Car & Driver Not Sure if Serious (GS review)

mikeavelli

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So the 2016 GS F-Sport was just reviewed by C&D;
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2016-lexus-gs350-f-sport-test-review

To be honest while this is the responsibility of C&D, I can't help but think the writer they put in charge was a bit "green" until I searched and saw he has written for Edmunds (yawn) for sometime and seemed to enjoy the LFA (but who wouldn't). You see its easy for us to all go angry Trump crowd at C&D without realizing some of the responsibility also lies within the author to accurately depict a review that hundreds of thousands if not millions of people will read..

As many of you know C&D has a "highs" and "lows" quick summary for all their reviews and what I read was pretty shocking regarding the Lows. I am sure like most people I glance at that first and then read the article, if I even read it at all;

Highs and Lows
Highs:
Easy-chair comfort, safe-room quiet, fantastic brakes.

Lows:
Sleep-inducing demeanor, subpar handling and acceleration.



It is at this point when I decided I will read the article and write a retort, even though I cannot honestly take anything this guy says with any seriousness. Which of course damages C&D as a credible source. Anyone who thinks the GS, particularly the F-Sport has sleep inducing demeanor with subpar handling and acceleration needs their heads examined or just has a serious issue with Lexus. This isn't 1992 anymore. Do you realize HOW BAD you have to be at something to be considered sub-par? You have to really stink and this day and the writer makes it sound like the GS will crash into your local grocery store if you take a turn at 10 MPH.

Lets begin with the opening paragraph

This is a fine sedan for moving four people over great distances in genuine comfort. It’s a fantastic machine if you need to take your aunt to brunch or schmooze clients afflicted with a decision-making disorder. And it will not embarrass itself during a six-tenths effort on a favorite back road.

What it won’t do, however, is sway enthusiasts seeking segment-leading performance or deeply involving dynamics.
So he basically surmises this is a Lexus from 1992, maybe he thought it was an ES and not a GS. Now I guess I'm a bit different. I've driven the entire class quite a bit and I've tracked my GS at PBIR and even taken it to the "Tail of the Dragon". In addition being in the industry I've seen how the GS has indeed swayed people who wanted a more interesting drive compared to the competition. His opinion here is just wrong.

(pic taken at the Tail of the Dragon)
3afe6cddaade3f63bc183cc9dc89709f.jpg

To his credit and I agree with him completely that engine is not a strong point of the GS. For 99% of the population it will be an amazingly fast car but against the forced induction competition it lags behind. It is slow to the 535, A6 3.0 etc. I do agree the brakes are a strong point, the GS F-Sport has very rare 2 piece brakes up front, something really only real expensive sports cars/exotics do in various capacities. They are very well done.

Of course he raves over the typical Lexus hallmarks, quite, comfort etc. Which writer doesn't?

In everyday driving it’s the GS’s buttery ride that shines
Lexus and we are all aware of this. What makes the GS special is it blends those traditional hallmarks with the drive of a true sports sedan but unfortunately the author does not feel the same way. He then states the GS feels heavy for its class even though it is lighter. I don't think its a matter of weight, I think he just wants/likes the faster forced induction cars that can make a car feel quicker of course and to the untrained eye it might "mask weight" in the straight. The twists are another story.

I think he is fair with him not liking the front end which is controversial and obviously he likes blander cars. Its great to see Lexus send USB as a color to test. We can all agree fit and finish of any Lexus is usually near tops in class.

In contrast to the wackadoodle visual statement made by its spindle grille, our tester’s blue paint managed to look both elegant and stunning in any light, day or night. The exterior finish work of this Lexus, with its perfect panel fits, is as good as any car in the segment.
Photo Credit Car & Driver


And then he loses me here again

Inside, there are fewer compliments. Overall material quality is only mediocre by the standards of the segment. The leather lacks the suppleness offered by the German brands, particularly on the head- and armrests. The 16-way adjustable driver’s seat, also part of the F Sport package, is a gem for any body shape, though, and there’s room to spare. Even six-footers fit comfortably in the back seat.
Photo Credit Car & Driver


I assume the last car he tested was a S-class or new Rolls Royce as I've yet to hear ANYONE state the GS interior is mediocre. Its utterly perplexing and again hard to take this review serious. The newest car in the class currently being sold is the new XF and that interior is okay. The new E-class has not hit dealer lots yet so it should be be considered. So I'm not sure what vehicle in this class is that much more amazing? At least he compliments the seats and space.

Then the summary comes which of course states the GS isn't better than the competition.

For the same outlay, however, the sports/luxury sedan offerings from Europe or America will do more to stoke your inner fire when a good road beckons.
So basically he barely touches how the GS actually drives with hardly any specifics but has the balls to summarize that the GS has "sub-par handling" etc. I think he is confusing straight line acceleration for fun here along as being stuck in the 1990s. Those cars don't out drive or out handle the GS especially the F-Sport. That is why the GS has won reviews and universal praise for, the way it drives. I'm utterly confused what inner fire he is talking about because if you have driven them as I have, you would realize they don't handle as well as the GS.

Whats funny is C&D even disagrees with him. Yes the same title he wrote for. See below;

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2012-audi-a6-30t-quattro-page-3

Ignore for the moment the A6 winning the comparison. It won based on, no joke, having more "character" which is totally subjective. A priority on sport used to be the claim to fame to win a comparison but of course here Lexus gets beat by "character". If you don't believe me read the last paragraph

Moving or stationary, this car radiates character. It may not be high on our list of sports-sedan attributes, but in the real world of luxury cars, character sometimes trumps all.
Some quotes about the handling between the two cars.

We attribute this to Audi suspension tuning shaded toward the supple side, giving the A6 its edge in ride quality.  As a priority in a high-end sedan, a creamy ride is hard to fault. Nevertheless, it rendered the A6 a little sluggish in the random transients of mountain-road madness, at least in contrast to the Lexus. Even with its feel-free steering, the GS changed directions more readily and was willing to wag its tail.
But in terms of sports-sedan chops, two score-card stats stand out. Though the Audi aced the objective testing, the GS got our nod in subjective handling. More significant, check the fun-to-drive score.
So the GS was reviewed twice, in the older comparison (mind you a non F-sport) it was sportier but lost because of lack of "Character". The new GS, (though I'm not even sure this guy drove a GS, pretty sure he drove an ES and thought it was a GS) in the same publication calls a non-F sport fun and sporty and now it has sub-par handling & is sleep inducing in the sportier F-Sport. You can't make that up. As Rick James would say "Cocaine is a Helluva Drug".

Clearly this is frustrating to us Lexus Enthusiasts, the GS isn't getting a fair shake here but this isn't fair to non Lexus Enthusiasts either, people who won't drive the car and will think it doesn't have character (it does), it has an average interior (that is just bullshit) and it lags behind the competition in regards to sport (more bullshit). Then you read the internet arguing and articles like this are referenced as a source why Lexus stinks or isn't sporty with a bad interior. SMH

Honestly this is part of the reason people like the team at the Lexus Enthusiast and so many others are being used more and more as credible sources. Because people are tired of the inconsistencies in these magazines written by people you don't have much contact with outside of their name on an article. We now have a unified voice here at the Lexus Enthusiast and we will write and call out inconsistencies in regards to Lexus.

For now, I will enjoy my sub-par handling, sleep-inducing GS F-Sport.

-mike-
 
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James

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Now that's some good venting and I second all of what you said! Like you I get upset with bad reviews of Lexus but you will never have full support and most negative reviews are those biased in the segment. Lexus has strived far recently and be proud of that!
 

GSCT

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I can somewhat see some of what he was saying - the GS F isn't the most powerful - but I have never heard it accused of being heavy or having a sub par interior and the F's interior is simply outstanding, so all in all I found the review unsatisfying. Like Mike, I will have to continue to enjoy my GS F Sport (and buy lottery tickets so I can upgrade to an F).
 

IS-SV

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Yes, everybody here does own reviews. But it's disappointing that C&D publishes this kind of review and attempts to charge money for magazines (for now...).
 

mmcartalk

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Yes, everybody here does own reviews. But it's disappointing that C&D publishes this kind of review and attempts to charge money for magazines (for now...).
Except for Brock Yates, who I thought was a blowhard and did dumb things behind the wheel, I was actually a fan of their magazine for many years, even though they were somewhat more sport-oriented than I was. They once did excellent comparisons....better, IMO, than those at some other enthusiast mags. The loss of Rich Ceppos, Csaba Csede, and especially Patrick Bedard, though, really made a difference (though Ceppos went to Autoweek and added a lot there). Since the former stalwarts left, seems like it has never been the same magazine.
 

mikeavelli

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Yes, everybody here does own reviews. But it's disappointing that C&D publishes this kind of review and attempts to charge money for magazines (for now...).
And thats the thing right? This is considered a very credible source and people pay good money for it. Here is an example of pretty shoddy journalism, no research was done, a big negative conclusion was drawn without anything really resembling an explanation.
 

Gecko

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Another point - try getting similar features in a 535i or A6 3.0T for $62k. Not going to happen.
 

Gecko

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Gecko you know that when a BMW or Audi is more expensive it's okay to go for the features but if a Lexus is more expensive it's unacceptable.
Sad but true!
 

mmcartalk

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Poor Mike! First he finds out his LS is "pathetic", and now his wife's GS F-Sport has "subpar handling and acceleration". :laughing:
If this guy in the article has such a low opinion of the top-level LS and GS, I just wonder what he would think of the entry-level CT? I myself have been criticized (IMO sometimes unfairly) for things I've said about the CT (which was clearly my own opinion), but it's admittedly a long way from a CT to an LS or GS F-sport. In the meantime, I have to disagree with this guy on both the LS and the GS. I've driven both LS and GS models, and, IMO, they are both excellent (even superb) cars at what they do. Neither were, or are meant to be sports cars....though the new GS-F (the full-F, more so than the F-sport) may up the ante there a little.
 
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Ian Schmidt

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I understand that. I had a relatively low opinion of the driving dynamics of the Camry-based ES generations, but driving the Avalon-based versions turned me around and I finally feel like they belong to the same lineup as the GS and LS. I'm not sure that's possible with the CT.
 

James

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We don't need to bash the CT here now guys. Now of course the CT isn't like the LS or GS but it's a full what 30-60k cheaper. The CT has its part in the lineup just like the LS and GS. Variety is good and I appreciate the people who buy and own a CT as much as I like the person who has LS/GSF/LC (when it's here) and of course an LFA. I just might envy the LFA owner more than the CT owner...
 

mmcartalk

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I understand that. I had a relatively low opinion of the driving dynamics of the Camry-based ES generations, but driving the Avalon-based versions turned me around and I finally feel like they belong to the same lineup as the GS and LS. I'm not sure that's possible with the CT.
The ES is basically meant for people who want something reasonably smooth, quiet, and refined....and can't afford a magic-carpet LS. It (the ES) is more of a bread-and-butter family sedan, where the GS, even without an F or F-sport package, is somewhat more sport-oriented. The GS also, at least in its latest version, has what IMO is a more noticeably upscale interior than the ES or IS. The ES interior plushness and ride comfort (also IMO) probably reached its zenith in the superb 4th-Generation model....subsequent versions, while not bad, have shown some cost-cutting.
 

mmcartalk

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We don't need to bash the CT here now guys. Now of course the CT isn't like the LS or GS but it's a full what 30-60k cheaper.

Of course. I agree. I only made the comment in light of comparing it to more expensive Lexus models....I felt it should have been marketed as a Toyota.

Back to the original article on the GS, I think Krew may have hit the nail on the head.........

Krew said:
the same old stereotypes about Lexus -- in some ways, it feels like he didn't even drive the car.
Obviously, one cannot write an review without actually REVIEWING.:rolleyes:
 
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