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By Cars.com Staff
August 29, 2006
Vehicle Overview Lexus redesigned its GS sport sedan for 2006. For 2007, it gains a bigger 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 303 horsepower and necessitates a name change. The newly dubbed GS 350 also gets new high-friction brake pads to accompany its bigger engine.
All-wheel drive is available for the GS 350. Hydraulic controls in the system vary the front/rear torque split from 30/70 to 50/50 and provide what Lexus calls the performance advantages of rear-wheel drive with the confident traction of all-wheel drive. The related V-8-powered GS 430 sedan comes only with rear-wheel drive; that model is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
An option group includes adaptive laser cruise control and a pre-collision system that helps determine if a crash is imminent and takes appropriate steps if it is. Other options include Intuitive Park Assist and adaptive headlights that swivel in accord with the front wheels.
Exterior Lexus says the sedan has a futuristic look, though the vertical grille and four independent headlights are reminiscent of its predecessor. Featuring uncluttered sheet metal, the GS 350 has a long hood, a very short rear deck and wide tapered C-pillars that flow back to the rear of the car. For 2007, Lexus adds Starfire Pearl, Obsidian, Black Sapphire, Smoky Granite Mica and Verdigris Mica paint options.
Long side glass and a steep back window enhance the GS 350's performance image. The sedan is 190 inches long and 71.7 inches wide with a 112.2-inch wheelbase. Aluminum wheels hold 17-inch tires. Options include a moonroof and a power rear sunshade.
Interior As with many other Lexus models, the GS 350 gets an updated optional navigation system for 2007 with Bluetooth, voice activation and a rearview camera. A 7-inch dashboard screen works with the navigation system and also serves as a monitor for the Intuitive Park Assist system. A 10-speaker sound system is standard, and a Mark Levinson surround-sound system with 14 speakers is optional. Trunk space totals 12.7 cubic feet.
Five occupants fit inside the GS 350, which features leather-trimmed seats. Heated front seats are standard, and fan ventilation is an option. Premium wood and both polished and leather accents round out the upscale cabin. A Smart Access keyless entry system includes new push-to-start ignition, and the new gauge cluster features aluminum faces. A variable transparency lens reduces glare on the gauges on sunny days. A power tilt/telescoping steering wheel is installed. Hidden panels to the left of the steering wheel hold infrequently used controls.
Under the Hood The 3.5-liter V-6 engine produces 303 hp at 6,400 rpm and 274 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The six-speed automatic transmission includes Power, Normal and Snow modes.
Safety Front knee airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags are standard. Lexus' optional pre-collision system incorporates active braking, which can trigger the brakes automatically under certain conditions.
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