Cruising around in the 2018 Lexus GS450h F Sport

Experienced by Adrian McQueen

Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles


There is nothing like a good luxury performance sedan. The 2018 Lexus GS450h F Sport fits right into that class. I was excited to spend the next full week riding around in class. This Matador Red Mica hued chariot was ready to take on all that I had planned for it. With this model being a hybrid, I was excited about saving money at the pump as well.

The Lexus GS is an executive car sold by Lexus, which is the premium division of Toyota. The Lexus GS was originally launched in 1991 as the Toyota Aristo in Japan. The first-generation Lexus GS began sales in the United States, Europe and selected markets in Asia in 1993. The GS was introduced with an inline-6 engine and exterior bodywork designed by Italdesign Giugiaro. The fourth-generation Lexus GS premiered in August 2011 at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where models introduced included the V6-powered GS 350, hybrid GS 450h, and performance-tuned F Sport variants. GS Hybrid production started in February 2006. It was the first mass-production rear-wheel drive luxury hybrid car.

Upon first look, the spindly grilled facelift stands out the most.  The Lexus GS Hybrid angular front and rear assist in making sure the GS Hybrid F sport fits the bill for anyone looking for a sporty sedan. The F Sport package sits the GS 450h on 19-inch split-five spoke alloy wheels that have a dark graphite finish. There are also premium triple beam LED headlamps, paint protection film by 3M and black brake calipers in the front and the rear. This is definitely a beautiful car that stands out.

The interior of the GS is a step above the rest. GS Hybrid interior has enough seating for five people with extremely comfortable leather upholstery throughout the vehicle. The Lexus GS 450 Hybrid F Sport also has 16-way power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a rear window sunshade, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, a proximity key, and push-button start. Both front and rear passengers have ample legroom.  As a parent of a young child it was very important that the GS Hybrid has a tether anchor on every rear seat and two sets of lower anchors on the rear outboard seats. As far as cargo space is concerned, the battery pack takes up some of the GS Hybrid’s cargo space. The GS 450h hybrid has a 15.9-cubic-foot trunk. This is below average in comparison to its’ competitors.

The infotainment system aka the Enform suite is pretty dynamic. The 12.3-inch display screen is impressive and large enough to control all your needs. Apps in the GS are Pandora, iHeartRadio, Yelp and more. The GS also has a DVD entertainment system, smartphone integration, Bluetooth, a USB port, Siri Eyes Free, satellite radio, HD Radio, advanced voice commands and navigation. All of this is used by working a mouse-like controller. I adjusted well to it, but I can see how some found it cumbersome. The 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system gives off some clearest and crisp sound available. I was disappointed by the heads-up display because the only way to view it is by adjusting your seat low. As I moved my seat to a higher location, the display faded from my view.

The Lexus GS450h Hybrid F Sport is a performance-oriented vehicle that upgrades the brake, steering, and suspension systems. I headed out to few a local winding roads and let the GS loose. The steering was responsive and the suspension kept the body roll in check.  The drive mode selector includes Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport S+, Snow, and EV settings. The GS 450h powertrain includes a V6 engine, two electric motors, and a continuously variable automatic transmission. It delivers 338 horsepower to the rear wheels and is faster off-the-line acceleration than the non-hybrid versions. The 2018 Lexus GS450h Hybrid gets 29 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 31 combined. I expected better gas mileage on a hybrid but it is still better than the non-hybrid model.

2018 Lexus GS450h Hybrid has not undergone crash evaluations but the non-hybrid GS earned the top grade of Good in all three crash tests conducted. Safety features in the GS450h include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

Designed as a performance sedan competing in the mid-luxury class, the GS slots between the entry-level/compact luxury IS and large/flagship LS. The GS is in a very competitive class amongst the Audi A6, Volvo S90, Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar XF, Acura TLX and the BMW M550. The 2018 Lexus GS Hybrid comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty for hybrid-related components. The GS is comfortable and quiet, reasonably affordable, fuel efficient, and built to last. Enjoy the photo gallery.


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