I have been on record of not liking the 2.0L turbo-four Lexus uses in a number of their vehicles. Previous reviews have highlighted the horrendous turbo lag and power falling off a cliff after a certain point on the rpm band. But after spending a week with the 2017 Lexus GS 200t, I found that Lexus may have fixed one of the big issues with this engine.
- A quick refresher on the turbo 2.0L. The engine has ratings of 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission on offer.
- The engine feels quite punchy when the boost kicks in as it moves the 3,805 pound sedan without breaking a sweat. Another positive is how quiet and refined the engine is during acceleration and at cruise.
- There are a couple of downsides. As I mentioned in the RC 200t review, the engine does run out of steam at higher rpms which makes merging onto a freeway slightly tricky. The transmission programming in the ‘Normal’ drive mode leans heavily towards boosting fuel economy with rapid upshifts and slow downshifts. This was easily remedied by putting the GS into the ‘Sport’ drive mode.
- EPA fuel economy figures for the GS 200t at 22 City/32 Highway/26 Combined. I only averaged a very disappointing 19.2 mpg for the week. A lot of this can be attributed to the cold snap where the high temperature at the times was around 10 to 15 degrees. This meant I was running the vehicle at idle for a fair amount of time to warm it up.
- The GS 200t’s suspension provides a mostly smooth ride with only a couple of bumps making their way inside. Road and wind noise are almost nonexistent.
- I cannot really comment on the GS 200t’s handling as most of the roads were snow-covered during the week and the Michelin GreenX tires were more keen on spinning in the snow than actually getting the car moving. A set of all-seasons or snow tires would have done wonders for it. Reading through some other reviews, the consensus seems to be the GS shows little body roll and has decent steering weight.
- Lexus updated the GS’ styling back in 2016 with a revised front end, complete with a spindle grille and upside-down eyelash LED lighting. I’m usually not a fan of the standard insert for the spindle grille - like the mesh insert on the F-Sport. But I will admit the slat grille on this particular model works quite well. Other changes include new wheels (18-inches on our tester) and taillights.
- The interior hasn’t really changed since I last drove the GS back in 2013. In certain respects, this is ok. The design still holds up with the brushed-metal accents and textured black trim. Material quality is top notch as well with many surfaces being covered in soft-touch plastics and leather.
- Seating offers the right amount of support and comfort needed for long trips. The only downside is the large transmission tunnel that eats into rear legroom.
- The GS still uses the first-generation Lexus Enform infotainment system, complete with the joystick controller. The controller is a pain to use with an inconsistent feeling when using it to move around the system. At times, you’ll find yourself either overshooting or not selecting the function because of the vague feeling provided by the controller. This hurts an otherwise pretty good system with a modern design and large 12.3-inch screen with the ability of split-screen viewing.
- The base price of the 2017 GS 200t is $46,310. Our test vehicle came equipped with a few options such as navigation, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, heated and ventilated front seats, power trunk, and 18-inch wheels that raised the price to a very reasonable $52,295.
Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the GS 200t, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve with Dual VVT-iW
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 241 @ 5,800
Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,650-4,400
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/32/26
Curb Weight: 3,805 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
Base Price: $46,310
As Tested Price: $52,295 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge and $1,730 Navigation Package Credit)
Navigation w/12.3-inch screen with Lexus Enform - $1,730.00
Premium Package - $1,400.00
Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System - $1,380.00
18" All Season Tires - $905.00
Intuitive Park Assist - $500.00
Illuminated Door Sills - $425.00
One-Touch Power Trunk - $400.00