Toyota's luxury division presented the Lexus GS300, characterised by its rounded design and rear-wheel drive, as a sporty alternative to similar sedans from European manufacturers like BMW and Mercedes. However, it drives more like a luxury vehicle than a sports one with its soft suspension. It was offered in the United States market from 1993 to 2005, when Lexus made some alterations to the vehicle and changed the vehicle name to the GS350.
In some first-generation GS300s (1993 to 1997), there might be static or electrical noises from such components as indicators and brake lights heard through the car speakers when the radio station is turned to the AM frequency. This is due to a poor ground from the radio antenna.
Also afflicting some first-generation vehicles is an incorrect temperature display--usually showing --5.56 degrees C (F)--because of a malfunctioning temperature-sensor circuit. The car can be taken to a dealership, where someone can resolve the problem by briefly removing the fuse from the air conditioning control unit.
Lexus extends warranties for 1993 to 1997 Lexus GS300s for excessive oil consumption. This is caused by the sludge build-up on the cylinder heads.
Some 1993 and 1994 Lexus GS300s may experience some suspension noise. This is characterised by clunking sounds coming from the front end of the vehicle. A replacement with a redesigned upper shock mount should resolve the problem.
First-generation GS300s were manufactured with lower ball joints with relatively rough spherical parts. This causes friction with the surface of the ball joint cap, and thus separates the ball joints. Dealers can replace the faulty parts free of charge.
Vehicle Stability Control
Some 1998 GS300s might have faulty yaw rate sensors for the vehicle stability control system. The sensors can be highly perceptible to electromagnetic waves such as those coming from a cell phone, thus causing the brake to unexpectedly operate. Dealers can replace the sensor at no cost.
Lexus GS300s are generally very reliable cars, true to the reputation of its luxury nameplate and its parent company, Toyota. Any model year would do, although if you want a GS300 with more or updated features, it's best to go after the newer versions (second generation, 1998 to 2005). Also, make sure you obtain a CarFax report for used GS300s to check their car histories.