2006 Lexus GS430 cars – test drive

12 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2006 Lexus GS430 cars – test drive
Lexus GS430

2006 Lexus GS430 – test drive

In ways, the Lexus GS430 us of the old American luxury cars the is quiet, all shocks are cushioned, the (300 hp) V8 engine gives oomph, and when you hit the gas, the downshifts immediately and firmly, the passengers back in their The big differences are in the plush interiors of the cars – the GS has a modern, interior with modern – and in the high technology of the which eliminates a large of compromises.

The well-tuned suspension, tires, and advanced stability make a mockery of Cadillacs and past, by making sure the tires stay firmly on the at all times – it might be a sedan, but the Lexus GS430 like a sports car. the brakes are quite good, the heavy boats of yesteryear; and the though nicely sized, is not (nor is the exterior unparkably But that rather nice of being totally cushioned nasty external influences the silence, the soft ride, and the that you are driving one of the world’s and most prestigious mass-produced – remains intact, the old-fashioned wallowing.

The 4.3 liter V8 a good 300 horsepower, a good from a smallish engine; Hemi beats it by about 40 but takes a good 1.4 extra of displacement to do so. The GS300 ’s performs a similar feat, 245 horsepower from a mere 3 Both deliver sprightly but the V8 can get from 0 to 60 in a mere 5.8 seconds, territory (and better any vehicle powered by the standard of the aforementioned Hemi).

Many are good at sudden sprints but the best ones can also instant rocketry on demand, no what the occasion, around or on the freeway. The GS430 is one of those able to satisfy any momentary for sudden speed. The six-speed drops a gear or two, and the seat hits your as the engine revs through its band with the muffled of a nicely tuned intake.

a Lexus, the loud-exhaust routine is not done. However, induction is nicely tuned, right to deep-toned note people to modify their air cleaners to The exhaust remains silent; is no muscle-car rumble; but hit the gas, and no mistaking the presence of a powerful V8 the hood, albeit one smaller any muscle car ever had (and as as most).

The six-speed automatic reasonable gas mileage, according to the though we have to admit we break 16 mpg in our tankful. A well in car driven in mixed city/highway be able to reach 18 or 19 mpg, even 20.

The GS430 goes turns with surprising for something created by the company for Camrys, sticking to turns glue and presenting little roll and even less noise. Despite the V8 output, acceleration results in nary a including when the gas is floored starting into a turn; the control quickly and efficiently doing what appers to be the minimum to keep total so that acceleration is unhampered, aided, by its intercession. Some control systems make unpredictable, because they cut in too the GS430’s is much better than most.

The suspension can be switched to a sport which makes it a bit stiffer, more road feel but the cornering was good enough we had no problem keeping it on the normal mode after experimenting for a while.

Road feel is through a gentle cushion, passing shocks or slams, and only a distant, quiet to show most bumps, surfaces, and potholes. Hard sports-car addicts, the ones who Vipers to Corvettes for everyday may be put off by this; normal people and who like to do a bit of spirited driving now and will appreciate the comfort, it doesn’t interfere with We think it is just about the balance of feel and comfort for people.

Safety is assisted by side curtain and side airbags for both front and passengers, tire pressure driver and passenger knee height adjustable headrests for all stability control, a first aid and other features detailed on our technology page. As one might stopping power is impressive, four wheel antilock brakes.

Inside the Lexus

Interior space is good for passengers and their luggage, is more than you can say for most cars. Rear leg room is not but it is sufficient.

What we thought was plastic trim turned out to be a genuine wood, stained so that it was hard to see any grain at all under strong light. The and leather steering wheel to the feel, even if the wood was from plastic; surfaces are pleasant to touch and made of materials, and the light gray leather (used on seats, and the console lid) helps to back the impression of luxury.

At the interior is lit with a multitude of blue LED lamps instead of bulbs, which saves and reduces long-term maintenance, providing a wow! factor, at the of actually being able to see That and the large center LCD are the only two questionable features in otherwise very nice

The instrument panel has large dominated by a 160 mph speedometer, which a bit excessive even though the might be able to reach speed; it cramps legal into a relatively small The reflective surface of the gauges is and not as distracting as it appears in the photo, and the are indeed clear and easy to in all types of light (though the brightness is not as easy as one would thanks to an over-application of gadgetry). In the the trip computer is set to gas mileage it doesn’t let you reset average at will, as other cars do, but from the start of each and the transmission is in manumatic mode, set to gear.

The manumatic is more automatic manual, even in manumatic It takes any gear you put in as a suggestion, not as a and, in a more unusual Lexus doesn’t indicate the gear in the PRNDL, but the gear you’ve selected. That if you go into manual mode in gear and come to a stop, the will continue to read 5, and the will downshift as you slow and upshift normally as you speed up.

That said, it could be handy from time to if the transmission did not already read mind and set itself to the right all time time anyway. (We much of our time with the in the sport mode. It felt natural than the standard which is optimized for gas mileage not a bad thing, but it leads to the transmission seeming confused and slow to to demands for power. But even the gas-saving transmission mode well.)

There are three presets for seat positions and stations – most have two at most – and all windows have auto down and auto power up pinch protection, which up being more convenient you’d think. What’s there are presets for both and passenger – each of the doors has its own triplet of buttons.

Our and GS430 both share an navigation system, and to make for its extra-large screen, even the without the nav system get the big screen. is a shame, because it makes the climate control and stereo unnecessarily painful and distracting. In a car as and generally impressive as the GS, the contortions system puts people seem thoroughly out of place and

With or without the nav system, you have to use the big screen to access and vent system features should really be given to As an example, one would think bass and treble would be using the large tune Here, you have to press the button next to the touch-screen away from the stereo), press Sound, then (or hold down) a + or – by bass, treble, or midrange. and fade are handled the same

You can easily switch modes AM or CD) using buttons or a steering-wheel – other wheel are volume and up/down – but audio properties requires an trip to the screen. This be less dangerous (any you’re not looking at the road, dangerous) if the system remembered settings by station or mode, but it

Given that there is a knob anyway, using for the audio controls just illogical.

The fact that are now several FM and satellite modes help, either. Given each of three drivers can their own presets, having so modes seems a trifle Then again, maybe done to compensate for the large of attractive satellite-radio stations, and the long pause between a satellite radio channel and hearing something different a pause that’s not encountered on GM or systems.

Some climate control such as shutting off the air conditioner and manually changing fan speed, require trips to the touch-screen. that the automatic climate tended to be erratic in its choices, an odd and stubborn preference for keeping the air on, this was also awkward, or without the navigation system GS300 did not have it, and the GS430

On the lighter side, the touch does provide a great of audio, climate, and trip in a large. convenient space. The computer is limited to distance-to-empty, gas since the last refill since the last checkpoint), and speed and distance (for trip).

That information is provided right on the odometer, can easily be cycled between tank average mileage, gas mileage, outside temparature displayed above the touch-screen), and an only display. The touch itself can also be shut or used as a telephone book. you cannot choose your own for gas mileage calculations.

The navigation when used, is fairly issue. The weak point is its for ignoring smaller roads and the driver through huge even though you can see the road on the the system just won’t use it. It seems haphazard in the items on the of attractions.

The strong point of the compared with other systems most features are is the ease of entering a destination, a choice of ABCD or QWERTY keyboards on the screen, and touch-typing on the itself. That makes it faster to put addresses into the

The big screen really shows its when you order the backup which is placed almost under the trunk lid; the camera shows a bird’s eye of what is behind the car as you back up. It meant to show the distance to the object (it’s not very at that), though it’s handy for getting right up to the in a parking space; it’s to save the life of that who started walking behind the car as you backing out of your driveway.

A number of children … year in driveway-leaving accidents, and glad to see that backup are becoming more popular year. It’s a great On the GS, it goes on automatically as soon as you get reverse.

Superimposed on the screen, if you get the alert system, is the parking icon, showing the car and any areas you are getting close to a solid (as sensed through detectors in the The Lexus has several sensors in bumper, including two set at angles; and it knows (and shows) way the wheels are pointed, it can figure out you have a likelihood of hitting, and the audio alert appropriately.

The system is a bit conservative, going solid-beep and red-bar mode a good few inches left, but probably a good thing. The (in the instrument panel, replacing the and on the big center-stack screen) show 1-3 around the sensor that’s an object to tell how close you and turn from yellow to red to that you should really be now. It’s the best of its kind we’ve seen, and good to see it in both front and

Lexus GS430

Other controls are standard for the except for the awkward drop-down to the left of the steering wheel, contains mirror controls, the rheostat, trunk and gas cap releases, washers, and the trip odometer If equipped, this panel includes the on-off control for the alert system and the convenient sunshade up-down control.

A about that sunshade: a of a button brings it up or pulls it and it covers nearly the entire window. Though it does a job of shielding passengers (usually from the sun, it is also easy to see through, so that it up is not an issue most of the time. is one of the nicer options for parents.

pockets abound, including map on all four doors that out if needed, an overhead sunglass a dual-level center console, and a space in the glove compartment, also contains the massive manual and a much smaller, colorful guide to get people started on the many features the GS can The center console doubles as an sliding forward if needed; as an it covers the central switchbank, includes the three-way transmission (power, standard, snow) the suspension switch, and the seat

The front has cupholders under a while the rear has cupholders a drop-down center console also provides oversized-object access. On the back of the front are well designed map pockets for passengers; unlike mesh these probably will age

Control backlighting is good at with all but the steering wheel stalks, and overhead buttons the optional sunroof and the interior lit up. The climate control fan is fairly even when going at a rate, and the stereo has good and an easy to use six-disc changer in the dashboard. Dual zone control is standard, along a smog sensor that can shut off outside air, and a for the rest of the time.

Visibility is in all directions, despite a small spot caused by the rear the headlights are extremely bright intensity discharge headlights are and well focused, and the power-folding mirrors include an anti-glare as well as defrosters; what’s unlike just about any we’ve seen that tilt down when you (so you can see the parking-space stripes or curb these do so quickly enough to be Likewise, the optional rain-sensing actually come on when the gets wet, and have no about moving to high when needed. (The is adjustable.) One nice touch is a extra-single-wipe after the washer is activated, to get that little that always shows up the wipers are done.

The GS300 has a huge number of features, from the standard door controls and compass into the auto-dimming rear-view to the unconventional smart locks. The locks are rather nice in when your keys need to leave your you can unlock the door by touching the (all doors unlock if you any but the driver’s door handle), the car by pressing a button, and lock the car by a button on any of the four doors. If the dies, you can slide out a mechanical key and use it in the door.

All windows (and the if you have one) can be opened the outside to let heat out quickly, and the inside, all windows have up and down controls (with protection). Cellphone lovers may the integrated Bluetooth system, ours made a predictable a few minutes into each a bit annoying since we don’t a Bluetooth cellphone.

Many are easy to make, though it takes a dealer to set some (e.g. default locking we’re not sure why Lexus integrate this into the computer, as Jeep/Chrysler and General have. The seats are very with electric height, bolster, and other controls; the column has power tilt and and, as mentioned earlier, the backlighting can be adjusted (some only let you adjust night-time but the GS lets you adjust daytime as well). The front seat very far back, making it to use a laptop from the driver’s while stopped.

Safety in spades, with all sorts of doo-dads to save you from and from the loose nut behind the wheel, too. There are too many safety systems to

With all of these features except the optional ones), the weighs in at about $43,000. Our GS300 had the rain-sensing wipers run-flat tires ($400), ($1,000), and a package you really have to pay for on a car that retails for $40,000 – $194 of trunk mat, cargo and wheel locks. At least the mats were free.

The on the other hand, starts at and goes up from there. To be that base price is for a that could be considered loaded: it comes not only the 300 horsepower V8 engine and six-speed but also with speed-sensing gear ratio steering, controlled brakes that assistance in emergencies, 18 inch wheels with 245/40 front and rear side airbags, front side airbags (aside from the front knee airbags, headrests in all positions, traction and control, high intensity headlights with automatic and fog lights, tire pressure tool and first aid kits, with three-passenger memory, start and stop, wood that looks like power heated automatic-dimming mirrors, dual zone control with smog and air filter, 10-speaker stereo in-dash CD changer and cassette, locks and trunk closer, phone integration, power and telescope steering that moves itself away you park, wheel mounted controls, compass, and our perennial floor mats.

If that’s not enough for you – that’s more than cars give you with all options – our test car had balancing the scales at $60,000. We ran the from the Mark Levinson System at $4,030, which the wonderful rear camera for up safely, to the preferred accessory at $194.

In between were run-flat tires with a ($480), rear spoiler rain sensing wipers headlight cleaner – nice features that well ($225), moonroof rear sunshade (at $210, you to get it!), ventilated seats satellite radio kit ($486), and rather nice feature, parking assist at $500, worth it if you can afford the base for the car in the first place. The total rather high until you how little $60,000 can buy if you look in the places – for example, a Volkswagen Phaeton (a wonderful car if you the electronics, which seem to straight from Lucas, with curse); a low-reliability Touareg, etc.; or for that a Cadillac Escalade, the vehicle drives like a Chevy but has a tag like, well, a Lexus.

The GS you a lot more than its equivalents at a of other automakers, and that’s you get into the legendary dealer On the other hand, if you’re the performance feel . and can give up of the luxury, there are also rather nice alternatives without the best in class and dealer service) the Hemi 300C SRT-8, and BMW 3-series to mind.

We’re not sure if you got the we liked this car. be clear: this is a fine that we enjoyed very driving it was easy and enjoyable. The V8 was a the sure and true suspension all that torque from us into trouble, and we loved able to swing through corners on rough or poor with nary a squeal or of imbalance or roll. The GS430 got better the more we drove it, at until we reached the gas station.

despite excellent traction and the GS’ emphasis on refinement it less “fun” and “connected” less luxurious (and cars like the Dodge That’s one reason why BMWs sell, despite their durability and comfort.

If you’re in price range (or for that a higher price range), if you’re looking at SUVs, you owe it to yourself to try the Lexus GS. Sure, was great once, but now they’re Chrysler engineers in through the door to help them fix nagging quality problems. The GS430 has an enviable balance of and luxury which is just the sweeter by its superior reliability and service.

Lexus GS430
Lexus GS430
Lexus GS430
Lexus GS430
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