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2005 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Lexus Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2005 Lexus New Car Model GuideLexus, the elite up-scale brand from Toyota of Japan, promotes luxurious high-performance machines cast as elegant sedans, sporty coupes and rugged yet refined sport-utility wagons. For the 2005 class, Lexus spins off a high-tech gas-electric hybrid version of the RX 330 crossover SUV called RX 400h. Rigged with a stout V6 engine as well as an electric motor, the SULEV-rated hybrid wagon can scoot from zero to 60 mph in less than eight seconds while earning high fuel economy ratings.

Lexus RX 330
2005 Lexus RX 330

The crossover SUV from Lexus rides on the FWD platform of a car. It carries a five-seat passenger compartment with cargo space in the rear. Many safety systems are in place, including side curtain-style air bags set above front and rear side windows plus frontal air bags for front buckets and large seat-mounted side air bags to cover the rider's torso, abdomen and pelvis, even an air bag to shield the driver's knees. The cabin piles on luxurious elements including electro-luminescent instruments in a triple-pod display, and power seats, mirrors and windows.

Options in packages bring leather upholstery and wood trim in walnut or bird's eye maple, a navigation system and rear-view video camera, moonroof, performance gear with air suspension and 18-inch wheels and tires, plus a Mark Levinson audio system with six-disc CD changer. RX 330 provides a 3.3-liter aluminum V6 rated at 230 hp with an intelligent five-speed electronic automatic transaxle. But the new hybrid, RX 400h, adds a high-voltage and high-torque permanent-magnet electric motor with continuously variable transmission (CVT) and regenerative braking to push up to 270 hp yet earn exceptionally high fuel economy scores.

Lexus LX Series
2005 Lexus LX

The full-size sport-utility vehicle from Lexus carries the luxurious fittings of an elite sedan as well as the muscular assets of a heavy-duty off-road warrior. It also proves on pavement it can be a smooth rider. The vast passenger compartment accommodates eight on three tiers of seats. And those cushy appointments: soft leather and rich wood trimmings, power-everything, and seven audio speakers to envelop you in soothing stereo sounds.

An optional navigation system uses a Bluetooth wireless connection plus a bumper camera for reverse video views. And XM satellite radio service is a new option. Power for the LX SUV comes from a big V8 that delivers 235 hp and links to a five-speed electronic automatic transmission. The four-wheel-drive (4WD) system has a center differential with limited-slip capacity to distribute engine torque to front or rear wheels. Add a locking mechanism to the center differential plus limited-slip rear differential and you get maximum potential for traction to climb over daunting off-road obstacles.

Lexus GX Series
2005 Lexus GX

A mid-size Lexus SUV looks like a variant of the LX 470, only in reduced scale. It also carries the big Lexus V8 for 235 hp and connects to a five-speed automatic with uphill and downhill shift logic. There are three tiers of seats in the spacious passenger compartment, with trimmings in leather and fine hardwoods. The 4WD system, permanently engaged, has a center differential with limited-slip. More Lexus innovations aboard extend to active traction control (ATC), adaptable variable suspension (AVS) and downhill assist control (DAC). In addition, options include an exclusive Mark Levinson premium audio system and a nighttime Lexus vision enhancement system called Night View.

A new Sport model shows up with smoked bezel headlamps on the prow and dark graphite finish for 17-inch alloy wheels and the roof rack. Inside, the cabin adds black bird's eye maple wood trim. GX Sport also stocks a new variable suspension labeled Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), with Bluetooth wireless connection available for the add-on navigation system.

Lexus LS Series
2005 Lexus LS 430

The flagship for Lexus is the full-size LS 430 sedan. This is a dreamboat limousine-like hauler, stretched to provide generous space for riders and laced with luxury features, then armed with advanced mechanical systems linked to smart computer processors that can out-think and out-perform other vehicles. The big sedan draws strength from the 4.3-liter aluminum V8 linked to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift feature. An optional Ultra Luxury Package adds extra equipment like a laser-guided cruise control system, sonar-based parking guide and a navigation system with DVD-based database and dashboard touch screen. Further luxury touches include an internal blower in front seats to circulate heated or cooled air, and a heat element for the rear bench with back massager and seatback power adjustments. A power-operated sunscreen stands at the rear window, with manual screens in rear doors.

Lexus ES Series
2005 Lexus ES 330

As the only Lexus sedan oriented to front-wheel-drive (FWD) format, ES 330 returns for 2005 as an elegant mid-size model featuring fresh exterior styling and new trim and appointments in the cabin. The sleek form of the ES reveals a sculpted hood defined by bold triangular headlamp clusters and a severely raked windshield offset by flat flanks and gracefully curved windows. It looks aggressive but streamlined and stylish -- and downright expensive.

Climb inside to discover a luxurious compartment trimmed in fine leathers and wood. 2005 editions contain new golden bird's eye maple or burled walnut wood trim inside with options for a six-disc CD changer, a navigation system with voice activation and a bumper camera that displays images of the vehicle's reverse-moving view on a dashboard video screen. Power comes from the Lexus 3.3-liter V6 rated at 225 hp with a five-speed electronic automatic transmission. Many safety features go into the ES 330, including side curtain air bags above side front and rear windows plus frontal and seat-mounted side air bags. A vehicle skid control system (VSC) is available, plus an adaptive suspension.

Lexus IS Series
2005 Lexus IS 300

With oversized wheels pegged at the corners and a contoured body marked by flat side panels and the stubby prow and tail that leave scant space for overhangs, the IS 300 compact-class sports sedan looks like a high-strung rally car and acts like a road-hugging German touring sedan. The straight-six engine, producing 215 hp, whines a high-revving tune played through five speeds on the automatic transmission or optional manual five-speed. With the automatic there are toggles on the steering wheel that enable an aggressive driver to shift up and down sans clutch with only a flick of the thumb and without removing hands from the wheel.

A five-door hatchback wagon edition expands the series under the name of SportCross. It carries the same equipment as the sedan with the automatic transmission, yet has the rear liftgate and cargo bay plus a rear seatback that splits and folds to make more room for sports gear like a mountain bike. All versions reveal bold contemporary styling for the cockpit in a theme of bright silver and black interior accents with drilled aluminum pedals and stainless steel scuff plates studded with rubber on doorsills.

Lexus GS Series
2005 Lexus GS

Sports sedans under the GS label contain high-output engines and high-tech handling gear for world-class performance and Lexus-style luxury. The exterior design, with wheels pushed outward to extremities and radical sheet metal panels of curves and flat faces worked around a form with blunt nose and tail, features a powerful face with unusual oval headlamp clusters flanking a classy front grille. Concealed behind the slick skin, sophisticated engines for the pair of GS models shape their sporty personalities. The ultimate edition -- GS 400 -- stokes the twin-cam Lexus 4.3-liter V8 rated at 300 hp. A second version -- GS 300 -- gets a dual-cam six-cylinder plant with in-line layout and displacement of 3.0 liters to muster 220 hp. Both cars employ the Lexus electronically-controlled automatic transmission, which has five forward gears and intelligent shift logic.

Lexus SC Series
2005 Lexus SC 430

The two-seat sports car from Lexus can convert from a hardtop coupe to a daring convertible with push-button ease. With the top raised, it carries an arching profile that looks energetic up front but retro in the rear with a roly-poly rump. With the hardtop folded into the trunk, it seems fluid and fast like a racy roadster. The squatty stance sets up a flat-footed posture in the manner of a classic sports car with all of the right components aboard. It has a big engine too. The aluminum V8 displaces 4.3 liters and makes 300 hp.

Lexus lines the car with gear for safety and performance, as well as electronic displays and lavish (even for Lexus) appointments. The standard audio package comes from Mark Levinson. A 240-watt amplifier combines with nine speakers, a cassette deck and six-disc CD changer mounted in the dash. All-season run flat tires are new to the list of options this year, as is an upgraded navigation system with enhanced graphics and new functions.