Two Liters, Lower Price Tag: The 2017 Lexus GS200t

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Lexus GS200t
The 2017 Lexus GS200t.
Lexus is by no means a bargain-basement brand.  But for the second time in just under two years, I find myself reviewing a Lexus GS with a lower price tag.  Then, it was a $2,195 price reduction on the GS350 F-SPORT from 2014 to 2015.  This time, changes come with the price adjustment, because this is an entirely new GS variant.

Rear view of 2017 Lexus GS200t
2017 Lexus GS200t.
The GS has traditionally been powered either by a six-cylinder---the GS350---or an eight-cylinder---the GS-F---engine.  But as automakers strive to meet impending CAFE, Corporate Average Fuel Economy, standards, the solution has been a smaller engine.

Generally, the standard is a 2.0-liter four cylinder, turbocharged.  And that is what the Lexus GS200t brings. 241 horsepower, 258 pounds per foot of torque.  With an eight-speed automatic transmission, the combination is good for 0-60 times in the mid-6-second range, which keeps it competitive with other sport/luxury sedans also using 2-liter turbos.  Fuel economy improves to an EPA-estimated 22 city/32 highway.

Interior view of 2017 Lexus GS200t
2017 Lexus GS200t interior.
Where the Lexus GS200t has it all over its largely German competition is in luxury, quiet, refinement and reliablity.  All of those are hallmarks of the GS sedans, and the change in powerplants changes none of that.  But it does lower the base price.  The GS200t starts at $46,310, with 17-inch alloy wheels, a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, a backup camera, the Lexus Safety System suite, perforated leather trim, a power tilt and telescopic steering column that tilts away from the driver when the engine is shut off, pushbutton start, a moonroof, auto-dimming inside and outside mirrors, dual-zone climate control, and a premium audio system all standard.

As usual with Lexus, there were extra-cost options on our test vehicle:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels with summer tires ($905).
  • An even more premium Mark Levinnson 835-watt, 17-speaker surround sound audio system ($1,380).
  • Navigation with a 12-inch screen, voice command, the Lexus Enform app suite and a single-disc CD player ($1,730).  
  • Intuitive park assist ($500).
But...look closely at the window sticker and you'll see a line marked "Navigation Package: Complimentary Credit".  It automatically subtracts $1,730, making the navigation, big screen voice command, Enform suite and CD player free.

Because of that, it is only the $975 delivery, processing and handling fee that pushes the as-tested price over the $50,000 mark---and only just barely, at $50,070.

This is the fifth year for this generation of GS.  There's speculation as to what Lexus might replace it with, and when.  The GS200t puts the one we have now in step with the times, preserving performance and luxury, while adding improved fuel economy and a lower price.