The Lexus GS 460 is a nice Japanese import car. Unfortunately, that’s a little like the girl your mother wants you to date. You meet her, and no doubt she is nice, but there are so many other girls out there who are more attractive to you for whatever reason. In the case of the GS 460, nice does not meet expectations.
The goal of the GS Series was to be serious competition to the German automakers in the category of luxury sedans. What it ended up being was a serious competitor to the British automakers and in particular Jaguar. Lexus arrived at a particular style in the mid-Nineties and then left it at that. The GS 460 offers a larger engine than its predecessors, but the engine (4.6-liter V8) isn’t noticeably more powerful than the previous V6. The design is basically the same, and since its inception in 2008 it has remained virtually unchanged.
If that reminds you of the Jaguar and the British penchant for sticking with tradition then it is a fairly accurate depiction of the Lexus GS 460. There is nothing wrong with this car. Sales have been consistent and adequate. It offers a smooth ride, a very quiet ride, a very luxurious ride. It is loaded with extras, has all the latest technological advancements, but it just does not match BMW or Mercedes-Benz for total luxury experience. And since the main goal was to be serious competition with those car makers, then the goal has not been reached. When you look at a sticker price of $60,000 then you can afford to be discernible and picky.
None of this is meant to be negative. The simple fact is that the goal was not reached. The only noticeable reason for choosing the Lexus GS 460 over a similar BMW or Mercedes model is the fact that Japanese car makers have an earned reputation for make reliable, quality cars and that means longer life for the buck than the German competition. That is in no way a small and insignificant statement. Lexus is built to last, and their replacement parts are still cheaper than German replacement parts. So speaking in terms of long-range driving experience and comparable repair costs, then the Lexus GS460 is probably the better choice.
Make no mistake about it: the Lexus GS 460 is a luxury sedan. If it is the only luxury sedan you test-drive then you will be sold immediately. But if you are a compare shopper and you test drive a German counterpart, and really put it through a thorough test drive, then chances are you will arrive at the same conclusion. The GS 460 is nice and if you are willing to settle for nice then this is the car for you.