal or eco setting.
If you drive the car in an economical manner it will surprise you. Our overall trip ended at about 9.8l 100km, but we did see figures under 9l 100 at a time. Crazy to think that a car making this sort of power can actually be economical.
Jump inside, hit the start button and feel the memory seats adjust to your last position. This will adjust the seat and also the steering wheel. There are 3 positions to save, meaning that it would be hard to lose your settings, in case other people drive the vehicle too. The adjustable heated and cooled leather seats with 2-way lumbar support is stock standard. Electric seats are also carried over to the passenger but lumbar support it not present.
The control panel is not all that difficult to figure out with the huge 8 inch screen in the middle. Most of the vehicles audio/navigation and also climate control is handled from here. There is a sort of “mouse like” navigation device placed on the middle console. This helps you navigate the menus as well as enter the navigation information. The Lexus premium audio systems are one of the best I’ve listened to and really does set it apart from the rest. It stays loud and clear to nearly maximum volume where there is maybe a tiny bit of volume distortion. This usually varies per track, but for 99.9 per cent of the volume span, this is really amazing. A rear view camera is also stock standard, as well as Blue Tooth and iPod support. The phone system is easy to setup and even easier to operate. Some vehicle would have you take out an additional it diploma, but not this. Plain and simple just works.
On the safety front, there is ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability and Traction Control; this has it all…except it won’t pay your taxes. There are also eight airbags that keep its occupants safe.
From dual front airbags to knee protection airbags to curtain airbags and even rear passenger airbags, this car has so many airbags, I’m near certain it will just about float if it had to. The front headlights are bi-xenons which are electronically adjusted for the road surface you drive on. They are bright and illuminate the road very well.
The Lexus 350gs is a good value for money luxury vehicle and even compared with its rivals it sort of seems under-priced. The gadgets and nice-to-haves are all available without paying premiums for them. Each Lexus also come standard with their distance drive service plan up to 100 000km, or 4 years.
For more info check out Lexus.co.za