The 2018 Lexus GS 350 is an example of a multitalented luxury sedan that successfully combines performance, sophistication and comfort. Though it started to age, the current generation of GS 350 still an appealing choice with its vibrant powertrain, smooth ride, precise handling and a well-built interior. All-wheel drive is available for those who often drive in wet weather, and there is an F Sport model that enhances the sportiness without sacrificing much comfort.
The heart of the GS 350 is its V6 engine. It does not have dominating thrust like rival sedans with turbocharged or supercharged six-cylinder engine but still impresses with smooth power delivery. The latest technology and safety additions, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane control, make the GS 350 a more attractive choice than before.
There are no significant changes for 2018, although Lexus now includes a free emergency and roadside assistance program for a full 10 years, which should offer extra peace for the long journey where the GS 350 is well-suited. With a gradual increase, the 2018 Lexus GS 350 now even more luxurious, comfortable, smooth and engaging.
The 2018 Lexus GS 350 rolls out without significant changes.
Trim levels and features
Standard equipment for the base GS 350 includes 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry, ambient LED cabin lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, a power-adjustable steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable front seats and a power rear sunshade.
Standard tech features include the Remote Touch infotainment interface, a 12.3-inch display screen, voice controls, a navigation system, smartphone app integration, Bluetooth and audio connectivity, and a 12-speaker sound system. Advanced driver safety aids such as rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and the Lexus Safety System Plus are also included.
Note that leather upholstery is optional on the all-wheel-drive GS 350 and include in the Premium package, which also adds power rear sunshade, heated and ventilated front seats. Its also use a six-speed automatic transmission instead of the eight-speed.
The rear-wheel-drive F Sport further adds summer performance tires, 19-inch wheels, bigger front brakes, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, a more aggressive grille styling, front and rear bumper, different interior trim pieces and power sport seats. It offers the option of a limited-slip rear differential or four-wheel steering. All-wheel drive is available, but it’s not quite as sporty and doesn’t have the option for four-wheel steering or the limited-slip rear differential.
Stand-alone options for all GS 350 include parking sensors, a power-operated trunk and a premium Mark Levinson sound system.
Under the hood, the 2018 Lexus GS 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. Power sent to the rear wheel through an eight-speed automatic transmission, but on all-wheel-drive models, the GS 350 gets a six-speed automatic. Also standard is an automatic engine stop-start technology, which shut off the engine in order to save fuel.
The Lexus GS 350 is nimble and drives nicely, but it’s also effortless smooth and poised. Acceleration is adequate but far from exciting. In performance testing, a rear-wheel-drive Lexus GS 350 F Sport went from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, which lags slightly behind the performance of class leaders.
The EPA fuel economy rating at 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway) for the rear-wheel-drive model and 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway) for AWD variant.
Lexus vehicles usually offer a well-designed interior with high-quality materials, and the 2018 GS 350 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 350 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
The 2018 Lexus GS 350 is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Direct competition includes the Cadillac CTS, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6. Official pricing for the GS 350 starting at $51,360 (all prices include the $995 destination charge). The F Sport version cost $53,055.