Balance is the name of the game in the 2005 Lexus GS 430. It features a warm, luxurious interior with some of the most comfortable back seats in its class. Meanwhile, the 4.3-liter V-8 and four-wheel independent suspension deliver plenty of power and an exciting drive.
Until 1993, when Lexus introduced the Lexus GS, trying to find a luxury-based sport sedan could be very tricky. The Lexus GS series goes a long way toward eliminating the tradeoff between sedan luxury and sports-car performance.
Body Styles: midsize sedan
Engines: 4.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Lexus GS 430
The classically stylish and well-loved Lexus GS 430 has hardly needed changing from its original generation. The 2005 GS 430 carries over from 2004 without any modifications.
Built on a 110.2-inch wheelbase, the 2005 Lexus GS 430 measures 189.2 inches long overall, with a curb weight of 3700 pounds. The sedan makes a striking visual statement. The most notable feature remains a set of distinctive, eye-shaped headlights that sweep up and back into the fenders. The high beams are separated and placed on the inside of the headlamps. The look of the headlights gets echoed in back with large, multi-lens taillights that wrap around to the sides and tail lamps and brake lights toward the centerline. Dual exhaust tips jutting from the rear bumper suggest the sedan’s sport power. An optional rear spoiler adds to the racecar look, but probably doesn’t have much practical effect. From the side, the GS 430 features a dramatically sloping nose and a chrome strip around the side windows that accents the shape of the glass. High-intensity discharge headlights and a one-touch power moonroof come standard on the GS 430. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels come standard, but low profile, five-spoke 17-inch wheels remain available as an option.
The 2005 Lexus GS 430 includes seating for five, although it probably feels most comfortable for four adults. Trunk capacity totals 14.8 cubic feet. California walnut wood trim and leather upholstery give this sedan its reputation for luxury. The GS 430 comes standard with heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment, dual-zone automatic climate control, a seven-speaker sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer, and a power tilt and telescoping steering column. The dash looks simple with a bright, three-pod cluster of gauges and an electronic compass. The panel’s brightness adjusts automatically based on the ambient light, and the backlighting gives the instrument panel a dynamic, sports-car-like look. The wide windshield provides excellent forward visibility, but the large rear headrests and wide C-pillars create some blind spots in the rear. The leather-wrapped steering wheel comes with built-in audio controls. Optional upgrades include a wood and leather steering wheel, a premium 10-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, and a DVD-based navigation system.
Performance & Handling
The 2005 Lexus GS 430 draws power from a 4.3-liter, V-8 engine. Teamed with a standard five-speed automatic transmission and rear drive, it cranks out 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The engine features variable valve timing technology that not only provides extra power, but also lowers emissions and improves fuel economy. Lexus offers no option for a manual gearbox. It moves impressively fast for only 300 horsepower. Lexus reports that the GS 430 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and completes the quarter mile in 14.2 seconds. The ride stays quiet and smooth, with responsive handling and excellent stability in high-speed turns.
Standard safety features in the Lexus GS 430 include seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags for the front seats, daytime running lights, anti-lock disc brakes, and an electronic stability control system. The front-passenger airbag senses if the seat is unoccupied and does not deploy, and electronic brake assist aids in emergency braking by applying maximum braking force with a hard push on the brake pedal. A vehicle-dynamics integrated management system (VDIM) monitors and controls the steering, brakes, electronic throttle, and traction control to keep the car stable and secure. While it greatly improves safety, the VDIM might seem intrusive to drivers looking for a true sports car. The GS 430 also includes an anti-theft engine immobilizer.
EPA Fuel Economy
Lexus GS 430: 16/22 mpg city/highway
- Comfortable ride
- Luxurious style
- Quick acceleration
You Won't Like
- Clumsy control of audio and climate systems
- No manual transmission option
A great selection for those seeking the perfect balance between luxury and sport-based performance.
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