2005 GS 430 New Car Test Drive
The Lexus GS models deliver the sharp driving dynamics of a sports sedan with the refinement and quality of a Lexus luxury sedan. Rear-wheel drive, a four-wheel double-wishbone independent suspension, and a luxurious cabin are the key ingredients to this formula.
The GS 430 is an exciting sports sedan with a 300-horsepower V8 that gobbles real estate and clings to the road in high-speed sweepers. The GS 300, meanwhile, purrs along with one of the smoothest six-cylinder engines in the class. Both are big, sophisticated luxury sedans that whisk four people along in leather-and-wood-trimmed comfort.
They offer a nice balance between smooth ride and responsive handling. The steering is light for easy maneuverability when parking, but provides the driver with reassuring feedback on the highway. Fast and comfortable, these are great cars for long trips and for commuting on harsh, busy highways.
The Lexus GS sedans feature warm and pleasant interiors with elegantly designed controls that are easy to operate. The back seats are among the most comfortable in the class, adding to their practicality.
Lexus continues to deliver some of the best quality in the industry and its GS sedans are no exception. The GS 300 and GS 430 are perennial quality leaders in their class, according to the J.D. Power and Associates research firm. For the 10th consecutive year, Lexus was the highest-ranking brand in the firm's dependability study, which surveys owners after three years of ownership.
The Lexus GS series comes in two versions: the six-cylinder GS 300 ($38,875) and the V8-powered GS 430 ($47,975).
GS 300 is powered by a high-output, 220-horsepower 3.0-liter inline-6. It comes standard with cloth upholstery and automatic climate control with filtration and deodorization. Leather upholstery is optional ($1,660) and comes packaged with a memory system.
GS 430 comes with a 4.3-liter double overhead-cam V8 that produces 300 horsepower. It also comes standard with perforated leather upholstery; memory for the driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering column; and high-intensity discharge headlights.
Both models are equipped with a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, but the GS 300 also features E-Shift manual controls on the spokes of the steering wheel.
Options include a navigation package ($2,000) and a superb Mark Levinson audio system ($1,250).
Safety features that come standard for both models include Vehicle Stability Control, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, traction control, dual frontal airbags, seat-mounted side-impact airbags for driver and front-seat passenger, and seat belts with pretensioners and force limiters. The GS models also come standard with side curtain airbags for the driver and front passenger, very important because they can provide protection for the head and upper body in side impacts.