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GS350 or, dare I say, try the Germans?

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Old 01-02-13, 06:23 AM   #16
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Both are great looking cars but I would be scared in regards to reliability. My IS250 only has ~39k miles but my mom still has an 11 year old camry with ~138k miles with no issues. That car was abused a bit because I used to deliver pizzas with it when I was younger and it still runs like a champ.

Lexus/Toyota hasnt let me down so I personally wont be looking to the dark side anytime soon lol
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Old 01-02-13, 07:16 AM   #17
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I had my three GS's and I have never really had any major issue's, my mother and sister have BMW's as well as me and my mother has had many issue's with her car, she had just purchased a X3 one week into ownership and the center speaker started to smoke and just shut off, amazing workmanship. My sisters X5 just had her fuel pump replaced at 22k miles along with her window regulator. I have only had one issue and its the brakes squeak and the dust is ridiculous, buts that's cause I barely drive mine. German cars just require a little more attention as something that could go will go. Whatever you chose you will enjoy no matter what.
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Old 01-02-13, 08:44 AM   #18
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I own a '12 535I and owned an '06 530I The 530I was totaled at 53,000 miles so I can;t speak of it's longevity. But, during the 50K miles it was completely trouble free. My daughter has a '07 328I with 100,000 miles on it. This one has also been completely trouble free. Maintenance is covered up to 50,000 miles and after that it is simple DIY stuff.

Like I said, these are all great cars with their pluses and minuses.
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Old 01-02-13, 09:11 AM   #19
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I had the same dilemma and went to test drive all major competitors and 2013 GS 350 with fairly long test drives. Many models I tried several times at different days and different dealerships as I wanted to tried them in variety of roads and situations. Yes, it was very comprehensive and time consuming process. I drove BMW few models, Benz E and S, Audi 5, 6 and 8, Jaguar XJ.

First the dealership experience was by far the worst at Audi dealerships, two of them. Those guys were snobbish in the worst way possible. The salespersons were plainly rude and cynical. I have never experienced something like that anywhere. I've heard a few other similar stories since then about Audi and their obnoxious sales force. Lexus at three different dealerships was by far the best! Very accommodating, pleasant to talk to, not pushy at all. BMW was also good experience.

But my greatest surprise was that 2013 GS 350 to me was the best at the end based on overall driving experience! Not just the comfort or knowing they are reliable. On my second test drive I went with a friend of mine who frequently goes to racing places. He owned many BMW's and Audi's, including M 3 and M 5 and currently owns Porsche. He never owned Lexus, only German cars. He was beyond impressed and started contemplating seriously of buying new GS. Even to the point that we started discussing colors and options. This is a die hard German car enthusiast, who owned nothing but German virtually all his life.

GS 350 really made huge leap forward with this car. And all that, while feeling substantially more comfortable and refined when just cruising. Further, even basic stereo system BLOWS AWAY all systems in other cars, even their premium versions. Going up to Mark Levinson is untouchable by anyone else. The worse audio system by far was Jaguar XJ. The sound was synthetic and lifeless.

Interior design has also improved substantially in Lexus with new models. I like it much more compared to BMW, Audi, and Jaguar is a mixed bag. Many nice touches, has better exterior than Lexus, but I didn't like the electronic dashboard. Lexus electroluminescent dashboard looks the most pleasant to me. Also the red color that some are using is not as nice to me as electroluminescent white.

I did all this testing as I was truly wondering that I'm missing on something and was seriously contemplating on buying Audi or BMW. At one point of reading all the magazine reviews, I was sure I'll switch to a German car. It's funny how detached some of the reviewers are from real world, and there is definitely a subconscious bias developed that Germans are better and people are missing "fun" if they don't own BMW. All that put me on a mission to find out and I was ready to make a switch.

Bottom line, first and foremost based on DRIVING EXPERIENCE, then comfort factor, stupendously good Mark Levinson music system, dealership experience, all led to me conclude that staying with Lexus is the best and wisest for me. BTW, did you check also how significantly less expensive insurance is on any Lexus model compared to Germans? I didn't think about it before, but it was a surprise, something like 30+% comparing model to model.
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Old 01-02-13, 10:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treemed67 View Post

I did all this testing as I was truly wondering that I'm missing on something and was seriously contemplating on buying Audi or BMW. At one point of reading all the magazine reviews, I was sure I'll switch to a German car. It's funny how detached some of the reviewers are from real world, and there is definitely a subconscious bias developed that Germans are better and people are missing "fun" if they don't own BMW. All that put me on a mission to find out and I was ready to make a switch.
This X 1000.

Some of the comparisons of the new GS vs the current German makes particlularly the BMW 5 series make me believe the reviewers are describing a mythical German car that they WISHED BMW still made. When they said that the 4GS wasn't as sporty or didn't have the "hand-in-glove" feeling of a 5 series, I wanted to laugh.

Perhaps if they were describing the E39 5 series of 2 generations past, they would have some credibility. But THAT BMW is long gone and anyone who is honest with himself and drives the new GS back to back with the current F10 5 series will know which car is clearly more involving to drive.

When I took the GS350 F-sport round a bend, I was shocked at how far off those pro-German reviewers were from my personal testdrive experience and simultaneously I seriously wondered if they truly drove the same car as me - was it a typo and they were talking about the PREVIOUS generation GS? That's how much disconnect I felt when I read those few diehard reviews that still insisted that the 5 series was a better handling car.

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Old 01-02-13, 08:25 PM   #21
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I also had the same dilemma. I really wanted something different, and heavily considered the A6, 535, and E350.

My issue was as much as I WANTED to like those cars, when I drove them just something about them didn't appeal to me. There was always something, some packaging group, etc that just didn't fit what I wanted. Bottom line is I'm just used to Lexus, and dollar for dollar they still offer a lot more than the German competition. Comparably equipped all three of those vehicles are more money, with the 535 being $10k more.

My second favorite was the A6, and I might have gone that way but their lease was terrible compared to Lexus.

The GS is a big enough departure from my previous Lexuses that it scratches the itch to be different.

Drive them all back to back extensively and the right decision will come to you.
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Old 01-02-13, 08:25 PM   #22
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I'm surprised you say that. The A6 3.0T feels much faster than the GS350 to me. The GS made more noise but felt slow. I think it's the lack of low end torque that hurt the GS350s responsiveness.. It's better with the hybrid.
Based on my S5 Cab with 3.0T, I would have to agree with you there. Definitely faster off the line, but the GS is no slouch when it comes to passing, etc. I still scare my g/f when she rides with me, and that is how I know if a car is truly fast or not.

This is slightly off topic, but as much as I realize the S5 LED lights were looking dated, I'm not thrilled about the new blunt front end and the new lights. Looks like an A6 now and takes some of the sexiness away from the original design. When Walter D' Silva penned that design it was beautiful and cohesive. Now, not so much.
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Old 01-03-13, 12:16 AM   #23
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The GS is quick enough and with coilovers and the right tires it should handle up to your needs for spirited driving here and there. But if you value performance first then the s5 would be a better choice, but then again ISF's are pretty nice too.
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Old 01-03-13, 06:07 AM   #24
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The other thing is, they're all very different cars.

Do you need a sedan? If you don't need a sedan then the A5/S5 is an attractive package to give a try. I thought about it, but I need 4 doors for family and work.
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Old 01-03-13, 08:07 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treemed67 View Post
I had the same dilemma and went to test drive all major competitors and 2013 GS 350 with fairly long test drives. Many models I tried several times at different days and different dealerships as I wanted to tried them in variety of roads and situations. Yes, it was very comprehensive and time consuming process. I drove BMW few models, Benz E and S, Audi 5, 6 and 8, Jaguar XJ.

First the dealership experience was by far the worst at Audi dealerships, two of them. Those guys were snobbish in the worst way possible. The salespersons were plainly rude and cynical. I have never experienced something like that anywhere. I've heard a few other similar stories since then about Audi and their obnoxious sales force. Lexus at three different dealerships was by far the best! Very accommodating, pleasant to talk to, not pushy at all. BMW was also good experience.

But my greatest surprise was that 2013 GS 350 to me was the best at the end based on overall driving experience! Not just the comfort or knowing they are reliable. On my second test drive I went with a friend of mine who frequently goes to racing places. He owned many BMW's and Audi's, including M 3 and M 5 and currently owns Porsche. He never owned Lexus, only German cars. He was beyond impressed and started contemplating seriously of buying new GS. Even to the point that we started discussing colors and options. This is a die hard German car enthusiast, who owned nothing but German virtually all his life.

GS 350 really made huge leap forward with this car. And all that, while feeling substantially more comfortable and refined when just cruising. Further, even basic stereo system BLOWS AWAY all systems in other cars, even their premium versions. Going up to Mark Levinson is untouchable by anyone else. The worse audio system by far was Jaguar XJ. The sound was synthetic and lifeless.

Interior design has also improved substantially in Lexus with new models. I like it much more compared to BMW, Audi, and Jaguar is a mixed bag. Many nice touches, has better exterior than Lexus, but I didn't like the electronic dashboard. Lexus electroluminescent dashboard looks the most pleasant to me. Also the red color that some are using is not as nice to me as electroluminescent white.

I did all this testing as I was truly wondering that I'm missing on something and was seriously contemplating on buying Audi or BMW. At one point of reading all the magazine reviews, I was sure I'll switch to a German car. It's funny how detached some of the reviewers are from real world, and there is definitely a subconscious bias developed that Germans are better and people are missing "fun" if they don't own BMW. All that put me on a mission to find out and I was ready to make a switch.

Bottom line, first and foremost based on DRIVING EXPERIENCE, then comfort factor, stupendously good Mark Levinson music system, dealership experience, all led to me conclude that staying with Lexus is the best and wisest for me. BTW, did you check also how significantly less expensive insurance is on any Lexus model compared to Germans? I didn't think about it before, but it was a surprise, something like 30+% comparing model to model.
Thank you for the great comparison. It is better than anything we will read in an auto mag because it is "real life" driving. Funny that BMW is still resting on its laurels as the Ultimate Driving Machine because I'm even reading complaints in the new 3 Series forum that the driving experience isn't what it used to be, and the 3 Series is the iconic driver's car. Wonder when they will be changing their tag line to The Ultimate Isolation Machine?
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