2003 GS 430 New Car Test Drive
The GS is the bad boy of the Lexus sedan family, the one with the most aggressive personality and most eccentric styling. Last year, the top-level GS 430 acquired a new 4.3-liter 300-horsepower V8 with 325 foot-pounds of torque. That extra boost propelled the GS 430 from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, quicker than comparable models from Acura, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
While the GS 430 gets the headlines, don't underestimate the punch of the GS 300. With 220 horsepower from its six-cylinder engine, the GS 300 squirts from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.8 seconds. Both GS sedans are fun to drive and deliver impressive handling, supreme comfort, and typical Lexus build quality, which is consistently ranked among the best in the industry.
Two models are available: the six-cylinder GS 300 ($38,605) and the V8-powered GS 430 ($47,405).
The GS 300 engine is a high-output, 220-horsepower 3.0-liter inline-6. The wickedly fun GS 430 comes with a 4.3-liter double overhead-cam V8 that produces 300 horsepower. Both are equipped with five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmissions, but the GS 300 features E-Shift manual controls on the spokes of the steering wheel.
In addition to the more potent engine, the GS 430 provides leather for the seats, steering wheel, and door panels; memory for the driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering column; high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, and slightly wider P225/55R16 tires.
A leather package for the GS 300 costs $1,660. DVD navigation, a six-disc CD changer, and a Mark Levinson audio system are also offered, either individually or as a $7,945 package.
The GS 430 we drove featured the $2,520 Premium Package, which includes a six-disc in-dash CD changer, power moonroof, and heated front seats.