Redesigned for 2013, the GS, a longtime member of the Lexus family, blends sporty handling with the convenience of a midsize four-door sedan. This latest rendition gives Toyota’s luxury car division a worthy competitor to higher-class German and American models, including the BMW 5 Series and Cadillac CTS. Only two versions were offered initially: the GS 350 and GS 450h hybrid, both with V6 engines. Joining the lineup for 2016 are two more: the GS 200t with a turbocharged four-cylinder, and a super-performance GS F. Addition of an optional F Sport package can enhance the pleasures of a GS 200t.
What's New for 2016
The GS 200t is a brand-new version of the GS, with a 2-liter turbocharged engine rather than a V6.
Changes to all GS models include revised front fascias and rocker panels. Bi-LED headlights and running lights have been added. Multimedia features have been enhanced, including an available 12.3-inch screen. A revised Remote Touch Interface should make it easier to control primary functions, and Siri Eyes Free integration can provide Apple users with turn-by-turn directions. Newly available Lexus Safety System + includes a pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-departure alert with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headllights.
Choosing Your Lexus GS 200t
Beneath the hood of each GS 200t, a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine develops 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque (versus 311 hp for the GS 350). The sedan comes only with rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission, whereas an all-wheel-drive system is available for the GS 350. Paddle shifters are included.
Acceleration to 60 mph takes 7.2 seconds, according to Lexus, compared to 5.7 seconds for the GS 350. Fuel economy is estimated at 22 mpg in city driving and 33 mpg on the highway, dropping to 21/30 mpg in F Sport form. In contrast, the GS 350 gets an estimate of 20/29 mpg (city/highway), or 19/26 mpg with the F Sport package.
In standard form, the GS 200t comes well-equipped with 17-inch nine-spoke alloy wheels, bi-LED headlights and running lights, wood interior trim, NuLuxe-trimmed seat upholstery and interior trim, 10-way power front seats, Bluetooth, pushbutton start, Siri Eyes Free, and a 12-speaker audio system. A sunroof and rearview camera also are standard.
Options for the GS include 18-inch wheels, a head-up display, Intuitive Parking Assist, a power trunk lid, and a Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system with 15 Green Edge speakers and 835-watt output.
Only one trim level is offered, but the GS 200t is available with four optional packages, as well as several standalone options:
Opting for the turbo rather than a V6 cuts down on performance, but boosts fuel economy significantly. You also save $4,385 by taking a GS 200t rather than a GS 350. Even in standard guise, priced at $45,615, the GS 200t is quite luxurious. Reaching for the F Sport option might enhance GS 200t handling, but it doesn’t affect performance.