2012 Lexus GS 350/450h

» Posted by on Jan 24, 2012 in Reviews | Comments Off on 2012 Lexus GS 350/450h

2012 Lexus GS 350/450h

When it was introduced in 1993, the GS was hailed as the first Japanese import able to truly compete with the German luxury performance brands. And while that claim held up for a period of time, over the last decade the GS-and Lexus in general-had lost its edge, producing an increasingly frumpy and bland lineup. Audi’s A6, BMW’s 5 Series and Mercedes’ E-Class quickly outpaced the ailing GS in every category that matters: performance, precision, and looks.

Things did not look good for the venerable Japanese luxury brand. Perhaps the clearest indication of how far Lexus had fallen behind lay in the fact that the last new car to be equipped with a factory-installed cassette deck rolled off the line just last year-and it was a Lexus.

Enter the 2013 Lexus GS. During our short day with it on both the Las Vegas Speedway and some open roads it was amply evident that the frumpiness has completely disappeared. Blandness? Not a trace left. Rumor even has it that cassette tapes will spontaneously combust if brought within 10 feet of it.

If last year’s GS was a glass of milk, this year’s is a Flaming Sambuca infused with the juice of a Naga Viper. Not only is the 2013 GS the first non-German brand to truly compete with the Germans in years, in many ways it is the best choice available in the mid-size luxury performance category. [read the entire review @ AutoTrader]