Car Or Boat — Lexus Wins: 2017 Lexus GS 350 F Sport

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By Cathy Droz –

It is no secret that I like the Lexus brand. I actually have a HER Certified studio inside Superstition Springs Lexus in Arizona and I’ve test driven more Lexus products than other makes or models.

The Lexus brand, which has been accused of being stagnate, has made some visible changes over the years. The most noticeable and dramatic was the front grille. I get asked all the time, why did they change it? I heard that a certain “gender” felt it wasn’t aggressive enough looking on the road. Well they got their snarl and whole lot more.

Planning a weekend in California, Lexus suggested we take the F sport. That was fine with me because I think the 2017, Lexus GS 350 F Sport is very special and not just because it is “fast.” I’ve tested this vehicle before on the track, so I can attest to performance of the 350F. It includes a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Match this to an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift option. I did get to test the manufacturer’s claim of “0-to-60” in 5.7 seconds; not on the way to San Diego, but on the track. The F Sport package includes special wheels, adaptive suspension, and variable gear ratio steering with a sport plus mode, larger brakes, special badging and interior trim. I’m not done yet… Mark Levinson audio system, intuitive park assist, black brake calipers, four-wheel steering, leather steering wheel and a few more things. The base price of the GS350 is $54,810 and the car I tested GS350 F was about $5,000 more and I believe worth it.

We had many things on our to-do list that weekend but number one was to look at a few motor yachts for our friends in New York. They are planning to retire in California and live on a boat in San Diego. Now this was a request we had no problem accepting. After all, shopping for a boat is no different than a car (my next book). For instance, the exterior of a boat or car must be appealing to the driver or captain as well as the interior, which I was in charge of. The Lexus is known for its superior craftsmanship and quiet, elegant style. The power tilt-and-telescoping steering column was perfect for me at 5’2; I wasn’t in danger from the airbag exploding and had a clear view of all the Marinas.

Speaking of safety, Lexus Enform adds an app suite as well as safety connect that automatically notifies police and emergency medical personnel in the event of a serious crash and it also comes with 10 airbags.

We stayed at a boutique hotel in Downtown San Diego where we practically had the parking garage to ourselves. So, when a woman approached us one evening, she wanting to tell us that she loved the headlamps of the Lexus, I was pleased. At first, I thought she was kidding until I got out and looked…there you go, another detail that a woman noticed that made a difference. In fact, they are referred to as “intelligent high beam headlamps.”

Whether it is a boat, car or RV, you must test drive them to make sure they meet your needs and or wants. I drove the Lexus GS350 F through its paces while in San Diego, but we didn’t take out any of the motor yachts, we’ll leave that to our friends.

For more on the Lexus GS350 F, go to

Base Price: $54,810

As Tested: $60,305

Fuel Economy: 19/27 mpg city/highway

Motor Yacht: $850,000

Dingy: $29,000


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