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The 2013 model year marks the debut of GS Generation Four, an all-new midsize luxury/sport sedan. "Debut" is probably too mild a word. "Re-imagining" might work better. The GS has impressed reviewers so much that they now think it worth putting on the cross-shopping list along with the usual predominantly German suspects.
The GS has always enjoyed great build quality, good levels of equipment and a fair amount of comfort. A more athletic trait has been introduced, welcomed by critics and considered crucial if the GS is ever going to stand a chance against the major players. Standstill to 60 mph takes just 5.8 seconds.
About the only thing that enthusiasts might take exception to is that the auto transmission shifts up a little too soon, even in supposedly manual mode using the steering wheel mounted paddles. But they will like the sharper chassis of the F Sport version.
The five-seat 2013 Lexus GS 350 and its F Sport variant are joined by the GS450h GS hybrid model (covered elsewhere on this site).
The two versions with the 3.5-liter V6 enjoy 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends this energy to the rear wheels, although all-wheel drive is an option.
A high level of standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustabe front seats, Bluetooth, iPod integration, satellite radio and 17-inch alloy wheels.
On the options list are 18-inch alloys, voice-activated navigation, upgraded leather upholstery, 18-way power-adjustable front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, Mark Levinson audio system, rain-sensing wipers and an adaptive suspension.
The F Sport version has the adaptive suspension with a sportier tune, plus 19-inch alloys swathed in performance rubber, bigger brakes and some aerodynamic appendages.
Safety equipment includes traction and stability controls, rearview camera, and 10 airbags as standard. Optional safety gear includes night vision, a head-up display, lane departure warning, blind spot alert and a pre-collision mitigation system.
EPA estimates for the 2013 Lexus GS 350 with rear-wheel drive are 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined; all-wheel-drive versions achieve 19/26/21 mpg.
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