Past Lexus GS 300 Models

Consumers shopping for a used Lexus GS 300 will come across plenty of examples from the second generation, sold from 1998-2005. Like the later version, it was a luxury sedan at heart and really wasn't tuned for aggressive, back-road driving.

It came with a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine throughout its model run. The engine was actually a carryover from the first-generation GS 300, but now aided by variable valve timing, it offered a bit more usable torque. Horsepower came in at 225 or 220, depending on the model year. A five-speed automatic transmission drove the rear wheels. Power delivery was quite smooth, and acceleration was average among six-cylinder midsize luxury sedans.

Cloth upholstery was technically standard on GS 300s of this generation, but you'll be hard-pressed to find one on the used market that doesn't have the optional leather package. Features like 10-way power seats, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, stability control and front-seat side airbags were standard throughout the model run; side curtain airbags were included from 2001 onward. An excellent Nakamichi sound system was optional from 1998-2000; an equally good Mark Levinson system replaced it in 2001. Another new option for '01 was a DVD-based navigation system.

The original Lexus GS 300 was introduced for 1993 and sold through 1997. At the time, its sleek styling set it apart from other luxury sedans, both import and domestic. Interior accommodations were luxurious and roomy enough to accommodate occupants of all sizes. Tepid performance and high pricing were the big letdowns on this midsize luxury sedan, though the latter is obviously not an issue for used GS shoppers. All GS 300s of this generation had a 220-hp 3.0-liter inline-6. The best years to look at are 1996 and '97, as these models had a five-speed automatic transmission; earlier models had a four-speed automatic.

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