The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CNHI News Service Originals

May 21, 2012

New Lexus GS focuses on perfection

CLINTON — Judging by the sharply angled, aggressive nose on the 2013 Lexus GS, you might think this is a car that wants to bite your head off.

It would make sense for the GS to go wild, after all, since Lexus has started wooing buyers of German sports sedans with its small, zippy IS

lineup and built the LFA supercar to compete for attention with Lamborghini and Ferrari.

This is a brand that obviously wants to generate some excitement with its latest cars.

Despite the sinister nose and sporty pretensions, though, the new GS remains in the same spirit as the old one: eerily quiet, amazingly comfortable and so focused on perfection that it's hard to find any

weaknesses.

It's interesting that Lexus didn't choose to make the GS sportier like the popular IS — with its un-Lexus-like firm suspension and crisp driving feel. Instead, it made the GS feel more like a scaled-down

version of the gigantic, expensive and sumptuously comfortable LS flagship.

In other words, it's soft like a baby LS, not hard like a beefed-up IS, which means it's not trying to compete with the Germans. For drivers who want silent, cushy, marshmallow-soft cruising, it's a fantastic option.

More than anything else, the new GS comes across as stunningly perfect. Toyota products are good at this, but the Lexus division takes it to a ridiculous level.

In this car, for example, the power windows don't roll up at a consistent speed. They slow down slightly just before closing, which means the windows are sealed shut without making a sound.

When you plop down your Coke can in the cupholder, it doesn't make a clunking sound. It has a soft surface at the bottom so you don't hear

anything. Little details like that are what have made Lexus cars the benchmark for thoughtful luxury design.

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