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Lexus GS 300/GS 430



  • With a HUGE power disadvantage to the IS350, and a the marketing blitz all but a memory.

    Question: Do you p-off the 25k buyers of a GS300 and bring out the more competitive GS350 next fall, or do you protect the relatively small crowd around the GS and wait an agonizing two years before actually catching up to the market's power expectations?

    My thing is this whole "Passionate Pursuit" stuff, and mentioning BMW in press conferences and releases.

    Not that Lexus needs more sales, but I, being "Passionate", would release the GS350 next year, and avoid the GS-cycle of 18 hot months followed by 3.5 years of frostbite. I'd like to think Lexus has learned something by now with this "Performance-Luxury sedan". :confuse:

    You may burn the ones who bought early, but may be rewarded by the ones who waited. With the quality issues of the E, the controversial 5 styling, and the heavy-handed style and lack of cache of the M, this class can be gained on, with due dilligence.

    The impending success of the IS350 may force Lexus' hand. Lexus wants to sell higher priced, $47k GS vehicles a little more than $37k IS350.

    In their own way, they are playing a hand against themselves, so losing is more difficult.

    Hopefully, the IS350 will be as huge a hit as I think it will be, and Lexus will suddenly realize that aggression is the better part of valor, and the GS will quickly benefit. :D

    Prediction: The IS350 will score big, and the GS350 will move up to Spring 2007, hedging Lexus' bet.

  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692

    You seem sure that the GS350 will be out next fall. Have you heard or read something to that effect, or is that just your gut feeling? Others say it won't be out until fall '07, as an '08 model.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    bartalk3: I have heard from several Lexus officials that the GS 350 will be launched one year from now as a 2007 model. I first was told this a few months ago when one of the regional reps was at my dealer. Then, this past weekend I attended the Taste of Lexus driving event. In the morning I spoke to another regional rep who said the same thing. Later that day I spoke with Charles Hubbard, a Lexus official from California who makes presentations on new Lexus models to the press. He confirmed the new GS 350 will be out one year from now.

    As I said, the engine is obviously ready now since it has been put in the new Avalon and new IS 350. Plus, it is already in the GS in Japan (check out But one dealer rep told me that if the GS 350 were out with 300 hp, the GS 430 becomes meaningless since it also has 300 hp. So, Lexus is waiting until the new 4.6 V8 is available next year. Then, for 2007, the GS 300 will become the GS 350 and the GS 430 will become the GS 460.
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Thanks for the confirmation on the GS350. I don't suppose they will continue the GS300 when the 350 comes out. Meanwhile, the GS450h will be out next March, which will further complicate things. So, by next year will the GS be available as , a 350, a 450h, and a 460 (and possibly a 300)? Buyers might be confused by all this.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    You are welcome for the GS 350 info. And yes, from what I know one year from now there will be a GS 350 (V6), GS 460 (V8) and GS 450h (V6 hybrid). The GS 300 will be gone when the GS 350 comes out. Lexus will no longer use that engine.
  • Why not keep the 300 around?

    BMW keeps the 525 around, right? They have had it for years, and has sold strong, right behind the 530. It is much more powerful than the 525, and even the 530.

    While having 4 engines in one line may SEEM excessive, Mercedes has the E55/65, plus offer a Touring model, and BME has the 525, 530, 550, and M5.

    Most GS buyers aren't power-hungry enthusiast, as this car in reality is a Lexus in a dressy wet suit. If 2000-2500 people a month are buying it, it must be good enough.

    Lexus hasn't embraced the enthusiast, and probably never will. Dropping the 300 just because the 350 is available is wasteful.

    And, I would like to add, this engine would be a nice addition to the IS line, replacing the 2.5 in 2007. That's assuming they can mate a MT to it.

    But I'm not expecting Lexus to add fun to their portfolio anytime soon. Power without control? Fascinating! :confuse:

  • I have the 2006 GS300 but I know someone else who installed the OEM 18" 5 spoke 2006 GS430 wheels/tires on their 2006 GS300 AWD with no problems. All 2006 GS 430 and 300 18" style OEM wheel styles have the same 45 offset. Got my OEM 5 spokes from an out of state Lexus dealer as "take offs" for a very good price. I took my 2006 GS300 to my local toyota dealer where I bought a Tundra last year. I bought the new Michelin 18" tires from the toyota dealer (similar price what other local tire retailers quoted). Dealer took off GS300 wheels/tires/ and sensors then transferred sensors to the 5 spokes with the new tires. They did great job have had no trouble with sensors/tires/wheels. Drive and handling are very good. Like the look too. I was only charged $65 labor. Local Lexus dealer wanted $300 labor. Since toyota sells the new Avalon I think they are familiar with the GS and they sell a lot of new tires too. Hope this helps.
  • sam_ksam_k Posts: 117
    lenscap, doesn't it seem odd that Lexus wouldn't develop a 3.0 litre V6 engine to only use for one (or two) model years? I'm asking that because I don't think that engine is used in any other models and I'm not saying I disagree with you, just asking a question. I think the GS model line will be exactly the way you described it because that's what several people on have also been saying.
  • drtraveldrtravel Posts: 395
    Another thing contributing is the huge difference in price between MSRP and invoice for the Lexus - more than the other brands. Suppose Car A (BMW) has a $50K MSRP and $47K invoice and Car B (Lexus) has a $50K MSRP and $42K invoice. If the actual selling price for both cars were invoice and both cars depreciated 40% from their selling price then Car A would be worth $28.2K (56% residual) and Car B would be worth $25.2K (50% residual) even though both cars essentailly depreciated the same amount. That's why you can get a much larger discount from MSRP on a Lexus if you wait a little.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Drfill - Dropping the 3.0 when the 3.5 is available is not wasteful. Just the opposite, it makes no sense to keep producing an engine that is not used in any other car. You mention that BMW has the 525, but that is because that engine is also used in the Z4 and, more importantly, the 325.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Sam k - Lexus did not develop an all-new 3.0 V6 engine for the current GS 300 for only 1-1/2 years. I believe it was simply a modfied version of the 3.0 V6 used in the ES 300, RX 300 and others. My understanding is Lexus updated the engine to have more hp as a holdover until the 3.5 came along.
  • If any car could use this engine, it is the New IS.

    How does having a 100HP chasm between models make any sense?

    I would keep the 3.0 in the GS, that is selling very well BTW, and put it into the IS as a base engine for 2008, replacing the underpowered 2.5.

    As I already stated, the 525 and 530 sell about the same amount, and the 3.0 is more powerful than either, so there is a market for this engine.

    Put it in the RX. It's more powerful than the 3.3.

    As the IS and ES creep slowly upmarket (good idea), use this engine as a bridge to the GS350. Not everyone, particularly the "Lexus buyer" wants or needs 275HP, or will have that be a factor in their purchase.

    All I'm saying is a 245HP engine works nicely into the Lexus portfolio at this time, and for the forseeable future. Lexus isn't going to chase Infiniti/BMW for HP honors. And buyers seem to like the engine.

  • aheckaheck Posts: 36
    My wife has pretty much decided on the GS300 for her next car. She went today to get a new phone and ended up with the Nokia 6120 on Cingular. But, the kicker is....this is a brand new phone model, but the thing doesn't have bluetooth. Needless to say I'm very surprised about that.

    Anyway, I'd like to get your guys' opinion on whether that's a big deal or not. Neither of us have driven a car that had BT build in, so I don't know if it's a useful thing, just a gimick, or what. I'm just curious, for those of you who have a BT phone, do you acutally use it handsfree in the car, or do you find yourself picking up the phone instead?

  • rick31rick31 Posts: 4
    Bluetooth is a great feature especially on the gs300. I love this feature the most and use it non stop. :D
  • I dig the Blue Tooth and would not call it a gimmick. Drove back from Sacramento to Oakland today and stayed in touch with the office for a long ride without holding the phone. Much safer. Get the car and take back your phone.
  • Well, let me start by informing you guys that I have the 2006 GS430 and I love it.....The sound of that V-8 drives me crazy....I just can't get enough of it.....Unfortunatley, the car is starting to give me some small inconviniences.....First, the tire air pressure lights went off for no aparent reason and then my navigational system started to go out of wack....I would suddenly be driving over the ocean from the naviagational's point of view....

    Well, I took the car for service and they told me that it might be the V-Kool tints that I put throughout the entire car. These tints tend to block a lot more heat then normal tints and its like triple the price, but worth every penny. I have a clear tint in the front and they are telling me that its because of the silver components that these tints have that are causing the out of tune calibration of the navigation system....I told them that it couldn't be because I have had the tints for more that a month and this problem had risen a couple of weeks after the installment of the tints....

    Anyone with a similar case please respond to see what should I do...I really dont want to take the front tint of b/c I live in Miami and it gets pretty hot here....besides I have black interior which tend to get a few degrees hotter then lighter interiors....These tints also help preserve the car's interior...
  • I love the bluetooth in this car. It is such a convinience....I love the fact that you could just press the one touch dial feature on the navigation and just talk with your cellphone in your pocket. HOWEVER, the systems has a few drawbacks.

    1. If someone calls me on the other line and I do not want to pick that are basically screwed...when the other lines stops ringing...its drops your call. This is a huge inconvinience.

    2. If you do not have someone in your car's phonebook and you dial from the cellphone (since the car has the safety feature that doesn't allow you to dial while the car is in motion, you tend to dial a lot more often from your phone then your car) it takes like 5 seconds for you to hear the other person at the end of the line. What you dont know is that that person has already said hello like 4 times....sometimes they would hang up the phone even before you ever get to hear them yelling hello. In other words, the transferance of bluetooth signal to voice from your cellphone lags for 10 seconds. You dont even get to here the phone ring on the other end. Unless if you dial from your car, which doesn't lag.

    3. When you recieve a call, the navigation screen has a caller ID feature....sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn' you are contantly looking at your physical phone to see if you want to take the call.

    4. It doesn't have the voice recognition feature to dial someone...Example: I want to call John, but I dont want to scroll over my phonebook so I create a Voice Recognition Command on my cellphone to just press a botton and say John's name. My phone automatically looks up John and Dials it. This car doesn't have this feature...

    5. I had to transfer my phonebook one by one to the cars phonebook!!!!

    But overall, the system is great....If they would update the software it would be phenomenal. If I missed any or if there is any solution for any of the Bluetooth mishaps...feel free to add them.... I would rate the Cellphone feature as a 8.5 out of 10... In comparison to the other cars such as the Audi A6, Merc E-class, BMW 5 series, etc they all have there mishaps...
  • tlouietlouie Posts: 20
    how does lexus justify selling GS for over $50k when the toyota avalon has 280 hp for 30K and new lexus IS with 306 hp for $40k ? It definitely needs new 3.5 engine. If it doesn't happen soon I will have to buy the BMW 5 series.
  • Well, if you really want to pay almost more 10k on the merc or bmw then the GS then go right ahead. The magazines might say they cost the same, but trust me out the door, the sticker prices change dramatically. Dont get me wrong...I love german cars. In the lexus, you do get more bang for your comparison to BMW or Merc. In addition, yes its should of comed out with the 350 and the 460 GS's, but they figured that through their exterior and interior design, demands would be sufficient enough....They didnt put in the new engines b/c its a huge cost for the company....Building these new engines is a lot of money...But, still...the engines that they have now are pretty good.

    The new IS might have 305, but its just .2 seconds quicker then the 430..After 60 mph...the 430's V-8 will out perform it.....Also, understand that the IS is a lot smaller in size and a lot lighter...its the same as comparing the 3 series with the 5 series.

    Now for the avalon, those 280 horses doesnt compare close to the 300 for the gs430...When it comes to engineering, try to understand that transimission set up, mechanical material components for lighter, durable and more heat efficient parts play a huge part for a cars performance, amongst other things....The Drivability of an avalon to either GS's doesnt even compare. GS has stiffer everything, better and bigger brake system, better comfort, better everything. In comparison to the GS 300...the avalon is .2 seconds faster 0-60. Not that impressive when it has 500cc and and 35 more horses. They want the avalon to have more power so they would boost their sales. Avalon's have never sold that well in the states.

    In the end, either GS are worth getting...but if you want more performance out of these GS, then u are going to have to wait a couple of years to get it. Now, the Infiniti is the new competitor for lexus, but in the end...Toyota have always delievered dependable cars that dont depreciate as quickly as many other cars. The infiniti and lexus rivalry is another story for me.....let me know if you wanna hear about it. Good Luck
  • mm9351mm9351 Posts: 72
    This seems to be the hot topic of the day. I have a Treo phone which I like, but it doesn't have Bluetooth. I understand the Blackberry's have Bluetooth, so I'm ready to order....and then I discover that NO BLACKBERRY's are compatible with my new '06 GS! The only Nokia phones that will work on the GS are the 6820 and the 6230. There are several Motorola phones, including the V330 , V551, and the RAZR V3. I'm settling on the RAZR because of its tiny size (only 1/2" thick). BTW, Bluetooth is extremely useful, you can sync your phonebook, it's fully operational with your audio system on the GS. Not sure if you can dial using voice command, but I'll let you know in about a week (phone is on order).

    Here's some news you can use: go to and enter your zip code under the GS, and it will list all the compatible Bluetooth phones. How cool is that?
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Asked my dealer today about this and got a blank stare. They know that the 450h will be available in April, but a GS350 - didn't have a clue (or so they claimed). Anyone hear anything definitive about a 350?
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Almost certainly next fall. Don't bother asking salesmen or dealers anything about future products. Ninety-nine percent of the time they don't know. Manufacturers want them to sell today's products and so often keep them in the dark about the future. Also, I've found that car salesmen typically are not that interested in cars or the auto industry. Ironic but true. You're more likely to get good information on these boards than in dealers' showrooms.
  • kmg68kmg68 Posts: 108
    I have finally made the decision to buy the GS however I am not sure whether I should buy now, or wait until the "December to Remember" event. Can anyone tell me what Lexus typically offers during this event? Do you think they will offer lower interest rates than currently offered? I have read that interest rates are expected to rise 1/4% on November 1st and on 12/13, so am trying to decided what would be more advantageous as far as financing goes. Any feedback would be appreciated!
  • kmg68kmg68 Posts: 108
    Does anyone have a picture of a Blue Pearl Onyx and/or Shadow Quartz GS that they could post? The dealership closest to me has a very limited color selection and it is hard to tell from the Lexus website what these colors would look like in a naural setting or normal lighting. Thanks!
  • bartalk3bartalk3 Posts: 692
    Shadow quartz is close to Flint Mica. See if they have that at your dealer's. I wouldn't order a car (especially an expensive car) without seeing the color I wanted. You can be surprised. But I'm very conservative (about cars).

    The December to Remember wait would be a crap shoot. Lexus is intentionally vague, so you don't know what cars will be available at what rates. I might gamble it, however. The longer you wait after the car's introduction, presumably the better price you can get. At its launch it was selling for sticker. A lot of the action at Lexus now will be with the new IS. Also, it won't be long after the new year that the GS450h will debut, so possibly in December they'll try to push the GS300. My own guess is that you wouldn't pay more in December than you would now (aside from the small interest rate hike), but you might do a lot better.
  • kmg68kmg68 Posts: 108
    Thanks for the feedback Bartalk! I have seen the Flint Mica, however I know that the Shadow Qurtz has more of a bluish-gray tint. I will not purchase until I can see the color in person.

    Also-I purposefully waited until the IS came out knowing that would take away some of the buzz surrounding the GS hopefully resulting in a better negotiation process. At any rate, I think you are right-I will wait until after Thanksgviing to see what "December to Remember"has to offer. Thanks!
  • "Not the GS over the 5 though. I found the GS disappointing in too many non-driving related aspects as well."

    Like what? The interior is appointed very well, a class leader IMO.
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    The car I tested was the GS300 RWD.

    The car accelerated too slowly... felt slower than a V6 Accord auto. The handling was too-overboosted and feedback was lacking.

    The design of the interior is average... pretty generic. I like the white electro gauges though. Don't like the "flip console". Takes three steps to open gas door or trunk. 1) Open console, 2) Push button, 3) Close console. I'm too lazy. =)

    Interior materials were very good, except the fake rectangular aluminum plastic in the center was tacky and cheap-feeling. Loved the feel and shape of the front seats.

    Interior room was smaller than expected, and front headroom absolutely sucked.

    The trunk opening is embarrasingly small. What were they thinking?

    The standard audio system was disappointing. Maybe something was wrong with the model I drove, but the speakers cracked under some bass from a FM station. So much so that the salesman had to turn the volume down, and it wasn't that high to begin with.

    Love the side profile, rear end is acceptable, hate the front end design. The front end of the IS is leagues better.

    Well, there you have it.
  • sqlbsqlb Posts: 2
    I tried to have my wife's 06 GS300 tinted and 3 shops in Southern California turned me down. They told me the same reason, that Lexus sent out a bulletin warning that tinting the windows on the 06 GS will affect the navigation system. So we didn't do it. My dealer, Lexus of Valencia confirmed that this is true.
  • I was told the Shadow Quartz may be on the way out...was not selling. It can look rather lavender in the sunlight. Make sure you see it in the sun. Another color the salesman said they were getting rid of was the Chardonay (this year's gold).
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