2017 Lexus GS 200t Review

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable and spacious interior is generously appointed
  • Turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers high fuel economy
  • Entertainment and navigation system controller is hard to use
  • Trunk not expandable because rear seatbacks do not fold down
  • Four-cylinder's acceleration is nothing special
  • All-wheel drive is not available on the GS 200t
Other years
2017
Lexus GS 200t for Sale
2017
List Price Estimate
$27,425 - $33,018

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Which GS 200t does Edmunds recommend?

Those considering the 2017 Lexus 200t should focus their attention on the base model. There's real value in the 200t as long as you don't add many options. It lacks some of the features found in the more expensive GS 350, but it's still very well equipped. It doesn't cost much to upgrade the standard 17-inch wheels and tires to the more attractive 18s, and you can choose all-season or three-season "summer" performance tires. The optional F Sport package has some desirable features, but you'll need to decide if it's worth it given that the main appeal of the 200t is value.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

The 2017 GS 200t is the entry-level version of the Lexus GS range. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine gives up some performance in the name of fuel economy and a lower cost of entry, but this is still an attractive, sophisticated and comfortable luxury sedan that's light on its feet.

The current generation of the Lexus GS first appeared as a 2013 model. We tested a 2013 GS 350 for a full year and came away impressed by its well-appointed and accommodating interior, engaging handling and smooth ride. But the GS 350's base price was just out of reach for some, so last year Lexus introduced a lower-cost GS 200t version that uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine instead of the venerable 3.5-liter V6.

This engine makes 241 horsepower instead of 311 horsepower, but it also achieves 26 mpg combined instead of the V6's 23 mpg. Those with a heavy right foot are sure to be underwhelmed by the 200t's acceleration, but more relaxed drivers probably won't care.

The best part is the 200t base model costs thousands less (when new) than the cheapest GS 350. From 20 paces away they look identical, and the 200t doesn't feel stripped of the usual GS goodness. Its 17-inch wheels and simulated leather tires still look attractive, and missing standard features such as ventilated seats, a rear sunshade and automatic wipers aren't deal breakers.

2017 Lexus GS 200t models

In keeping with its mission as the entry-level rung of the GS lineup, the GS 200t is powered by an economical 241-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine instead of the GS 350's more powerful V6. Only available in rear-wheel drive, the 200t comes in a single trim level.

The 200t base sends its power out through an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it rolls on 17-inch wheels and performance tires. Other standard fare includes LED headlights, keyless ignition and entry, and power-folding, heated mirrors. Inside, you'll find simulated leather, a sunroof, power-adjustable and heated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, and an automatic climate control system, Bluetooth, the Remote Touch infotainment interface, a navigation system, voice controls, smartphone app integration, a 12.3-inch display screen and a 12-speaker sound system. A broad range of driver safety aids (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of advanced active safety features) are also included.

Heated and ventilated front seats, automatic wipers and a power rear sunshade are optional by way of the Premium package, and the available 18-inch wheel upgrade offers a same-cost choice between all-season and stickier three-season summer performance tires.

The optional F Sport package ups the ante on the handling front by adding 19-inch, staggered-width wheels and summer performance tires, a sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension, bigger front brakes, more aggressive front and rear bumper and grille styling, and a rear trunklid spoiler. Inside you'll find leather upholstery, power sport seats, all of the Premium Package content and different interior trim pieces.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test and an extended yearlong test of the 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport with the F Sport package (3.5L V6 | 6-speed automatic | RWD).

NOTE: The GS 200t and its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and eight-speed transmission didn't exist when this test was conducted. But the car itself and its features and options are largely identical, apart from one or two upgrades such as LED headlights. Except for these factors our initial findings remain broadly applicable to this year's GS 200t.

Driving

4.0
The Lexus GS 200t is nimble and moves out nicely, but it's also effortlessly smooth and poised. Acceleration is adequate but far from exhilarating.

Acceleration

We've only tested the 3.5-liter V6 in the GS. For that engine, we measured a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds. We have not tested a 200t, but Lexus estimates a 0-60 mph time of 7.0 seconds, which should translate to adequate, but far from exhilarating, performance.

Braking

3.5
The GS' firm and sure brake pedal tends toward jumpy, but you'll readily get used to it. The car tends to exhibit some nosedive during harder stops, and our measured panic-stop distance from 60 mph is about average for premium sedans with summer-rated tires.

Steering

4.0
The GS cruises arrow-straight on the open road, and it feels nimble when going around turns.

Handling

5.0
In F Sport trim, the GS drives like a much smaller and lighter car. It feels nimble and delivers impressive cornering response, but there's also a good deal of grip and overall stability.

Drivability

We have not yet evaluated the 200t's turbo engine and eight-speed transmission. In our test of the related IS 200t sedan (which has the same engine and transmission), we noted that the eight-speed automatic transmission's shifting can feel languid at times.

Comfort

4.5
Though the GS is a sport sedan, it doesn't abandon comfort in the pursuit of achieving that title. The optional F Sport seats are comfy, the ride is smooth, and the cabin is generally quiet and well ventilated.

Seat comfort

4.5
The optional F Sport seats are a highlight: sufficiently bolstered for sporty driving but still comfortable and easy to get out of. The seat bottoms deliver excellent thigh support, though some did find them a bit flat. And they're heated and ventilated.

Ride comfort

4.5
An adaptive variable suspension system helps the F Sport split the difference between sport sedan and proper Lexus. The ride is generally smooth and controlled with little harshness on rough roads.

Noise & vibration

4.0
A bit of road noise emanates from the large (and optional) summer performance tires, but it stops short of being bothersome. And there's precious little wind noise, even at elevated highway speeds.

Climate control

4.5
Dual-zone climate controls are prominently located, clearly marked and easy to understand. The air vents put out a nice volume of air, and rear passengers have a pair of their own. The F Sport package adds heated and ventilated seats, and a heated steering wheel is optional.

Interior

4.5
The 2017 GS 200t is blessed with a fairly roomy and comfortable interior that oozes quality and refinement. There's very little to complain about apart from one thing: the unique but awkward mouse-style interface that controls the entertainment and navigation system.

Ease of use

3.5
The majority of the GS' switches, buttons and knobs are easy to use and understand without cracking open the owner's manual. But there is one prominent sore spot that takes points off: the mouse-style infotainment system controller. It's novel but demands too much attention.

Getting in/getting out

4.5
There's a lot to like in this category. The doors open wide, the sills are narrow, and as sedans go, the seats are comfortably high. It's generally very easy to get in or out without the need to stoop or do deep knee bends.

Driving position

4.5
Numerous seat adjustments and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with a fairly generous adjustment range made it easy for a wide variety of drivers to settle in comfortably at the controls with a clear view out over the hood.

Roominess

4.0
The GS 200t is a sizable car, with an interior to match. Up front you'll find lots of hip-, head- and legroom as well as shoulder room. The story is much the same in the backseat, too, unless you and the person seated directly ahead are both quite tall.

Visibility

4.5
Generous glass area gives the GS excellent forward and side visibility, and the rear three-quarter blind spot is minimal because of the carefully sculpted rear roof pillar. Front and rear parking sensors and a rear camera take care of the rest. Fantastic high-beam headlights on the open road, too.

Quality

4.0
Everything you touch in the Lexus GS 200t looks and feels high-quality and purpose-built. The important pieces such as the steering wheel, the shifter and even the knee side of the center console offer extra padding and quality leather.

Utility

3.5
The GS' trunk is usefully shaped and quite big, but you may not like it if you're the sort who folds down the rear seats to carry larger items now and then — the GS can't do that. The interior provides a reasonable but not memorable amount of storage, and it plays well with most child safety seats.

Small-item storage

3.5
Has a useful glovebox, two cupholders ahead of the shifter and a medium-sized center console that opens wide. Front door pockets are decent-sized, but they won't hold a water bottle. Rear door pockets are small, but they will accept a bottle. The rear center armrest has a storage bin and cupholders.

Cargo space

4.0
The trunk is quite spacious because it is wide near the mouth, deep along the floor and accessible through a broad opening. Hidden hinges won't crush bags. Thing is, the rear seatbacks do not fold down to expand the space except for a slender ski pass-through that seems like a consolation prize.

Child safety seat accommodation

3.5
Has two pairs of LATCH anchors at the bottom and three top-tether anchors along the top. Bottom LATCH anchors are tightly recessed between the seat cushions, though. Rear legroom is generous enough for most rear-facing seats to fit, but tall front occupants might still have to scoot up some.

Technology

4.0
This year the Lexus Safety System+ suite of driver aids is now standard. The 200t's complementary audio and navigation system uses an older iteration of the GS 350's software, but phone-pairing and the voice controls still measure up. We're still not fans of the audio and navigation controller.

Audio & navigation

3.0
The Mark Levinson sound system sounds great, and it has simple and effective volume and tune knobs. Higher audio functions and the navigation system require the use of a quirky interface that's not that easy to use without diverting attention away from driving.

Smartphone integration

The GS 200t's system uses the same software found in our older 2013 GS 350. In that car, Bluetooth phone pairing was a simple process. USB smartphone access was a simple matter of plug and play, but we had trouble getting album artwork to display consistently.

Driver aids

5.0
The previously optional Lexus Safety System+ is now standard. It includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, intelligent high-beam control, and lane departure warning with mitigation. Blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert is standard, too.

Voice control

The GS 200t's system uses the same software found in our older 2013 GS 350, in which successful voice activation required deliberate speech and a specific command structure. Those with an iPhone have the option of holding the voice button longer to directly engage Siri on their phone instead.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall3.5 / 5
Driving4.0
Comfort4.5
Interior4.5
Utility3.5
Technology4.0

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Lexus GS 200t.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Luxurious Ride
Robert Knaus,08/29/2017
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
This car is very comfortable and feels great on the road. Four cylinder turbo is just fine for acceleration and cruising. The interior systems are controlled with a joystick-like device which is a little touchy. Voice activated navigation is nice. While there is a backup camera there is no radar which was disappointing. Haven't tried the cruise control yet. Sound system is better than anything I've had before. Car is only 5 weeks old with just local driving so don't have good line on MPG. The Edmunds review caused me to look at this car specifically when I went to dealer. I saw the color and interior I wanted online as well. My wife drives it and loves it.

Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
241 hp @ 5800 rpm
MPG
21 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
241 hp @ 5800 rpm
See all Used 2017 Lexus GS 200t features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the GS 200t models:

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Keeps you at a constant distance from the vehicle ahead of you. It works all the way down to a complete stop, which isn't always the case.
Pre-Collision System
Detects and attempts to avoid front collisions by applying the brakes to assist the driver and reduce the speed of impact.
Lane Departure Alert w/Steering Assist
Automatically applies corrections to help prevent the car from leaving its lane.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Lexus GS 200t

Used 2017 Lexus GS 200t Overview

The Used 2017 Lexus GS 200t is offered in the following submodels: GS 200t Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), and F SPORT 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2017 Lexus GS 200t?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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