Redesigned last year, the Lexus GS 430 receives only minor updates for 2007. An Active Stabilizer system that reduces body roll during hard cornering is optional this year, and Lexus Link telematics are standard. Additionally, the stability control system is now defeatable following complaints by consumers and the automotive press that it detracted from the car's sport-sedan identity. The V8 engine's power figures are slightly down due to new SAE testing procedures.
First introduced in 1993, the Lexus GS was intended to boost the company's credibility as a legitimate competitor to German sport sedan rivals. While it was an attractive, well-executed vehicle, the hefty curb weight and underpowered engine didn't win it any accolades. With each passing generation, Lexus engineers have worked tirelessly on improving the vehicle and making it more powerful, refined, luxurious and fun to drive. The third-generation GS, introduced last year, came equipped with the same 4.3-liter V8 engine that was seen in the previous-generation car but was now up to 300 horsepower and was coupled to a new six-speed automatic transmission. The 2007 Lexus GS 430 actually sees a decrease in horsepower and torque numbers due to new SAE testing procedures. Actual performance is unaffected, though it's now humbled by the GS 350's new 3.5-liter V6. Regardless, it still puts out 290 hp, and the GS 430 remains at the top of its class in a segment that also includes the Infiniti M45, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. True to Lexus form, the 2007 GS 430 only comes in one trim level and is loaded with comfort and safety features. Notably, the GS 430 is one of the few midsize luxury sedans that offers an adjustable suspension. The driver can choose from four settings, such as "sport", to provide tighter, more precise control while driving. A new Active Stabilizer system this year is said to reduce body roll and enhance vehicle control during cornering.
Those looking for a midsize luxury sport sedan that excels in performance should probably check out the Infiniti M45 or BMW 5 Series, as they are able to involve the driver more directly. But for a vehicle that offers plenty of performance along with a high level of refinement, it's hard to beat the GS.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Lexus GS 430 midsize luxury sport sedan comes in just one trim level, and is rear-wheel drive only. It comes equipped with a long list of standard amenities that include automatic dual-zone climate control, push-button engine start, 10-way power driver and front passenger seats, a 10-speaker premium sound system and a one-touch power moonroof. Factory options include a fantastic Mark Levinson DVD-audio sound system with navigation and a back-up camera, park assist, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, ventilated front seats and the Active Stabilizer system that reduces body roll and enhances vehicle control during cornering.
Powertrains and Performance
The GS 430 comes with a 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 290 hp and 319 pound-feet of torque. It is coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift control. Lexus says the GS 430 can race from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and get an EPA fuel economy rating of 18/25 mpg city/highway.
Standard safety equipment includes front seat-mounted side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, a tire-pressure monitoring system and adaptive headlights that swivel when you turn. Options include run-flat tires and Lexus' Pre-Collision System, which comes with the adaptive cruise control. It uses a millimeter-wave radar sensor to detect objects in front of the car, coupled with a computer that determines the GS's speed, yaw rate and steering angle. If the computer determines that a collision is inevitable, it automatically stiffens the suspension, retracts the front seatbelts and executes brake assist so increased braking is applied immediately when the brake pedal is depressed.
Interior Design and Special Features
A luxurious, elegantly designed cabin has become the Lexus trademark. The interior is spacious and can easily accommodate taller individuals. Genuine wood trim complements the rich leather, and the gauges are chrome-rimmed, which gives it a modern look. Fit and finish is flawless and precise. One thoughtful touch included in the interior is a drop-down panel that conceals many of the lesser-used switches and secondary controls, such as power mirror switches and the dimmer switch for the interior lights.
The 2007 Lexus GS 430 is a joy to drive, thanks to its commendable blend of luxury, power and sporty handling. The V8 engine provides more than enough power for daily commuting and spirited driving, and the cabin remains blissfully silent. A rigid body and solid chassis provide confidence during cornering.