Review: 2018 Lexus GS 350

Review: 2018 Lexus GS 350
The Lexus GS sedan is the quintessential car for drivers in Los Angeles who value quality and comfort above all else. The only issue is choosing a model from the impressive 2018 lineup.

In this review, we’ll give you all the features and specs of the 2018 Lexus GS 350. Keep in mind there’s also the turbocharged GS 300 and the hybrid GS 450h, which we’ll cover in another review.

Get all the details, then visit our convenient El Monte location for a test drive:

Performance and Fuel Economy

The 2018 GS 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, going from zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds. Rear-wheel drive models have an 8-speed Direct-Shift automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive models have a 6-speed Paddle-Shift automatic.

The GS 350 also comes available with the F Sport Package, which includes additional driving modes, 19-inch alloy wheels, F SPORT-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension, Variable Gear-Ratio Steering, LFA-inspired instrumentation, interior details, and 14-inch two-piece front brake rotors with monoblock four-piston calipers. Individual options include orange brake calipers, Lexus Dynamic Handling with Dynamic Rear Steering, and a TORSEN limited-slip differential.

RWD models have a fuel economy of 20 MPG city and 28 MPG highway, while AWD models get up to 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway.

Comfort and Convenience

Each model of the 2018 GS has dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter and smog sensor, a tilting and telescoping steering column, the Lexus Memory System, a power moonroof, auto-dimming mirrors, 10-way power front seats, Remote Touch controls, and NuLuxe seating. The Premium Package adds a leather-trimmed interior, power rear sunshade, heated and ventilated front seats, and rain-sensing wipers. You can also add a heated steering wheel or power trunk as individual options.

Entertainment and connectivity features include Lexus Display Audio, Siri Eyes Free with voice command, Bluetooth wireless tech, USB smartphone input, and the Lexus 12-speaker Premium Sound System. Individual options include the Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, and Heads-Up Display. The Navigation Package includes a Navigation System with 12.3-inch high-resolution split-screen display, Lexus Enform App Suite, and Lexus Enform Destination Assist.

Safety and Tech

Lexus equipped all models of the 2018 GS with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high-beam headlamps, Lane Keep Assist, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. Additionally, the sedan is standard with LED headlamps and daytime running lights, a backup camera, and the Lexus Enform Safety Connect app. Intuitive Parking Assist is available as an individual option.

Pricing

Starting at $50,695 MSRP

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Review: 2018 Lexus ES 350

Review: 2018 Lexus ES 350

If you’re shopping for a luxury sedan that won’t go out of style anytime soon, the 2018 Lexus ES 350 may be your ideal choice. With classic styling and features that are lightyears beyond its rivals, you can count on the ES gracing the streets of L.A. for years to come.

Drivers who don’t fuss around with fleeting trends should get behind the wheel and see for themselves why the ES is a California favorite. But first, read our full review for all the details:

Safety and Tech

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Lexus ES a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating. It’s no wonder the ES has secured the organization’s top rating for the past five years, as Lexus equips all its vehicles with only the best in safety technology.

All models of the 2018 ES come standard with the Lexus Safety System+, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane-Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and intelligent high-beam headlamps. All models also come with a backup camera, LED headlamps and tail lamps, LED daytime running lights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Options include Intuitive Parking Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and twin projector Bi-LED headlamps.

Comfort and Convenience

What’s a luxury vehicle without features that make your life easier? The 2018 ES 350 includes standard SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop, power moonroof, dual-zone climate control with interior air filters and smog sensor, perforated NuLuxe interior trim, 10-way power adjustable front seats, and subscription-free Traffic and Weather. Additionally, you’ll love the Lexus Display Audio with 8-inch color display, Scout GPS Link navigation with MapStream and TurnStream, voice command, HD Radio, and Bluetooth tech. All models of the ES also come with Lexus Enform Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote apps.

Available individual features include heated and ventilated front seats, wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, heated steering wheel, panorama glass roof, power rear sunshade, and power trunk. Talk to your Longo Lexus rep about feature packages that can take your ES to the next level. For instance, the Luxury Package adds embossed-stitch perforated leather-trimmed interior, wood-trimmed console, and heated and ventilated front seats, while the Ultra Luxury Package builds on that with semi-aniline leather, power rear sunshade, panorama glass roof, ambient interior lighting, and the Lexus Memory System for front seats.

Performance

The 2018 ES 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a 6-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, making 268 horsepower. The front-wheel drive luxury sedan goes from zero to 60 MPH in 7.1 seconds. According to EPA estimates, it gets 20 MPG city, 29 MPG highway, and 23 MPG combined.

Pricing

Starting at $38,900 MSRP

Comparison: 2017 Lexus GS F vs 2017 Mercedes-Benz E550

Comparison: 2017 Lexus GS F vs 2017 Mercedes-Benz E550

Los Angeles drivers shopping for a luxury sedan that performs, usually want to compare models to see which really has a top-performing engine under its hood, and which is relying on its famous German name instead.

In the case of the 2017 Lexus GS F and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz E550, there’s a clear winner in terms of both performance and features. Review our one-to-one comparison, then come get behind the wheel of a GS F:

Performance

Lexus GS F

The 2017 GS F is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine that churns out 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft of torque, getting you from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds. It comes standard with rear-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic Sport Direct-Shift automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Brembo brakes with six-piston front calipers keep you in control on the road, while a Torque Vectoring Differential with three modes allows you to handle curves and turns with grace. The GS F also features the F-Adaptive Variable Suspension.

Mercedes-Benz E550

The 2017 Mercedes E550 has a 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that makes 402 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, going from zero to 60 in 5 seconds. The rear-wheel drive luxury car has a 7-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles. The E550 features selective damping, perforated front brake discs, and sport-tuned suspension.

Features

Lexus GS F

In addition to being a legitimate performance car, the GS F comes equipped with entertainment and convenience features galore. It comes standard with SmartAccess with push-button start, LFA-inspired instrumentation, dual-zone climate control, Lexus Memory System (seats, mirrors, steering column), a power moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and perforated leather interior trim.

The GS F also comes equipped with a Navigation System with 12.3-inch high-res screen, Remote Touch controls, voice command, Lexus Enform App Suite, Bluetooth wireless tech, a backup camera, Siri Eyes Free, subscription-free traffic and weather, and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of driver assistance technology.

Mercedes-Benz E550

The 2017 E550 features standard leather upholstery, heated power front seats, panorama roof with power tilt-and-slide, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, Bluetooth tech, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Premium leather and ventilated front seats are available as options only.

The E550 is standard with Collision Prevention Assist Plus, Attention Assist, and Pre-Safe, but other driver assistance technologies are available as upgrades only.

Lane keeping assist, intelligent high beams, and a rearview camera – all of which come standard on every model of the Lexus GS – can be added to the E550 with an option package.

Pricing

Lexus GS F

Starting at $83,940 MSRP

Mercedes-Benz E550

Starting at $60,650 MSRP

Comparison: 2017 Lexus ES 350 vs 2017 Cadillac CTS

Comparison: 2017 Lexus ES 350 vs 2017 Cadillac CTS
If you’re in the comparison stage of shopping for a luxury sedan, it’s important to decide which factors are most important to you. Some automakers whose names are synonymous with ‘deluxe’ can get away with a higher MSRP without necessarily providing more value, so make sure you’re looking at all the pertinent details.

In the battle between the 2017 Lexus ES 350 and the 2017 Cadillac CTS, one comes out ahead as a clear winner. Check out our full review to see which luxury sedan is the better value:

Entertainment and Convenience

Lexus ES 350

If you commute in Los Angeles traffic, you’re going to want the latest in entertainment and comfort features to keep you sane during a bottleneck. The 2017 ES 350 comes standard with dual-zone climate control, Lexus Display Audio with a color multimedia screen and Scout GPS Link navigation. It’s also equipped with an 8-speaker Premium Sound System, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, and subscription-free Traffic and Weather. The Navigation Package adds Remote Touch controls, a Navigation System, voice command, and Lexus Enform Destinations. You also have the option for a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System with 15 Clari-Fi speakers and inverted-motor subwoofer.

Cadillac CTS

The 2017 CTS comes standard with dual-zone climate control, the Cadillac CUE infotainment system with multi-touch screen and smartphone compatibility, HD Radio, Bluetooth tech, and a Bose sound system. An integrated navigation system is available but does not come standard. The Luxury package includes a 13-speaker Bose sound system and navigation, as well as styling and exterior features.

Safety Rating and Tech

Lexus ES 350

The 2017 Lexus ES was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and received a best-possible 5-Star Overall Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The ES 350 comes standard with a backup camera, LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, Lexus Enform Safety Connect, and a class-leading 10 airbags. It’s also available with a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Intuitive Parking Assist.

Cadillac CTS

While the CTS also earned a 5-Star Overall Rating from the NHTSA, the IIHS found some flaws. It earned a Marginal score in critical small overlap front impact tests and was not named a Top Safety Pick by the testing institution.

The 2017 CTS comes standard with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear vision camera, daytime running lights, rear park assist, and OnStar Guidance Plan. The Driver Awareness Package adds a Forward Collision Alert, Forward Distance Indicator, Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Change Alert, and more.

Pricing

Lexus ES 350</h3
Starting at $38,900 MSRP

Cadillac CTS

Starting at $45,995 MSRP

Comparison: 2017 Lexus LS 460 vs 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550

Comparison: 2017 Lexus LS 460 vs 2017 Mercedes-Benz S550
We find that what constitutes “luxury” differs from driver to driver. Whether you prioritize style and technology or safety and fuel efficiency, you should get what you want without paying for more. That’s why Lexus starts with a well-equipped base model, and provides options for customization.

When comparing the 2017 Lexus LS 460 to the Mercedes-Benz S550, you’ll notice a big difference in price and a wide range of both standard and available features for each. If you’re looking for value and ability to customize, we think the Lexus is the better bet. Judge for yourself with our one-to-one comparison:

Safety and Tech

Lexus LS 460

The 2017 LS 460 comes standard with Lexus Enform Safety Connect, Service Connect, Destinations, and Remote app. This suite of technologies gives you instant response and connectivity whether you’re in the middle of Los Angeles or lost somewhere in the Valley. Additionally, all models are equipped with Intuitive Parking Assist, backup camera, LED daytime running lights, Navigation System with Remote Touch, Lexus Enform App Suite, and a 12.3-inch multimedia display.

Individual options include a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic alert, Pre-Collision System, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, LED headlamps, and intelligent high beams. You can also add the Advanced Pre-Collision System Package, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Active Pedestrian Detection System, Lane Keep Assist, Drive Attention Monitor, and Low-Speed Collision Avoidance Assist.

Mercedes-Benz S550

The 2017 S550 comes standard with a backup camera, Collision Prevention Assist Plus Attention Assist, the Pre-Safe system, adaptive braking technology, predictive brake priming, and emergency-sensing Brake Assist.

Individual safety options include a Head-Up Display, heated windshield, Surround View System, and Night View Assist. The Driver Assistance Package adds Distronic Plus with steering assist, BAS Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist, Pre-Safe Brake with Pedestrian Recognition, Pre-Safe Plus with rear collision detection, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, and Speed Limit Assist.

With an abundance of safety tech available, it’s a good idea to decide which features cover your bases without going overboard. For instance, L.A. drivers probably won’t find much use for a heated windshield.

Comfort and Convenience

Lexus LS 460

The 2017 LS 460 comes with a range of classic, luxe seating materials – from flaxen leather to light gray leather to black perforated leather. It also features a standard power moonroof and dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter and smog sensor.

For the most deluxe experience, the Executive-Class Seating Package gives you Semi-Aniline Leather and Alcantara interior, four-zone climate control, climate-controlled front and rear outboard seats, and power-adjustable front and rear seats with memory and lumbar support. It also gives you a right-rear reclining seat with ottoman and multifunction shiatsu massage, Rear Seat Entertainment System, rear seat cool box, sunshades, wood and leather trim, and rear side-mounted airbags.

Mercedes-Benz S550

The 2017 S550 comes standard with power heated front seats with memory, power tilting/telescoping steering column, multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, panorama roof, interior ambient lighting, and heated wipers and side mirrors.

The Mercedes sedan is also available with an Executive Rear Seat Package, which includes four-zone climate control, power right-side foot rest, power rear seats, multi-contour outboard rear seats with “hot stone” massage, and reclining seat. You can also add a Rear Seat Entertainment system and a refrigerated box as individual options.

With many of the same interior features and an extra $20K+ on the price tag, Los Angeles drivers should consider whether the S550 is worth it. We think that one test drive of the LS will make up your mind, so get in touch today.

Pricing

Lexus LS 460

Starting at $72,520 MSRP

Mercedes-Benz S550

Starting at $96,600 MSRP

Comparison: 2017 Lexus LX 570 vs 2017 Volvo XC90

Comparison: 2017 Lexus LX 570 vs 2017 Volvo XC90
Drivers in Los Angeles who are looking for a full-size SUV that can do it all – from taking the kids to school to climbing the terrain of the San Gabriel Mountains – have a few options at their disposal, so comparison shopping is a smart idea.

When deciding between the 2017 Lexus LX 570 and the 2017 Volvo XC90, drivers may want to look closely at off-road abilities and safety features if they want a truly well-rounded ute. Luckily, we’ve done the homework for you, and here’s our side-by-side comparison of these top-selling luxury SUVs:

Performance

Lexus LX 570

The 2017 LX 570 comes with just one powerful engine option: a 5.7-liter V8 with standard full-time all-wheel drive and 8-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain makes 383 horsepower and 403 lb-ft of torque, and can tow up to 7,000 pounds. If you’re planning on taking your SUV off the pavement, you’ll be glad to know the LX 570 has a locking center differential and a switch to turn on its low-speed transfer case. Additionally, all models come standard with Adaptive Variable Suspension, Active Height Control, and Crawl Control with Turn Assist.

Volvo XC90

The 2017 XC90 has two gasoline engine options: the T5 is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 that makes 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, while the T6 model has a 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged inline-4 that makes 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The T5 has optional all-wheel drive, and the T6 comes standard with AWD.

Safety and Tech

Lexus LX 570

Lexus equipped all models of the 2017 LX with the advanced Lexus Safety System+, which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, and intelligent high beams. It’s also standard with a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Panoramic View and Multi-Terrain Monitors, Intuitive Parking Assist, and Lexus Enform Safety Connect. You’ll also have the option to add a Color Heads-Up Display for added driver awareness.

Volvo XC90

The 2017 XC90 comes standard with Volvo’s City Safety system, which includes low-speed collision avoidance support that detects pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals. It’s also standard with Run-off Road Protection, Run-off Road Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, and Road Sign Information System. With the optional Vision Package, you can also get a Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, Surround View Camera, auto-dimming mirrors, and retractable mirrors. The Convenience Package adds Pilot Assist, parking assistance, and Lane Keeping Aid.

Pricing

Lexus LX 570

Starting at $89,880 MSRP

Volvo XC90

Starting at $45,750 MSRP

Review: 2017 Lexus IS 300

Review: 2017 Lexus IS 300

Los Angeles streets have no shortage of cars that claim to be the latest and greatest on the market. If care most about having a luxury sedan that performs without sacrificing comfort and convenience, then the 2017 Lexus IS 300 is perfect for you.

We invite you to come to our convenient El Monte location for a test drive of the IS 300, but before you do, check out our full review:

Performance

A sedan doesn’t have to mean a boring driving experience, and the IS is proof. The IS 300 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 255 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, going from zero to 60 in 6.1 seconds. It features full-time all-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The IS 300 is available with the F Sport package, which includes special suspension tuning, F Sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension with Sport S/S+ modes, and 18-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels with summer or all-season tires, as well as F Sport styling features and accessories.

Interior and Comfort

Each model of the 2017 IS features a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, NuLuxe interior trim, power-adjustable front seats, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat back. Individual options include a power rear sunshade, backup camera, and heated steering wheel.

The Premium Package of features includes heated and ventilated front seats and a backup camera, while the Premium Plus Package adds a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers. The Luxury Package gives you everything in the Premium and Premium Plus, as well as leather interior trim, Gray Sapele wood and aluminum trim, auto-dimming and heated exterior mirrors, Lexus Memory System for seating and mirrors, and Intuitive Parking Assist.

Features and Tech

The IS 300 comes standard with Lexus Display Audio with Scout GPS Link navigation, subscription-free traffic and weather, Bluetooth connectivity, and Lexus Enform apps, including Safety Connect, Service Connect, and Remote.
Lexus’s Navigation Package includes the Navigation System with Lexus Enform App Suite, a 10.3-inch high-res split-screen display, Remote Touch controller pad, voice command, and Lexus Enform Destinations. Meanwhile, the Navigation/Mark Levinson Package adds to that a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, 15-speaker audio with subwoofer, class-D amplifier, 5.1-channel surround sound, and machined-aluminum control knobs.

Safety

All models of the 2017 IS feature the Lexus Safety System+. This advanced system of driver assistance technologies includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, intelligent high beams, and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist. You also have the option to add a Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Intuitive Parking Assist, and a backup camera.

Pricing

Starting at $40,200 MSRP