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  • Willis Kuelthau
    Automotive Editor - December 10, 2018

    2019 Lexus GS OVERVIEW

    Lexus wants very badly for buyers to believe that “boring” is a word of the company’s past. The 2019 Lexus GS evokes terms of excitement: sharp dynamics, focused technology, and voluptuous styling. Although it’s not without flaws, the GS hasn’t lost its typical Lexus virtues: comfort, quality, and value.

    What's New for 2019

    The Lexus GS returns largely unchanged for 2019, other than a new smartphone and smartwatch app. Most significantly, Lexus is dropping the hybrid powertrains from GS production. ES and LS sedans retain their hybrid variants, but the GS 450h is no more.

    BMW 7 series

    Choosing Your Lexus GS

    Choosing a GS begins with choosing from one of three engines, each of which denotes a trim level.

    First up is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque found in the GS 300 and GS 300 F Sport. It may only be paired with rear-wheel drive, but it’s good for an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 combined, or 21/30/24 mpg (city/highway/combined) in the 300 F Sport.

    If four cylinders doesn’t sound like enough, the next step up is a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 found in the GS 350 and GS 350 F Sport. It delivers 311 hp and 280 lb-ft to either the rear or all four wheels, and the extra power is enough to scoot the GS from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Mileage does suffer much – the V6 manages 20/28/23 mpg in rear-wheel drive, 19/26/21 mpg with all-wheel drive, and 19/27/22 mpg in the 350 F Sport.

    But the V6’s power (and thirst) pale in comparison to the all-out performance of the third engine, a throaty 5.0-liter V8 found in the GS F. Available only with rear-wheel drive, this engine pumps out 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque and is good for a zero-to-60 mph sprint of 4.5 seconds. Mileage drops to an EPA-estimated 16/24/19 mpg.

    It’s worth mentioning one of the strongest attributes of any GS, which is safety. Every GS that rolls off the line comes standard with Lexus’ Safety System Plus, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and automatic high beams. These features join parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring for a fairly comprehensive set of safety tech – the only safety options left are a head-up display and cornering headlights.

    GS 300

    Starting at $47,635 (all prices include the $1,025 destination fee), the GS 300 is the cheapest of the lineup. Along with the base engine, it gets synthetic leather seats, keyless entry, push-button start, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and navigation. The wheels are 17-inch alloys, complementing LED headlights and a sunroof.

    The only available packages are the Premium Package ($1,400), which adds heated and ventilated front seats, a power rear sunshade, and rain-sensing wipers, and the Navigation Package ($1,735) that brings navigation and the Lexus Enform App Suite and Destination Assist. Notable standalone options include 18-inch rims ($905), a premium sound system ($1,380), parking assist ($500), a power open/close trunk lid ($400), and a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel ($150). F Sport 19-inch rims are also available for $1,995.

    GS 300 F Sport

    Opting for the GS 300 F Sport bumps starting price up to $52,675, including the mandatory orange brake calipers and heated and leather-trimmed steering wheel. Also standard are 19-inch wheels, larger front brakes, adaptive dampers, a new S Plus drive mode, a rear lip spoiler, F Sport badging, and various exterior accents. The interior gets aluminum trim and pedals, a 16-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and leather upholstery. The Navigation Package returns, and new standalone options include a head-up display ($900) and triple-beam LED headlights ($1,160).

    GS 350

    In an odd twist, the all-wheel-drive version of the GS 350 is actually cheaper than its RWD sibling, checking in at $51,690 and $52,020, respectively. Both are powered by the V6 engine and wear 18-inch alloy rims. The price difference in powertrains stems from package inclusion. On the RWD GS 350, all features from the Premium Package are included as standard, as is leather upholstery. On the AWD variant, these features (including the leather) are bundled into a new Premium Package for $1,760. Also available on the AWD version is a Cold Weather Package ($290), which includes a windshield wiper de-icer, headlight washers, and water repellent front-door glass. No packages are available on the RWD GS 350. Other than unique rim upgrades, standalone options remain unchanged. On the AWD GS 350, a leather-wrapped steering wheel is available for $650, and Lexus will add heating for an extra $150.

    GS 350 F Sport

    The pricing structure returns to normalcy on the GS 350 F Sport, where the RWD car starts at $53,835 and the AWD variant at $55,280. At this trim, all the Premium Package features plus leather upholstery are included with either powertrain. Also standard are all the upgrades from the 300 F Sport, with one exception: the larger front brakes are absent on the AWD 350 F Sport. The RWD 350 F Sport also gets a limited-slip rear differential, which the AWD model doesn't share. The Cold Weather Package remains available for AWD cars, but not for RWD. Other options are unchanged.

    GS F

    The big dog in the GS lineup is the GS F, which houses the fiery 5.0-liter V8 engine. The jump in power is impressive, but so is the jump in price – the GS F starts at $85,345. In addition to the engine, the GS F benefits from 19-inch alloy wheels, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, and an electrically controlled torque-vectoring rear differential. Interior upgrades include aluminum pedals, Alcantara and carbon-fiber trim, and perforated leather upholstery. No packages are available on the GS F. The only available options are front and rear Brembo brakes ($300), the premium sound system ($1,380), 19-inch, 10-spoke alloy rims ($600), and the head-up display ($900).

    CarsDirect Tip

    The 2019 Lexus GS 300 is no slouch, but its 2.0-liter engine lags the competition. It’s worth upgrading to the GS 350 for the V6, and the GS 350 F Sport is even sweeter in the corners.

    Get your price on a Lexus GS »

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