In the world of luxury sedans, there is nothing worse than lacking a true rival for a competitor’s vehicle. When the 2017 Lexus GS 200t was introduced last year, it wasn’t built to lower the GS’ price or improve its efficiency (although both did happen). No, it was created for the sole purpose of giving Lexus a true apples-to-apples offering to go up against the BMW 530i, Mercedes-Benz E300, Cadillac CTS – like the GS 200t, these sedans all come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and rear-wheel drive.
Lexus has a solid one-two punch for the mid-size luxury sedan segment with the front-wheel-drive ES and the sportier, rear-drive GS lineup, and the new GS 200t expands the already-extensive GS lineup, which also includes the efficient GS Hybrid and the powerful GS F. For this review, we get to check out the 2017 Lexus GS 200t decked out with the aggressive F Sport package.
2017 Lexus GS 200t Exterior:
The current GS has been around for almost six years now, but last year’s redesign helped ensure that this car looks just as good – if not better – than its competition. Lexus’ signature spindle grille continues to be a polarizing cue on its cars, but love it or hate it, this grille helps give the 2017 Lexus GS 200t its in-your-face styling. Another cool design element found on current Lexus products are the two-piece front lights with small LED headlights with a Nike-swoosh LED daytime running light just below. This being the F Sport model, the GS gets a sportier look with mesh grille inserts, dark 19-inch, staggered-width wheels and a decklid spoiler. This tester had an Atomic Silver paint job, and the optional orange brake calipers ($300) added a bright accent to an otherwise dark sedan.
2017 Lexus GS 200t Interior:
Lexus has always crafted its interiors exceptionally well, and the 2017 Lexus GS 200t is further proof of this. The inside of this F Sport sedan reveals a two-tone interior with tan leather perforated seats and metallic trim accents with a snakeskin-like finish. The cabin is extremely high-tech as well with standard navigation, a massive 12.3-inch infotainment screen operated by the Remote Touch Interface controller, the F Sport-exclusive digital gauge cluster and the full-color head-up display. Techies might knock the GS for not offering Apple Car Play and Android Auto smartphone integration, but Siri Eyes Free is standard.
When it comes to comfort, the 2017 Lexus GS 200t is exactly what is to be expected from a midsize luxury sedan with plenty of room for five passengers and modern amenities including heated and ventilated front seats. The GS also provides a huge trunk with 18.4 cubic feet of available space and lined with thick, plush carpet.
2017 Lexus GS 200t Powertrain:
The big deal about the 2017 Lexus GS 200t is, of course, its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is also used in the Lexus NX, IS and RC. In the GS 200t, this engine is rated at 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, helping the sedan accelerate from 0-60 in seven seconds flat. A key benefit of the GS’ downsized engine is improved efficiency with EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 21 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway** (the non F Sport GS 200t is 1 mpg better in both areas). Like all other GS models, the GS 200t requires premium gas.
Being the F Sport model, the performance of the GS 200t is beefed up a little with two-piece front brake rotors, Lexus’ Adaptive Variable Suspension, S+ driving mode and Variable Gear Ratio Steering, but if you’re looking for a performance sedan, you will be much happier with the GS 350 or the GS F. Acceleration is adequate for a 3,805-pound sedan, which oddly enough weighs more than the GS 350, but the combination of the turbocharged engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission leaves a noticeable lag on hard takeoffs. On the road, though, the GS 200t has a remarkably smooth and quiet ride despite the F Sport’s sporty intentions.
2017 Lexus GS 200t Safety:
The 2017 Lexus GS 200t has 10 standard airbags and, new for 2017, all GS models come with the Lexus Safety System+ suite of safety features that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. This tester also came with Intuitive Park Assist for an extra $500. The 2017 Lexus GS has not been fully tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but it has earned “Good” ratings for the moderate overlap front, side and roof strength tests.
2017 Lexus GS 200t Overall:
Instead of thinking of the 2017 Lexus GS 200t as an entry-level GS, it makes more sense to look at this sedan for what it is – a direct rival to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class at a $5,000+ discount. The introduction of the GS 200t already helped lower the starting price point by more than $2,000 with the 2017 Lexus GS 200t starting at $46,310. As is the case with any luxury sedan, tacking on the options quickly hikes this price up, which was evident by the as-tested price of $57,735… although this is $14,400 less than the 2017 BMW 530i we recently tested.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Lexus dealership and test drive the luxurious and sporty 2017 Lexus GS today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.