James Bond Would Approve: The Lexus 2009 350 GS AWD

Like Sean Connery sporting a tuxedo in the early Bond films, the 2009 Lexus GS 350 is classically handsome, powerful, and can take a punch.

Power and Efficiency
It’s quiet inside this hermetically sealed pill. When a power-start button launches a bum-wobbling growl, it’s cleverly attenuated but not fully tamed. The fuel-injected 3.5 litre 6-cylinder DOHC has a few extras up its tuxedo sleeve to maximize its potential and efficiency, including a thinking throttle control. The result is a 303hp@6200 rpm ride that excites. Better still, despite the big engine, with only some small attention to your accelerating and braking, it drinks like a cautious monk.

Oscar Performance
The double-wishbone suspension is sport-tuned to cheat gravity and inertia in turns, the rubber clinging to the asphalt. A six-speed automatic transmission has a sequential manual shift mode that brings you deeper into the drive. Put all this on performance tires and you get an Olympic gymnast in a smoking jacket.

AWD Needed?
Some people believe the all-wheel drive is essential in Canada. But this car has a litany of safety features and you rarely need all-wheel drive to get you moving in the city in winter. On the other hand, it’s not about need, is it?

Goodies on the Inside
A great deal of technology and expense went beneath the hood but they don’t spare on the flash either. The stereo system is a Mark Levinson. You appreciate the quality of the muffler and the airtight seal – it’s like you’re in a concert hall. Dual-zone climate control keeps those from Venus toasty while we Martians stay cool. And there’s lots of lovely walnut wood and buttery leather. (Always worth the investment, leather retains the newness of your interior, cleaning easily. These seats were beige but wiped spotless in seconds despite supernaturally vile weather that ensured mud got everywhere outside and in.)


A female client came for a ride and, unprompted, said: “This is the sort of car that will get you plenty of female attention.” Then she stressed, “plenty!” So don’t take my Martian word for it. Listen to the Venutian.

Starting at $54,450.00

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