In 2001 Lexus unveiled its attempt to produce a sport luxury sedan and that attempt was named the GS 430. From 2001-2007 three generations of the GS 430 were produced, refinements made along the way, and all in all it was a fine car by most standards. Only one problem existed: although it offered an excellent ride it never really felt sporty.
The problem, as it turned out, was actually one of the strengths of the Lexus family, namely the fact that Lexus cars give an uncommonly quiet ride, so the GS 430 never really gave the driver that feeling of controlling the road found in many of the European offerings. That special feeling one gets when the driver, vehicle, and road all mesh as one has always been missing in Lexus vehicles and so it was with the Lexus GS 430.
That in no way means that the GS 430 was not an excellent ride because in fact it was. Powered by a 4.3-liter engine that produced 290 horsepower with a standard six-speed automatic transmission, the GS430 was as quick as you could ask a luxury sedan to be and certainly as powerful as anything the competition rolled out in this class. As with all Lexus cars, the word luxury fits quite nicely as one will immediately feel refined, elegant, and special while driving the GS 430. The interior is beautiful, filled with wonderful gadgets and technological innovations that we have come to expect in Japanese import cars. Also, as with all Lexus cars, reliability is a factor that simply cannot be overlooked. Lexus builds its cars to last….and last….and last. And finally, the GS 430 is simply a very quiet car. Travelling on the freeway at freeway speeds or above, one is left with the feeling of being in a sound vacuum. And therein lies the only detraction to this luxury vehicle.
In order for a car to be “sporty” it needs to engage all of the senses in the process. The driver needs to feel the road, needs to hear the engine, needs all elements in complete synchronicity while driving. Take away the sound of the engine and you are left with a perfectly luxurious drive that is sadly lacking in emotion.
Never turn down the opportunity to buy a used Lexus for you will be buying a quality vehicle made to perform far beyond the lifespan of the competition. Just don’t expect “sporty.” Put away your racing cap and settle for something more refined like, oh say, a top hat.