|Reviewed By||Chad Tyson|
|Price as Tested||$60,339; 3.5-liter, 306-hp, 277-lb-ft V6; 6-sp auto; AWD|
Get in and forget about driving for a while. Sure, keep your eyes on the road and the car between the ditches, but any active driving beyond that isn’t required.
The seats are comfortable for long distances. The handling is admirable, and the brakes work very well. The wide stance and stiff body give the car a solid driving feel. No worries about ruts or grooves in the road — the car tracks like a train.
I’ll bash most of the F-Sport package in just a bit, but the Adaptive Variable Suspension just might be worth the price tag.
I never got excited about this car. It didn’t need me to. Part of the appeal for Alfa Romeos is they constantly need attention; this car is at the opposite end of that spectrum. I walked right past it while looking for it in the parking lot on more than one occasion.
The exhaust was quiet, as expected, until about 4,000 rpm. Then it became obnoxiously loud and was piped into the cabin.
Driving near a building or under a bare branch caused satellite or regular radio to cut out. I’ve had better radio antennas on walkie-talkies. The interface interaction isn’t the quickest thing to pick up. It was easier to use my phone as navigation than try to deal with Lexus’ nav on the fly.
A few people seemed impressed that this car had an “F” on it, but not after I told them it meant some different plastic bits on the outside, eight more powered directions for the driver’s seat and a black headliner. Fancy stuff. What I want to see is those packages adding performance, no plastic. On a related note: To all manufacturers: Just drop the paddle shifters already. They don’t make me think I’m in anything remotely similar to an F1 car.
Ticking off a few options jumps the price from under $50k to over $60k.
This would be an ideal car for people who spend their days performing back-breaking labor — hop in and cruise home. It’s a damn shame that, outside of the natural gas and oil-field workers, most of those workers can’t afford this car.
Lexus’ advertising suggests that this car is for drivers and is just as engaging as a BMW or Mercedes. Maybe that’s what Lexus thinks paddle shifters are for.
Toyota’s luxury brand takes aim squarely at the Cadillac CTS, BMW 5-series and Mercedes-Benz E-class. The redesign has the technology and performance to compete, but something is missing. The German cars encourage a certain style of driving. Even the Cadillac wants to swing around corners. The GS350, depsite a huge leap forward, wasn’t as willing as the competitors to be pushed.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
May 06, 2014