2018 Lexus GS

Performance


$46,510 MSRP
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2018 Lexus GS Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2018 Lexus GS is a delight to drive. Its three trim levels each offer a different driving experience; you can pick a comfortable cruiser (GS 300), a high-performance sedan (GS F), or a blend of the two (GS 350).

  • "After considerable time behind the wheel of a new Lexus GS 350 sedan, we found it to be a likable and competent performance sedan with impressive acceleration, cornering and braking response. It's fun to drive and absolutely luxurious." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Engaging to drive, the car's good handling and taut yet supple ride fare well against German rivals." -- Consumer Reports
  • "Either way, though, this is a sedan that strikes a well-considered balance between comfort and performance, and is equally well-suited to daily commute duty or long road trips. Nor is the GS afraid of tight turns – it's actually one of the better cars in this class, and its performance cred can be dialed up a tick on all models by opting for the F Sport package." -- Edmunds (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The GS has three engine options, all of which are mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. Powering the base GS 300 is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. This 241-horsepower engine is turbocharged and can get the car up to speed in a decent amount of time. It's as fuel-efficient as most cars in the class, achieving an estimated 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Under the hood of the GS 350 is a robust 3.5-liter V6 engine. Its fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway. Lexus saves the most authoritative engine in the lineup for the GS F. This high-performance edition comes with a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8. Gas mileage, as estimated by Lexus, is 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway.

  • "The standard V6 has been a longstanding fixture in the GS engine bay, but it's still a gem, delivering direct-injected thrust with vigor and refinement. The 8-speed automatic (rear-drive only) helps the engine stay in its sweet spot during acceleration while also contributing to decent fuel economy." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Acceleration [with the V6] is strong and there's plenty of power on hand for effortless passing and merging. We measured 21 mpg overall – decent for this class but not exceptional." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "Cruising the streets of Palm Springs, I found the little [turbo-four] engine perfectly acceptable, offering smooth, creamy acceleration away from stops with good mid-range grunt for overtaking even-slower drivers. The car got up to freeway speeds quickly enough to eliminate any worry of merging below the speed of traffic. Here, again, it offered enough mid-range power to make a typical overtake. The engine is never particularly loud in the cabin and the noise it makes is inoffensive. It was a relaxed and relaxing driving experience, and perfectly pleasant if you're not in any great hurry to get somewhere." -- Motor Trend (2016)

Handling and Braking

The GS is a rear-wheel-drive sedan, with the option to add all-wheel drive to GS 350 models. A limited-slip differential is also available. This sedan feels stable and predictable, with handling that fluctuates from the easygoing GS 300 to the sporty GS F. The GS 350 makes for a nice middle ground.

  • "Adding the F-Sport package brings more aggressive ride and handling as well as opens the door to more upgrades, such as the Lexus Dynamic Handling system with Variable Gear Ratio Steering. While we'd say the BMW 5 Series and Cadillac CTS have a bit of a sporting edge on the GS 350, it can certainly hold its own against an AWD Audi A6 or a Jaguar XF." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The GS 350 serves up a supple, civilized ride. It doesn't totally smother every bump but sails placidly over most road flaws and provides a very relaxed highway cruise. Cabin quiet is normally blissfully serene – this is one of the quietest cars out there – but at wide-open throttle the engine bellows rather loudly. That exhaust note is something Lexus apparently encourages, part of creating a sporty flair. We'd far rather the engine just piled on the power and shut up about it." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "Sure-footed and a reasonably willing partner on a winding road, the GS 200t and 350 have good manners when it comes to handling performance. If that's not enough, the F Sport package elevates its road-holding prowess with variable-ratio and rear-wheel steering systems. The package's larger 19-inch wheels, stiffer suspension and performance-oriented summer tires do degrade comfort a bit, though, but not enough to spoil the experience." -- Edmunds (2016)
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