Pros Quality of assembly and materials, styling, performance (very fast), technology.
Cons Amount of time needed for learning curve to enjoy all the technology
Summary This car is the nearest to perfection as it gets. I personally believe that the 2006 GS 430's that I have looked at must have been put together by hand. You can not get the quality of assembly that I have observed in a mass produced environment.
The only thing that would come close to a negative comment from me would be the dash and trim color combinations. I went with black on black (it's bueatiful), so this would not be an issue with us.
The car we purchased had an MSRP of $58355 and we managed to obtain a price of $54000, plus tax and fees with some shopping and work.
Pros Great Drive, Great Appearance, Great Technology
Cons Low Resolution Navigation Display
Summary Actually, I just purchased the GS 300. I truly love the car. My biggest gripe is the resolution of the navigation screen and the fact that the voice recognition does not have the flexibility (yet) to allow for phone numbers to be dialed one number at a time. My guess, and this is a layman's guess at this time, is that these issues are software, not hardware issues that can, and hopefully will be addressed as time passes on.
Ultimately, I chose the GS over the Acura RL and the Infinity M45 because I prefer its styling (in fact, I feel that the exterior and interior design of the M45 is absolutely hidious). I chose it over the Mercedes E Class because a) it is way too ubiquitous here in my neck of the woods and b) I wasn't convinced that the E Class would be anywhere near as reliable as the Lexus. Also, I like the Lexus' styling over the E Class.
Bottom line: for the money, the GS is a the car to beat. Although I wish the map displayed on the screen had a higher resolution, my concern is more or an asthetic issue than one of functionallity, and as I said before, I am hoping that this can be resolved with a software upgrade in the future.
Pros Good road management systems. power to spare. Impressive standard equipment. Very very quick quiet elegance.
Cons no mp3. no ipod connection. no standard Sat radio. no active traffic information.
Summary Getting acquainted with the car is a delight. So many imbedded tech systems is requiring a bit of a learning curve. Finding unexpected capabilities built in to the car makes the learning curve very enjoyable. Starbucks indicator on Nav is way cool! Nav capabilities in covered environments very impressive. Interior amenities identical for both passanger and driver - a major miss on the Infiniti M45.
Pros Design, performance, value,
Cons The image of the company maybe not higher than Audi or so but who cares?
Summary I was totally shocked by this because Lexus usually brings out quite ordinary and awkward designs, at least in my opinion, but this car.. The best design ive seen in a long time
Pros Great handling, great performance, great toys. All the little things Lexus thinks of so you don't have to.
Cons Dear Lexus - You are not my babysitter. Please stop with the crazy safety features or give us some flexability and control
Summary I recently bought the 2006 GS 300 AWD version, and this has to be by far, the best, most comfortable and most intuitive car I have ever had.
The nav system, for what it lacks in flashy graphics, IMHO is the most intuitive or any, beating out the BMW, Merc, and Acura (test drove all of them)
Plenty of bells and whistles make driving this car a pleasure. Lexus seems to anticipate the drivers' needs and always delivers.
The only minus:
1) Make sure your Bluetooth phone is compatible. My is not and needs a resync constantly (very annoying). After that, the speak phone quality is great!
2) I wish Lexus would stop with the "Safety Features". I understand their purpose, but allow us grown adults to make our own choices. For those of you frustrated, if you google enough, theres actually an override to allow you to enter your destination while driving. This requires a special combination of keys to go into diagnostic mode and only works on Lexus navs after 2003.
Anyway, I will gladly live with these two problems to enjoy all of the other features of the car.