• 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven

    2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport
  • F Sport package adds aggressive exterior
  • 19-inch wheels with summer tires
  • Adaptive dampers matched with drive modes
  • Passive entry
  • Optional power-lift trunk
  • Optional orange brake calipers
  • F Sport package brings deeper front bucket seats
  • Heated & vented front seats
  • Entune Infotainment system with joystick controller
  • 3-inch screen
  • Head-Up display
  • 0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • 241 horsepower & 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • F Sport adds larger brakes, adaptive dampers

Lexus’ mild-mannered sport sedan

The Lexus GS has been around since 1991, and its latest generation raises the bar for Lexus’ mid-size luxury sedan. The fifth-generation GS debuted for the 2013 model year and underwent a refresh in 2015 as it gained the highly recognizable and polarizing Spindle grille. The refresh also brought the 200t variant and its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. When matched with the available F Sport package, which brings a sport-tuned suspension and more aggressive aesthetics, the GS truly shoulders the role of a proper sports sedan.

I just spent a week behind the wheel of a 2017 GS 200t F Sport covering some 200 miles of mixed driving over familiar Central Florida roads. From the grocery store parking lot to the high-speed Autobahn/demolition derby known as I-4, I put the Lexus through it all. Even the parent pick-up line at the kiddo’s elementary school saw some F Sport action. Here’s how things played out.

Continue reading for my driven review of the 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport.

  • 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    241 @ 5800
  • Torque @ RPM:
    258 @ 1650
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.6 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    143 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.5/10

Exterior

  • F Sport package adds aggressive exterior
  • 19-inch wheels with summer tires
  • Adaptive dampers matched with drive modes
  • Passive entry
  • Optional power-lift trunk
  • Optional orange brake calipers
2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Exterior
- image 755920
F Sport package adds aggressive exterior
The current Lexus GS is a calm, subtle sedan with a somewhat large grille and the personality of a no-nonsense accountant who only makes practical decisions

The current Lexus GS is a calm, subtle sedan with a somewhat large grille and the personality of a no-nonsense accountant who only makes practical decisions. The F Sport version, however, is like putting that accountant on a protein, carbs, and Red Bull regimen and sending him to the gym six days a week. The sedan’s entire theme moves from calm to confrontational.

The enlarged F Sport grille and side air intakes dominate the car’s face. The more aggressive appearance continues onto the side with sportier-looking 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer performance rubber and big brakes poking from behind the thin spokes.

Around back, the truck gets a deck lid spoiler and the dual exhaust tips are enhanced with chrome trim. A faux diffuser resides between the exhaust, finishing off the GS F Sport’s more menacing styling. For those who want even more, Lexus will happily point you to the V-8-powered GS F.

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Exterior
- image 755919
19-inch wheels with summer tires
Besides its appearance, the GS offers plenty of functionality, too.

Besides its appearance, the GS offers plenty of functionality, too. The side mirrors are large and easily dispel blind spots. The Blind Spot Monitoring system helps with that, as well. The large, wide windshield and tall side windows make the cabin feel airy. For those times when the sun is too bright, the rear window has a power-operated shade.

An optional power-operated trunk lid is available and a button on the key fob opens it, as does the button just above the license plate. One complaint, though: the release button is too small and placed far to the right rather than being centered under the Lexus badge. It’s just a poor design that Lexus should have fixed years ago. Thankfully, the touch-sensitive door locks are incredibly easy to use. The doors unlock quickly by reaching behind the handle, even before you have time to start pulling. Locking the doors happens just as quick with a light touch near the front of the handle. It makes getting into and out of the GS very simple.

My GS tester came with the $300 orange brake caliper upgrade. It might not be for everybody, but I really like the splash of color. It also helps accentuate the F Spot’s intended nature.

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Exterior
- image 755922
Passive entry

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 112.2 in.
Overall Length 192.1 in.
Overall Width 72.4 in. (mirrors folded)
Overall Height (unloaded) 57.3 in. (AWD 57.9 in.)
Tread Width - Front/Rear 62.0/62.6 in.

Interior

  • F Sport package brings deeper front bucket seats
  • Heated & vented front seats
  • Entune Infotainment system with joystick controller
  • 12.3-inch screen
  • Head-Up display
2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Interior
- image 755902
The dash layout is familiar and easy to find controls

The GS’ interior is typical Lexus – but that’s mostly a good thing. The dash layout is familiar and easy to find controls. The fit and finish is good, too, with the leather feeling soft and the plastics of decent quality. The F Sport package also brings deeper bucket seats with both heating and ventilation. The steering wheel also gets nifty F Sport badge to officially announce the car’s sportiness to the driver.

The back seats are remain the same between the F Sport and conventional GS, but provide a comfy spot to pass the miles. A folding center armrest makes elbows happy, but the fold-up cup holders seem a bit flimsy. Why Lexus chose a coin tray rather than cup holders is beyond me. Another disappointment are the non-folding seatbacks. There is a small pass-through behind the armrest, though.

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Interior
- image 755935
3-inch screen
The 12.3-inch screen is pretty and the ability to have a split screen is nice with some menu functions.

Continuing with the negatives, I’m not too fond of the Entune infotainment system. Its joystick controller works, but isn’t the most user-friendly method of selecting items on the screen. The menus are a bit convoluted, too. It isn’t all bad, though. The 12.3-inch screen is pretty and the ability to have a split screen is nice with some menu functions. You can read more of my thoughts on the Entune system here.

From behind the wheel, the GS proved very comfortable thanks to the vast adjustability of the seat, the power-adjustable steering column, and the placement of the controls and buttons. The interior is also whisper quiet from both wind and road noise. The view outside is pretty good, as well. The large windshield and tall side windows offer good visibility and the blind spot monitoring system helps keep an eye out. The same is true with the lane departure warning and lane keep assist features.

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Interior
- image 755903

Interior Dimensions

Headroom - Front/Rear 38.0/37.8 in.
Legroom - Front/Rear 42.3/36.8 in.
Shoulder room - Front/Rear 57.3/55.7 in.
Hip room - Front/Rear 54.5/54.1 in.
EPA Cargo Volume 18.4 cu. ft.

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • 241 horsepower & 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 0 – 60 mph in 6.6 seconds
  • F Sport adds larger brakes, adaptive dampers
2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Drivetrain
- image 755910
The engine makes a respectable 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm

The Lexus GS has four powertrains to choose from, including the mighty 5.0-liter V-8 in the GS F, the 3.5-liter V-6 in the GS 350, and the V-6 combined with a mild hybrid system in the GS 450h.

Here in the GS 200t – the standard powertrain configurations – power comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The engine makes a respectable 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm. The engine’s torque curve stays mostly flat through the rev range, offering a healthy dose of turbo-induced twist up to the peak horsepower.

The engine is a sweet piece of engineering and it doesn’t suffer from the grating noise that often plagues four-cylinders. Its only problem is some slight turbo lag that is exacerbated by the eight-speed automatic transmission’s lackadaisical downshifts on initial acceleration. Thankfully, selecting Sport or Sport+ with the drive mode knob makes things slightly better.

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Exterior
- image 755915
Optional orange brake calipers
The F Sport package adds larger brakes to each corner, with the front getting 14.4-inch, two-piece rotors and four-piston calipers

The GS 200t isn’t a slouch, though. It will sprint to 60 mph in roughly 6.6 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 14.9 seconds at 95 mph – not bad for a 241-horsepower sedan that weighs nearly 3,900 pounds.

And thanks to the F Sport package, the GS 200t is very good at stopping. The F Sport package adds larger brakes to each corner, with the front getting 14.4-inch, two-piece rotors and four-piston calipers. Pay $300 and Lexus will paint the calipers orange.

The F Sport package also adds adaptive dampers. These shocks cater the ride to the drive modes, offering a smooth ride in Eco and Normal modes, while Sport and Sport+ have sharpened handling. Summer performance tires are included, too.

Fuel economy isn’t generally a big selling point on a $50,000+ luxury sedan, but the 2017 GS 200t doesn’t disappoint. The EPA estimates it gets 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. Premium fuel is recommended. In my hotshoe driving and idling for photos and in the parent pickup line a the kiddo’s school, I averaged 22.4 mpg over 200 miles.

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Exterior
- image 755913

Drivetrain Specifications

Type, Materials In-line 4-cylinder aluminum block and cylinder heads
Designation 8AR-FTS
Valvetrain DOHC 16-valve with Dual VVT-iW
Displacement 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbocharged with intercooler (1,998 cc; 120.2 cu. in.)
Bore x Stroke 3.39 in x 3.39 in
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Horsepower (SAE) 241 HP @ 5,800 RPM
Torque 258 LB-FT @ 1,650-4,400 RPM
0-60 mph Acceleration 6.6 seconds
Top Speed 143 mph
Estimated Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined mpg) 22/33/26

Pricing

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Exterior
- image 755917

The GS 200t is the entry point in to the Lexus GS family. It carries a price of $46,310 for the rear-drive model. Adding the F Sport package pushes the price to $53,980. My tester came with a few á la carte options like a color head-up display for $900, the one-touch power trunk for $400, orange brake calipers for $300, Intuitive Park Assist for $500, illuminated door sills for $425, and a bundled cargo package that includes a trunk mat, cargo net, and wheel locks for $225.

Add in the $975 destination fee, and my tester stickers at $57,735.

The Competition

Cadillac CTS 2.0T

2017 Cadillac CTS High Resolution Exterior
- image 703853

Hailing from America, the Cadillac CTS has been fighting the Germans and Japanese hard since the current version debuted for 2014. Its sleek “art and science” design gives it a unique flair not seen in its rivals. Its low-slung hood and crisp lines still look fresh four years later. The CTS is offered in several trim levels with four engine options. The Caddy’s interior is plush, though not on the Lexus GS’ level. Many complain about the CUE infotainment system’s slider controls for HVAC and radio settings, too. Still, the CTS is a bonafide luxury sedan.

While the CTS-V with its supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 is the most exciting, the most comparable engine to the GS 200t is the Caddy’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The engine is surprisingly closely matched to the Lexus, offering 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque backed by an eight-speed automatic that powers the rear wheels. AWD is available with the 2.0T, unlike the Lexus, which requires the V-6 to spin all four wheels.

The 2018 Cadillac CTS starts at $47,490 and comes standard with the 2.0-liter. Adding AWD adds $2,000. The mid-level Luxury trim starts at $55,190 and adds several welcomed features like heated and vented leather seating, navigation, a 13-speaker sound system, the UltraView sunroof, ambient interior lighting, and a handful of active safety systems. The Premium Luxury trim starts at $60,690 and adds Magnetic Ride Control, a head-up display, a 360 camera system, and tri-zone air conditioning.

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS 2.0T.

2018 BMW 530i

2017 BMW 5 Series
- image 703469

The BMW 5 Series comes in several flavors, including the hybrid 530e iPerformance, the inline-six 540i, the impressive M550i with its twin-turbo V-8, and the mighty M5. For this comparison, though, the 530i with its 2.0-liter turbo-four makes the most sense. Three trim levels are offered, with prices starting at $52,650 – a few grand more than the competition. There is the Sport Line Design, the Luxury Design, and the M Sport Design, the latter of which competes well with the GS’ F Sport package. That pushes the price to $58,000 – only $265 more than my Lexus GS 200t F Sport tester. For even more handling performance, BMW offers the $1,650 Dynamic Handling Package. It includes active dampers, M Sport brakes, and four-wheel steering.

As for that 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the engine makes 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to the rear wheels, though BMW’s xDrive AWD system is available.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 5 Series.

Conclusion

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Exterior
- image 755925
Optional power-lift trunk

The 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport might not be the newest or most technologically advanced in its class, but it remains highly competitive and a solid performer. It combination of smooth luxury and aggressive appearance match the four-cylinder’s peppy nature and the F Sport suspension’s ability to handle twisty roads. The only letdowns include some turbo lag, a transmission that takes a second to downshift for acceleration, and an infotainment system that isn’t the most user-friendly and isn’t filled with the latest tech like Apple CarPlay or a 360-degree camera system.

Still, the GS 200t (now called the GS 300 for 2018) makes a fantastic, mild-mannered performance luxury sedan. For those wanting more power, the V-6 offers 311 horsepower and the V-8 brings 467, while the GS 450h combines the V-6 with a hybrid system for slightly better fuel economy at 29 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway.

  • Leave it
    • * Infotainment system needs improvment
    • * Slight turbo lag

References

Lexus GS

2016 Lexus GS High Resolution Exterior
- image 640431

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS.

2016 Lexus GS F High Resolution Exterior
- image 608999

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS F.

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Interior
- image 755908
F Sport package brings deeper front bucket seats

Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?

2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport - Driven Interior
- image 755935
3-inch screen

The Lexus GS 200t’s Infotainment System is its Weak Point

How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F
- image 756363

How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F

Driven Opinion: How the Lexus GS 200t Compares to the Competition
- image 756643

Driven Opinion: How the Lexus GS 200t Compares to the Competition

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