RSS icon Home icon
  • 2017 Lexus GS 200t

    Posted on September 14th, 2017 ninarussin

    Midsize sport sedan gets a turbo boost

    By Nina Russin

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    The midsize Lexus GS has long been a favorite among driving enthusiasts, due to its exceptional front-to-rear balance, abundant power and solid steering response. Following a major redesign for the 2016 model year, the 2017 models add standard Lexus Safety System Plus: a suite of active safety features including pre-collision, lane departure alert and assist and dynamic radar cruise control.

    Buyers can choose between the gasoline-electric GS 400h and two gasoline models: the GS 350 and turbocharged GS 200t. The V-6 model is available with all-wheel drive while the 200t is rear-wheel drive only.

    An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard for both rear-wheel drive models, providing several large overdrive gears for enhanced fuel economy during steady-state cruising.

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    For those who can live without four-season capability, the turbocharged GS offers a couple of advantages: better fuel economy due to its lighter powertrain, and thanks to the smaller engine, even better front-to-rear weight balance.

    Base price for the GS 200t is $46,310 excluding the $975 destination charge. Options on the test car include 18-inch alloy rims, Mark Levinson premium audio system, navigation with a 12.3-inch touchscreen and Lexus Enform and intuitive park assist, bringing the final MSRP to $50,070.

    Test drive in Southern Arizona

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    Over the past week I drove the GS through Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley as well as sections of the Gila River Indian Community south of town. Throughout the test drive, on dry pavement, wet roads and through a rather severe dust storm, the GS proved a willing partner. The turbocharged four-cylinder block develops peak torque- 258 lbs.-ft.- at speeds as low as 1650 rpm and maintains the power up to 4400.

    Zero-to-sixty acceleration is seven seconds according-to the manufacturer: significantly below the 5.7-second time for the larger V-6. However, fuel economy is three miles-per-gallon better than the rear-wheel drive V-6. Since both engines require premium unleaded gasoline, that’s significant.

    Because of its low-end torque, the GS 200t has no problems moving off the line, or to the front of the highway entrance ramp. High-end acceleration is also excellent. On the I-10 freeway where traffic averages 80 miles-per-hour, I had no problems passing slower vehicles.

    But the GS is at its best on winding two-lane roads, where the driver can shift the drive mode select system into sport, and enjoy the sedan’s exceptional ride and handling. Engineers got the electric power steering system just right: it responds to varying vehicle speeds by making response lighter or heavier as necessary. On-center response is spot on, and there is plenty of low-speed assist for crowded parking lots.

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    2017 Lexus GS 200t

    A four-wheel independent suspension system consists of double wishbones up front and a multi-link system in the back. Stabilizer bars on both axles keep the chassis flat in the corners. Even when taking a decreasing radius turn fast enough to chirp the tires, the GS sticks to the road like glue.

    Visibility around the perimeter is good, thanks to a standard rearview camera and blind spot monitoring. I had no problems monitoring vehicles in adjacent lanes on the highway or weaving through dense rush-hour traffic.

    Engineers did an excellent job of minimizing noise intrusion to the interior, so occupants in both rows can converse on the highway or enjoy the premium audio system.

    Spacious interior

    Lexus GS 200t Interior

    Lexus GS 200t Interior

    Lexus is known for its quiet, elegant interiors. The GS is no exception, with supple leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, plus excellent fit and finish throughout.

    Keyless entry and start saves the driver from fumbling for the key fob. Once inside, multiple driver memory settings enable family members to share in the fun. I found the driver’s seat easy to adjust with ample lower lumbar support.

    Climate and infotainment controls are accessible from either front seating position and intuitive to operate. Both the gauge cluster and large center stack screen are easy to read in bright sunlight as well as after dark.

    Living in a hot climate, I appreciate the lack of chrome touchpoints on the shift knob and steering wheel, both of which can cause severe burns at the height of the Arizona summer.

    The Mark Levinson audio system is one of the best sound systems in the industry, rivaling high-end home systems. The OEM has figured out how to decompress files, adding depth to classical and acoustic tracks that tend to sound flat on competitive systems.

    A spacious trunk has plenty of room for the weekly groceries, golf bags and small camping equipment. A trunk pass-through enables owners to load in skis or snowboards. Cyclists will be better served with one of the Lexus crossover vehicles offering a taller and more spacious cargo bay.

    Standard safety

    The Lexus GS comes with ten airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, blind spot monitoring, pre-collision with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure warning and assist, intelligent high beam headlamps, LED headlamps and LED daytime running lamps and tire pressure monitoring.

    Lexus builds the GS at its Aichi, Japan assembly plant.

    Like: A stylish midsize luxury sport sedan with exceptional ride and handling.

    Dislikes: None

    Quick facts:

    Make: Lexus
    Model: GS 200t
    Year: 2017
    Base price: $46,310
    As tested: $50,070
    Horsepower: 241 HP @ 5800 rpm
    Torque: 258 lbs.-ft. @ 1650 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: Seven seconds
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: No
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 22/32 mpg city/highway
    Comment: The manufacturer requires the use of premium unleaded gasoline.

    Comments are closed.