Photo by Sergey Ivanov

"LEXUS-GS300" Lexus GS 300

The Lexus GS 300 is the luxury twin of the Toyota Aristo that debuted in 1992. The car, which by no means looked archaic, was modernized in 1997, giving it completely futuristic features. It is available only with a sedan body, a three-liter in-line “six” and a five-speed “automatic”. Rich standard equipment includes, for example, an active stabilization system.

In Russia, the Lexus is still difficult to compete in popularity with the Mercedes and BMW. Maybe the latest version of the GS300 will be able to turn the tide?

The current “Lexus” compares favorably with its predecessor “faces with uncommon expression” - four complex-shaped headlights sharply distinguish it in the street stream. By the way, those 15 cm, on which the car was shortened, are "removed" mainly from the nose. What is surprising, in a less bulky car, the luggage compartment has become more capacious by as much as 175 liters! But under the floor is not a narrow "dokatka", but a normal wheel: "Pirelli-6000" 225 / 55R16 on an alloy wheel.

However, we will time to delve into the details. Better once again we go around this handsome man. Good, you can’t say anything. Strong and elegant. Like Schwarzenegger in a tailcoat …

Doors and trunk can be unlocked remotely - a key fob is included as standard. Getting into the cabin is not so simple: strongly tilted racks significantly “cut” the doorways.

From the inside, the Lexus looks very presentable: leather on the seats, door trim, steering wheel and front panel, wood-like plastic inserts, light fluffy ceiling. We settle down first on the back sofa with a wide folding armrest in the middle. However … Places in length "will not be enough." Something between the Volga and the Zhiguli. The third one is definitely superfluous, although a three-point belt and headrest are also provided for him - to sit on top of him on a high tunnel of the floor, resting his head on the roof.

Having sat behind, we will climb forward and stretch our legs, the good of the place is enough. Yes, and over the head there are still ten centimeters of “air”. A relatively short sloping hood almost does not close the road and creates the feeling of a compact car. You will have to get used to the rear-view mirror - not to automatic dimming, that’s all okay with that. You can just see the strip of rear window between the head restraints and the edge of the roof, a width of fifteen centimeters from it.

Comfortable wide seats are equipped with a mass of electrical adjustments. The height of the head restraints and seat belts is manually adjustable. Servo drives control the position and length of the steering column. There is no need to reconfigure all this after changing the driver - you can “remember” two combinations of adjustments. (But this is for a fee, along with a leather interior.) What's interesting: as soon as the key is removed from the ignition, the steering wheel "moves" back and forth to facilitate pick-up and drop-off and returns when the key is back in the lock. In a stepped groove on the floor tunnel is a five-speed automatic transmission selector. The driver can use for driving any number of steps, from one to five. Normal, sport and winter modes of operation are provided. White dials that light up when the ignition is switched on at the bottom of the dark “wells” of the instrument panel look unusual. But the new Lexus will not please smokers: the easy-to-open ashtray closes just as easily when you try to press the cigarette lighter on it.

Electric windows and mirrors, heated seats, headlight washers, front and side airbags, climate control with separate adjustment left and right, an audio system with seven speakers and a CD changer and much more have become familiar attributes of a luxury car. But only a few can boast of an active stabilization system, and even as standard equipment. The operation of the system is clearly visible when exiting drift without gas discharge: instead of a series of damped oscillations, “one and a half” short pitching and then straight ahead. If desired, it is easy to disable it by pressing a single key and "revenge with the tail" in the turns, as much as you like. True, I failed to fully appreciate the advantages of active stabilization, since I had to test the Lexus in Germany: extreme conditions arise there much less often than at home …

But plenty of exercise with the navigation system (optional equipment for $ 2850). You set the final point, scale - and go. For three days you forget what a road atlas is. And in an unfamiliar country!

In motion, the Lexus GS 300 turns out to be a slightly sportier car than you expect from it. And the point here is not so much in the increased power of the engine, which now has variable valve timing, but in the characteristics of the suspension and control. "Three hundredth" tenaciously stands on the road, sensitively obeys the steering wheel, very moderately heels in turns, clearly prescribing the trajectory. But the cobblestone under the wheels still feels quite distinctly - the stiff suspension also has disadvantages. Where you feel just fine is on the autobahn - to quickly accelerate or carefully, in your lane, to go through a bunch of turns at high speed - no problem! Perhaps someone would prefer an “automatic” “sharper” or even a manual gearbox - alas, there is only one power unit.

“Lexus” in the basic configuration costs 65 130 marks in Germany or (approximately $ 36 thousand). The owner is guaranteed three years or 100 thousand km of trouble-free life with a free round-the-clock service and evacuation service. Warranty against corrosion - six years. The frequency of maintenance is 12 months or 15 thousand km.

Russian reality has corrected these beautiful figures. The cost of the car is $ 52 thousand without duties (with them, darling, - $ 72-77 thousand), the guarantee is one year or 20 thousand km. The warranty on the body and the frequency of maintenance remained unchanged. Lexus can be serviced at three Toyota stations in Moscow and at fourteen in Russia.

The editors thank

the company "Larins-Trading"

for organizing the test.

+ Original appearance, moderately sharp steering, small rolls in corners, a powerful engine, good brakes, a spacious trunk, a full-size spare tire, and rich standard equipment.

- Lack of choice of engines and gearboxes, cramped rear interior, low front edge of the roof.


General data: number of places - 5; curb weight - 1665 kg; gross weight - 2120 kg; maximum speed - 230 km / h; acceleration time from standstill to 100 km / h - 8.2 s; fuel consumption in conventional suburban and city cycles - 8.8; 16.0 l / 100 km; fuel supply - 75 l; fuel - unleaded AI-95 gasoline. Sizes, mm: length - 4805; width - 1800; height - 1445; base - 2800; track front / rear - 1535/1510; ground clearance - 150; turning radius - 5.8 m; luggage capacity - 515 l. Engine: with distributed electronic injection, two camshafts and variable valve timing, six-cylinder in-line, with four valves per cylinder, is located longitudinally in front; working volume - 2997 smz; cylinder diameter and piston stroke - 86x86 mm; compression ratio - 10.5; power - 163 kW / 222 l. with. at 5800 rpm; maximum torque - 298 N.m at 4000 rpm. Transmission: drive - rear; gearbox - five-speed automatic; gear ratios: I - 3.36; II - 2.18; III - 1.42; IV - 1.00; V - 0.75; h. x - 3.43; final drive - 3.61. Suspension: with anti-roll bars, assembled on subframes, front - with parallel wishbones, rear - multi-link. Brakes: with vacuum booster, ABS, ventilated disc on all wheels. Steering: rack and pinion with variable power steering. Tire size: 225 / 55R16.