Used Lexus GS Saloon 2005 - 2012 review

Category: Executive car

It's the most refined car in its class

Lexus GS Saloon (05 - 12)
  • Lexus GS Saloon (05 - 12)
  • Lexus GS Saloon (05 - 12)
Used Lexus GS Saloon 2005 - 2012 review
Star rating

What's the used Lexus GS saloon like?

It's an accomplished and comfortable cruiser, wafted along by a 3.0 V6 or 4.3 V8 linked to a six-speed auto gearbox. It feels serene, albeit with so little feedback you feel detached.

There's no wind noise up to the national speed limit, but you will hear a bit too much road noise. All the while, the gearchanges are fantastically smooth and the engines do little more than whisper, even when they're working hard.


It's the most refined car in its class

  • The GS is hushed, refined and has masses of kit
  • It loses value from new faster than most rivals

Green-minded drivers may be attracted to the the petrol-electric hybrid GS450h, but with 35.8mpg overall, it's unlikely to find fans among environmentalists.

Inside, the cabin is roomy, but the shape of the driver's seat won't suit everyone and the siting of a few minor controls can prove confusing - not least because some are hidden in a panel that drops down from the dash. The boot is enormous but, to reach its farthest corners, you need to be tall.

Ownership cost

What used Lexus GS saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Lexus GS saloon?

Measured against other executive rivals, the GS is no bargain to buy or run. It loses more of its resale value early on than a similar BMW or Merc, making nearly-new purchases a potentially expensive long-term investment, although older cars seem good value.

Servicing costs are expensive at main dealers and there are few independent specialists you can turn to as an alternative. Most spare parts are also highly-priced and, as with servicing, there's little scope for saving by buying non-Lexus parts.

On the other hand, insurance costs are average: group 16 for the 3.0-litre models, group 18 for the 430 and the hybrid. And, fuel economy is reasonable, ranging up to 35.8mpg overall for the hybrid through 28.8mpg for the 3.0 and 24.8mpg for the 4.3. However, you won't get any better than these figures, as there's no diesel option.

Our recommendations

Which used Lexus GS saloon should I buy?

Go for the cheapest model. There's not as much of a difference as you'd think between the 3.0 V6 and the 4.3 V8, and the smaller engine suits the car's relaxed nature best.

Alternatively, the petrol-electric hybrid GS450h teams a 286bhp petrol engine with a 190bhp electric one. It's a clever device and amazingly rapid, but its 35.8mpg overall isn't frugal enough to make it sensibly eco-friendly, or even sensible.

There are two trim levels - standard and SE - but even the basic models hardly short-change you, with electric front seats, headlamps that swivel with the steering and touch-screen controls as standard. Moving up to the SE brings standard sat-nav, a rear parking camera and heated and cooled front seats.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Lexus GS saloon?