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Lexus GS 300/GS 430



  • azbuyerazbuyer Posts: 11
    Salesmen quoted me $750.00 for the install. Seen the "black box" on the trunk [unacceptable]and on the rear deck. What about a fin antenna like BMW or Acura?

  • janeg2janeg2 Posts: 22

    The 06 ride is much more smooth and quiet. Yet the suspension still feels sporty and is not mushy or floaty. The steering in tight circles is much lighter than the 98, and with the wood steering wheel you can turn easily with one palm. Yet at higher speeds the steering is tight and precise. Delightful.

    The 98 was a sportier ride where you felt the road flaws, and steering in a slow turn felt heavy and required two hands. (Not unpleasant at all, just different, and some people seem to prefer that sportier feel). Road noise was more noticeable.

    Both my 98 and the 06 have RWD. We got the NAV and with that came the MLevinson sound, since we couldn't wait to special order a car. I might have cut corners and done without the ML but it came packaged together, and it really is awesome. (What a waste it would be to have ML in a noisy car!) We must have everything that comes on the GS300 because there were no other options to discuss, and had to pay sticker price, of course. Many lucky people will wait it out and make a better deal.

    The interior space of the 06 is more cramped, I'll grant that. The rear seat bottom is closer to the floor so the passengers can't stick their toes underneath it, thus a more cramped floor space - for a larger person sitting behind a larger person, anyway. And yes, the small trunk opening really irked me at first, but its hard to hold out against all of the other wonderful features.

    The 06 is peppier and smoother in acceleration. And so QUIET. Have not actually stomped it, but the 98 always had plenty of rocket on demand - on the PWR setting.

    The (06) perforated seats have more grip, whereas the 98 had a slippery leather. The 06 has a LIGHT in the lower part of the armrest storage - and its a better design than the 98. Cup holders are equal.

    One of the great surprises was the series of little white spotlights which you can only appreciate in the dark. These fabulous lights come on in an intuitive sequence as you approach and enter the car. I had read about them in the book but had no idea how delightful they would be to live with. Brilliant design feature.

    Love the rear backup camera, and park assist. Recommend them highly.

    Love the bluetooth. Not just for convenience, but also safety. Works great. Sounds great. We each have a phone book and quick 1-touch numbers, but leave it set for my phone until my husband drives for a longer time. Easy to select other phone.

    We really enjoy the NAV system, and used it this week on a trip to a place we had never driven to. Works very well, but am still studying the finer points it has to offer.

    Recommend steering wheel controls for radio and phone. None of that in the 98.

    Love the hands free unlocking of doors and trunk. Not because using the clicker is so much hard work, but just because its a pleasure and its fun. Same with the push button starter.

    Acceleration is peppier and flawlessly smooth in the 06. All pleasure.

    Cargo net in trunk (06) is very handy. Didn't have one in the 98.

    The (06) headlights really do turn side to side, and even up and down a bit.

    The 06 headlights are brighter and are super-white.

    Did I mention how much we love this new car?

  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692

    Thanks for all the detail! I'm a conservative buyer, so want to get other's opinions before I take the plunge, especially those who have owned the previous GS generation. Your views pretty much parallel mine. When I test drove the car, before I even got out of the dealer's lot, I said to myself, "I've got to have this car." It just felt like a marvelous piece of machinery. Very different in concept from the BMW and other sporty cars that put you in direct contact with the road. I like a certain amount of that, but I don't have to hear a noisy engine and feel every bump in the road to feel alive. There's something about the splendid isolation and silence of the Lexus that just says quality and luxury.

  • osxaddictosxaddict Posts: 14
    from a local dealer in the southern california area (torrance) for the Costco deal on a 2006 GS300 with Navi (and probably ML sound too I believe) for $48706 ($1500 below invoice so he claimed -- I'm not sure what other options it would have as part of that package -- I'm also only interested in the RWD version).. I saw someone else posted about a dealer with a similar configured GS300 for $47995 (in Westminster down the coast a little), which sounds better.. I'm also going to check w/ the Glendale dealer as well to see how well they can do..

    Keep in mind that I've yet to actually see one of these up close or test drive one.. They certainly sound nice and look nice.. I couldn't bring myself to buy an LS430 as I really dislike their body style quite a bit.. I've seen a few of the GS300/430s driving about and they look much more sporty..

    However, I'm about 6' 2" tall and I'm hoping that it's not too cramped inside, since a few people indicated that it's a little smaller than older models were. For the back seat, mostly the kids will be sitting back there (mostly)... I was thinking of getting a BMW, but their poor gas milage and very poor (from what I've read) reliability of the 7-series got me here.. Perhaps I can take a peek at one of these sometime this weekend..

    Are you taller guys/gals happy with the legroom of the GS300s?

    -- Rick
  • soulundersoulunder Posts: 31
    What is the Costco plan? Heard this a couple of times. We have Costco in TN - is this a California deal only?
  • osxaddictosxaddict Posts: 14

    If you're a Costco member, you can go visit their website and under the "services" link on the top, you'll find that they have a vehicle buying program.. We've had a few people here at work that have bought their vehicles through Costco and been happy with the results.. The program is similar to buying from places like Autoland, etc. You're basically getting a preset price deal for a specific vehicle without the need to haggle..

    On another note-- I got a call back from the Torrance lexus sales guy and he indicated that he can't find any cars that fit my color scheme in the general area and suggested I drop by to sign up with $500 for the ordering process (claimed a 4-6 week wait would be needed). The color I'm now looking for is the Flint Mica I think.. The only ones he's got on his lot are the silver with black or silver w/ ash interior.. I'll keep looking..

    -- Rick
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692

    If it's a factory order you're considering, I'd be skeptical of the 4-6 week time frame your salesman gave you. I've heard from several dealers here that it can be 3 months or even longer. Of course, some may be exaggerating to encourage people to buy what they have around, but generally I would not be surprised by a 3-month wait. But, hey, it's worth it. If you're spending $45,000-$50,000, you might as well get EXACTLY what you want, no? This is not the time to settle. By the way, if comments on this board are typical, Flint Mica is a VERY popular color. That certainly would be my first choice as well.
  • jonesok1jonesok1 Posts: 97
    Having taken all for a test drive the last few days, here's my take.

    I have in the past tens years owned a 95 Maxima, 2000 Avalon XLS, 03 Accord XLS/Navi. I currently drive an 04 Acura TSX, and my wife currently owns an 04 Lexus RX330. The first new car I bought was a 1969 Olds 442 to give you a bit of history. 350 HP, 9 MPG, top speed 98MPH, and the 1/4 in about 15 seconds. So I've been around awhile in a lot of different cars. Yeah, I'm an old geezer.

    1st test: 05 Avalon XLS. With the Limited version, one can get close to Lexus with all the gadgets. The engine is a winner. Off the line was as fast as my 442-neck jerking acceleration and smooth transmission.

    Downside: The interior materials were not Lexus like at all. My 2000 Avalon was closer if not equal in that regard. The 05's leather was hard; the steering wheel cover felt abrasive, and black and chrome plastic everywhere. And the seam in the center back became painful in just a few minutes. I can't imagine all day with it digging in your back. That was worth three strikes alone.

    2nd: M35. Very nice car. Reminds me a lot of the 95 Maxima before Nissan put the body on Steroids. Dealer is a jerk and won't come off MSRP much. Rides a bit harsher than I wanted and not as quiet as the Avalon, or my Acura TSX for that matter. Handled a lot like the TSX, but even the TSX handled better, albeit with less power. And WHAT was Infiniti thinking with the retro dash? Fit and finish was the poorest of any car tested. Orange peel in the paint, dull paint in places. Three strikes for all. No thanks.

    3rd: Acura RL. Loud rattle in the dash right off the bat with 35 miles on the car. I hate Navi and there's no way to get one without it. I live in a rural area and know every road for 300 miles. Drove almost the same as the 03 Accord (which also had NAVI). Looks about the same as well. Just nothing to get passionate about. Perhaps not a strike out, but certainly foul for me.

    4th: GS430. The best overall in fit and finish, ride, and power, as well as design. Costs 10k more than I care to spend. Three strikes there alone.

    5th. GS300: Best of the bunch, IF they would have put the Avalon's engine in it, I'd have bought one. My TSX has about as much power as the 300 and it's a four banger. For the price, it's not worth the trouble or the slight increase in power.

    Winner: None. When they increase the power output in the GS I may be tempted, but none of these cars made me very interested in trading up as they currently are designed. My TSX is a blast to drive, and trouble free.

    By the way, the Acural dealer, who normally never had more than one TSX, a couple of TL's and RL's had at least a dozen RL's, two dozen TL's and a half dozen TSX's. Even the salesmen admitted it was a buyers market ("make an offer, PLEASE!!!").

    The Lexus dealer had three GS's (a couple of 300's and one 430). Even the Infiniti dealer had three M35's, and two M45's on the lot. He also was the least eager to deal, although I didn't push it.

    Note these opinions are mine alone, and I don't expect everyone to agree. I just put it out there to give others my impression, not to start an argument, so please keep it in perspective if you bought one of these cars. As I said, all of them are good cars-just not good for me.
  • osxaddictosxaddict Posts: 14

    I'm not really interested in waiting that long for one of these (or anything else for that matter). Also, after discussing it with my better half, we may be interested in other colors as well.. I did get a reply from Lexus of Glendale with a rather attractive offer, but I'm just not sure if it has the options I want.. Needless to say, the price of $2K below MSRP (~$45.6K) sounds very attrative if the right options are on it (NAV+ML Audio and perhaps a few others), but I suspect it's got nothing but the NAV for that price.. I might pop over there tomorrow afternoon to check it out..

    -- Rick
  • soulundersoulunder Posts: 31
    Thanks much for your response about Costco - I'll check it out. I am looking for Flint Mica also with black interior. My dealer claims they have made less than 10 so far that's been shipped around the country. Had a shot at one in a neighboring state but dealer would not come off MSRP at all - crazy! I want one but not that bad. The search continues..
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We have some discussions on buying a car through Costco that you can look up with the keyword search on the left. All but one are archived, but it might be worth your time to look through the archived information and maybe pursue the subject in the active one if you'd like.

    In any case, good luck and keep us posted on how it goes.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692

    Let us know what the Glendale deal finally is--equipment and price.
  • Having sold the Lexus and the Honda, I'd have to say Lexus could learn a thing or two about Nav systems from Honda. Honda/Acura is just easier to use and has more voice commands.

    Outside of that, of course the Lexus is a far nicer car to drive. Smoother and much better low end torque. I don't understand why Acura doesn't tune their engines to have more low end torque.

    Acura does give more bang for the buck, imho. But, for sheer joy, the GS430 (and even the GS300) is a dream to drive.

    A dealer can do two things to a new and hot car. Put a dealer premium on it or accessories the hell out of it. I worked for a Lexus dealer that opted to put on rims/ XM sat/ deck lid spoiler if not put on by factory/gold-black kits and charge a lot for them as the mark up. It pisses us salesmen off cuz most people don't want that crap and end up having to give it away. In the few occasions, people wouldn't mind and pay for it. That's a dream come true!!!

    Oh, Lexus did make one big bib mistake. They should have added XM as a standard feature instead of just per-wiring the car. They should have offered it as a 90 day free trial. We had a Glacier Frost Mica GS430 that had the XM put on with a small black square box glued to the top of the trunk with the wire showing going into the space between the trunk and back window. Anyone have a scissors to cut that with? And lets not talk about how ugly it made the car. No way would i pay over 60K for a car where the idiots in the service department did such an idiotic thing to an awesome car.

    Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to sell one. All I had were mooches coming in wanting the car at invoice when Lexus is hardly making them.
  • osxaddictosxaddict Posts: 14
    Hopefully I'm not one of those moochies! Anyway, after not having looked at any vehicles in about 3-4 years, I find it rather amusing that these predefined packages are now being pushed instead of nickel and diming each option to the buyer. I'm not sure which is better, but with the current set of options available for the GS300/430 that are typical configurations from the factory usually have stuff that most people aren't too interested.. I for one can take or leave the M. Levinson audio system, and I really don't know how much $$ it adds to the price of the "NAV" option.. I suppose one way around that would be to just order from the factory direct..

    On one of the other things you mentioned.. In my past, I've never had good results with dealer installed options -- they're usually (not always) installed in some sub-standard way such that they are one of the first couple of things that you start having problems with. I'd take factory installed options any day of the week over dealer installed options. Now, things *may* be different with Lexus, as I've never bought a Lexus before.. Anyway, enuf rambling..

    -- Rick
  • Hey Rick,

    I hope you aren't a mooch either ;). Interesting enough, the ones who are the happiest are the ones that pay allt he money. Those that haggle etc are always bitter and the ones that give you the worse surveys.

    As a salesmen, we ask for all the money, and rightfully so. As a consumer, you want a good deal, and that's understandable as well (I buy cars too!). What isn't understandable is when you get an unrealistic buyer wanting a hot car that is hardly produced (lexus is only producing ~47 GS430 for 58 western region Lexus dealerships) and want to pay invoice.

    I understand the numbers have to make sense or we'll never be able to earn the customers business. But where it would be unreasonable for us to ask way over's also (in some cases) unreasonable to ask for a hot in demand car for invoice. Besides, us salesmen need to earn a living too!

    As for ordering cars from Lexus, it's not as simple as just ordering something the way you want it. Lexus builds cars and then puts them into allocation for dealerships to pick. Dealerships can't order cars the way a customer wants them. Most of the GS300s come two ways. With NAV/ML/sonar sensors/ back up cam or with out. IT would have been nice for lexus to have put the back up cam and sensors as a package sans the nav, esp with all the new cars coming with painted bumpers. Scratch it gets very expensive to fix.

    The GS430 comes loaded and you get nav whether you want it or not.

    And I agree, I didn't like the fact that the dealership put on these crappy aftermarket rims. Chroming them, ok..that's fair but I know as a consumer, i'd like to pick what i want on a car. It's just a way for them to get more money for the car instead of putting a dollar mark up on it.

    The best way to make sure you get a car with no dealer additions is to pre-order the car. Most dealershps will contract you on an incoming car where you put a refundable deposit on it. You hve first right of refusal *(of course you need to discuss this with what ever dealership you use as not all will do this).

    On a side note, i got a lot of people comparing the GS with the Infiniti M.
    One thing lost in the comparison is that the GS wan't meant to be an all out sports car. It takes the Lexus focus on luxury and mates it to a more technologically advanced and sporty engineering. The M is chasing BMW to be an all out gutsy car. One thing Infiniti can't touch lexus is in reliability and fit and finish. No doubt Infinity did an excellent job with the new M..hell no one wanted the old M. But, consumer reports, JD powers etc cant be ignored when it comes to how well Lexus does by giving it's customers a great product, a great warranty and great service after the sale.

    I will also mention that if you come across a great salesperson who takes the time to help you and answer all of yoru questions without being pushy and forceful, GIVE HIM THE BUSINESS when you are ready, especially if he takes the time to follow up with you. But, I can get into the customer stories I have another time.

    Good luck...
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,327
    Suffice to say that Lexus makes a great product. Its fit and finish and reliability, however, are slowly declining. I've noticed this in the six Lexus' which I bought brand new and I'm not saying that it represents a continuum. My newer ones required more "tweeks" from the dealer than earlier ones, although the issues were relatively minor. Infinitis, on the other hand have steadily improving quality, design, and engineering. This is exemplified with the new M.

    It remains to be seen if the sales success of the new GS will continue or simply represent a new honeymoon phase as it did with the '98 GS redesign. I've driven and researched the '06 GS and feel it IS another fine Lexus product, but like the M, not perfect. My point is that Lexus ought to be watching carefully in its proverbial rear view mirror (or back-up camera) as competition is close by.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    Very good post. You see clearly the motivations of buyer and seller. It's a free market. Unsophisticated buyers get screwed. Each is out for his own best interest. I see nothing wrong with a seller asking over MSRP for a new hot model if there are buyers willing to pay to be the first on the block with a new model. On the other hand, there is no reason for a seller to accept a low ball offer. Generally, the party who needs the deal the least, gets the best deal. Unfortunately for the salesman, a smart buyer will take the salesman's time to explain, demonstrate and negotiate and then check around elsewhere for a lower price from someone else.

    I pose the question: How much more should a "loyal" customer pay for the service of a conscientious salesman? My guess - not much.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692

    You claim that "Dealerships can't order cars the way customers want them."

    My Lexus dealership said they will order the car with any options I want. Why are you so sure they're wrong?
  • I pose the question: How much more should a "loyal" customer pay for the service of a conscientious salesman? My guess - not much.

    You are right. There isn't much loyalty in the car biz. I have bent over backwards for people and they go buy elsewhere cuz of a lower price, especially when I never gave them a price to begin with! We work on the premise that we'll negotiate with a person when they are ready to buy. Otherwise, what's the point of giving them a number that they will shop? What dealerships do to prevent this is LOW BALLING the shopper, which is all fair in love, war and car sales.

    Let's say you come in with your clip board, consumer reports guide, and print outs from the internet. You try to convince me that you know the invoice (many internet sites get it wrong or consumers get the wrong number using a vehicle they aren't looking for) and you want me to give you your BEST PRICE on a car that you aren't planning to buy for 3 months. So what does the typical car salesman do? Give you a number that no one will sell the car for knowing you will go from dealer to dealer trying to get a better deal. His hope is that he'll take you off the market and come back to him. But, by the time he comes back, the salesman will tell the customer "Gosh Mr. customer, that number was good that day you were here and not now. You should have acted upon it when you had the chance! I can't sell you the car for that price but let me show you what I can do."

    All I will say is that what people hate about car dealerships just didn't happen all by itself. A lot of it is based off of the experiences the dealership has with the buying public. And believe me, the saying BUYERS ARE LIARS has a lot of truth to it. The buyers have their game plan and so do dealership. We get people in who say they hate negotiating and just want the bottom line. So when we give it to them...they start to negotiate!!! :mad:

    The best deal a person can get is the deal that you and the dealership agree on.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but it's something I am passionate about.
  • That's what I was told by those who ordered the cars. Lexus pre builds the cars and the dealership orders from that batch.

    It's possible they lied to me..but if they can, have you ordered the car with all the options you want? And what was the time frame they gave you as to when you'd get that car. And if you do order a car the way you want it, does that mean you have to prebuy the car and can't back down after the car is ordered. In other words, it's your car and you are paying for it regardless??
  • reefbreakreefbreak Posts: 10
    i know there are not many GS430's at the dealerships, but does anyone know of a Bay Area lexus dealership that a GS 430 demo model? i liked the 300, but want the few extra ponies.

    Local dealership tells me the only option now on the GS430 is to put down a $1000 refundable deposit on one. just cannot see doing that without driving one.
  • I doubt any dealership is going to have a 430 demo. they are just too rare. You need to ask the dealership if you have first right of refusal. Meaning, you put your deposit down. the car comes in. you test drive it. you like it, you buy it. if you don't like it, you walk away with your deposit. But, don't do that if you just want to test drive it. I had one guy who just wanted to TD after telling me how much he wanted to buy it. We had one that wasn't to be TD but he made a big stink out of not being able to TD it. He liked the car but then wouldn't commit afterwards telling me he doesn't make impulse buys and he had to think about it. I retorted "you have had a whole week to think about it cuz you've been demanding to test drive it. Now that I got the ok, you don't know and want to think about it?"

    hence, the frustration and games car salesmen have to deal with when dealing with the public. Of course, not all are like this but I had more players deal with me at lexus then I had when at Honda. Go figure
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Well...dealers should have demos of both the GS300 and GS430. It's only logical to expect a customer to want to test drive a car before he's going to plunk down his hard earned cash. Especially when it's a $60K car.
  • florida1florida1 Posts: 42
    Are you guys serious, you can't find a 430 test drive? I've driven two of them a total of three times---All the dealerships here in S. FL have them available to drive--I can't imagine making a decision with out testing it--In fact, testing it exstensivly. Went to Audi today and tested an A6 for 20mins or so bby my self---Salesman didn't even ride along---
  • florida1florida1 Posts: 42
    You have got to be kidding me--Buyers have been conditioned by the auto industry to negotiate and not not trust----It's the industry that's driven this "vicious cycle"

    Your're right it's a GAME and a game that the Dealerships and Salespeople have designed---one that gives them a distinct advanatge at all times--The only frusteration (if any) a car salesman or dealership should have-ought to be directed towards other dealerships and salespeople---

    I've made many car purchases-----There prabably wasn't one where the ultimate price I paid wasn't LESS than the price the salesperson told me out of the gates was the "LOWEST PRICE"--

    It's a Dealership game period! The customer is always disadvantaged--
  • soulundersoulunder Posts: 31
    Thanks much HOST, I'll check it out.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692

    Capitalism is supposedly based on competition, and buyers are just using whatever competition exists to get the best price. That's how the system is supposed to work. Quit complaining! Buyers aren't liers, they're shoppers. Most car salesmen, on the other hand, richly deserve the reputation they have, because so many are either dishonest, uninformed, or both. If you walk into a car dealership like a babe in the woods, you will be treated accordingly and will be lucky to walk out with your diaper intact. If you walk in fully informed about the car, the price, the invoice, the options, and all the worthless extras they try to pile on, you might be able to negotiate a good deal. But don't forget, salesmen sell cars every day; you buy a car once every few years. Who do you think is better at the game? In no other industry are ripoffs so common. Excuse my latin, but caveat emptor!
  • reefbreakreefbreak Posts: 10
    i have tried half of the dealerships in the Bay Area, same story. they have pre-orders like crazy, and cannot "spare" one to use as a demo. perhaps when sales slow a little, but right now, that could be 2-3 months. just not enough V-8's to go around out here.

    what did you think of the audi? i drove the 545, m45, audi and lexus.... audi and lexus remain on the list. drove the audi v-8... sweet car, inside and out. reliability, though????
  • rotoryfanrotoryfan Posts: 111
    use2sellcars - do you have an thoughts on Lexus paint quality?

    i.e. general durability, ease of getting stone chips, quality of paint/clear coat, Lexus painting processes compared to other manufacturers? (also, do you have a favorite Lexus color that you think looks more "refined or premium"?

    I have not owned a Lexus but probably will take a hard look at the new models.

    Thanks in advance. Cheers
  • florida1florida1 Posts: 42
    I'm an Audi fan to begin with----and the new A6-8 is very nice. Not as fast as the GS though--I too drove all the cars you mention---I've only had German cars in the past. The Audi's interior is exceptional and I especially like the wheels---All that said, I've found myself more and more drawn to the GS 430---IMO, the GS has much better color options than the A6---I just aboout like all the colors of the GS and only 1or2 of the Audi's----As much as I don't want to admit it the GS430 seems to have heavier steering than the A6---A6 is really light and nimble (good in some ways)---------The A6 trumps the GS is space by far-----However, i give the edge to the GS when it comes to sexy looks---it's sleek and sporty---

    They are all good cars (I thought the the M wasxa step down from the others)-----BMW has such great leases on 5 series that it sure makes it compelling---(they are so common though)

    What did you think of the M? What are you leaning towards?
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