Somehow Lexus cars always came as cold blooded to me. Not cold blooded in the sense that they would actually be going around killing people. Well, I could have said that in retrospect of the fact that there were a number of uncalled acceleration cases abounding with Toyota. However, this has nothing to do with this review or anything else. Its just that some people cannot be made to love each and every thing. Many of my colleagues do love the Lexus brand. So much so that each one of them swears by the interiors of the cars. But, I would still say that they are sort of lifeless. This is until I got the 2012 Lexus GS with me for a review. Yes, you read it right. It’s the GS which I have got for a review. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since the time I have last driven a Lexus vehicle. Just that the brand doesn’t appeal to me too much. However, as all of you know, I am pretty much unbiased on the way I look at cars, leaving aside personal preferences. Here is the review of the 2012 Lexus GS.
Cant elaborate on it much since the 2012 version was draped in camouflage as it isn’t out yet in the market. However, belying the camouflage, this car looked like it was inspired big time from the LFA series. That is not a bad thing at all. From the side profiles, this car looks pretty much mature enough and is roughly the length of the 5 series with which it would compete with. The one thing that I have always heard from my friends is that while Toyota, the parent company may shy away from awe inspiring designs on their cars, for Lexus, there is no such constraint. It is more like the designers who were constrained in the Toyota department are released in the Lexus design department and they can go berserk in whichever way they want to. I couldn’t confirm if they have actually done it or not because of the camouflage. However, if the LFA is anything to go by, then this one definitely would turn out to be good enough. The boot didn’t have me convinced as it had the conventional design from the 2006 version of the Corolla. The tail pipes in the meanwhile are Bazooka styled ones and I definitely loved those.
The interiors bespoke of the luxury that Lexus has put in for the new GS. Infact, it has also put in a leather exclusive for the interiors. Everywhere I touched, there was only leather and more leather. It actually made me look at my own car(that one that I have currently and which is non-Lexus) and think if at all I got my money’s worth with it? Such was the Lexus effect. As far as I remember, the earlier car had a touchscreen system showing off all the navigation controls and stuff in the middle of the central console. This new one has got a bigger touchscreen system placed on top of the dashboard. Also, the steering wheel is much smaller in diameter. The gear lever has been shortened and moves further towards the dashboard. The instrument binnacle though looks like one of the same old car. Dual zone climate control and the works were available on the test car. The driver’s seat sits a bit higher than the co-passenger one and this is a good thing since it vastly improved on the field of vision from the previous car. The rear seats also pack in a bit more of leg room. Boot space is the boasting point here as was very evident from the shape outside. Lexus have provided for more boot space by moving in some suspension members here and there.
Handling and ride quality
This all new Lexus comes with a LDH equipped suspension. Infact, it stands for Lexus Dynamic Handling. Now, this is no market speak and works infact. Anyone who has driven the older car would instantly connect with the fact that it didn’t allow for much leverage as far as the corners were concerned. However, the 2012 model definitely allowed for a lot more than that. This car is rear wheel driven and there is a new variable gear ratio steering system on use. The latter is electric in its operation and hence can angle the wheels of the rear to a certain extent. However, this method doesn’t come into use when the car is slotted into reverse gear. Also, the parallel parking systems for which Lexus is more known for in the Arab states is missing here. So no hocky pocky gimmicks here. The best part and probably the only thing wherein I felt stupid enough was the fact that I had to ask the Lexus official if this car was running or not. Lexus have quite a reputation amongst themselves for building very silent cars and this one was no different. Amazing amount of silence in the cabin. The handling of this car was very upto the high marks that a certain Bimmer that it is going to be competing against, has set. Also, the ride quality was noticeably stiffer, something which just a flick of the Comfort button could set right.
Engine, performance and fuel efficiency
Ah well, the mystery part of the equation other than the looks. I for the life of me couldn’t glean the information out of the Lexus officials as to what exactly were the power figures of the 2012 Lexus GS. All I know is that it has a 3.5 liter V6 engine powering the rear wheels. A 6 speed manual or 6 speed auto transmission was been offered as a choice. Now, this sedan performed better than the outgoing one and hence I can say that it must have lost a lots of weight or even must have got a better power output than the earlier one. Also, the brakes worked fantastically though they were a bit lacking in the feel factor. Safety and stuff is relatively unknown as of now. Fuel efficiency is also in the dark as of now and upon its launch Lexus said that they would be providing this information.
The 2012 Lexus GS price is still in speculations and a good speculation is that it would start fro $44,302.