Toyota Lexus GS300: Venerable Luxury with Durable Toyota Parts
By Jenny McLane
High equipment levels and meticulous quality and refinement have been the formula for building and maintaining the Lexus. It embodies a fresh design approach, re-engineered from the ground up.
Dominated by a long cabin with steeply angled front and rear glass, the windows allow plenty of light into the well-organized interior. The Rear passengers get plenty of legroom – the wheelbase has been lengthened by 50mm – and large quarter-windows.
The GS300 Sports at $95,000 includes climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, auto headlights and wipers, reversing camera and steering wheel audio controls. The Sports Luxury model tested here adds satellite navigation, a sunroof, intelligent cruise control, parking sensors and an excellent Mark Levinson stereo system.
Operating full time, the GS300's all-wheel-drive system features a planetary gearset and a wet, multidisc clutch to couple the primary drive wheels, at the rear, to the front. The standard torque split is 30/70 front to rear, but the system's electronic brain can vary that to 50/50, making its judgments based on various driver inputs such as throttle angle and steering angle, and vehicle data such as wheel speed and yaw rate
Every GS has three variations of a new close-ratio six-speed automatic transmission, each designed for optimum performance with their respective GS applications. One of the smallest and lightest gearboxes of its type, it includes a sequential manual shift mode, with gear changes made via a lever in the center console. An outstanding feature of the car is the all-wheel-drive system. The more slippery the road, the more pronounced is its advantage over conventional two-wheel-drive systems.
The car has an all-new 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve aluminum V-6, which replaces an iron-block straight six of identical displacement. With Toyota's VVT-i variable-valve-timing system operating on cams, plus direct injection, plus a formidable 11.5:1 compression ratio, the new six generates 245 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque, compared with 220 of each for its predecessor. The new V-6 is bolted to an equally new six-speed automatic transmission, featuring manumatic shifting and an electronic brain that does a good job of avoiding excessive hunting, particularly in uphill runs.
Other features include leather-trimmed, heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment; SmartAccess keyless entry and a pushbutton starter; a premium sound system with both CD and DVD capability; Bluetooth wireless telephone technology; and a 7-inch multi-information touch screen for easy access to a wide range of information and commands.
Options include: a steering-sensitive Park Assist system; DVD navigation system and rear backup camera; one-touch open/close moon roof; ventilated front seats; power rear sunshade. It also has an eardrum-pounding, wallet-smashing Mark Levinson audio system, its 11 channels of sonic wash flowing through 14 speakers, Rain-Sensing Wiper package that includes adaptive front lighting and headlamp washers (standard on the GS 430); a rear spoiler; and all-season run-flat tires. Luxurious amenities, exquisite quality, and remarkable technology—these are all the things that make up a Lexus. Partstrain likewise strives to preserve these qualities in delivering only the best Toyota Replacement Parts, Performance Parts, OEM and Aftermarket Parts.
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About the author:
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.