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2003 Lexus GS300 vs. 2002 Lexus LS430...which one would you get?

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2003 Lexus GS300 vs. 2002 Lexus LS430...which one would you get?

 
Old 03-07-11, 10:35 AM
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Coalission
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Default 2003 Lexus GS300 vs. 2002 Lexus LS430...which one would you get?

I'm debating between these two cars which are selling for around the same price, $12-$13kish, but can't decide which car/engine is better. I know the GS has the 2JZ-GE and the LS has the 3UZ-FE, both of which are great, but is there any significant difference in quality?

The '03 GS has 72k miles, and the LS has 92k miles. The LS interior has more wood inside, but no nav system and I don't think it has Mark Levinson audio. The GS has the Nav system, Levinson audio, Xenon lights, etc.

They're both the same price. Which would you choose?
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Old 03-07-11, 10:37 AM
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Also if it makes a difference, the GS300 is a Carfax 1-Owner vehicle, has never been in any accidents, nothing reported...the LS430 has been in a rear ender, airbags didn't deploy, and has had 2 or 3 owners I believe.
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Old 03-07-11, 11:32 AM
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The LS is by far the newer car (debuted in 2001, GS debuted 98) and better built. I think its one of the best built cars in the history of cars. The GS is sportier, smaller inside and looks better. If you don't want those 3 items the LS is the superior car here.

If the accident was minor thats no biggie.

NAV isn't a deal breaker since phone NAV is even better. ML is a plus to me.

The GS will be easier to park, the LS is significantly larger.

The LS will be faster than the GS.
 
Old 03-07-11, 12:27 PM
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No question the LS. Unless you find an 02 GS430 then it becomes a bit more of which you personally prefer. The LS is far better quality, and the engine trans are near bullet proof.
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Old 03-07-11, 04:23 PM
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Is that 3L engine in the GS the one with the sludge problems?
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Old 03-07-11, 04:51 PM
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I'd go for the GS, has all the options, lower mileage then LS, no accidents... no brainer for me.
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Old 03-07-11, 05:37 PM
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I drive both on a daily basis, a 03' GS300 Sport Design and a 05' LS430 UL, see my sig below.

1SICKLEX really sums it up nicely, he pretty much covered everything.

The LS is a much higher quality car....but they are really apple to orange, you can't just pick the nicer car, you have to buy a car that fit your needs. They feel completely different that suits different needs, purposes and preferences.

The LS is a living room on wheels, total serenity, it feels big and heavy, is very soft. If you want a car to flow around in but don't care about driving feel at all, the LS is it.

The GS is much sportier, especially since we got a sport design that have a much firmer suspension. But it feels light and nimble, much more responsive. It also looks much sportier.

Just ask yourself, do you want a sport sedan or a mobile home? The regular LS430 that you are looking at is very soft, if you want to drive it aggressive, it is not for you, it is a much faster car though with the V8.

Let's put it this way, if it is a 1st luxury sedan for a younger guy, GS for sure. For older folks that don't want to feel anything, the LS is the one.

Coalission........if you tell us your age, it would help us in recommending a car for you. If you are under 30, GS most likely, over 35.......then LS. That's in general though, there are always exception. Put it this way, I prefer the GS when I was under 30, I bought my LS when I was 31.......and honestly I wasn't quite ready for a car that soft yet, now that I am 34, my LS is my favorite commuter out of all Lexus models. After a long hard day of work when I am totally exhausted, the only Lexus I want to be in, is my LS430.

Last edited by BNR34; 03-07-11 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 03-07-11, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by caddyowner View Post
Is that 3L engine in the GS the one with the sludge problems?
No, the motor with the known sludge problem is the 3.0L V6 found in ES300 and RX300. (Forgot the motor code, don't feel like looking it up.). We got 2 of those ES300s too, if you change the oil regularly, no sludge problem that I can tell, our 98' ES300 ran perfectly at 90k miles when it got totaled.

The GS300 got a 3.0L Inline-6 (2JZ-GE) also found in the non-turbo Supra, completely different motor.
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Old 03-07-11, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by CK6Speed View Post
No question the LS. Unless you find an 02 GS430 then it becomes a bit more of which you personally prefer. The LS is far better quality, and the engine trans are near bullet proof.
Longevity on engine and tranny wise, I would say they are pretty even. I think they might even have the same tranny, both 5-speeds, got the same price. The 2JZ inline-6 is one of the longest lasting motor in the history of man kind, it won't die any sooner then that 4.3L V8.

Other point to mention......the GS300 is easier to work on then the LS430, there are tons of room next to that skinny inline-6, the oil filter is on the top, where you have to get under the LS and unfastened the plastic panel to get to the oil filter.

There are all kinds of pros and cons for both cars. It depends on how long you want to keep it too.
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Old 03-07-11, 07:59 PM
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I would choose the GS. its newer and has less mileage
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Old 03-07-11, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BNR34 View Post
Coalission........if you tell us your age, it would help us in recommending a car for you. If you are under 30, GS most likely, over 35.......then LS. That's in general though, there are always exception.
Well I'm 27 but have never been into cars for the most part...I drive a beat up 96 Corolla right now and never thought about buying a car until now, so I just searched for the absolute most rock solid cars that will last basically forever with regular maintenance, and came across Lexus GS and LS, namely the 2JZ and the 1UZ/3UZ engines, so I mostly want it for longevity, smooth chill ride, and elegance. I don't care about racing anyone.

As someone else said, the LS430 I was looking at is dark green, factory chrome rims, and holy cow it's beautiful. Big body, clean, luxury without even trying is what I get out of it.

I was considering the GS300 value-wise, because it has the ML audio, and the Nav system, less miles, and Carfax 1-owner, but I visited the dealer again today to see about getting the LS430 and I feel in love again.

Unfortunately my insurance is sky high, and if I want this I'm gonna have to pay it all cash and PIP it, which may be too risky for me and might have to pass on a Lexus after today
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Old 03-07-11, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BNR34 View Post
Longevity on engine and tranny wise, I would say they are pretty even. I think they might even have the same tranny, both 5-speeds, got the same price. The 2JZ inline-6 is one of the longest lasting motor in the history of man kind, it won't die any sooner then that 4.3L V8.

Other point to mention......the GS300 is easier to work on then the LS430, there are tons of room next to that skinny inline-6, the oil filter is on the top, where you have to get under the LS and unfastened the plastic panel to get to the oil filter.

There are all kinds of pros and cons for both cars. It depends on how long you want to keep it too.
Problem with the GS300 is unless you drop a turbo or go 2JZ-GTE, it is way under powered IMHO. You wont have that problem with the 3UZ V8 and can pretty much run that engine stock and not really feel the need for more power.
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Old 03-07-11, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Coalission View Post
I was considering the GS300 value-wise, because it has the ML audio, and the Nav system, less miles, and Carfax 1-owner, but I visited the dealer again today to see about getting the LS430 and I feel in love again.

Unfortunately my insurance is sky high, and if I want this I'm gonna have to pay it all cash and PIP it, which may be too risky for me and might have to pass on a Lexus after today
ML in the GS is nothing to get excited about. I had an 03 GS430 with ML and nav and I went aftermarket. It's alright and actually pretty good for early 2000 era, but listen to it long enough and you'll start to want more. I wouldn't pay a premium for the ML until you reach the 2006+ ML in the 3rd Gen, or current LS. That us just my opinion though.
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Old 03-08-11, 05:10 AM
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The engine in the LS is less picky about maintenance and oil changes. I'd absolutely go with the LS if it wasnt for the accident history.

Try and find another LS, accident free.
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Old 03-08-11, 09:01 AM
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I love my GS400, perhaps you should look towards one of those.
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