CAR OR BOAT – LEXUS WINS
It is no secret that I like the Lexus brand. I have a HER Certified studio residing within the Superstation Springs Lexus in Arizona and I’ve test driven more Lexus products than other makes or models. The Lexus brand, which has been accused of being stagnate, has made some visible changes over the years. The most noticeable and dramatic was the front grille. I get asked all the time, why did they change it? I heard that a certain “gender” felt it wasn’t aggressive enough looking on the road. Well, they got their snarl and whole lot more.
Planning a weekend in California, Lexus suggested we take the F sport. That was fine with me because I think the 2017, Lexus GS 350 F Sport is very special and not just because it is “fast.” I’ve had the opportunity to test this vehicle on the track, so I can attest to the performance of the 350F. I did get to test the manufacturer’s claim of zero-to-sixty in 5.7 seconds; although not on the way to San Diego, but on that test track. It comes equipped with a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
The F Sport package includes special wheels, adaptive suspension, and variable gear ratio steering with a sport plus mode, larger brakes, special badging and interior trim. I’m not done yet… Mark Levinson audio system, intuitive park assist, black brake calipers, four-wheel steering, leather steering wheel and a few more features. The base price of the GS350 is $54,810 and the car I tested, the GS350 F, was about $5,000 more and I believe worth it.
We had many things on our to-do list that weekend but number one was to look at a few motor yachts for our friends in New York. They are planning to retire to California and live on a boat in San Diego. Now this was a request we had no problem accepting. After all, shopping for a boat is no different than a car (my next book). Prospective buyers look for both performance and aesthetics.
The Lexus is known for its superior craftsmanship and quiet, elegant style. The power tilt-and-telescoping steering column was perfect for me at 5’2; I wasn’t in danger from the airbag exploding and had a clear view of all the marinas. Speaking of safety, Lexus Enform adds an app suite as well as safety connect that automatically notifies police and emergency medical personnel in the event of a serious crash and the vehicle also comes equipped with 10 airbags.
We stayed at a boutique hotel in downtown San Diego where we practically had the parking garage to ourselves. I was so pleased when a woman approached us one evening wanting to tell us that she loved the headlamps of the Lexus. At first I thought she was kidding until I got out and looked… there you go, another detail that a woman noticed that made a difference. In fact, they are referred to as “intelligent” high beam headlamps. That could be why a woman noticed.
Whether it is a boat, car or RV you must test drive them to make sure they meet your needs and or wants. I put the Lexus GS350 F thru its paces while in San Diego, but unfortunately, we were not able to test drive any of the motor yachts; we’ll leave that to our friends.
For more on the Lexus GS350 F go to www.lexus.com
Base Price: $54,810
As Tested: $60,305
Fuel Economy: 19/27 mpg city/highway
Motor Yacht: $850,000