2018 Lexus GS 450h Hybrid

#106
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL
$63,635 - $68,680 See Inventory Prices

7.3

Overall Rating

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Detailed Review

Lexus is more than a luxury car maker. Lexus has made its name in the market as one of the most reliable luxury car brands. After three decades and a flawless street cred. Lexus has more than 10 models on offer. The 2018 Lexus GS450h follows in with Lexus’s philosophy of simplicity. The sports hybrid sedan market is privy to some stiff competition. The Lexus GS competes with Acura RLX and Infiniti Q50.


7.6/10
Features

 

6.4/10
Engine

 

8.1/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.0/10
Interior

 

6.4/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

A V6 engine and electric motor team up to produce over 300 horsepower. The additional torque helps the Lexus to come off the line in a brisk manner. Lexus GS checks many right boxes when it comes to a mid-size hybrid sedan.

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Features

7.6/10

The Lexus GS is offered in two trim levels. Base trim and the F Sport trim are powered by an identical powertrain which makes 338 horsepower. The base trim is offered with standard features like 18-inch wheels, a rearview camera, heated and ventilated front seats and a 12 speaker infotainment system.

Trim

Base

F Sport

MSRP

(FWD)

$63,635

$68,680

Key

Features

  • 18-inch wheels
  • a sunroof
  • keyless ignition and entry
  • heated and ventilated power front seats
  • leather upholstery
  • rearview camera
  • Bluetooth
  • 12.3-inch display screen and a 12-speaker sound system.
  • A variety of driver safety aids (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of advanced active safety features)
  • 19-inch wheels
  • special exterior and interior styling
  • a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers
  • Enhanced steering (variable gear-ratio and rear-wheel steering) and sport front seats.

The F Sport offers 19-inch wheels, exterior and interior are also tweaked to show complement the sporty nature of this trim. Major mechanical changes include a sport-tuned suspension and enhanced variable gear ratio and rear-wheel steering.

We Recommend

The Lexus GS450h F Sport commands a price premium over the base model. But it comes with all bells and whistles. The suspension gets a stiffer tuning and steering also gets major changes. With GS F Sport becomes a more track-focused car than its brethren.

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Engine

6.4/10

Engine and Transmission

The Lexus GS sports a combination of 3.5 Liter V6 engine synced to a 147-kW electric motor and a 30-kW battery. The total system output stands at 338 horsepower. All that power is channeled to the aft wheels via an electrically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission.

For more engagement, the CVT transmission can be controlled with paddle shifters. The transmission also provides last second throttle-blips for rev-matched downshifts in the manual mode.

Models

Lexus GS450 h

Acura RLX

Infiniti Q50

MSRP

$63,635

$65,590

$49,800

Engine

Gas/Electric V-6, 3.5 L

Gas/Electric V-6, 3.5 L

Gas/Electric V-6, 3.5 L

Transmission

CVT

7-Speed Automatic

7-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

338 hp

377 hp

360 hp

Torque

257 lb-ft

341 lb-ft

258 lb-ft

The competition offers more horsepower than the Lexus GS. The Acura produces the segment best - 377 horsepower whereas the Infiniti Q50 offers 360 horsepower.

Acceleration

The Lexus 450h dashes past the 60 mph within 5.6 seconds, the quarter mile comes under 14.4 seconds. The combination of V6 engine and electric motor manage to make the Lexus GS a tad faster the GS 350.

With this hybrid model, the acceleration is much better than the likes of GS 300 and 350. The GS 450h benefits from the additional torque from the electric motor. Although the performance is much better than conventional gasoline-powered sedans but isn't enough to beat Plug-in Hybrids like RLX and Q50.

Models

Lexus GS450 h

Acura RLX

Infiniti Q50

0-60 MPH

5.6

5.1

4.9

Quarter mile

14.4

13.6

13.6

Engine

3.5L V6+Electric Motor

3.5L+Electric Motor

3.5L+Electric Motor

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

NA

6.1

6.3

Acura RLX sprints to 60 mph within 5.1 seconds and the Infiniti Q50 dashes to the 60mph within a neck-snapping 4.9 seconds. Although the V6 engine on the Lexus GS is fuel efficient it loses out to competition when it comes to outright performance. One of the major reasons behind the subpar performance is the absence of Direct Injection which improves power and responsiveness.

Ride and Handling

Ride-dynamics is where the Lexus GS redeems itself. The independent, multi-link front and rear suspensions are in tune with the body and provide agility. The electric-assisted power steering provides good feedback. The standard adaptive suspension is able to filter out most of the road undulations and offer a relaxing in-cabin experience.

The GS 450h is offered with five drive modes -Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport+ and EV. The drive modes change the throttle and transmission response. And with a turn of the dial, you can go from Eco mode's soothing comfort to split-second downshifts in the Sport+ mode.

Braking

Under emergency braking, Lexus GS decelerates from 60 mph to a standstill within 118 feet. The GS's braking system comprises of four-wheel power-assisted discs with ABS and EBD. The 450h also features regenerative braking function.

Model

Lexus GS450 h

Acura RLX

Infiniti Q50

Brake Front (in.)

13.2

13.0

12.6

Brake Rear (in.)

12.2

12.2

12.1

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4112

4359

4094

60-0 MPH (ft.)

118

120

110

When compared to others, the Lexus GS scores better than Acura RLX's 120 feet but falters before Q50's 110 feet deceleration from 60mph to a standstill.

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Fuel Economy

8.1/10

Even with a V6 under the hood, the Lexus GS surprises us with a city mpg consumption of 29 and highway mpg consumption of 34. The combined mpg stands at the segment best figure of 31. The Competition from Acura and Infiniti manage 29 and 28 mpg (combined) respectively.

Model

Lexus GS450 h

Acura RLX

Infiniti Q50

MPG (city)

29

29

26

MPG (highway)

34

30

30

MPG (combined)

31

29

28

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Interior

8.0/10

Seating and Comfort

The front seats are equipped with heating and ventilation functions which make them comfortable for long periods. The front seats offer one of the best head and legroom in the segment. Although the GS450h packs the performance of sports sedan, it masks it well to provide comfort for driver and passengers. As with the rear seats, they can be uncomfortable for adults.

Model

Lexus GS450 h

Acura RLX

Infiniti Q50

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.0/57.3/42.3

37.6/59.6/42.3

39.5/56.7/44.5

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

37.8/55.7/36.8

36.9/57.0/38.8

36.8/56.1/35.1

As expected with Lexus, the powertrain is awfully quiet and offers noiseless operation in the EV mode. The GS450h has hushed manners that are a welcome change for long distance journeys. The interior has been put together, well. The quality of materials is good. Apart from the infotainment system, we have no issues with the in-cabin experience.

Infotainment

Lexus offers a massive 12.3-inch massive screen, along with this screen there is smaller display in the center of the instrument cluster that displays vehicle information. The main screen can be accessed by a mouse-like controlled situated next to the gear stick.

The 12.3-inch display screen is paired 17-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System. This audio system uses a patented technology to restore the quality of the compressed soundtrack.

Interior Features

  • Wood Door Trim
  • All-Weather Floor Mats
  • Rear View Camera
  • Surround Audio
  • Video Monitor

Cargo Capacity

The utility factor of hybrid sedans takes a hit due to the battery pack which is placed in the rear. The GS 450h offers an average cargo space. The in-cabin utility is good- there are ample spaces to store water bottles, coffee cups, the central console also offers decent space to keep your smartphone and wallet. Even after accommodating a battery pack the GS 450h offers 13.2 cu-ft. of rear cargo space.

Model

Lexus GS450 h

Acura RLX

Infiniti Q50

Trunk Volume (ft.3)

13.2

11.6

9.4

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Exterior

6.4/10

Dimensions and Weight

Lexus GS is overwhelming to look at the signature spindle front grille can be polarizing for some. But considering the age group Lexus is trying to reach, the Spindle grille is exactly what it requires. A lot also depends on Lexus's efforts to shed the image of plain and boring, and oh boy the front fascia on the GS 450h is anything but plain.

The Lexus GS flaunts well-toned exterior dimensions. The GS stands 192.1 inches at length, 72.4 inches at the width and 57.3 inches at height. The ground clearance of 5.1 inches is the best in the segment. All three cars in this comparison have an identical wheelbase -112.2 inches.

Model

Lexus GS450 h

Acura RLX

Infiniti Q50

Curb weight (lbs.)

4112

4359

4094

Length(in)

192.1

196.1

188.3

Width(in)

72.4

74.4

71.8

Height(in)

57.3

57.7

57.2

Ground clearance (in)

5.1

3.8

NA

Wheelbase (in)

112.2

112.2

112.2

Track width (in) F/R

62.0/62.6

64.3/64.2

59.8/60.2

At 196.1 inches, the Acura RLX is the longest sedan in this segment. It also weighs in at 4359 lbs. (heaviest in this comparison). And when compared to Lexus GS it sits on wider front and rear track.

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Safety

Lexus GS450h is offered standard safety equipment to provide better safety for the driver and the passengers. Few of these features are:

  • Lane Departure Alert: Alerts the driver when it detects that the car is deviating close to lane markings.
  • Intelligent High Beam: Automatically turns the high beams on or off depending on whether it detects oncoming traffic.
  • Pre-Collision System: Detects and attempts to avoid front collisions by applying the brakes to assist the driver and reduce the speed of impact.

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Competition

2018 Acura RLX vs 2018 Lexus GS450h

The Acura RLX is powered by a V6 engine that drives the front wheels and each rear wheel has an independent electric motor. The combined system output is a staggering 377 horsepower. RLX features a quiet cabin and there is explosive power on tap of a pedal. Priced at $65,590, the RLX matches the GS450h closely.

But when we talk about the interior, it is a completely different story. The interior offers a host of standard features but it still comes off as a dated design which needs a complete overhaul. The infotainment system also has a high learning curve. The powertrain offers 29 mpg of combined mileage and the rear cargo space on offer is 11.6 cu-ft.

2018 Infiniti Q50 vs 2018 Lexus GS450h

The Infiniti Q50 is a joy to drive with its V6 powerhouse. The additional 67 horsepower from the electric motor puts the total power at 360 horsepower. The Q50 commands a price tag of $49,800. The Q50 enjoys clever pricing advantage over its rivals.

The Q50 offers a lot of standard features at a very reasonable price. But when we compare the Q50 to GS450h, the latter offers a better fuel economy and more in-cabin utility space. The rear cargo space is also lesser at 9.4 cu-ft.

 

2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid Final Verdict

Powering the Lexus GS450h is a combination of V6 engine and a 147-kW electric motor. The combined system output is 338 horsepower. The additional torque from the electric motor comes in handy while performing overtaking maneuvers. The powertrain also offers a distinct EV mode for driving without the use of the gasoline power.

The naturally aspirated V6 engine from Lexus is no match for the turbocharged sixes available from the competition. The interiors have aged gracefully but they have aged and in need of a change. The electronically programmed CVT transmission has eight programmed gear ratios. In the automatic mode, the transmission fumbles when the car is being a driven spiritedly.

Lexus offers great front seat comfort, the suspension filters out most of the road undulations and keeps the cabin ambiance calm and peaceful. The exterior design can be a polarizing affair. Although Lexus offers a host of standard features for $63,635. But the GS has fallen behind the times and it would be hard to recommend one for someone's brand new car.

 

 

 

Pros

Comfortable front seats

Handling prowess

Great combined mpg

Cons

Exterior design isn’t suited for everyone’s taste

Rear seats are uncomfortable for adults

Stiff ride quality in Sport+ mode

What's New?

No significant mechanical changes



Styles

 2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid in Nightfall Mica color  2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid in Obsidian color  2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid in Smoky Granite Mica color  2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid in Ultrasonic Blue Mica color  2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid in Ultra White color
Nightfall Mica

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

6.4

Engine

6.4

Interior

8.0

Fuel Economy

8.1

Comfort

7.9

Driving

7.0

Features

7.6

7.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid 4dr Sedan

4dr Sedan

power
286 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
31 combined

$63,635


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $63,635 MSRP (29/31/34) 286 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
cvt rear wheel drive 5   Atomic Silver
  Caviar
  Eminent White Pearl
  Nightfall Mica
  Obsidian

 2018 Lexus GS 450h hybrid F SPORT

F SPORT

power
286 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
31 combined

$68,680


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $68,680 MSRP (29/31/34) 286 hp @ 6000 rpm, 3.5 L, V6, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
cvt rear wheel drive 5   Atomic Silver
  Caviar
  Eminent White Pearl
  Nightfall Mica
  Obsidian

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