2018 Lexus GS 300

#51
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL
$46,310 - $50,900 See Inventory Prices

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Detailed Review

The 2018 Lexus GS is considered one of the best luxury midsize sedans of for the year, which almost everyone agrees is a worthy assessment of this sporty beast. Lexus did not pull any punches when they designed the GS and brought forth several different trims of the car to match every buyer’s individual requirements. Although Lexus has had tough competitors like the Audi A6 or the BMW 5 series, it looks like the new GS is all set to thwart the competition.


8.5/10
Features

 

8.1/10
Engine

 

7.2/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.4/10
Interior

 

8.1/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

Lexus is available in a 2L turbocharged four-cylinder, 3.5 L V6, and a powerful 5.0 L V8 engine which make sure that GS covers all grounds from urban driving to open roads. With the base model 300 starting at $46,310 and going all the way up to GS F with a price tag of a whopping $84,350, Lexus provides the best in business for a wide range of budgets

2018 Lexus GS 300 Features

8.5/10

Trims

GS 300

GS 350

GS 300 F Sport

GS 350 F Sport

GS 450h

GS 450h F Sport

GS F

MSRP (RWD)

$46,310

$50,695

$50,900

$52,060

$63,635

$ 68,680

$84,350

MSRP (AWD)

N.A.

$50,365

N.A.

$53,805

N.A.

N.A.

N.A.

Features

Electronic parking aid - Camera

 

Power Sunroof/ Moonroof

 

Front multi adjustable power seats

 

Dual zone climate control

 

Telematic system

 

Delayed power retention system

 

Electro-chromic rearview mirror

 

Keyless entry

 

Heated and Power exterior mirrors

All features of 300, plus:

 

Heated front seats

 

Rear window sunshade

 

Navigation System

All features of 300, plus:

 

Heated front seats

 

Rear window sunshade

 

Rear spoiler

All features of 350, plus:

 

Rear spoiler

All feature of 350 F Sport, plus:

 

Real-time traffic information

All features of 450h

All features of 350 F Sport

 

The 2018 Lexus GS comes in 7 trim levels: 300, 350, 300 F Sport, 350 F Sport, F, 450h, and 450h F Sport. There are 3 engines, each attached to a different trim level. 300 gets a 2L I-4, 350 gets a 3.5L V6, and F gets a mighty 5L V8. RWD is standard, but 350 and 350 F Sport can be upgraded to AWD. Each engine is mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission for RWD and 6 speed automatic for AWD

The hybrid trims (450h and 450h F Sport) pair the V6 engine with a 180 hp generating electric motor and battery pack. To add performance in lower priced trims, the F Sport variant of the lower trims adds a sport-tuned suspension system, the Sport+ drive mode, a 16-way power-adjustable driver's sport seat, aluminum pedals, and unique badging.

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Unlike most makers that keep their base model featureless to reduce starting price, Lexus adds almost the same amount of standard features in their base 300 model as its upper trims. Features include a well-equipped infotainment system and an impressive suite of advanced safety technology. Even the features which are not standard are mostly available as optional upgrades. So, if you’re looking for a luxurious sedan powerful enough for daily drives, the 300 would suit you nicely.

Although 300 has all the features, it does have the smaller 2L I-4. If you want more power, or leather upholstery, moving up to 350 is recommended. Otherwise, each 2018 Lexus GS is equally feature filled.

2018 Lexus GS 300 Engine

8.1/10

The 2018 Lexus GS comes with 3 engine choices, each corresponding to a different trim level. The 241 hp generating turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 engine for the base 300, the 311 hp generating 3.5L V6 for 350, and a 476 hp generating 5L V8 for the F trim. The hybrid trims combines its electric motor with the V6 engine, generating 338 net horsepower.

 

Model

Lexus GS

Audi A6

Mercedes E300

BMW 5 Series

MSRP

$46,310

$49,700

$52,915

$52,400

Engine

Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/122

Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/121

Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/121

Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4 2.0 L/122

Transmission

8 speed automatic

7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch automatic

9 speed automatic

8 speed automatic

BHP (hp @ rpm)

241 @ 5800

252 @ 5000

241 @ 5500

248 @ 5200

Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm)

258 @ 1650

273 @ 1600

273 @ 1300

258 @ 1450

 

Amongst the base engines of the rivals, the Audi A6’s I-4 generates the most power and torque. Mercedes matches Audi’s torque numbers. Although the GS generates the least power and torque amongst the competition, it is worth noting that it is also the cheapest option, more than $6,000 cheaper than the Mercedes.

 

The base engine, a turbocharged four-cylinder, is a good companion for cruising. It's powerful enough to get up to speed with little drama, and it is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch." – US News

 

Acceleration

The 2018 Lexus GS hosts an 8 speed automatic transmission for RWD models, and 6 speed automatic for the AWD models. Both the transmissions are seamless and accelerate smoothly. Although the base engine is not particularly powerful, the smooth transmission let you glide through a city drive without any problems.

Model

Lexus GS 300

Audi A6 2.0 TFSI Premium

Mercedes E300

BMW 530i

0 – 60 mph

7 seconds

6.7 seconds

6.2 seconds

6.0 seconds

Quarter Mile

15.1 seconds

14.7 seconds

14.3 seconds

13.5 seconds

 

The Lexus GS faces fierce competition from giants like Audi, Mercedes, and the BMW. Although the base models of each of these giants are marginally better in performance than the GS, it is worth noting that Lexus provides its base engine at a considerably lower cost than the rest.

 

The BMW 530i was the fastest in the 0-60 and quarter mile test. Although GS put up the slightly worse numbers, its cost to performance ratio is still better.

 

Acceleration [with the V6] is strong and there's plenty of power on hand for effortless passing and merging. We measured 21 mpg overall – decent for this class but not exceptional." – Consumer Reports

Handling and Steering

The 2018 Lexus GS aims to provide a Lexus that would suit every buyer’s individual needs. From engine choices to drivetrains and transmission, there are plenty of ways you can build your GS. This variety gives way to various driving experiences. While there’s the easy going GS 300 on one hand, there’s the sporty and fun GS F on the other.

 

The three powerful engines and a smooth AT make sure you get a lustrous and energetic driving experience, with shifting timed perfectly. No matter the engine choice, the GS provides a stable and confidence instilling drive.

 

The standard drivetrain of Lexus GS is rear-wheel drive, with AWD only available in GS 350 model. Lexus’s exceptional suspension ensures a smooth and comfortable ride, even in rough spots. One of the easiest things that comes to notice while driving the GS is the prominent differences in its drive modes. The modes include Eco, Normal, Sport S, Sport S+, and Snow, depending on the model.

 

In F Sport trim, the GS 350 drives like a much smaller and lighter car. It feels nimble and delivers impressive cornering response, but there's also a good deal of grip and overall stability." -- Edmunds

 

Braking ←

The brake pedals of the 2018 Lexus GS retain their strong responsive feel. The brakes feel firm and capable, even a teeny bit jumpy, but it is easy to get used to them. Although the brakes work well, there is a considerable nosedive if you brake hard.

Model

Lexus GS

Audi A6

Mercedes E Class

BMW 5 series

60 – 0 mph

       

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3805

3858

3792

3746

Brake Pads (Front)

 

13.6 inches

   

Brake Pads (Rear)

 

13 inches

   

 

The GS 350 F sport gets 14 inch front brake rotors, as compared to 13.1 inches in the other GS models. Yet, it takes 113 feet to come to a dead stop from a speed of 60 mph. When we compare these numbers with the competitors like CTS VSport (107 feet) and A6 (109 feet), the numbers don’t impress much.

 

“Braking performance and feel on and off the track for the GS could have been better. Walton noted the GS 350 F Sport’s “long travel” and “squishy pedal”

2018 Lexus GS 300 Fuel Economy

7.2/10

The base GS 300 trim of the 2018 Lexus GS is the most fuel efficient amongst the gas engine trims. While it provides class average numbers, it is nowhere near the top. Moving to the V6 engine spills down the economy further. For best mpg numbers, move up to the hybrid trims, which deliver 29/34 mpg in city/hwy.

Model

Lexus GS 300

Audi A6 2.0 TFSI Premium

Mercedes E300

BMW 530i

MPG (City)

22

25

22

24

MPG (Hwy)

32

34

30

34

MPG (Combined)

27

29

26

29

 

The GS performs better than the Mercedes, which is at the bottom of the table with an economy of 22/30 mpg in city/hwy. The best amongst these competitors is the Audi with its economy of 25/34 mpg in city/hwy.

2018 Lexus GS 300 Interior

7.4/10

The 2018 Lexus GS has high quality interiors that define luxury. The cabin is spacious and comfortable in both rows. GS is a true 5-seater, providing enough room for adults even in the back seats. From use of materials to build quality, everything is on point. The only letdown is the confusing infotainment system. Otherwise, the Lexus delivers a cushioned and fulfilling ride.

Model

Lexus GS

Audi A6

Mercedes E

BMW 5 Series

Headroom (Front/Rear) (in.)

38 / 37.8

37.2 / 37.8

37.9 / 38.2

38.8 / 37.5

Legroom (Front/Rear) (in.)

42.3 / 36.8

41.3 / 37.4

41.3 / 35.8

41.4 / 36.5

Shoulder Room (Front/Rear) (in.)

57.3 / 55.7

57.5 / 56.3

57.8 / 56.9

57.5 / 55.9

Hip Room (Front/Rear) (in.)

54.5 / 54.1

N.A.

   

 

Seating and Comfort

The 2018 Lexus GS’s 98 cubic feet of interior space accommodates 5 adults comfortably. The seats are as comfortable and luxurious as one might expect from a Lexus, although taller adults might find the legroom in the backseats a bit tight. The interiors include walnut trim with a matte finish, real or synthetic leather, and LED ambient lighting. There are 3 upper tethers and two lower anchors for child safety seats.

The center tunnel is tall and wide, and the front center console can only be opened by sliding its top backwards along its length, which makes the rear center seat uncomfortable for an adult over a long trip.

GS comes with standard 10 – way power seats, with the option of getting 18 – way power front seats with heating and ventilation and semi-aniline leather in a variety of shades.

The optional F Sport seats are a highlight: sufficiently bolstered for sporty driving but still comfortable and easy to get out of. The seat bottoms deliver excellent thigh support, though some did find them a bit flat. And they're heated and ventilated” - Edmunds

Interior Features ←

The 2017 GS comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment screen, but you can upgrade this for no extra cost to a 12.3-inch screen with navigation. This system also features the Lexus Enform App Suite, which integrates with your smartphone to power apps such as iHeartRadio, Facebook, Pandora, and Slacker.

Some other standard features that catch the eye are:

Features

12-speaker surround-sound audio system

Bluetooth

Siri Eyes Free

USB port

Satellite radio

HD Radio

DVD player

Dual-zone automatic climate control

Moonroof

Proximity key

Push-button start

LED ambient lighting

 

And if that is not enough, buyers have an option of upgrading to 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system, a head-up display, a power rear-windshield shade, manual side sunshades for the rear windows, rear audio and climate controls, rain-sensing wipers, and front and rear parking sensors.

The letdown of the interior specs remains the mouse-like controller of the infotainment system.

 

“The mouse-button radio controller, it's a little touchy, it's not terrible, but it would take some getting used to. It did hook up to my phone instantly, and played podcasts without glitching out. The screen is bright and easy to read." -- Autoweek (2016)

 

Infotainment

While full touchscreen user interface seems to be the path taken by most manufacturers, Lexus decided to stick with their unconventional computer mouse-type controller. This is a huge letdown because it makes communication with the infotainment system quite hectic, especially while driving.

The infotainment system features an 8-inch display screen, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a 12-speaker surround-sound stereo, a USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, and a DVD player. The navigation system comes with a 12.3-inch display screen and smartphone integration via the Lexus Enform App Suite.

The downsides of the infotainment system include lack of touchscreen interface, and absence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The audio and climate settings can be changed by the mouse-type controller, which seems illogical and a bit of a hassle.

Cargo

Model

Lexus GS

Audi A6

Mercedes E Class

BMW 5 Series

Trunk Vol. (Ft.3)

18.4

14.1

13.1

18.7

 

The trunk of GS offers 18.4 cubic feet of storage space. This is quite impressive for its class and surpasses most other top ranked mid-sized cars. The GS F variant has a limited capacity of 14 cubic feet, which is well below the average for this class.

The rear seats of Lexus do not fold, but there is a pass-through from the back seat to the trunk, which allows hauling of long items.

 

The trunk is quite spacious because it is wide near the mouth, deep along the floor, and accessible through a broad opening. Hidden hinges won't crush bags" – Edmunds

 


 

2018 Lexus GS 300 Exterior

8.1/10

Model

Lexus GS

Audi A6

Mercedes E Class

BMW 5 Series

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3,805

3858

3792

3746

Wheelbase (in)

112.2

114.6

115.7

117.1

Length (in)

192.1

194.2

193.8

194.6

Width (in)

72.4

73.8

73.7

73.5

Height (in)

57.3

57.8

57.8

58.2

Ground Clearance (in)

5.1

     

Track Width – Front (in)

61.2

     

Track Width – Rear (in)

61.4

     

 

The Lexus GS sports the distinctive and characteristic Lexus ‘spindle’ grille that sets it apart from the other sedans in a dominant way. The grille is framed by powerful LED Headlights with DRL that ensure total visibility, no matter the conditions.

View it from any profile, and you will still fall in love with the organic side sheet metal that is perfectly matched with a conservative rooftop. The exterior compliments the Nakamichi-minimalist interior in the most voluptuous way. Tiny mica particles embedded below the surface of the surface give the sense of a flowing liquid.

Exterior Features

The exterior of the 2018 Lexus GS is not all about looks, it comes packed with intuitive technology, be it the Rain Sensing Wipers, mirrors that automatically dim when dazzled by headlights, or the eight head Clearance and Reversing Sonar8 which increases the ease of parking while reducing the risk of damage.

The F Sport variant comes with 19” alloy wheels with dark smoke finish which look strong yet elegant with the bold front bumper which has a more three-dimensional form that emphasizes the wide lower edge of the grille. The aerodynamic rear lip spoiler and the lower aerodynamic diffuser are constant reminders that this car is just as sporty as it is luxurious.

                                                                                       

 

The Lexus GS sports the distinctive and characteristic Lexus ‘spindle’ grille that sets it apart from the other sedans in a dominant way. The grille is framed by powerful LED Headlights with DRL that ensure total visibility, no matter the conditions.

View it from any profile, and you will still fall in love with the organic side sheet metal that is perfectly matched with a conservative rooftop. The exterior compliments the Nakamichi-minimalist interior in the most voluptuous way. Tiny mica particles embedded below the surface of the surface give the sense of a flowing liquid.

Exterior Features

The exterior of the 2018 Lexus GS is not all about looks, it comes packed with intuitive technology, be it the Rain Sensing Wipers, mirrors that automatically dim when dazzled by headlights, or the eight head Clearance and Reversing Sonar8 which increases the ease of parking while reducing the risk of damage.

The F Sport variant comes with 19” alloy wheels with dark smoke finish which look strong yet elegant with the bold front bumper which has a more three-dimensional form that emphasizes the wide lower edge of the grille. The aerodynamic rear lip spoiler and the lower aerodynamic diffuser are constant reminders that this car is just as sporty as it is luxurious.

2018 Lexus GS 300 Safety

A luxury sedan that can unleash as much power as the Lexus GS has to keep the safety of its passengers at the highest priority. The 2018 Lexus GS does exceptional work in covering a large ground when it comes to safety measures. The list of standard safety features is just as impressive as the car itself.

The insurance institute for highway safety seems to agree with our verdict on Lexus’s safety as it gives an overall positive review to its safety.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Moderate Overlap Front Test Results

Good

Side Impact Test Result

Good

Roof Strength Test Result

Good

 

The standard safety features of 2018 Lexus GS include:

  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic high beams
  • Lane departure warning with steering assist
  • Lane keep assist
  • Pre-collision system (pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control)

Some available safety features include:

  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Parking sensors
  • Head-up display

 it comes to safety, Lexus is loaded with features like:

Safety Features

rearview camera

adaptive cruise control

lane departure warning with steering assist

automatic high beams

brake assist

blind spot monitoring

rear cross traffic alert

pre-collision system with pedestrian detection

 

2018 Lexus GS 300 Competition

Audi A6

The Audi A6 and the Lexus GS have both set themselves as top notch cars. Both provide comfort and luxury that’s at par with their performance. But the Lexus also holds a reputation of being reliable and safe, as it provides a lot more standard safety features than the A6.

The A6 takes an advantage on the infotainment system. Not only is A6’s system easy to use, it also provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto has optional upgrades, something that is not available in the Lexus.

BMW 5 Series

There is not much to criticize in the BMW 5 series. It is a brilliant sedan that not only provides a high performance and comfort in options like M550i, but also has eco-friendly hybrid options like 530e. The BMW also has a highly appealing infotainment system. The brilliance of the system is enhanced by gesture controls and Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system.

All this comes at a cost, though. The BMW may provide a better infotainment system, and a better ride quality and performance. But BMW’s price tag is sure to dishearten a lot of prospective buyers. This is where Lexus takes an advantage, as it balances the cost-to-features ratio better than BMW.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Just like the BMW 5 series, the Mercedes E Class is also a leading luxury sedan. It has comfortable and spacious seats, a hearty amount of standard safety features, and an infotainment system that doesn’t make you wanna pull your hair out.

Once again, the Lexus seems like a viable option once you look at Mercedes-Benz’s asking price. Being almost $6,700 more expensive than the GS, one has to wonder if Mercedes’ slight advantages over Lexus are worth the price.

2018 Lexus GS 300 Final Verdict

It seems like the makers really brainstormed each and every aspect of all the trims of GS before rolling them out. With killer looks, luxurious comfort, and a wide variety to meet everyone’s personal needs, the GS is surely a winner. The only eyesore is the absence of a decent touchscreen infotainment system. But with so many things to get excited about, whether it be the 3 engine choices, the plethora of safety features, or the luxurious interior and exterior, one can forgive the minor flaw easily.

Pros

Spacious, quiet, and luxurious cabin

Wide range of standard safety and tech features

Smooth and engaging handling

Cons

No foldable rear seats restrict cargo storage

Outdated and illogical infotainment system

What's New?

GS 300 replaces GS200t

Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert now standard

Enform Safety and Service Connect package is made complimentary for the first 10 years



Styles

 2018 Lexus GS 300 in Matador Red Metallic color  2018 Lexus GS 300 in Liquid Platinum color  2018 Lexus GS 300 in Eminent White Pearl color  2018 Lexus GS 300 in Caviar color  2018 Lexus GS 300 in Atomic Silver color  2018 Lexus GS 300 in Atomic Silver color
Matador Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Exterior

8.1

Engine

8.1

Interior

7.4

Fuel Economy

7.2

Comfort

8.5

Driving

8.9

Features

8.5

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Lexus GS 300 4dr Sedan

4dr Sedan

power
241 hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
26 combined

$46,310


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $46,310 MSRP (22/26/32) 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic rear wheel drive 5 NA

 2018 Lexus GS 300 F SPORT

F SPORT

power
241 hp @ 5800 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
24 combined

$50,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
F SPORT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $50,900 MSRP (21/24/30) 241 hp @ 5800 rpm, 2 L, I4, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic rear wheel drive 5 NA

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