Lexus IS 350 vs. Lexus GS 350

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - January 6, 2017

Luxury automakers are quickly expanding their lineups to cover all the major segments. With this comes the occasional overlap and cross-shopping at the dealer. Some buyers may find themselves torn between the smaller and sportier IS 350 and the larger but pricier GS 350.

We dive into both the IS 350 and the GS 350 to find out which represents the better value for the average buyer. Continue reading to learn more.

See a side-by-side comparison of the IS 350 & GS 350 »

What the IS 350 Gets Right

The IS 350 starts out at a lower price, giving buyers immediate relief on their budget or the ability to add more premium options. As a smaller sedan, the IS 350 is also more nimble in traffic or a tight parking lot. It also features more responsive steering and suspension, making it more confident in the corners.

Under its hood, the IS 350 gets close to the GS, thanks to its 3.5-liter V6 that comes in just a few horsepower and pound-feet of torque short of its larger sibling. Despite its slightly lower power, the IS 350 is a touch quicker to 60 mph than the GS. Surprisingly, the IS 350 has the more refined transmission with its eight-speed auto. Also in the IS’ favor is its 28 mpg EPA highway efficiency rating.

Even at its lower price, the IS 350 is well-equipped. Its standard features include 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED running lights, fog lights and taillights, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone auto climate control, NuLuxe premium vinyl upholstery, an 8-inch display and more.

The IS 350 also now comes standard with Lexus Safety System+, which also includes auto emergency braking, lane-departure warning and more.

What the GS 350 Gets Right

With its larger footprint, the GS 350’s rear seat is more spacious and its trunk is larger, making it better suited for growing families and vacations. There are also a few extra standard features, like 18-inch wheels, power seats with driver’s side memory, adaptive auto climate control, a 12.3-inch display and more.

Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 engine that has a few more ponies than the IS. Where the GS shines, however, is its more comfortable ride and quieter interior.

Like the IS, the GS 350 comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+, making it among the safest standard luxury cars.

The IS Lacks the Roominess Needed for Families

The IS is great luxury sedan for certain buyers. However, for the average family with growing children, the IS’ rear seats are too cramped and the trunk way too tight. It is, however, perfect for a younger crowd looking for that luxury sports sedan feeling.

Verdict: Lexus GS 350

The Lexus GS isn’t quite the performer the IS is, but where it lacks in cornering capabilities, it makes up in comfort. Its rear seat can actually handle growing teens and its trunk is large enough to haul most of the family’s luggage. Sure, it’s pricey, but there is a lot of value blended into that extra cash.

Take a closer look at the Lexus IS 350 »

Take a closer look at the Lexus GS 350 »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website