2018 Lexus GS 350 Review
The 2018 Lexus GS 350 is a multitalented luxury sedan that artfully blends comfort, sophistication and performance. Despite its advancing age — the current generation has been around for five years — the GS still makes a compelling choice with a well-appointed interior, eager powertrain, sure handling and a smooth ride. All-wheel drive is available for those who often drive in wet weather, and there's even an F Sport model that ratchets up the sporting quotient without sacrificing much comfort.
The heart of the GS 350 is a 311-horsepower V6 engine. It lacks the dominating thrust found in rival sedans with turbocharged or supercharged six-cylinder engines but nonetheless impresses with a smooth power delivery. Recent tech and safety upgrades, such as a full suite of driver aids including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane control, make the GS a more compelling choice than ever.
There are no significant changes for the 2018 model, although Lexus now includes its roadside and emergency assistance program free for a full 10 years, which should offer additional peace of mind for the long road trips to which the GS is so well-suited. With its incremental upgrades year over year, today's GS is even more luxurious, smooth, comfortable and engaging than it was at the outset.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Lexus GS 350 midsize luxury sedan comes in two main versions: base and F Sport. Both are available with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment for the rear-wheel-drive GS 350 includes a 3.5-liter V6 engine (311 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque), an eight-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a sunroof, ambient LED cabin lighting, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats (heated and ventilated), leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel and a power rear sunshade.
Standard tech content includes Bluetooth, the Remote Touch infotainment interface, a navigation system, voice controls, smartphone app integration, a 12.3-inch display screen and a 12-speaker sound system. Various driver safety aids (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the Lexus Safety System Plus suite of advanced active safety features) are also included.
Note that on the all-wheel-drive GS 350, leather upholstery is optional by way of the Premium package, which also includes the heated and ventilated front seats and power rear sunshade. A six-speed automatic transmission is used on this model instead of the eight-speed.
The rear-wheel-drive F Sport ups the ante on handling with 19-inch wheels with summer performance tires, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension and bigger front brakes. It offers the option of four-wheel steering or a limited-slip rear differential. The F Sport has more aggressive front and rear bumper and grille styling, power sport seats and different interior trim pieces. 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.
On all GS 350s, key stand-alone options include parking sensors, a premium Mark Levinson sound system and a power-operated trunk.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test and an extended yearlong test of the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport (3.5-liter V6 | 6-speed automatic | RWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the GS 350 has received some upgrades, including an eight-speed automatic transmission for the rear-wheel-drive models, a more sophisticated fuel-injection system, engine upgrades that added 5 horsepower, LED headlights and more capable entertainment system software. Our initial findings remain broadly applicable to this year's GS 350.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Child safety seat accommodation
Audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.