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GS350 or, dare I say, try the Germans?

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Old 12-31-12, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default GS350 or, dare I say, try the Germans?

Hi,

Been a member on CL for 4+ years. Great community. Anyhow, I'm at a fork regarding my next vehicle purchase. Let me start by saying that I LOVE Lexus. I have a 08 IS 350 that I bought new and it's been such a pleasure driving it. Beyond the exceptional comfort and performance, it's been a very reliable car. Even when I had some issues, my local Lexus dealer was very quick to address and resolve the problem. So, at the end of the day, I am very pleased with Lexus and would be happy to upgrade to 2013 GS 350 but a part of me wants to venture into the German realm.

I have never owned a German car, always Japanese. My first car was an 08 Nissan Maxima (Stillen-tuned) and now my IS 350. As I'm in the market to upgrade, I'm considering the 2013 Audi S5 as well. The reason why I like it is because aesthetically, I think it is a beautiful car, maybe right there with the GS350. I do like the laser cut headlights in the S5 better though. Also, it has 20 more hp and about 50 more lbs of torque, which is noticeable enough for me when I engage in "spirited" driving. However, I'm not a huge fan of the S5 interior. It is decent. I feel like the GS 350 is more ergonomically comfortable and conducive for the driver.

I guess my question is, when you drive your GS 350, and on those days where you want to enjoy some "spirited" driving, does the GS 350 exceed, satisfy, or leave you wanting more in terms of performance. When I say "spirited driving' I don't necessarily mean taking wreckless turns but instead, merging onto a highway, exiting off a highway that has a 30 mph turn off ramp, driving fast at times, I think you get my gist.

I really appreciate your input. Also, any previous or current S5 owners/friends of owners, feel free to chime in. I need more reasons to forget about the s5...
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Old 12-31-12, 02:39 PM   #2
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If you have gotten used to the Lexus reliability, then prepare to say goodbye to that if you go with a German car. They have been getting better over the years, but is still not close to the same level. With that said, I have to agree that the some of the styling and driving dynamics on German cars are better when you are talking about the top tier models. BMW M, Audi S, Benz AMG.

I would not own one that is out of warranty. I'm thoroughly convinced that they engineer those cars to fail soon after warranty so that the owners are forced into buying a new car every 4-6 years or so. I have worked on many German cars, and many of my friends are techs for those dealerships. There are so many plastic parts in critical areas that are certain to fail within 4-6 years. I think they do it on purpose, but who knows. Do your research and really look around to find out the issues with the car you're interested in. Many owners of those cars don't want to admit that they have problems. They don't want to accept the fact that the $60-70k+ car they spent so much money on is giving them that many problems! I have seen this way too many times.
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Old 12-31-12, 02:42 PM   #3
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as a lexus owner you are no doubt familiar with the brand and what the brand brings to the table. you would have to test drive a GS350 F Sport/LUX/Hybrid to figure out whether or not it's going to live up to your standards. then test the Audi S5 (nice car BTW) in the same manner. you be the judge, jury and executioner. i own an GS F Sport, and i'm 95% satisfied, the other 5% is it could have used a little more HP and torque. getting on and off entrance and exit ramps are a breeze. you'll be surprised (as i was) at how quick this car gets up and stays there. spirited driving??? you won't be disappointed.
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Old 12-31-12, 03:09 PM   #4
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I was debating between GS and a German car (5, S5, A6 and E). At that moment I thought the German cars looked more attractive. But the thought about dependability scares me. I agree with the poster mentioning German car owners don't seem to want to accept the facts that the cars give them trouble. I need a dependable car and can't afford going to the service center. I decided to get the GS. I think I made the right decision. Now I don't see those German cars as attractive anymore. This car also got lots of power more than I need. On the other hand, my wife still thinks my car looks more less like a camry. Here is a post when I was shopping for the GS. Lots of good feedback. You may find it useful.
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Old 12-31-12, 03:49 PM   #5
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I've only owned one German car (BMW 335i). It gave me zero issues. I am now onto my first Lexus but our family's second (wife had an RX 350, I now have a GS 450h). The RX gave us zero issues; the GS is still too new to say at this point, but I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far.

In the end, only you will be able to decide how much is enough. The amount of power and torque, the way they're delivered, the niceties of the interior, etc., all come into play. One strong piece of advice:

Consider which vehicle you think you would still enjoy sitting in even once the novelty of the power is gone.

For me, the 335i was great, but the interior left a bit to be desired. It had a nice enough ride, but some days I wanted more comfort. The GS has a much better range of ability than did the BMW, if that makes any sense. Grant it, they're entirely different vehicles, but I like the fact that the GS is comfortable and can have the excitement dialed up as needed, whereas the 335i couldn't be dialed down as much. Don't get me wrong, it was still a comfortable vehicle, but some days (especially after a really tough day at work, after a workout, or when driving with wife and children along, even more comfort would have been appreciated.

As others have posted, drive them both and see, then pick the one you like most doing what you do most. As someone once advised me, don't make a decision between two specialties based on the exciting cases of each. Decide based on which set of bread-and-butter cases you're more willing to live with. The exciting cases will be the exception, not the rule. You'll be dealing with the bread and butter 29 days out of 30.

That said, if the ache for an S5 is really strong, you'll probably still just regret not getting it no matter how good the GS ends up being. Tough choices, but fortunately there aren't really any wrong answers.
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Old 12-31-12, 04:07 PM   #6
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I love cars that handle well. And I used to love bmw because of their driving dynamics. Sometimes I put up with the poor reliability just to get the fun. Unfortunately these new bmws are not what they used to be. The new bmws are made for the masses now (soccer moms etc), not so much for the auto enthusiasts. That's why I didn't want to replace my 335i with another bmw. The same goes with Audi and Mercedes. Heck the latest Motortrend sports sedans comparison puts the Cadillac and the Mercedes ahead of the 335i!

I'm not loyal to any single brand. I choose the best car at the time of my purchase. This time I picked the GS F sport because I think it handles almost as well as my old 335i. But 10x more comfortable as well as more reliable. I'm loving my GS F sport more and more everyday. I do not miss the 335i AT ALL, and that car was reasonably reliable for a bmw.

Having said that, life is short and maybe you give those Germans a try since you've never owned one. That's what got me into my first Corvette, and then my second . . .
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Old 12-31-12, 04:12 PM   #7
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the s5 is a very nice car, but a new body is imminent, and if you're going to have the car for 5+ years, you might not want to spend so much money on a car that will look 'old' when the new body is out.

the car before my gs350 f sport was an evo x, and i also had an m3, and handling wise, for spirited fun here and there, the gs350 f sport really surprises me, (s+ mode)it's definitely good enough, and you have all of the other creature comforts to boot, plus the physical appearance which is amazing imo.

power wise it's not bad either, if you're in the right rpm range it moves pretty quick, 0-60 5.4 and does high 13's at 102 trap. not too shabby.

i didn't even consider the bmw 5 series because looks wise it doesn't do it for me, and i also prefer the interior of the lexus as well.
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Old 12-31-12, 08:21 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by modthispny View Post
the s5 is a very nice car, but a new body is imminent, and if you're going to have the car for 5+ years, you might not want to spend so much money on a car that will look 'old' when the new body is out.

the car before my gs350 f sport was an evo x, and i also had an m3, and handling wise, for spirited fun here and there, the gs350 f sport really surprises me, (s+ mode)it's definitely good enough, and you have all of the other creature comforts to boot, plus the physical appearance which is amazing imo.

power wise it's not bad either, if you're in the right rpm range it moves pretty quick, 0-60 5.4 and does high 13's at 102 trap. not too shabby.

i didn't even consider the bmw 5 series because looks wise it doesn't do it for me, and i also prefer the interior of the lexus as well.
Good point. The S5 is in a mid-life cycle, so within 3 years a brand new model will be introduced. No doubt, it is still a beautiful car and may be a timeless beauty like the SC300/400. However, if having the latest body style is important to you it is something to consider.

My S5 Cab with supercharged V6 had tons of torque and handled great. Also, although the interior wasn't quite as nice as the GS, the seats were some of the best I've ever sat in. (The GS seats are also some of the best.) The sound of the exhaust and the "popping" it makes when shifting gears fast in the S5 is addictive. I was afraid I would miss the power in the GS, but it has plenty and the piped in sound actually adds sportiness when you are putting your foot in it. It's a tough choice, but at least the GS body style will be around for probably another 6 years.
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Old 01-01-13, 12:00 AM   #9
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thank you all. happy new year!
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Old 01-01-13, 04:07 AM   #10
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Hi,

I guess my question is, when you drive your GS 350, and on those days where you want to enjoy some "spirited" driving, does the GS 350 exceed, satisfy, or leave you wanting more in terms of performance. When I say "spirited driving' I don't necessarily mean taking wreckless turns but instead, merging onto a highway, exiting off a highway that has a 30 mph turn off ramp, driving fast at times, I think you get my gist..
Have you read this comparison?

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...s/viewall.html

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1ST PLACE: Lexus GS 350 F Sport
Maybe The Ultimate Driving Machine

Remember that E60 535i I mentioned, the one we adored and awarded first place in a February 2010 comparison test? Well, this new Lexus GS 350 F Sport reminds us of that car. A lot. Nimble, balanced, precise, and quick, the GS is a (retired) BMW cloaked in Lexus steel. At 3834 pounds, the GS is the lightest of the four and it feels it -- turn-in is sharp and accurate, and weight transfer, whether lateral or longitudinal, is neutral and composed. The Lexus proved the most entertaining, rewarding, and confidence-inspiring up, down, and along our demanding Malibu road loop. Ultimate driving machine? Oh, yeah.

Lieberman: "Great steering. Balanced, communicative, properly weighted. Just a joy to drive. Neutral without being leaden. Very Mazda-like, in fact. And I say all this having driven the car in Sport instead of Sport Plus." Evans: "This is a Lexus? Really impressed with the handling and confidence in the car. Holds the road much better than expected. Can really fling it at the corners." Martinez: "The Sport Plus algorithm allows for a proper testing of its grip thresholds, and on the loop's tight technical zigzags, it was just right. Only once did any traction control light flash, and, unlike the Infiniti, shifts were clean, fast, and when you wanted them. Also unlike the Infiniti: The Lexus felt way smaller than it was. Like, really smaller."

In driving feel, the Lexus does exactly what you want it to do -- it shrinks around you. Yet, when it comes to pampering, it opens up, inviting you into the richest, most aesthetically pleasing cabin in its class. Lieberman: "Gorgeous interior. Love the metalwork, especially the volume and tune *****. Feels like they're off my old Marantz Quadradial. Extremely solid and finely made." Martinez: "From the classy analog clock to the soft leather lining the seats, center console, and doors to the near-perfect sport steering wheel and massive and clear multimedia display, this Lexus oozes modern sophistication." Evans: "This is my favorite Lexus interior ever. So refined and stylish. Not boring and not overdone."

Here are some numbers to consider: 0-60 in 5.4 seconds; the quarter mile in 14.0 at 101.0 mph; lateral acceleration of 0.94 g; figure eight of 25.4 seconds at 0.71 g; EPA fuel economy of 19/28; and observed mpg of 18.9. Not first, not last; just right in the sweet spot. Only 60-0 braking, at 110 feet, was behind the curve, but only by 4 feet versus the Audi and BMW. Then there's price. At $58,800 as tested, the GS F Sport, again, sits comfortably in the sweet spot.
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Old 01-01-13, 06:14 AM   #11
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You can't go wrong. They are all great cars with their own strong and weak points.
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Old 01-01-13, 10:41 AM   #12
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You can't go wrong. They are all great cars with their own strong and weak points.
I didn't know you were on this forum. So you're buying a Lexus?
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Old 01-01-13, 01:06 PM   #13
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I didn't know you were on this forum. So you're buying a Lexus?
I am... for my son. He owns his own business so I took on the task. The GS 350 is a great car, although I still like the 535I M-Sport more. This forum is a great place and I have learned a lot. The only mistake I made was selling his car ('07 GS 350) before I realized you had to special order a GS to get special options. Fortunately, I have four cars between the wife and I so he has something to drive until his GS arrives.
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Old 01-01-13, 02:52 PM   #14
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My only input I can give, besides what was noted already, is that although faster, audis do not have a fast feel to them
I drove the 2013 a6, 2011 a5 (3.2), and 2010 q5 (3.2) and none of them have that fast feel to them that comes even close to the gs350 (even with the a6 being half a second quicker)


http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...s/viewall.html
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Old 01-01-13, 10:31 PM   #15
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My only input I can give, besides what was noted already, is that although faster, audis do not have a fast feel to them
I drove the 2013 a6, 2011 a5 (3.2), and 2010 q5 (3.2) and none of them have that fast feel to them that comes even close to the gs350 (even with the a6 being half a second quicker)


http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...s/viewall.html
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.
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