2017 Lexus GS 200t Review
Edmunds expert review
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.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
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.
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.
Noise & vibration4.0
Ease of use3.5
Getting in/getting out4.5
Child safety seat accommodation3.5
Audio & navigation3.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.