Quality » 8
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
The interior is notably richer than before, and there are padded surfaces covered in stitched leather on the dash, the sides of the console, the center armrest, and the door panels.
some of the metal-look plastic in the GS is, indeed, plastic – likely a price that engineers felt was worth paying to achieve an overall 10 percent reduction in the weight of the interior trim.
Rear-seat occupants will find deeply scalloped and supportive seats and generous legroom.
Car and Driver
Overall, the sense of space in the GS is much greater than the previous model's despite the fact that most dimensions didn't change much.
Climb into the backseat and you'll find plenty of headroom. Nevertheless, your knees wind up high and your butt low, and worse, the GS' tall, rear-wheel-drive center hump effectively renders it a four-seater, unless your fifth passenger is Yoda-sized.
With little change in dimensions from the last GS, Lexus says the 2013 GS 350 nonetheless has more head, knee, and leg room than before. Those improvements can be made by reshaping seats and resculpting interior trim, and in the front seat, they haven't done much to ruffle a comfortable driving position. The basic 10-way power-adjustable seats make it simple to find a good driving position, along with a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel and power-adjustable rearview mirrors. It's been a couple of model years since we've been in a GS--Lexus skipped the 2012 model year--but the horizontally drawn dash seems to have a wider center console than before. The premium-upgrade 18-way seats are wonderfully supportive and come along with heating and ventilation, a feature we've grown to appreciate for almost year-round seat comfort.
The rear seat doesn't seem much larger in any dimension from where we last left the GS, however. Knee room is lean, though head room may be a bit better because the seat cushion now sits lower. The nominal fifth seat in the middle of the back bench won't be comfortable for most adults we know, but the doors themselves are larger, which means it's easier to slide into the seats. Heated rear seats and rear-seat climate control are available as options.
Lexus says the trunk is about a quarter bigger than before. The opening is wide but somewhat shallow, with a pass-through for longer items. Inside the cabin, smaller items find a home in door pockets, in a fairly deep glovebox, and in a console bin with a lid that slides backward to expose audio ports. A big pair of cupholders sits at the front of the console under a lid--as does an ashtray, a relic of the GS' home-market tastes.
On the whole, the level of fit and finish in the GS 350 is very high. High-grade plastic trim now dominates the dash, from the console coverings to the metallic highlights that surround the analog clock. One annoyance we noticed is the Remote Touch controller's housing and its poor fit on the console: on the right side, it doesn't match the shape of the console, leaving a gap where all sorts of detritus is doomed to gather. On a brighter note, Lexus' GS gauges are big, crisp and clear, and lots of padded leather surfaces are stitched together with care--though they add up visually, making the dash look busy, seam by seam.
The rear seat hasn't grown much bigger or more comfortable, but hey--18-way power front seats if you want 'em.