RSS icon Home icon
  • 2018 Lexus GS F

    Posted on May 24th, 2018 ninarussin

    Midsize sport sedan gets safety enhancements for 2018

    By Nina Russin

    2018 Lexus GS F

    2018 Lexus GS F

    The midsize GS sedan is one of the best cars Lexus produces: the F Sport version takes that performance to the next level. Although the 2018 model is essentially carry-over from last year, Lexus has added two key active safety features. All-speed cruise control replaces adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist replaces lane departure alert. Other standard active safety features include pre-collision with pedestrian detection and autonomous braking and blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

    Power comes from a direct injection 467-horsepower V-8 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard torque vectoring gives drivers better control in the corners, while adaptive variable suspension makes real-time adjustments according-to the road surface and driver’s style.

    Base price is $84,350 excluding the $995 destination charge. Options on the test car include 19-inch alloy wheels, heads-up display, Mark Levinson audio system, special brake calipers and cargo mat and net, bringing the final MSRP to $88,855.

    Test drive in Phoenix, Arizona

    2018 Lexus GS F

    2018 Lexus GS F

    Drivers who think European brands command the sport sedan market need to get behind the wheel of the Lexus GS F. From its powerful engine to its remarkably capable ride and handling, it is hands-down one of the best options in its competitive segment.

    Although the car’s current styling is much more aggressive than previous iterations, Lexus remains a rather conservative company in terms of its approach to product development. Engineers don’t jump on the latest trend, simply to follow the pack. When they make changes, those changes make sense in terms of the overall product. The team’s attention to detail in developing the GS F is evident in every aspect of its performance, and ultimately its capability to perform equally well on road and track.

    The engine is more than a big block with big pistons. Details such as forged connecting rods that are more robust under load, titanium intake and exhaust valves make the block durable enough for hard duty at the track. A 12.3:1 compression ratio optimizes fuel economy as well as throttle response. The engine can vary between Otto and Atkinson cycles depending on the type of driving (performance versus steady-state cruising), increasing fuel economy on long road trips.

    2018 Lexus GS F

    2018 Lexus GS F

    An eight-speed automatic transmission progresses smoothly through the gears with no obvious shift shock under normal driving conditions. Large overdrive gears keep the revs low during high-speed cruising. Average fuel economy for my 200-mile test drive was on par with the EPA estimate of 19 miles-per-gallon.

    Although the GS F is a rather heavy car, with curb weight of just over 4,000 pounds, front-to-rear weight balance is so good that the chassis feels much lighter. The double wishbone front suspension is compact and efficient: the addition of a large, hollow stabilizer bar keeps the chassis flat in the corners. A multi-link setup in back ensures both rows of occupants have a supple ride.

    Electric power steering is beautifully tuned, with plenty of low-speed assist and excellent on-center response at speed. Drivers can adjust steering response using the F Sport mode for a heavier feel at the track.

    2018 Lexus GS F

    2018 Lexus GS F

    Large ventilated Brembo brakes stop the sedan in firm, linear fashion.

    With-the-exception-of some rather large blind spots in back due to the sedan’s large C-pillars, visibility around the perimeter is pretty-good. The standard rearview camera eliminates any problems when the driver shifts into reverse, and makes it much easier to back out of parking spots when surrounded by high-profile vehicles. On the highway, blind spot monitoring enables the driver to monitor vehicles in adjacent lanes. Weaving through dense rush-hour traffic is a non-issue.

    Lexus is known for its quiet interiors and the GS F is no exception. With-the-exception-of an occasional belch from the quad-exhaust system, occupants are well buffered from engine, wind and road noise, enabling them to enjoy the Mark Levinson audio system.

    Driver-focused interior

    Lexus GS F Interior

    Lexus GS F Interior

    With its beautifully designed leather sport seats, the GS F interior is proof that a five-passenger sedan can still pamper the driver. I found the driver’s seat easy to adjust for a clear forward view and ample lower lumbar support. Bolstering, while aggressive, is still comfortable.

    A narrow-diameter steering wheel gives the driver more control. As a woman with a small frame, it’s something I appreciate.

    Both the center stack screen and gauge cluster are easy to read in bright sunlight and after dark. The optional heads-up display shows posted speed limits and speedometer readings, minimizing driver distraction.

    The Mark Levinson audio system is top-of-the-line in the automotive market, rivaling high-end home systems in terms of quality. The company has developed technology to decompress digital files, something especially noticeable with classical music.

    Standard safety

    The Lexus GS F comes with 10 airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, LED headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, blind spot monitoring, rearview camera with cross traffic alert, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane keeping assist, intelligent high beam headlamps, pre-collision with pedestrian detection and tire pressure monitoring.

    Lexus builds the GS at Toyota’s Aichi, Japan assembly plant.

    Like: A stylish yet practical five-passenger sport sedan with a powerful engine and highly refined performance.

    Dislikes: None

    Quick facts:

    Make: Lexus
    Model: GS F
    Year: 2018
    Base price: $84,350
    As tested: $88,855
    Horsepower: 467 HP @ 7100 rpm
    Torque: 389 lbs.-ft. @ 4800 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: 4.5 seconds
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: No
    Towing: No
    Off-road: No
    Fuel economy: 16/24 mpg city/highway
    Comment: The manufacturer requires the use of 91-octane premium unleaded gasoline.

    Comments are closed.