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2018 Lexus GS 350 Overview
Like many of the cars built by Lexus, the GS can take on its German rivals when it comes to luxury and is arguably superior in terms of reliability and build quality, but just lacks a certain wow-factor and doesn’t pack as big of a punch under the hood.
That said, high-level performance isn’t necessarily a priority for every luxury sedan buyer out there. The GS 350 is the volume model of the lineup and is available in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. For 2018, the big change is that Lexus has added the Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect services as free for 10 years to all GS buyers. They had previously been an optional extra, but Lexus is making them complimentary across their lineup.
The GS 350 adds a larger V-6 that makes a much more usable 311hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is mated to an 8-speed automatic with rear-drive or a 6-speed with all-wheel drive and can do 0-60 mph in as little as 5.7 seconds. That’s plenty quick, but this version of the GS is not a sporty car, which makes Lexus’s decision to pipe engine and exhaust notes into the cabin artificially seem a bit strange. With rear drive, the GS 350 will manage 20 mpg city/28 highway/23 combined, while all-wheel drive models naturally drop an mpg or two in each category.
The Lexus GS has garnered a lot of praise for its handling thanks to a stiff chassis, well-weighted electronically assisted steering, and advanced multi-link suspension both front and rear. For buyers who enjoy spirited driving but don’t want to go all out for the more hardcore GS F model, an available F Sport package for the GS 350 includes bigger tires, bigger brakes and variable ratio steering, while a limited-slip differential and active rear-wheel steering are available options.
When it comes to the interior, all GS 350s come with leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED ambient lighting, HD radio, 12.3-inch Remote Touch infotainment screen, navigation, USB port, sunroof, Bluetooth compatibility and an analog dash clock.
A Premium Package adds heating and cooling features for the front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel. Drivers can also choose to add self-parking capability and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson stereo. Also available are 18-way power seats and both heating and cooling for the steering wheel.
Another optional extra is the Enform Remote system, which is a subscription-based service that adds features like vehicle finder and status reports as well as remote locking/unlocking. Opting for the F Sport model, meanwhile, adds sportier seats. Drivers can also choose to add a color heads-up display to relay key information without drawing their eyes away from the road.
In addition to an impressive list of standard convenience features, Lexus makes many active safety features standard with the GS as well, including a reversing camera, active headrests, blind spot monitors and parking sensors. As of 2017, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings, automatic high beam headlights and lane departure warnings are standard as well. Adaptive headlights are an optional extra.
For 2018, Lexus added the Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect as part of the standard package for 10 years. Enform Safety Connect includes roadside assistance, emergency services and a locator service in the event that the vehicle is stolen. Enform Service Connect, meanwhile, connects computers and smartphones to the vehicle and updates the owner with things like maintenance alerts.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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