The 2018 Lexus GS 300 is an affordable luxury sedan that becomes a starting point in the Lexus GS lineup. Despite having a price tag below the more powerful GS 350, the GS 300 has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine good for 241 hp. This is a sufficient amount of power, though not exciting. The advantage is cheaper prices and better fuel economy.
The GS 300 quality is no stranger. Available with the optional F Sport package, this is one of the more fun midsize luxury sedans that to drive thanks to its sporty steering and suspension. Inside, there is a high-quality cabin filled with a generous number of standard features. Optional features are available to keep the GS 300 competitive with more expensive luxury models.
As with other GS models, the 2018 Lexus GS 300 main weakness is its infotainment interface. It requires too much driver attention to operate it properly, and the tech-savvy driver may not enjoy using the Lexus smartphone integration system. But overall, the GS value keeps this sedan in a positive area. Worth a try if you are looking for an affordable luxury sedan.
The 2018 Lexus GS 300 is a new name for last year GS 200t. Otherwise, the car is unchanged.
Trim level and features
The 2018 Lexus GS 300 is an entry-level midsize luxury sedan that offered in single trim levels.
Standard equipment includes keyless ignition and entry, 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, an automatic climate control system, simulated leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings, power-adjustable and heated front seats, a 12.3-inch display screen, smartphone app integration, voice controls, a navigation system, Lexus Remote Touch infotainment interface and a 12-speaker sound system. Standard safety aids include rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of advanced active safety features.
The optional Premium package adds automatic wipers, heated and ventilated front seats and a power rear sunshade. The available 18-inch wheel upgrade offers a same-cost choice between all-season and stickier three-season summer performance tires.
The optional F Sport version adds performance tires, 19-inch wheels, bigger front brakes, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, a rear trunklid spoiler, more aggressive front and rear styling. Inside you’ll get power sport seats, leather upholstery, different interior trim pieces and the Premium Package content.
Under the hood, the 2018 Lexus GS 300 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Power sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode. All-wheel drive is not available for the GS 300. Also standard is an automatic engine stop-start technology, which shut off the engine in order to save fuel.
The Lexus GS 300 is nimble and drives nicely, but it’s also effortless smooth and poised. Acceleration is adequate but far from exciting. In performance testing, the 2018 Lexus GS went from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. Top speed of 143 mph. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway).
Lexus vehicles usually offer a well-designed interior with high-quality materials, and the 2018 GS 300 is no exception. The supple leather and rich aluminum and wood trim rival the cabin atmosphere found in the German models. The front seats have various adjustments to fit many body types and offer support for hours of comfortable driving. The F Sport package provides increased lateral support with adjustable side bolster and increased thigh support. Although five passengers, the GS 300 is best with two rear passengers, and adults will enjoy ample headroom and legroom there.
The navigation system has full-screen capability, but unfortunately the Lexus Remote Touch interface remains the only way to control the infotainment system. This controller is one of the GS 300 biggest drawbacks. Inspired by a computer mouse, this is the main method for selecting audio and navigation, and it’s far from ideal. Despite its sharp screen, the cursor control with this device jerky, especially when you are driving. Lexus has added several welcome menu shortcuts, but overall competitor infotainment controllers are easier to use.
The trunk 14.1 cubic feet of capacity is on par for this class, but the rear seat does not fold to expand the cargo space. Instead, there is a center pass-through in the backseat to load longer items.
Release Date and Price
Official pricing for the GS 300 starting at $47,305 (all prices include the $995 destination charge). The optional F Sport version cost $51,985.