The 2018 Lexus GS 350 is a spacious luxury car with loads of standard safety features and good handling, but tough competition means you’ll need to look closely at the Lexus GS as you shop for a performance luxury sedan.
Is the 2018 Lexus GS 350 a Good Car?
This is the Lexus for you if you are looking for more room than the Lexus IS but don’t want to pay for the Lexus LS. It’s a comfortable, composed car with a luxurious interior and a good deal of features.
If you’re looking for a drive-oriented ride with performance at heart, you’ll want to make sure you get the F-Sport trim or look at the BMW 5 Series or Cadillac CTS.
What’s New for 2018
Lexus renames the GS 200t to the Lexus GS 350 for 2018. The Enform Safety and Service Connect package is now free for 10 years. Buyers who opt for the GS F Trim level get a new all-speed adaptive cruise control system and lane keep assist.
2018 Lexus GS 350 Interior & Design
The Lexus GS 350 interior is spacious and definitely hits all the right notes for a luxury sedan. Comfortable seats with soft leather, soft touch materials throughout the cabin and smooth ambient lighting deliver a welcoming cabin.
While the outside of the GS 350 opts for aggressive styling, the interior is all about wrapping you up in comfort got the long haul. The standard Lexus Memory System allows you to store your perfect seating position, with memory for three drivers. Optional heated and ventilated seats keep you warm or cool as part of the Premium Package on the GS 350 AWD.
The front is spacious for the driver and passenger and the rear seat is perfect for adult passengers with plenty of leg room, comfortable supportive seats and the same upscale look and feel as the front.
Bold exterior styling features the big Lexus grille and edgy front end. The sides and rear aren’t as striking, but complete the modern luxury look well. If you want a more aggressive look, opt for the F-Sport, which includes exterior and interior upgrades.
Driving the 2018 Lexus GS 350
The 2018 GS is available with a variety of engine options. I spent the week driving the GS 350 AWD with the 311 horsepower V-6.
With the V-6, the Lexus GS 350 offers plenty of power for a mid-size luxury sedan. It’s lacking the extra zip that you can get with the V8 in the F-Sport, but still accelerates quickly and the handling is good. The ride is smooth and comfortable, without feeling floaty.
Lexus includes a drive mode selector to change the steering and throttle responsiveness. Drivers can choose between Eco, Normal and Sport. In Sport mode the steering tightens up and the throttle is more responsive for a dynamic driving experience. On the GS 350 this isn’t as pronounced as with the F-Sport package, but it’s still a nice option for when you want a more engaging drive.
There are sportier luxury sedans, like the LS 500 and the BMW 5 series, but the GS 350 is a capable sedan that rides and handles well. Road and wind noise are minimal.
The GS 350 gets 26 mpg highway, 19 mpg city and 22 mpg combined with AWD, fuel efficiency is a little better with the RWD model.
2018 Lexus GS 350 Tech & Safety
The Lexus infotainment system is still distracting to use. You cannot touch the screen and, instead, need to use the joystick to control music, navigation and any other infotainment features. This is annoying to use while driving (or even while stopped).
Apple CarPlay & Android Auto aren’t available on the Lexus GS 350. While Toyota is adding support with the Avalon, Lexus has yet to embrace the new features or move away from a joypad style control.
The large 12.3-inch display is bigger than average and easy to read while on the road. It’s standard on the GS 350.
With the Lexus Enform Remote app, you can remote start the car, lock and unlock and check doors, windows and fuel level.
Bluetooth connectivity works well for music and phone calls. If you love listening to music during your commute, make sure you opt for the Mark Levinson Premium Sound System for $1,380.
There are a great deal of standard safety features on the 2018 Lexus GS 350. This includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, a new all-speed adaptive cruise control system and standard blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert. The Lexus Safety System+ also includes lane departure assist and automatic high beams.
Standard LED headlamps and LED Daytime running lights deliver good night-time visibility. Optional Intuitive Parking Assist can help you get in and out of tight parking spaces.