The 2018 Lexus GS is German opponents in terms of luxury and maneuverability, but its range of engines is lagging behind the competition. The Lexus GS is a worthy rival for German sports sedans, taking a bigger advantage than some of them. In addition to high-performance GS F (covered separately) models, this mid-size car is more appealing than its agile movements.
Though nervous outside, the Lexus 2018 GS luxury sedan is all about comfort on the inside. Both front occupants have 10-way power seats, and ambient LED lighting is integrated with the door and console ornamentation. Soft leather is ubiquitous and touches and details are plentiful, Lexus sill plates on all sills with contrasting seams on the upper dashboard, door panels and shift boot. Attractively shaped dashboard features analog Optitron gauges with a multi-information color display and an 8 or 12.3-inch color high-resolution color monitor that works with the 2nd Touch Remote Touch Interface (RTI) generation.
Not for the faint-hearted, the Lexus GS luxury performance sedan is a bold road-going style art. The car drives with an aggressive frontal treatment with an oversized grille, a deep spoiler and an intense expression. Distinctive headlamps and LED taillights adapt to its sporty image, as do its muscular lines, its very defined shapes and its low position. The GS 350 and 450h are equipped with 18-inch alloy wheels, while the F Sport and GS F groups add 19-inch wheels. The rich and varied painting options are a pleasant departure from the ubiquitous sea of silver, white and black.
The basic engine of the GS 300 is a step back from the competition. It’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline engine producing 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. These figures are close to what the competition offers, and the 8-speed automatic transmission is as modern as anything, but the engine lacks direct injection while the rest of the competitors have it. Direct injection improves power and fuel economy, as well as responsiveness, which is a problem for this engine. It reacts to full throttle with a moment of indecision before the transmission is triggered and the turbocharger does fly, even in Sport + mode.
The price of the 2018 Lexus GS 300 starts just over $ 47,300. The GS 350 starts closer to $ 51,700, with the AWD version starting from $ 300 less.