A Grand Slam for the 2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan
I don’t know if it’s the opening of baseball season or what but, when I told my grandson I was testing the 2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan he said, “Wow, Lexus makes a Grand Slam Sedan?” Let’s attribute that statement to the five precious years he’s been on this planet and the fact he plays T-Ball learning new terminology weekly. Either way, I thought to myself that the initials GS could very well stand for a Grand Slam on the part of Lexus. They developed a car filled with interior and exterior amenities way beyond the reach of Derek Jeter or Joe DiMaggio.
I’ve probably test driven every Lexus to date and can’t find much wrong with any of them. I’ve always felt that Lexus was the epitome of luxury, style and comfort. I’m not sure if it’s because I get to travel behind the scenes at press meetings where I meet with the engineers, designers and technology experts or because when I drive them I feel kind of like Audrey Hepburn complete with black dress and pearls.
The craftsmanship and perfection of the Lexus brand makes me F with everything from their hand stitched leather steering wheels to the (tuned to perfection) sound systems. Whatever it is, I believe there is a model for you within the right price range and with appropriate amenities.
My most recent test drive in the 2014 Lexus GS Sedan was a 40 minute drive to see my 5 year old grandson take a swat at the ball and run the bases with such ease while focusing on the fundamentals his father/coach taught him. This is much like the way Lexus sprints past its competition while remaining true to its roots with great engineering and good looks.
For 2014 the GS 350 boasts an 8-speed shift enabled automatic transmission along with the welcomed steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. You’ll find efficient LED daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights and Apple’s Siri eyes-free iPhone interface with steering wheel mounted controls. All of this has taken the Lexus GS up a notch making it quite the global brand.
What hasn’t changed is the Lexus legacy with the posh features we’ve grown to know and love such as 17 inch alloy wheels, heated reverse-tilting power mirrors and a power sunroof. There is leather upholstery and power adjustable front seats along with leather, wood, and simulated alloy cabin accents to embellish the interior. The split folding rear seatbacks add a little more room to the car’s spacious 14.3 cubic foot trunk capacity for 2014. I tested the trunk with two sets of golf clubs, a cooler filled with box juice for the team and those folding chairs you can purchase at Sam’s Club so you look like all the other millennium parents lined up at the fence watching the games.
A Few Facts on the 2014 Lexus GS 350
- Price Range: 47,250 – 49,950
- Engine: 3.5L V6 – 306 Horsepower
- GS 350 – GS 350 F Sport – GS 450 H
- Economy (MPG) – 19 City 28 Highway
I have found safety to be the biggest concern for women when shopping for any vehicle in any price range, and they rank the GS 350 as a favorite. The GS 350 includes all wheels Antilock Brake System (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Optional safety equipment includes a blind spot alert system, Lexus’ self explanatory Intuitive Parking Assist, lane-departure warning and pre-collision preparation accompanying radar-based adaptive cruise control. The Heads Up Display can project key information to appear six feet in front of you providing you vital information. Lexus technology keeps improving to keep us more focused on the road, not on the phone or flipping for music or checking Facebook.
The cockpit of the car evokes luxury amongst the smell of leather and wood grain finishes, but if you look at the instruments and controls of the GS 350 you will see some very cool features. There is a drive mode select that allows you to turn a dial to your desired ride such as Eco, Normal and Sport S. These three choices allow you to make your vehicle more responsive or efficient with the simple turn of the dial. Eco mode moderates the throttle response, engine power output and climate settings for increased fuel efficiency. Normal mode provides the optimal balance of fuel efficiency and engine performance. Sport mode alters the powertrain for faster gear changes and more dynamic throttle charting. I feel like you get three cars for the price of one… just dial for the situation or your mood.
When I left the game on Saturday in Ahwatukee, I was impressed with a team of six year old boys and girls who were having so much fun; trying to hit a ball, run to bases they seemed oblivious to and “high- fiving” coaches who possess the patience of saints. Leaving with all of this in mind I dialed my Lexus GS 350 to normal mode because that is what this day felt like.
Out of the mouth of babes the fancy Lexus GS 350 really is a “Grand Slam” and for now on that’s what I will call it. As far as I’m concerned Lexus hit one out of the park… again.