2018 Lexus GS

The Lexus GS is a sedan that excellently blends luxury trimmings with sporty handling. The sedan has a stylish design (exterior and interior). The 2018 Lexus GS does not look any bit odd when its stand side-by-side with German-made rivals.  The sedan also comes with a performance-oriented trim, the GS F which makes the sedan really fun to drive. In addition to the GS F, the model is offered in GS 300, GS 350 /350 AWD as well as GS 450h. The 2018 model is just a refresh hence changes are minimal.

2018 Lexus GS

2018 Lexus GS Exterior

You will immediately recognize the GS due to its huge spindle grille which is designed like an hourglass; the grille also features boomerang shapes on the sides. The grille is finished in a satin chrome trim; it is also flanked by unique L-shaped Bi-LED headlights. Turn signals and DRLs also use LED lighting technology.  The taillights also use LED technology. Base models ride on 17-inch wheels wrapped in 50-series tires.

The bold design is enhanced by Mica color option such as Nightfall Mica, Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 and Matador Red Mica all which have gone through a multi-layered, double-baked procedure that is common with custom cars.

The F Sport package enhances the GS aggressiveness. It features a bolder version of the spindle grille as well as bold air intakes as well as enhanced aerodynamics to improve its performance. The F Sport front fenders feature air vents that channel hot air that builds up under the model’s hood. Models with the package also feature huge locker panels on the sides. The rear, on the other hand, features quadruple exhaust tips that are integrated into a diffuser. There is also a carbon-fiber spoiler which together with the quadruple exhaust tips makes the F Sport models look rather menacing. The package also adds 19-inch wheels. The performance-oriented GS F is even more aggressive.

Interior

The cabin of the GS is elegantly designed which is to be expected to stand a chance in a market segment dominated by German-made luxury sedans known for their exquisite interiors.   Lexus has added a soft ambient lighting on the model’s edges making the cabin warm and inviting. The automaker has really tried to outdo German haulers by adding padded leather panels while surfaces without leather feature a premium wood trim and carbon-fiber.  The design also features carefully stitched leather seams.

The GS comes with a 12.3-inch high-resolution display as well as gigantic gauges that look crisp and clear to read. The model also retains the analog clock which seems to be going nowhere despite it is not so clear. The center console features a sliding cover while door panels retain their storage pockets to offer more storage options.

To ensure the driver and front passenger are comfortable and well supported, the automaker offers 10-way power adjustable seats but one can select the optional 18-way powered seats. The seats are also heated and ventilated. The F-Sport seats add extra bolstering while those of the GS F are particularly comfortable as well as supportive. These seats are upholstered in perforated leather, a feature extended on the steering wheel. Alcantara and carbon fiber bits are also used on a number of areas. The model also features aluminum pedals.

Rear headroom is great but tall passengers will find the space a little tight. Access to the rear is however made easy by the model’s wide rear doors. There is an option for heated seats as well as a climate control system for the rear passengers.

Lexus continues to enhance its cutting-edge safety technology and the GS is a testament to this. The model’s structure is wisely built to provide safety for passengers. The structure is supported by 10 airbags as well as numerous driver-assist technologies. Like on the outgoing model, the Lexus Safety System+ is still standard; it features a Pre-Collision System (PCS) that integrates Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert (LDA) that integrates Steering Assist, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control as well as Intelligent High Beam (IHB).

Engine and performance

The base trim (GS 300) is powered by a 2.0 L, turbocharged engine which was introduced for the 2017 model year. The engine makes 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters which send power to the rear wheels. This is the most sluggish model in the lineup needing 7.2 seconds to hit 0-60 mph which does not feel that athletic for a model marketed as a sporty brand. However, I understand, the automaker introduced this model for enthusiasts who loved other trimmings of the GS but with a more economical engine.  The engine is EPA rated at 29 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg on combined drives.

The GS 350 feels sportier with its 3.5 L, V-6 which is directly-injected and features variable timing. The engine produces 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. It also mates to the 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Buyers will also have an option for AWD but this model will be paired with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The GS 350 is much quicker cutting the 0-60 mph acceleration to 5.7 seconds. The mill is, however, less economical with an EPA rating of 23 mpg on combined drives.

The hybrid version, the 2018 Lexus GS 450h is powered by a 3.5 L, Atkinson cycle V-6 that combines with a water-cooled permanent-magnet motor to produce 338 hp and 257 lb-ft of torque. The power is channeled to the rear wheels using a CVT system. The model is much quicker than the GS 350 as well as more frugal. It takes 5.6 seconds to accelerate from 0-60 mph, a tenth of a second quicker than the GS 350. Its EPA rated at 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg on combined drives. To further enhance its performance credentials, the 450h can be had with the F Sport package

The 2018 Lexus GS F Sport package which can be had in all trims adds a sports suspension, a sportier interior trim as well as an aggressive exterior look.

However, if you feel that power on the above models is not enough, you can opt for the performance-oriented GS F which packs a 5.0 L, V-8 under its hood. This engine produces 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. It needs only 4.5 seconds to achieve 0-60 mph acceleration. The mill uses direct injection as well as port injection. It is EPA rated at 19 mpg on combined drives making it the least frugal in the lineup.

Price and release date

The 2018 Lexus GS goes on sale this fourth quarter of 2017. Lexus is however yet to announce official prices of the model but considering it is a refresh, prices will not fluctuate significantly from those of the current models.

Competition

Toyota uses the 2018 Lexus GS to compete with the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 as well as Nissan’s Infiniti Q70. The high-performance GS F competes with BMW M5, Audi RS 7, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and the Cadillac CTS-V.

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