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After a lot of heart searching I'm thinking of parting with my much loved IS300 Sportcross and buying a GS430 circa 2005 (I don't really want to go into the higher road tax bracket as I do such small mileage per year) and have a few questions.

How many key/fobs should the car come with?

Never having driven one I'm interested in the suspension settings, how firm/sporty is the sport setting, and what can I expect from the normal setting?

Some of the American GS430's have a rear blind, is this the same with the UK version?

What is the real life MPG, from my research it's going to be a little heavier than my IS300 Sportcross, does this seem realistic?

I have done an awful lot of research and I think I have a reasonably good knowledge of the car but if anyone can offer any advise on things to look out for I would be grateful for your input.

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They are a great car.

I wasn't aware that suspension could be altered.

2 Master Keys, 1 Valet Key.

No rear blind.

Fuel consumption not too different from your IS300 but far more power. I get around 20/22 in town and up to 30 on runs,

Hope this helps

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Thanks for your input Dave, looking at the year of your car I think yours is a Gen 2 and I'm looking at a Gen 3 so that may account for the differences such as suspension/rear blind etc.

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I have a 2006 with 84k.

I have two identical key fobs. The suspension sport setting noticeably firms up the ride, it's not harsh but not that sporty either, I hardly ever use it. The normal setting gives a generally comfortable ride without being too soft, comparable to the Jaguar S-Type I had before. Yes, there's a rear blind but the only time I've used it is to check it works and when giving a gizmo tour to people new to the car. I do mainly small journeys and 21-22mpg but have seen 31-32 on a long trip.

I've had the rear sticking caliper issue, both replaced at 78k. Also, an alternator problem that affected the electrics but this was fixed by an independent at low cost. Great car, can't recommend it too highly and I've owned many over the years.

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Dave: Don't want to push my Lexus dealer too hard, they have been really helpful so far.

Mark: Many thanks indeed, really helpful information. I'm guessing, like you I wouldn't use the rear blind that much but was curious after seeing it on an American GS.

Suspension all sounds good as does MPG.....well by good I mean it's no worse than expected!

May be viewing one on Friday.......watch this space

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Hope the viewing goes well. If the gen 3 are as good as gen 2 then they are a really great motor.

Thanks Dave.

The car I was looking at didn't work out, but....................I've just put a refundable holding deposit on a lovely 06 GS430, full main dealer history which has covered 64k, plus they are giving me a good price Part Ex on my Sportcross. We are hopefully going to pick it up on Saturday 3rd. Only two downsides is that it falls into the higher road tax band and a 320 mile round trip.......oh and it was a bit more than I wanted to pay,but isn't that always the way!

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Distance is relative and it is worth travelling for a decent one, even if you have to travel to look at more than 1 before finding the right one.

Mine has just sold and the buyer travelled from Kent to N.Lincolnshire to view it and had no hesitation buying it, but I had been totally honest regarding a couple of issues.

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I tend to travel for most of my cars, as you say Dave, it's generally the only way your going to find a good one unless your really lucky. The downside for me these days is my back, it's not good and long car journey's kill it.

That's certainly a fair old drive for your buyer, what are you thinking of getting next?

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Probably nothing immediately as between both our cars we have only done around 7k annually so we will survive with just 1 car. Reall sorry to see my GS430 go but usage over the last 3 years or so just didn't justify running it.

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Well after a 400 plus mile round trip I ended up not buying the GS430, perhaps I was being too cautious, but there were a few things I wasn't happy with. Both rear boxes had signs of corrosion, the right one had split but wasn't blowing, a few other niggly things such as tyre pressure warning light (it had been sorted but the garage couldn't cancel the light). I did negotiate a better deal but as I felt the car was a little top heavy price wise I didn't feel it was quite enough.

My main concern was with the drive, never having driven one before I had nothing to compare it with but it seemed a bit vague on the steering at times, also the initial throttle pick up seemed sluggish before picking up strongly. Lastly, under braking on uneven ground, the steering felt a little skittish.

I was expecting a smooth, powerful, comfortable and poised ride, this didn't deliver completely,

Could any Gen3 GS430 owners or former owners enlighten me on what to expect overall when driving one?

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As a former gen 2 owner I don't know what a gen 3 should be like but my gen 2 was certainly nothing like you describe for throttle, braking or steering........................maybe try to find a good gen 2.

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Hi , I purchased my 2005 98000 mile GS430 in May and had to travel to Felixstowe from Teesside to get it. I also wanted a pre 2006 model for the tax reason. Ironically the car was from Teesside initially with local Lexus dealership service history. It had just recently been fitted with a full cat back bespoke stainless steel exhaust which sounds just right without being loud. Plus the shock absorbers had been replaced. The previous local owner had just had the cambelt done along with the radiator and a service, and after getting in touch with him he popped round with some new lexus mats he bought for summer use. A lucky buy I guess but it did have its faults. ie the rear view mirror had lots of marks on in behind the glass and the reverse camera didn't work, these were both changed with eBay items which were still pricey but a fraction of what the new cost would have been. Fuel consumption is about right with what you've been told. I went to Santa Pod earlier this year and took it steady going there to see what I could achieve and managed 36mpg, coming back I drove a steady 80 ish and still got 32mpg. I also liked the auto distance setting on the cruise control which maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front of you. The throttle seems fine to me but I haven't driven an IS300 to compare. Mine only came with one key which is a shame as the previous local owner traded it in at a BMW dealership with 2 keys and one was lost by them. I've tried chasing it up but getting nowhere. MY only other concern was the fact that the gearbox isn't serviced and is apparently sealed for life. However I did some research on line and managed to change mine a few times now and was surprised at the colour of the oil that came out. I'm really pleased with mine but find I'm not using it as much as I'd like to and subsequently the Battery is draining. Plus I work in a steel works and although I'm not immediately affected by the job losses in the news I may have to revaluate as to whether its a feasible option to keep it as my guilty pleasure or pass it on to another enthusiast . Anyway, I hope I helped answer some of your questions. Mike.

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you right Barney the initial throttle response on the IS300 is better than the GS430.. not sure if this is down to the 430's weight or dull mapping due to the high torque of the engine to keep the rear tyres from spinning.

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As a former gen 2 owner I don't know what a gen 3 should be like but my gen 2 was certainly nothing like you describe for throttle, braking or steering........................maybe try to find a good gen 2.

I haven't ruled out a Gen2 Sport but pretty rare and it would be a step back in terms of year.

Hi , I purchased my 2005 98000 mile GS430 in May and had to travel to Felixstowe from Teesside to get it. I also wanted a pre 2006 model for the tax reason. Ironically the car was from Teesside initially with local Lexus dealership service history. It had just recently been fitted with a full cat back bespoke stainless steel exhaust which sounds just right without being loud. Plus the shock absorbers had been replaced. The previous local owner had just had the cambelt done along with the radiator and a service, and after getting in touch with him he popped round with some new lexus mats he bought for summer use. A lucky buy I guess but it did have its faults. ie the rear view mirror had lots of marks on in behind the glass and the reverse camera didn't work, these were both changed with ebay items which were still pricey but a fraction of what the new cost would have been. Fuel consumption is about right with what you've been told. I went to Santa Pod earlier this year and took it steady going there to see what I could achieve and managed 36mpg, coming back I drove a steady 80 ish and still got 32mpg. I also liked the auto distance setting on the cruise control which maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front of you. The throttle seems fine to me but I haven't driven an IS300 to compare. Mine only came with one key which is a shame as the previous local owner traded it in at a BMW dealership with 2 keys and one was lost by them. I've tried chasing it up but getting nowhere. MY only other concern was the fact that the gearbox isn't serviced and is apparently sealed for life. However I did some research on line and managed to change mine a few times now and was surprised at the colour of the oil that came out. I'm really pleased with mine but find I'm not using it as much as I'd like to and subsequently the battery is draining. Plus I work in a steel works and although I'm not immediately affected by the job losses in the news I may have to revaluate as to whether its a feasible option to keep it as my guilty pleasure or pass it on to another enthusiast . Anyway, I hope I helped answer some of your questions. Mike.

Cheers Mike, a helpful review and always good to get owners opinions. How do you find the steering and throttle in terms of usage, also what's your experience overall, of the car on the road?

I wish you all the best regarding the situation with the steel work closure and the far reaching effects these things can have, I do hope it all works out for you.

you right Barney the initial throttle response on the IS300 is better than the GS430.. not sure if this is down to the 430's weight or dull mapping due to the high torque of the engine to keep the rear tyres from spinning.

Thanks John, I assume your referring to your Gen 2 430? The Gen 3 and 2 may well be the same for all I know.

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yes gen 2 & 3 share the same engine but different gearbox, suspension and chassis of course..the delay in initial throttle on the 430 is more noticeable even when in ECT PWR mode compared to the IS300's but once it opens up you can feel the power surge.

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yes gen 2 & 3 share the same engine but different gearbox, suspension and chassis of course..the delay in initial throttle on the 430 is more noticeable even when in ECT PWR mode compared to the IS300's but once it opens up you can feel the power surge.

Certainly sounds like the one I test drove was normal in it's throttle response from what you say John, it wasn't as quick to respond as my Sportcross but it picked up quickly once going. At least I now know that's normal for the car, thanks.

I was aware the Gen2 gearbox, suspension and chassis were different, but always worth chatting to members for the wealth of helpful knowledge, especially when looking at a potential new purchase that is hard to source/test drive.

The reason for my interest in the Gen3 430 was I love my Sportcross and loved my old LS400 and was hoping the GS430 was a mixture of both as I'm looking for a really comfortable, mid to large-ish sized car with plenty of toys that can do a bit of both, not quite pipe and slippers if you get my drift!

I don't expect the GS to be as sporty and firm as the Sportcross but on the other hand not quite as soft as the LS. Just need to get my head around what a good Gen3 GS should feel like, I have to admit the one I drove wasn't quite what I expected but having no previous driving experience of one to compare it to I veered onto the side of caution regarding buying it.

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yes the GS's are not as raw and sporty as the IS's but with the introduction of the VDIM technology in the gen 3 GS430's makes it more sportier than say the Gen2 GS's. test drive another and stick it in ect pwer with variable suspension set to sport and see if it makes a difference. as you say the GS is a blend between the IS and LS.

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Your thinking is much the same as mine John, I did try it in sport suspension mode but with everything else buzzing around my head plus thick fog it wasn't the easiest of test drives. I will certainly try your suggestion of using both gearbox and suspension in sport modes on my next test drive....................I just need to find a suitable car, which is proving a real difficulty at present as they are not exactly plentiful!

Many thanks for your input and help.

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I'm really pleased with my lexus, I can only compare mine with the ls400 I owned previous and it certainly feels similar on the road if a little firmer. I've never really tried to drive it as a hot hatch with all the sport settings on as I just like to be wafted along in comfort. Maybe I should try it out as I'm getting curious now. I'll need to change the Battery first though. You'd be more than welcome to drive mine and compare as if I did part with it I'd rather it went to an enthusiast, however I think our distance apart may be an issue.

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I'm really pleased with my lexus, I can only compare mine with the ls400 I owned previous and it certainly feels similar on the road if a little firmer. I've never really tried to drive it as a hot hatch with all the sport settings on as I just like to be wafted along in comfort. Maybe I should try it out as I'm getting curious now. I'll need to change the battery first though. You'd be more than welcome to drive mine and compare as if I did part with it I'd rather it went to an enthusiast, however I think our distance apart may be an issue.

Thanks Michael. It seems from the posts that the GS430 ride is going to be what I'm looking for ie: not as soft as the LS but not as firm as the Sportcross). I enjoyed the wafting along feeling of my LS but I think given the GS's duel suspension options, I can enjoy a slightly sporty feel/ride as and when the mood takes me.

Many thanks for the ride offer, as you say distance would be an issue but your input here has been very helpful indeed and very much appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update: I have now bought myself a nice GS430. I purchased it privately and it involved two trips, one 300 mile round trip to view it and a three train journey plus drive home one when I bought it.

It's a 2006 55plate (falls into the lower road tax bracket) in mauve with 69.5k. Full service history although not all Lexus, with two previous owners It needs a few jobs including a wheel refurb but all said and done it's a great car.

I'm now starting to clean and detail it.

As an added bonus, I put the Sportcross on Autotrader Saturday morning and in less than 48 hours it was sold for the full asking price, the buyer said it looked brand new! He had one hell of a long journey and was a really nice chap, already owned a high mileage IS200 Sportcross and wanted a low mileage, late model IS300 Sportcross.

Thanks for everyones help and advice.

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