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Hi All

This is my first post on this forum, but I hope someone may be able to get back to me quite quickly as I am not yet a current-series GS300 owner, but will be in a day or two!

My problem is about trying to understand what actual standard vs optional equipment exists

- I have narrowed my search down to two cars. One is supplied by Lexus and is an 06 model year GS300 SE. The other is through a non-franchised dealer and is an 05 model year GS300 SE.

- Problem is that for the 06 model, Lexus are describing the car as having the 'Multimedia Pack' and 'Mark Levinson' stereo. However, looking at the specs, I though the ML stereo is only on cars designated SE-L? Also, what actually is the multimedia pack and what do I need to check to know it's there? This car also seems to have the standard alloys plus sunroof (which is optional). My suspicion is that Lexus have the car incorrectly marked on the website, because I don't think I saw the ML logo on under the CD slot when I was looking over the car.

I think the 05 model is a pretty standard spec SE, but with Satnav and rear parking camera (but no sunroof, which I don't care about anyway). I wonder if this car also has what Lexus refer to as the 'Multimedia pack'?

The Lexus sales person is new to the marque but *thought* that the multimedia pack allows you to play DVDs in the car - is that right?

Anyway, both cars look great (although only on paper for the 05 model as I haven't been to see it yet), however I wonder whether there are any other differences between 05 and 06 cars, as the problem with the 06 car is that it will attract the £400-odd road tax (as opposed to £240-odd for the 05 model).

Any advice and guidance much appreciated!

Regards, Dolo

*PS - I tried to be a geek and put my display name down as my LED Zeppelin heroes but misspelt Plant! However, don't let my taste in music put you off - I hope you'll at least agree with my taste in cars :-) *

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Hi there,

I have a Jan 2006 GS SE-L with ML system.

I am no expert but I am pretty sure that if you do not see the Mark Levinson logo on the front of the unit you do not have the ML stereo !

I do think that some SE's were available with the ML as an option, but the logo has to be there on the front or you do not have it !!

If you do not have the ML logo on the front then it is probably the standard 10 speaker system not the ML 14 speaker system.

I do know that my SE-L with ML does not play DVD video ! I believe that the UK spec cars were never given the DVD video option, only the US spec and Canadian spec cars can play DVD video.

The ML system in the UK will however play 'DVD-A' high quality audio files I believe although I have never played one of these.

The system does have an addtional DVD slot hidden behind a panel in the glove box but this is only for the navigation DVD so do not touch it.

One think I know about my car is that if I go in the boot and lift the small velcroed floor panel on the drivers side there is a massive amplifier !

But I am not sure whether the non ML system has the same amp or not, anyone know ?

So that is what I think unless anyone else can correct me ?

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Hi and thanks for your quick response. This is what I suspect to be honest - if it doesn't say ML on the stereo, then it's standard. I think the Lexus dealer has just marked up the spec of this car wrongly. A bit annoying because it means I haven't been comparing apples with apples in choosing.

I am settling on the slightly older GS to be honest. Because it's registered before March 23 2006, I don't have to pay the escalating road tax which is going to be over £400 for the newer car. I don't think there is any difference in spec between the cars in that case (apart from one is a bit older and slightly higher mileage, but then it is cheaper as well), so looks like I'm going to be settling on the 05 car.

However, would be interesting to see if anyone thinks different regarding the options. One other queries for all you current owners - is the voice command feature part of the satnav option or a separate option altogether? The one car has it but not sure if the other one will.

I'll be taking a risk as I haven't actually seen one of the cars in the flesh, hence asking questions in advance of making a decision, as I don't want to make a long trip to the car if it is not right.


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I bought an 05 as it made sence due to the saving in road tax. They are a lovely car and you should be more than happy.

I would go for a Lexus approved or buy an after market warranty eg Warranty Direct, all options ticked. I had a problem, as have a few others with 05-06 cars, where the ECU throws an error, this is a £3k fix. Ask if this has been changed on your car.

This is the only serious problem that I know of. Buying from Lexus you do get piece of mind. Don't worry too much about the audio Mark Levison as the standard is excellent!

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Hi and thanks for the further response. I did it - picked up an 05 GS300 SE (no ML stereo) on Saturday. I came from a Maserati coupe - need something with a bigger boot! But the quiet, smooth ride and the bristling array of equipment are brilliant. Of course they're completely different cars, but I used to have a Jaguar XJ before that which the Lexus reminds me of.

Very happy so far - not bought from Lexus dealer, but full Lexus history. Agree that the standard stereo is still great - a good solid sound with crisp highs, so I am well happy with the audio.

Although a year older, I am still happy not to get an identical spec. 06 model due to the road tax situation.


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Glad you got it sorted and hope the new car is serving you well. Bit late I know but as others have said and you have now discovered the ML was only on the SE-L. From what I remember from when we were looking at buying a GS300 or 430 in 2005, the SE-L added ML, 18" alloys, a sunroof and a boot spoiler to the SE spec and that was it I think.

The SE-L also offered adaptive cruise as an option which wasn't available on the other models.

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