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2010 Lexus GS 350 Comfort & Quality

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The otherwise inspiring performance in the 2010 Lexus GS sedans is marred by limited headroom inside the cabin and a surprisingly tight backseat.

Kelley Blue Book says that the “nicely formed power front buckets are the best seats in the house," acknowledging that "even the 'bucketed' rear bench has sufficient head and legroom to handle a pair of adults and the occasional smaller child in the less-hospitable center spot." Cars.com reports that "up to five can fit comfortably,” while Edmunds counters that "it accommodates four more comfortably, as the elevated rear center cushion makes for a tighter fit in the middle position."

Build quality and trims are impeccable, but tight backseat space and the 450h model’s sacrifices in space and refinement are a few of the reasons why the 2010 Lexus GS isn’t a high scorer in this category.

Cars.com reports that "trunk space totals 12.7 cubic feet." ConsumerGuide contends that the lid "swings on noninvasive strut-type hinges, but its small opening makes for awkward loading," and "small-item storage is limited" inside the cabin.

Edmunds adds that "the optional navigation system features high-resolution graphics that make it easy to operate at a glance," but "the audio controls lose some functionality as they become integrated into the touch screen"; in addition, "the highly polished wood can reflect glare annoyingly at times, and the control-oriented drop-down dash panel to the left of the steering wheel can get in the way of the driver's exit if left open." ConsumerGuide comments that "one test GS suffered from an annoying dashboard rattle."

Some will also find the ride a little too firm; it can be rough on pitted pavement. ConsumerGuide says that while the Lexus GS 460 "equals most any class rival for hushed refinement," there is an annoying "coarse-surface tire thrum." Kelley Blue Book, though, gushes that the Lexus GS 350's "finely crafted cabin always maintains Lexus levels of isolation from wind and road noise."

The Lexus GS 450h appears to be a different situation altogether. Several reviewers point out that noise levels aboard the 450h are unacceptable for a luxury car in this price range. ConsumerGuide says that this Lexus "equals most any class rival for hushed refinement," but it also notes "coarse-surface tire thrum." Car and Driver reports that "with the waxing and waning of the power system, the [CV transmission] created a sonorous racket described by another chronicler as 'somewhere between a gas turbine and a vacuum cleaner.'"

Sacrifices to storage and space are necessary due to the battery placement in the Lexus GS 450h. Cars.com warns "due to intrusion from the hybrid system's two battery packs, trunk volume shrinks from 12.7 cubic feet in non-hybrid GS models to 7.5 cubic feet in the GS 450h." In addition, "bulky rear wheel arches intrude," and the "small opening makes for awkward loading," according to ConsumerGuide. This Lexus' harshest critic, Car and Driver, nonetheless concedes that "damped lids ease open to reveal small nooks, [and] hinged panels enhance the usefulness of door pockets."

But the GS models are indisputably well put-together, and the brushed-aluminum and dark gray bird's-eye maple wood trim are at once classy and stylish. The Lexus GS is "luxurious and well-crafted," confirms Edmunds, saying that the GS 460 is "put together with flawless fit and finish." Refinement is top-notch as well; there’s not nearly as much road noise in the GS compared to other sport sedans, and the engines are just as refined and smooth as they are powerful and responsive.

Edmunds reports that the Lexus GS's interior features "genuine wood and aluminum trim complements the rich leather seating surfaces." Additionally, Kelley Blue Book praises the "supple leather, brushed aluminum and bird's-eye maple."

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