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.
- 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