Used 2001 Lexus GS 430 Review
A sedan to consider if you can't decide which you like more, luxury or sport.
Looking to create the ultimate sport sedan in both price and performance, Lexus redesigned its GS series in 1998 and came up with two truly exceptional cars that have aged extraordinarily well. Available with a new, larger V8 engine for 2001, the GS 430 is one model that can hang with the best Europe has to offer.
A distinctive quad-headlight design sweeps back into the hood and fenders in much the same manner as Mercedes' E-Class cars. Short front and rear overhangs give the GS 430 a sporty look, and tidy hindquarters with creative rear taillights keep this car from blending in with the rest of today's high-line sport sedans.
Appearances are supported by the powerful new drivetrain. GS 430 packs a new 4.3-liter V8 that develops 300 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 325 foot-pounds of torque at 3,400 rpm. Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) helps to produce additional power and provide optimal fuel efficiency. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission available.
A roomy cabin provides the driver and front passenger with space to stretch out. An impressive 44 inches of legroom and 58 inches of shoulder room accommodate the long-limbed and broad-shouldered in the front seats. Rear-seat passengers don't fare as well, however, and get only 34.3 inches of legroom.
Luxury touches include a standard dual-zone climate control, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and the normal roster of power goodies typically found on luxury cars. Worthwhile options include a Mark Levinson premium sound system and a DVD-based navigation system that employs touch-screen controls to program routes. Unfortunately, Lexus has decided to bundle it with the audio and climate controls, which always work better with traditional buttons and knobs.
Standard equipment includes Vehicle Skid Control (VSC), which is a system that employs the sensors, actuators and computer electronics of the antilock braking and traction control systems to help reduce vehicle skids caused by understeer or oversteer conditions. VSC is teamed with Brake Assist ABS; front, side and curtain airbags; and traction control to provide top-notch occupant protection.
As with other vehicles in the Lexus line, road feel and absolute performance take a backseat to pure luxury and refinement. BMW's 5 Series offers a bit more fun, and the Mercedes E-Class has, well, the Mercedes emblem on the hood. But for a reliable daily driver with more than a hint sporting capability, it's tough to beat the Lexus GS 430.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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