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2009 Lexus GS350 Review
Well-rounded sedan at an affordable price.
Reviewed by Automotive on
Lexus fine-tunes and reintroduces the GS350 for 2009. Equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 303 horsepower and an available all-wheel drive system, the GS350 is a performance-oriented sedan especially for those who navigate serious weather. It joins the Lexus GS lineup with V-8 engines and V-6 hybrid powertrain sedans as an alternative to the comfort-focused ES350.
Aside from the addition of the GS350, the GS lineup offers two other GS models with different powertrains in the 2009 model year. The various GS upgrades this year mostly involve acceleration and fuel economy. The GS460 can achieve 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, and the GS450h can achieve 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Lexus celebrates its 23rd anniversary with a refinement of the GS350.
Engines: V-6, V-8, V-6 full-hybrid system
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, six-speed manual
Models: Lexus GS350
Lexus expands the GS lineup with the GS350 model for those demanding a high-performing, yet affordable, sedan. The GS350 offers an all-wheel drive system unlike other GS models, which only offer rear drive. The all-wheel drive system can send up to half of the vehicle’s power to the front wheels if road conditions warrant such a transfer. Another perk standard for all GS models is the VDC electronic stability control.
A Pre-Collision System is optional. With radar sensors, the computer determines when a collision is unavoidable and anticipates impact with seatbelt retraction, stiff suspension, and a ready brake assist, and applies a measured amount of brake pressure to mitigate damage if a driver fails to brake before impact.
Standard on the GS350, and optional on other models, the Adaptive Variable Suspension system incorporates four settings, including a softer, comfort-focused mode on a spectrum, with the opposite end being a sport mode for high-performance driving.
With its four-door class of sedans, the well-rounded and high performance 2009 GS lineup cruises in any weather. Lexus offers an affordable base GS350 with a sleek design and attractive grille styling.
Maneuverability is paramount in the 2009 Lexus GS350 due to its low, compact, and relatively lightweight, construction. The trunk capacity is relatively small, so toting capability is limited. Backseat passenger seating continues to be tight. Lexus GS models feature leather upholstery, 10-way adjustable power seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power rear sunshade, and a 10-speaker sound system with in-dash 6-CD changer. Interior decoration styles and materials vary, including Walnut, Dark Gray, or Brown Bird’s Eye Maple trim, and a broad spectrum of leathers.
Other sound options include a Mark Levinson Premium Audio system with a 330-watt amplifier, eleven channels, and the capability to play multi-format, multi-media CDs or DVDs on the included screen. A DVD-based navigation system with Bluetooth interface and a hands-free operating system is also available.
Performance & Handling
The base 2009 Lexus GS350 and its 3.5-liter V-6 are plenty fast with torque and all wheel drive capabilities able to handle almost any obstacle the weather puts in your way. The 2009 Lexus GS350 is also a capable cruiser, the suspension gliding over road troubles with minimal engine, road, and wind noise. The GS350’s small size and responsiveness promotes maneuverability, but the trunk size limits toting capacity, and a lack of safety ratings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes it a bit of a wild card.
The 2009 Lexus GS350 comes standard with dual-stage frontal airbags, knee airbags, seat-mounted frontal and side-impact airbags, and head-curtain side airbags for a total of four. Also standard are anti-lock disc brakes and stability control, as well as electronic brake force distribution with brake assist. Other key safety features include the front and rear energy-managing crumple zones, daytime running lights, three-point belts for all seating positions with height-adjustable front shoulder belt anchors, automatic locking retractor for front and rear seats, an emergency locking retractor for all seating positions, a child restraint seat, a direct tire pressure monitoring system, impact lessening upper interior trim, and a brake pedal regression prevention mechanism.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Quick acceleration
You Won't Like
- Trunk space
- Wild Card safety status
Well-rounded sedan at an affordable price.
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