I sort of disagree. It is a fine choice for tourists too, but as you said only with a car. I did exactly that when we went down to Lyon to see Disney on Ice. Of course there are lots of hotel choices in Lyon, but if you want IHG points, or use points, then this is a fine hotel if you have a car as it's a short drive into the city.
But if you have no car, Crowne Plaza is certainly a better choice for more central location and tramway station.
Complimentary room upgrades aren't a benefit of Gold Elite status. As a Gold Ambassador, you'll only receive upgrades at InterContinental hotels.
Yeah. The best you'll typically do with Gold is getting the better room within the class you booked. So a higher floor, a nicer view, and nowhere near a noisy ice machine, but not a suite or something.
The quest for points & miles using my own time as currency instead of hard cash continues...