ABS and side air bags standard. ESC standard from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. Rear side air bags available from 2007.
While not a sales success, the GS is one of Lexus's best sedans and one of the better entries in the midsize luxury class buy successfully melding luxury and sportiness. Engaging to drive yet with a supple ride, it's roughly on the same page as its German competition. The GS 350 has a punchy V6 powertrain and is linked to a smooth transmission. Fuel economy, at 21 mpg on premium fuel, is OK for the class but not a standout. Handling is quite agile and the ride is comfortable. The ultra-quiet cabin is beautifully finished and is quite accommodating but controls are rather frustrating.
Clearly, the car's Achilles Heel is its control layout, dominated by a giant display screen for audio, climate, navigation and communications functions, all manipulated by a mouselike multi-directional control knob on the center console. The system is an exercise in frustration, requires too much eye-off-the-road time and a delicate touch. It may work well when the car is parked but while driving it proves too distracting and too aggravating. That's unfortunate because the GS is a decent car overall.