To me, the Lexus GS is pretty uninspiring, but it seems like it'd be an excellent luxury appliance for the typical Lexus buyer. Sales of this model are pretty poor, though, so apparently Lexus customers aren't interested in this mid-size luxury car, either, and would rather own the $20,000-more-expensive LS or the more affordable ES, IS, or HS models.
Like David, I'm a fan of this 3.5-liter V-6. It sounds very nice when revving high and is easily capable of propelling the car on the occasional speed-limit-breaking back-road blast. The GS350's overall performance, however, won't impress true enthusiasts. Some consolation can be found in Lexus's F-Sport performance parts, which, for the GS350 AWD, include upgraded brakes, antiroll bars, exhaust, and intake components.
A new generation of the GS is due in 2012, and it can't come a moment too soon. We wrapped up our Four Seasons test of a 2006 GS430 back in November 2006, and aside from this 2011-model test car's V-6 engine and all-wheel drive, it seems almost unchanged from that vehicle. To wit: The ergonomics are quite poor, what with the drop-down drawer by the driver's left knee that houses controls for the IP dimmer, the rear sunshade, the headlight washers, the sideview mirrors, and other, lesser-used buttons. The heated-seat controller is hidden under the center armrest. I also detected a couple disappointing squeaks and rattles in this test car.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor