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Infiniti M35 vs Lexus GS 300

ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
edited March 6 in Infiniti
I have been lurking on these message boards for a long time, but instead of posting, I soon will be buying! The CPO warranty runs out on my Audi in November, so I will soon be negotiating in earnest. I've narrowed it down to the two vehicles above.

I'm looking for: a more comfortable cruisers than my 2000 A4 1.8T, but still able to throw it around once in awhile. All the newest goodies: Bluetooth, Voice command, etc.

The current contest:

Exterior: tie
Interior: GS- I like things a bit simpler but still luxurious. I would like to have the stone or ash interior in either car, but the M35 requires the sport and the GS has the ugly black birds-eye wood. I'll probably have to go with the black interior.
Handling/Power: M35
Quiet/Comfort: Lexus
Room: M35
Dealership: Lexus- they're opening a new dealership 5 minutes from my house. Infiniti is 35 minutes. Infiniti guys are cheese balls, Lexus guys are all business.
Price: tie, but I think there is more negotiation room on the Lexus.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.
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Comments

  • zidecarzidecar Posts: 49
    I too had the the GS300 on my short list, as well as the M35x and Audi A6. The GS300 fell off the list very quickly. I'm 6'1" and my head kept hitting the top rail each time I entered/exited the car. Head room in the rear was tight as well, Also, the rear seat leg/knee room was a joke for transporting the occasional person. Never proceeded to the next step of driving the GS300. I was surprised at this space disparity because the exterior dimensions of the 2 cars are close. The M35 is 2" longer and 3" higher than the GS300. The M35 apparently makes very effective use of those extra inches. BTW, I purchased and am completely pleased with my M35x which has recently celebrated its 2 week old anniversary. :D
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,594
    With my 6'2" ht., the GS was just too tight and the rear (I occasionally like to ride in) was uninhabitable. The power of the GS300 was adequate rather than stellar, but the gas mileage of the Lexus should be better. The GS's interior was to me slightly more luxurious but not as modern as the M. Our service on my G35 was great so there were no issues there. BTW, the Infiniti's warranty is 4yr./60,000 mi. vs. 4yr./50,000mi. with the Lexus (NOT an issue with me). Lexus service has always been good. All being said, the M was much more fun to drive and sportier as well as roomier, and thus got the nod. Looks are subjective. My gas mileage (city) is 18mpg+. After 5 mos. of ownership, no problems and no regrets.

    BOTH, are nice cars!
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    My wife complained about the headroom during our last test drive. The first time I drove it, I remember a question about interior volume, but not the last time. I'll have to drive it again.

    I took a look at the specs today. The M has 1 inch more headroom, 2 inches more shoulder room and about an inch more leg room all around. An inch makes a difference!
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    Those inches are sometimes fudged. You never know where they are measuring. The M is much larger (relative to the GS) than those inches of difference would suggest.
  • I looked at both the GS 300 and the M35 on paper ~5 months ago, decided on the GS, and ordered one. To make a long story short, I gave up on Lexus and got my heart set on a M35. Suddenly, both were available. I test drove both. Yes, the Infinity is a bit more spacious, but it was far less luxurious than the lexus. Little things like the sound of the turn signal on the M35 reminded me of a video game. In the M35, I felt like I was driving a non-luxury car with lots of snap-on luxury features. Whereas the Lexus was smoooooth. Yes, not quite the power, but coming from a SAAB 9000, the pick-up is superb. There was no doubt that the GS 300 is a luxury car with a capital "L". I picked the lexus hands down for quality. I've had it 5 days and each day I appreciate it more. :)
  • ahom12ahom12 Posts: 10
    Looked at the GS300, M35 and the BMW 3 (not the 5, which would have been fairer). 3 and M performed better IMO, but Lexus luxury beyond reproach. Like medpedsdoc said, you know you are driving a luxury car in the Lexus, with the M, I didn't get the same feeling. GS performance sufficed for me (albeit a little more body lean than I'd care for), but the luxury element sold me.

    Good luck. Really can't go wrong with any of these vehicles. I should be picking up my gs300 tomorrow! :)
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    Congrats on the new GS. It's great to hear from some of the Lexus folks. I like both autos and I think the differences, although present, are less than some of the car mags and comparos would lead one to believe.
  • janeg2janeg2 Posts: 22
    I'm another one of those who tried to give the M35 due consideration when shopping for a new car recently. I really appreciated that there was more space in the interior, and that *on paper* it appeared to have many of the same features as the GS 300.

    It was a pretty good approximation.

    I bought the Lexus.
  • ahom12ahom12 Posts: 10
    Hi Janeg2. I do think the M35 and the Beamers do drive better (IMHO), but neither can match the luxury catchet of the Lexus, again IMO.

    I wanted to get 18" wheels, but they didn't have any in stock. Did you get with 18 inchers or the standard 17" run flats? I thought I read somewhere in these forums that the 18" wheels does help the ride a bit.

    And for those with Verizon out there, the LG VX8100 seemed to connect to it quiet easily.
  • janeg2janeg2 Posts: 22
    I got the 18" wheels and I think the ride is really fine. Its a smoother and quieter ride than my 1998 GS 300.

    Also I much prefer the wood steering wheel and the light and graceful turning at slow speeds (such as parking lots) to the previous leather wheel and heavy feel at slow speeds of the old GS - and the new M35. A world of difference.

    I absolutely love the refinement and feeling of pampering in the 06 GS, plenty enough to forgive it for smaller cabin space and trunk opening. Its a good time to not be a tall person or it might not have been such an easy fit.

    Like many others on this board, I only thought I knew what a great car it was when I bought it. Within the first few days of driving I began to realize how fine it really was.
  • edspider1edspider1 Posts: 195
    Replacing my LS430, I wanted something smaller so the GS was the first car to look at. Compared to the LS, I thought it was a LOT cheaper inside and I hated the metal finish going down the console. It also felt cramped. I found the M to be a lot more comfortable. So far that's all subjective, but I will say the M has more features than the GS and in the M, they do work perfectly. Toys are very important to me and although my LS had them, they didn' work as well. The M's nav is easier to use, more accurate and the birdseye view gorgeous. The back up camera is brighter, sharper and has intended path markers. The speech rec really works and I can set a destination without being at a dead stop. The transmission is smoother. The toys on the M are not gimmicks!

    That said, the GS is quieter and softer. The interior isn't as bold.
  • ahom12ahom12 Posts: 10
    Sheeesh, wish I told my salesperson I wanted the 18" early on. My car did have them, but they took it off for another gs300 sold to another couple that drove off as I was coming in! Oh well, you snooze you lose :cry:

    I'll try to get 18" in the after market. Picking it up today at 11:30 :)
  • begbiebegbie Posts: 5
    I too chose the M over the GS. For me, I wanted a car that combined sportiness with luxury and the M unquestionably trumps the GS in this category. Also, the Infiniti seems more youthful than the Lexus (I'm 30) so that was a factor too. My uncle (55) is looking at the Lexus but not the Infiniti because Infiniti seems to "racer boy" too him.
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    Well, I decided on the M. Unfortunately, it was a practical decision, not really based on what car I really wanted. My wife and I are not very tall (I'm 6'0" and she is 5'9") but we both have longer torsos, and we just couldn't fit in the GS. My hair would definitely scrape the top of the roof with the seats all the way down. I liked the GS styling inside and out better than the M. I liked the fact that the Lexus dealership was 5 minutes away. I liked the fact that I would be driving a Lexus -there, I said it! But, the M wins. I liked the driving dynamics better in the M but I was looking for more of a comfortable cruiser for my all interstate drive to work. Looked at the LS, which I really liked, but my wife said "no way- old man's car".

    What was Lexus thinking of when they chopped off 3 cubic feet of trunk room? Enough said. I'm really not that disappointed as the M is an excellent car, but I think the GS was such a narrow miss for me. This class of LPS vehicles is very competitive!!
  • ahom12ahom12 Posts: 10
    Congrats ckelly14! You really can't go wrong with either car. I am more than satisifed with my GS300 purchase (and dealer location was an influence) and look forward to driving it for fun in the years to come. The M did drive better to me (handling, pickup, etc), but the Lexus sufficed for the type of driving I do day-to-day (a few miles to the train station), and I love its appointments!

    Good luck with your M! Did you get the M35/x or M45?
  • ckelly14ckelly14 Posts: 105
    Haven't purchased yet, but have decided on a silver M35 non-sport with Journey and Tech; black interior.
  • byu1byu1 Posts: 1
    I have 2300 miles on my 2006 GS300, and it is for sale. I am driving around with a piece of cloth on the center console near the shift lever -- because the sun glare off the black wood has almost caused me to hit the center divider twice, and have put aluminum tape on the LEDs in the foot well, and above the shift lever because these cannot be shut off at night.

    The climate control system does what it wants, and not what I want, and takes far too many buttons to push to get anything done.

    I selected the GS300 over the Infinit M35 because of superior gas mileage, and further apart reccomended service. But I was truly stupid to do so.

    Every aspect of the Lexus GS300 is counter-intuitive -- from putting the side view mirror controls, parking sensors, odometer brightness, setting, and reset buttons (and many others) into a tiny fold away cluster -- which is UNSAFE TO OPERATE WHILE THE VEHICLE IS MOVING, to an erratic and unreliable bluetooth connection to a Nokia 6230B cell phone (sure the Moto flip phone does bluetooth fine, but has lousy reception, so what is the point?)

    So if you want an unsafe to drive car because you are constantly distracted by the non-intuitive controls, blinded by the setting sun reflecting off the side view mirrors, and almost hit the center divide while trying to get the side view mirrors tilted down (oh, they go down automatically when you enter reverse, just not when they are reflecting the sun into your eyes), lack of any polarization on the rear window, absolutely minimal front windshield tinting, and a stereo with lousy reception for remote stations, then please take my $45,000 luxuary car off my hands for a mere $36,622 -- which the dealer is happily offering me after 3 months and 2300 miles.

    I have gone to Lexus Corporate and dicussed these (and several other issues with them), and they agree --- the GS300 is not for me, and they will NOT stand behind their vehicle to make it better, or take it back.

    P.S. when you switch between AM/ FM, or FM and CD, you have to adjust the stereo volume substantially. Not too bright.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,594
    Wow, you rally don't like that car. Your situation is very unusual but I'm sure you can do better with resale by selling the car through you local newspaper or Autotrader.
  • abunabun Posts: 1
    I am trying to decide between the m35 and the gs300.I like the handling of the m35 but the loud reving kind of bothers me. I am currently driving a gs300 and don't here anthing when I drive. I think the features of the m35 are great but am concerned about resale value. does anyone have any thoughts.
  • GS300:
    Better interior and exterior (completely subjective)
    Quiter highway ride
    Better dealership experience (for me)

    M35:
    More power
    More room (my head brushes the top of the GS roof)
    More storage
    Better handling

    Residual values on leases are higher for the M so resale value may actually be better for the M.

    Both are great cars, it's a matter of taste. If the GS had a few inches more headroom, I would pick it. Right now, I'm leaning to the M but my mind changes literally every day. However, it keeps coming back to how annoyed I'd be when my head keeps brushing the top of the headliner during my commute in my GS ....
  • After test driving both the GS300 and the M35 (back to back, I might add), both my wife and I decided, hands-down, the M was the clear winner. Here's why:

    * Lexus was beautiful in terms of fit and finish and interior look/feel/quality, BUT it felt SO MUCH smaller inside. Although the differences in interior room are measured in 1-2" in each dimension, the M just felt like it had so much more space, like a Lexus LS or MB 5-series. We felt cramped sitting it the back seats of the GS. Just didn't feel right for a car in its class, especially since physically the two cars are so similar in size.

    * The Lexus had some odd placements of some important controls -- that drop-down console below the left side of the steering column is awkward. All of the M's controls were easily accessible without having to take one's eyes off the road for more than a second or so. Also, the nav screen is up higher, meaning you can glance at it without having to take your eyes too far off the road.

    * Tech Options: Both cars have really nice technology options, but I found the "multiple way of doing the same thing, pick what works for you" approach in the M to be more intuitive. If you don't like the computer interface, there are manual controls that do the same thing just like "in the old days" (pre-2003!).

    * Now for the biggest difference: DRIVING. The GS, with its "electronic overlords" (as one of the big car mag reviews recently stated) insulates the driver too much from the road. The GS drives smooth and luxuriously, but I'm more of a rubber-meets-the-road driver and really loved the FEEL of the M...it feels like I'm connected to the car -- part of the machine -- whereas the GS made me feel like a passive observer in the driver's seat. The GS felt sluggish off the line, while the M just cranks across all levels of the power band. I also drove the M45 and that car is just a beast off the line...could get a lot of speeding tickets with that V8!

    In the end, I guess the M just inspired passion in me, while the GS left me with "nice car, but for $50k I'll take the one that's more fun to drive." The GS was a nice ride and I probably would have picked it if the M didn't exist...but it does, and so parked in the driveway now is a new M35 Sport.

    Both cars are much better than their expensive and unreliable German counterparts! I like to think of Lexus as having a focus on Mercedes-style luxury, while Infiniti is clearly going after BMW for performance.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02!
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,594
    Nice summary. It's exactly why I too have an M35sport sitting in my garage since March. I haven't regreted my decision once.
  • ktkatktkat Posts: 7
    I drove both the M35 and the Lexus GS (along with BMW 5 series, Acura TL, and others).

    I leased the M35 (with Journey and Tech). I've had it since March and find every excuse to drive. I actually like the interior (black) very much. The controls are very user friendly. I love the bluetooth, and voice controls. My phone is synched up to the system. I was surprised at how inaccessible the controls were in other cars, compared to the M35.

    The M handles like a champ. It seems much more responsive and fast than the GS. I was a little bored driving the GS (and the ES ), but the GS was a bit quieter. I also noticed a big difference in interior size between the two cars, and I am only 5'3". The M35 is much roomier in the front AND back seats.

    Based on my test driving and my experience with the M35, I would highly recommend the loaded, fun-to-drive, yet luxurious, Infiniti.

    My BMW-driving friend (5 series) told me he was "shocked" at the great handling and features on the M35. He decided to buy one for his wife after driving mine.
  • g8rattg8ratt Posts: 2
    I am looking at both the M35 Sport and GS300 and I am having trouble finding all the options I want.

    The 300 can't be found with the smart cruise control and pre crash sensors, so says the dealership. And I may have to wait on the 18 in spider wheels. Most don't have nav or ML audio.

    The M35 S can't be found with a DVD player, although the m35 with the premium package has DVD, just not the sport.

    Dealerships are maddening. Honda/Acura is the only carmaker to figure out that you make everything standard except what a dealer can add themselves. Too bad I don't like the RL.

    Have you guys had any luck finding these options?

    I am still torn between the 300 and M35.
  • msu79gt82msu79gt82 Posts: 541
    Dealerships are maddening. Honda/Acura is the only carmaker to figure out that you make everything standard except what a dealer can add themselves. Too bad I don't like the RL.

    I got an M35 because I didn't like the RL either. One of the primary reasons is that Acura chose for me what I'd like or not like on the car. Unfortunately they chose wrong :sick: You see, I did not want OnStar or NavTraffic. I did however want a RearView Camera and Birdseye View Navi. Acura found out the hard way (with very poor sales figures, at least until they started giving it away under invoice :blush: ), that one size does not fit all :shades:
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Drove both cars within a day and came to the following for "us":

    M35 is more fun to drive (of course, a M45 would be more fun)
    GS300 is very nice inside
    GS is a Lexus (read ego)
    M has better technology package or the salesman was better
    Near neighbor has exactly the same GS my wife wants....
    Wife wants white and GS comes with that black wood stuff

    I think the M is winning.
  • donbldonbl Posts: 42
    Wife went for red GS 300 and that is the deal.

    'Course, all the analysis was for naught when emotion and color choice rule.

    Did take a DVD video/audio and listened & watched the DVD play on the navigation system. Pretty slick and the ML sounded great.
  • KTKAT:

    Thank you, Thank you and Thank you. After reading your review of the M35 vs. Lexus etc. you made me feel better for buying the M35 loaded w/o premium recently.

    I looked at the Acura TL & BMW 5 series and after I signed the contract I was bummed I didn't purchase the BMW 5 series price was about the same for a loaded BMW plus the 4 ur service but I thought the M35 had some better features then tyhe BMW.

    Also what Bluetooth phone are you using with your M35? I need to purchase a new phone with Bluetooth for my new car PU Thursday can not wait.

    andy
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Congrats on your new ride! :)

    Why don't you stop by the ongoing Infiniti M35/M45 2006+ discussion? You'll find a lot of enthusiastic owners there and all kinds of conversation, both past and present. It's probably the best place for specific M35 questions.

    Oh, and welcome to our Forums!!
  • Does anybody know if they increased in head room in the GS for 2006? I was going to go and test drive but based on what people over 6 feet tall are saying, I'm only going to if they addressed this problem in the 2006 model.

    Thanks.
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