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Lexus GS430 2005 review: snapshot

After driving cars like the new GS430, the answer to that question has to be a resounding "yes".

Yet despite the car's impressive credentials, the company still has a ways to go, particularly when it comes to us cynical Aussies.

There's the issue of resale value to consider which as history has shown has not been kind to the luxury brand.

For instance, last year's mind bogglingly good LS430 cost a whacking $178,000 off the showroom floor.

The same car 12 months later has dropped in value to as little as $110,000, a fall of $68,000 or 38 per cent.

In comparison, a Mercedes E500 priced at $157,000 new is now worth $119,000 or more – a lesser drop of 24 per cent.

You can see what we're getting at?

That's to take nothing away from the cars themselves which for the most part are technically brilliant.

The latest offering from Lexus is the sporty new GS rear-wheel drive sports sedans, available with a choice of six or eight cylinder engines.

Today we're going to take a closer look at the top of the line 4.3-litre V8.

At a recommended retail price of $137,000 the GS430 is a fair old ask, especially in the company of similarly priced Benzs and BMWs.

The finish is first rate and the styling owes nothing in passing to any Toyota.

With its big swoopy back the GS430 builds on the distinctive styling queues of the previous model, following the current trend towards four-door "not quite hatch" coupes.

We like the general concept because most of us have a couple of kids that we need to stick in the back.

Inside, it's library quiet, with smart titanium finish dials and dark cherry coloured wood trim.

What would a luxury car be without the wood?

Firstly we should point out you don't need to stick a key in the ignition with this car.

The key stays in your pocket and the car starts and stops at the press of a button.

The centre console is dominated by a large computer screen that caters for the satnav system.

While the touch screen is easy to read and operate, the cartoon-like graphics do not quite have the same classy feel as the rest of the setup.

Power comes from a 4.3-litre V8 with 208kW of power at 5600rpm and 417Nm of torque at 3500rpm.

It's the same engine that is in the LS430 and SC430 sports car and is hooked up to a six- speed sequential auto. The 0-100km/h sprint takes 6.1 seconds.

Fuel economy is a claimed 11.4L/100km.

Missing is the characteristic V8 burble. and this must have led to some backroom consternation, bearing in mind the sporty pretensions of the car.

However, it's quick and it's quiet and it turns heads and that is what most people are looking for.

The GS430 is crammed full of technological aids and debuts breakthrough Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) that en- ables intuitive counter-steering without driver input in an emergency.

This car's got the lot with leather, active cruise, parking sensor, satellite navigation, rear view camera, Bluetooth mobile compatibility, 10 airbags and adaptive front headlights, as well as heated and cooled front seats and a 14-speaker premium Mark Levinson stereo system.

Pricing Guides

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Range and Specs

GS300 3.0L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $7,810 – 11,000 2005 Lexus GS 2005 GS300 Pricing and Specs
GS300 Sport 3.0L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $7,370 – 10,450 2005 Lexus GS 2005 GS300 Sport Pricing and Specs
GS430 Sport Luxury 4.3L, PULP, 6 SP SEQ AUTO $11,000 – 15,070 2005 Lexus GS 2005 GS430 Sport Luxury Pricing and Specs
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