2018 Lexus GS 300 F Sport, review, features
Denis Flierl's picture

2018 Lexus GS 300 F Sport Ramps Up the Fun Factor

Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, said he wanted the Lexus brand to be more sporty, and the GS 300 is what the CEO had in mind.
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The Lexus GS models are rear-wheel-drive sports sedans and can compete with the best sport sedans in the world now. The 2018 GS 300 isn’t a new model, it’s a new nameplate for the previous Lexus GS 200t. Our tester had the F Sport performance package that ramped up the fun-to-drive meter even more. 

This week, we drove the 2018 Lexus GS 300 F Sport.

What’s new for 2018?

The 2018 GS 300 is a new name for last year's GS 200t. Otherwise, the car is unchanged.

Features and Options

The 2018 Lexus GS 300 F Sport ($50,900) features leather, heated and cooled front seats, rearview camera, satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, and Remote Touch, a mouse-like controller.

The performance F Sport package (no charge) adds 19-inch wheels with summer tires, unique exterior styling and interior trim, rear spoiler, sport-tuned adaptive suspension, variable-ratio steering, upgraded brakes, and 12-way adjustable sport seats with four-way power lumbar.

Lexus Safety System is standard and features adaptive cruise control with lane-departure warning and intervention. A forward collision warning system that includes pedestrian detection and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking is also available. A color head-up display ($900), one-touch power trunk ($400), premium paint ($595) and heated steering wheel ($150) were options.

Total MSRP on the GS 300 F Sport came to $54,620 including destination.

Interior Highlights

Inside, you'll find a high-quality cabin fitted with a decent number of standard features. Additional features are available to keep the entry-level GS 300 competitive with pricier luxury machines.

cab

The two-tone interior in this GS 300 has a simplicity to it that we enjoyed. The dash and console is clean and uncluttered. There’s a big 12.3-inch, high-resolution display tucked into the center of the stylish dash, unlike others that stick out like a sore thumb. The Lexus Remote Touch, a mouse-like controller for the infotainment and climate control. It’s difficult to operate, touchy, and a pain to figure out.

We had the F Sport package but the only indication inside is the F Sport logo on the steering wheel and the aluminum pedals. The leather seats are accommodating and heated and cooled for comfort in any weather. The seats are supportive and the 12-way adjustable sport driver’s seat made it easy to find the perfect driving position.

The back seat is fairly roomy and comes with contoured bucket seats that are comfortable for two adults on long trips. Three adults will be cramped but it’s okay for a short trip to the restaurant on your lunch hour. There are also rear climate control vents while a power rear shade drops down to keep the rear occupants protected from the heat.

Engine and Fuel Mileage Specs

The 2018 Lexus GS 300 F Sport comes with a peppy turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel paddles shifters that send power to the rear wheels.

EPA fuel mileage ratings are 21/30 city/highway mpg and 24 combined mpg.

Driving Dynamics

Equipped with the optional F Sport package, the GS 300 is one of the more enjoyable midsize luxury sedans to drive thanks to its sporty suspension and steering. On the twisty mountain curves west of Denver, the sports sedan was a willing partner as we pushed it hard around the corners. The F Sport package seemed to elevate its road-hugging prowess and kept it firmly planted. The F Sport’s larger 19-inch wheels, stiffer suspension, and performance-oriented summer tires do diminish comfort somewhat, but that’s why you get the performance package.

We found there’s a delay when you step on the gas pedal. The turbocharger does have some lag and it takes a moment for the turbocharger and transmission to decide what to do. Lexus offers paddle shifters which helps the GS 300 override any issues with the transmission and turbo disconnect.

The ride is reasonably smooth on the open road and the cabin is quiet like you would expect. Overall, the new turbo four-cylinder is a good option for driving enthusiasts and it still delivers good fuel mileage, if you can keep your foot out of the pedal.

Conclusion

Overall, the 2018 GS 300 is worth a look if you're shopping for a reasonably priced luxury sedan. The GS 300 offers enough performance to satisfy driving enthusiasts, and the F Sport ramps up the fun-to-drive meter to a 7 out of 10. The cabin is comfortable and the overall experience is a pleasurable one for daily commuting or taking your hot date out for a night on the town.


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Comments

Lexus needs to modernize the brand to attract younger buyers.
On one hand I doubt most young people have enough money to pay 40-80K for a Lexus. But on the other hand there are enough younger buyers that have money for M4s, C63s, Mustang GTs, and Audi A4s.
That’s what Lexus has been doing since 2014. That’s the whole point of the RC, as well as the new abstract, aggressive styling. All I want is a new ISF, or the LCF to become reality.