2010 Lexus GS 460 Review

GS 460

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2010 Lexus GS 460 Overview

2010 Lexus GS 460

For years Lexus used the tag line “the relentless pursuit of perfection” to describe its engineering philosophy. While the slogan is no longer used in its advertising, products like the 2010 GS 460 show that Lexus continues to hone in on what makes the perfect luxury car. For 2010 the midsize GS 460 receives only minor changes (Bluetooth phone connectivity is now standard, as are active head restraints), yet still exhibits the refined behavior that today’s luxury buyers expect.  Available only as a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) sedan, the GS 460 is competitively priced, especially in the face of increasingly expensive German luxury sedans.

The 2010 GS 460 endows the excellent GS platform with a powerful V8 engine borrowed from Lexus' range-topping LS sedan. Its aluminum 4.6-liter engine features variable valve timing and produces a robust 342 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Typical of Lexus powerplants, the GS 460’s V8 is uncannily smooth; at idle you would be hard pressed to tell if the engine is running. While its power delivery is more relaxed than most of its hard-edged European competition, the GS 460 accelerates quickly, galloping to 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.4 seconds. Midrange power and torque is a definite upgrade from the V6-equipped GS 350. This larger engine mates to a version of the LS’ automatic transmission, which features an incredible eight speeds (most modern automatics have six) for maximum power and economy. The gearbox shifts smoothly, though the abundance of ratios can occasionally make the car seem like it's hunting for a gear.

All GS 460s drive the rear wheels and feature standard 18-inch tires. The handling is slightly sharper than the GS 350's; some credit must go to the variable-assist electric power steering. Yet Lexus still can’t match the eager, organic cornering ability of offerings from BMW and Audi; when pushed, the GS 460 exhibits more body roll and under-steer than would be expected of a true sports sedan. The standard Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) uses adjustable dampers to vary the firmness of the ride according to road conditions and driver demands. The AVS system offsets the ride penalty of the GS 460’s low-profile tires; ride comfort is excellent on all but the most broken roads. Brakes feature ventilated discs at all four wheels with antilock control.

On the highway the GS 460 shines, and its ability to eat up the miles in comfort makes long road trips a pleasure. Its smooth drivetrain and abundance of sound-deadening make for a serene, quiet cabin, even as speeds increase. Inside the GS 460 Lexus’ renowned attention to detail is unmistakable; the seats are upholstered in glove-soft perforated leather, and glossy wood trim adorns the dash. Fit and finish are excellent, with razor-thin panel gaps and plastics that radiate an expensive, low-gloss sheen. The 2010 GS 460 seats five passengers in comfort with plenty of legroom, though taller occupants may complain about a lack of rear headroom. Carrying capacity is excellent; numerous storage areas are sprinkled throughout the interior, and the 15.2-cubic foot trunk is generously sized.

As befits a luxury sedan, the 2010 GS 460 comes chock full of standard comfort and convenience features. The leather seats feature standard heating, ventilation, and 10-way power adjustment for both driver and passenger. A slick keyless SmartAccess system allows drivers to start the car with the press of a button, and the standard power trunk lid makes loading luggage or groceries a snap. The dual-zone automatic climate control is integrated into a standard touch screen display that also accesses an excellent 10-speaker stereo with CD changer. The optional Luxury Value Package adds GPS navigation, rain-sensing wipers, parking assist, and an upgraded 330-watt Mark Levinson stereo whose 14 speakers fill the cabin with full, rich sound. An available Active Power Stabilization package uses computer-controlled roll bars to stiffen the suspension for cornering, alleviating the GS 460’s propensity to list in sharp turns.

The 2010 GS 460 features an extensive level of safety equipment. In addition to front, side, and curtain airbags, Lexus provides a knee airbag for the front row that it claims reduces the potential for leg injuries. All outboard seating positions get force-limiting seatbelts with automatic pre-tensioners. The braking system features standard antilock control along with electronic brakeforce distribution and pedal assist. A new feature is the Safety Connect package, which provides automatic crash notification and response in the event of an accident. While not crash tested recently by the government, the GS 460 performed very well in a series of tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, earning their best rating of Good in both front and side impact scenarios.

Overall the 2010 Lexus GS 460 provides a luxury experience second to none in its class. While competitors from Europe may offer more athletic driving dynamics, none can match the GS 460’s combination of comfort and refinement. Lexus also delivers exceptional value; even loaded with every option, the GS 460 undercuts an equivalent Mercedes E550 by nearly $7,000. The somewhat uninspired styling (the design is in its fourth year) and perceived lack of brand prestige may hamper the GS 460’s appeal to buyers who place a premium on status (for whom paying more is often a badge of honor). But those seeking a refined, luxurious sedan will find the GS 460 more than fits the bill.

Updated

by Jesse Berger

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