2007 Lexus GS 350 3.5 Litre VVT-i from North America
What a galactic disappointment this beater turned out to be.
It was a one owner, local car bought new and serviced all its life at Lexus Thousand Oaks. I had sold my 2009 LS460 because it was too nice and fancy to take to Mexico and it needed front upper and lower control arm bushings at the time -- a $3,700 job. I was taking a job in B.C.S., Mexico and needed a reliable driver. I'd previously lived and worked in Baja Sur and had brought a 1999 Toyota 4Runner and 2006 Infiniti FX 35 down there with me. I'd been back in the States for over a year at the time so by now, both those car were gone. Long since sold, so this would be my replacement; one car to drive down there and leave in Mexico, while my Mercedes-Benz vehicles remained in the U.S.A. until I decided whether or not I wanted to bring the diesel down there as well.
When I purchased the car, I knew it needed shocks and new TPS all around. No big deal. Once that was done, I had my assistant delver the car to La Paz. On the way down, check engine lights and ABS lights came on. Turned out the car was using a lot more oil than I thought; I figured it burned 1-1.5 quarts between oil changes. So every 3,000 miles. But it was burning a quart every 1,000 miles! The catalytic converters had failed due to all this oil consumption and set off all the Christmas tree lights. Once I got the codes cleared, I decided to bring the car back the U.S. The cost of piston rings wasn't worth it by now, as I figured there was likely heavy scoring inside the cylinder walls by now. Keep in mind, this car had never been serviced anywhere BUT the Lexus dealership that sold the car brand new in 2007.
The car wouldn't pass smog, but it was good for nearly another two years before I'd have to get rid of it so I decided to keep it up in Lake Tahoe where I planned to spend most of the following year. I drove it from San Diego to Scottsdale and back, no problem. Then on to Lake Tahoe from San Diego. No problems.
While up in Tahoe, during the fall, I was driving to Reno to do some shopping when the car mysteriously began overheating. I had it taken to a Japanese specialty shop not far from the Peppermill Hotel & Casino who informed me it needed a water pump. $800. I got it home the next day and everything was fine for a few weeks. Until I was out to dinner one night when suddenly the check engine light is FLASHING. Parked it in the Pond parking lot and tried to get AAA to tow it. They wouldn't send a truck for over a week. I finally canceled AAA and called a truck myself. $120. Had it taken to a local shop who said it was misfiring on #5. Replaced all coil packs, spark plugs and all cables. $1,000.
When winter arrived, I drove it back to San Diego, no problem. Over the holiday season it drove fine, with one exception: the rear Parktronic sensors failed. The backup camera still worked okay, just flickered on occasion or would cut out then come back on, and the front parking sensors still functioned, with proper range finding and everything. Until about three weeks later, when the transmission slipped out of gear while I was getting onto the 5 fwy. in Solana Beach; it suddenly revved to about 8,000 RPM out of nowhere! I let off the gas pedal, still in shock, and it dropped itself into gear, driving normal all the way home. But upon start-up in the morning, she had the misfire again. This time it was missing on #2 and #5. I took to to the Lexus Specialist in Lemon Grove. He said that coolant had gotten into the oil. Probably back when the water pump failed. It needed a rebuild and that was going to cost nearly the value of the car. I finally had enough of this. I put the car on Craigslist As-Is/Needs head gasket/Will not pass Smog for $3,500. It sold within the hour and I took a $6,000 loss on that p.o.s. Never again. I will never buy another 6-cylinder Toyota product as long as I live. I've had three V8 Lexus cars and they were all fantastic. I've had a couple 4-cylinder Toyota trucks, too. They're bulletproof. The V6 engines are GARBAGE. I don't care what anyone says... STAY AWAY! That's my advice. From what I've seen, you simply cannot expect to be able to rack up the miles on their V6 engines the way you can on their 4- and 8-cylinder engines.
The interiors really are beautiful. As nice or nicer than an Audi or BMW, but not quite up to Mercedes-Benz level.
The Mark Levinson audio is killer! Love it. It is just as good as Bose, Harmon-Karden or JBL systems, but slightly less reliable. The amps will frequently burn out, a problem I've never experienced with BMW, Lincoln or Mercedes-Benz.
The suspension provides a superb ride, though handling leaves a lot to be desired; these GS cars look like a spot sedan, but ride like the LS luxury sedan. If you're shopping between a BMW 5-Series or an E-class and the GS, there's no comparison. The GS is not even in the same league as those cars. Hell, not even playing the same sport! Lexus includes a ton of standard equipment on the GS that's either optional at an added cost or flat out unavailable on comparable German cars. Things like Parktronic assist, rain sensing wipers, a power rear roller blind/rear side window sunshades, intelligent laser cruise control and keyless push-button start, but the reality is that Lexus quality has declined significantly since 2006 (the last year of production for the LS 430) and the proof is everywhere: In the LS 460 suspension design flaws, the short lifespan of the V6 engines in the GS models, and a host of other things -- mostly electrical in nature. And electrical problems are the worst kinds of problems to have in any machine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th August, 2023
7th Aug 2023, 19:57
I have had several GS Lexus vehicles and they were all good vehicles. You must have got a lemon or a vehicle that was abused or not taken care of. Only problem I had with my GS Lexus vehicles is batteries and smog issues. A lot of smog on those vehicles. So replace the batteries on those and know your smog on them, especially if you live in California, where passing smog here is getting harder and harder every year.