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My wife's car got written off when some idiot flew down our road at 3am and smashed into our neighbour's parked car and hers.

We're thinking of getting her either a RAV4 or a CRV, but we mused on the idea of her having my RX-300 and me getting a GS or an LS.

Fuel costs aside how expensive are the V8 models to run? Do those come with CVT transmissions like the 3Ls? What's the CVT like? Any other tips most appreciated.

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Would the GS300 be more reliable? Those had be had fairly cheaply and still have quite a bit of power.

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What age of vehicle? Outside of fuel economy or road tax there isn't any difference in normal running costs.

I'd say the 430 engine is more reliable than the V6 used in the series III GS. Some of the early V6s with direct injection can suffer carbon build up and VVTi issues.

There is no CVT in any non-hybrid Lexus. The GS430 has either a 5 or 6 speed auto, depending on age of the GS you are considering.

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The UZ-series V8s are simply more reliable than the GR-series V6s, especially when comparing the 3UZ (4.3 v8) to the 3GR (3l v6) - the 3GR is direct injection only. Whether the valves will need blasting... who knows - the IS250 (4GR - smaller 3GR, basically) very rarely exhibits the problem, but it's still in the nature of the engine.

In the GS models - since the EU doesn't get the GS350:

GS300 - direct-injected V6, but conventional (vacuum-assisted) braking system

GS430 - basically bombproof port-injected V8, but fully brake-by-wire - like the 450h and 460. The ABS block, electric pump and nitrogen brake pressure accumulator are a single unit, so if one fails (usually the pump), it'll be expensive:

https://lexus-europe.epc-data.com/gs300_430_460/uzs190r/5064/chassis/4708/44510/

Funnily enough, that part number is supposedly replaced by the one used in the IS/RC/GS300h (and resp. the 4th gen 450h), so other than the more complicated brake service procedure and the potential need to acquire a 2nd hand ABS module... I'd take the 430.

The LS430 should be the most reliable of the bunch - unless you decide to go for air struts.

Drive the cars and decide for yourself. The 3GS is not the best "driver's chassis" in stock form, if you're after that.

Transmission - zero clue.

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All good points reported above however don't later LS's (430/460) also have combined radiators for both the engine coolant and gearbox oil, which are now getting prone to leaking and potentially detonating the gearbox?  That be an expensive repair that be, if the radiators implodeth...

I find the CVT transmission in the 450h is great as there is plenty of power is on tap and you aren't at max rev's for more than few seconds.  The v6 sounds nice anyhoo's.  However in the smaller capacity cars (e.g. CT I've driven) the CVT can cause the engine to max revs for an annoying long time.  The inline 4 banger ain't no v.   I like the constant acceleration and how smooth the CVT it is.

Bottom line is that Lexus are complicated and any repairs can quickly become expensive, especially if you rely on dealers to complete the repairs.  Parts are a pain to source too, vs other manufacturer's.

But they're lovely cars...

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Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to be sensible and keep my RX (Harrier) as it's very simple and just doesn't seem to break, and get the wife a CRV. Those 430s do look so nice though.. there's one just a couple of miles away that looks so nice. Really tempted to go and ask for a test drive but I suspect I'd fall in love haha

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18 hours ago, Farqui said:

All good points reported above however don't later LS's (430/460) also have combined radiators for both the engine coolant and gearbox oil, which are now getting prone to leaking and potentially detonating the gearbox?  That be an expensive repair that be, if the radiators implodeth...

Most Toyota models have this set up, including the GS300 and GS430. Seems the LS suffers from failure more the most, possibly an installation/vibration/pipe routing design issue but if I purchased any of these vehicles I'd get a new radiator installed, that way you don't have to worry about it for another 10 years.

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2 hours ago, m4rkw said:

Thanks for the replies. I think I'm going to be sensible and keep my RX (Harrier) as it's very simple and just doesn't seem to break, and get the wife a CRV. Those 430s do look so nice though.. there's one just a couple of miles away that looks so nice. Really tempted to go and ask for a test drive but I suspect I'd fall in love haha

Go for it....you know you want to! Anyway, where's the fun in being sensible when it comes to cars?

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On 5/17/2020 at 5:44 PM, ColinBarber said:

Most Toyota models have this set up, including the GS300 and GS430. Seems the LS suffers from failure more the most, possibly an installation/vibration/pipe routing design issue but if I purchased any of these vehicles I'd get a new radiator installed, that way you don't have to worry about it for another 10 years.

Are the MK2 GS's affected by this or is it only from MK3 onwards? Not seen anything that they are or ever heard of this problem in them.

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1 hour ago, scandy said:

Are the MK2 GS's affected by this or is it only from MK3 onwards? Not seen anything that they are or ever heard of this problem in them.

The GS essentially has the same design as the LS but no I've not heard of it happening on a GS series II.

Having said that, if I still owned my GS430 I think I would have changed the rad by now - even if it doesn't suffer premature failure it must be getting to an age where natural corrosion and fatigue could result in a failure.

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