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Top Features of Base Model
- Nimble drive in the city and highway
- Zippy engine underneath the hood
- Good list of features
- Expert design
The 2017 Lexus IS 200t served as the ideal sport compact luxury sedan for those looking for a stepping stone into the market.
Even at the base trim, you get plenty of creature comforts and a healthy suite of safety features. The list of possible options adds even more value, if you can find them. Note that the automaker discontinued the vehicle after two years.
If you have owned an IS in the past, you will be familiar with the turbo-4 underneath the 200t's hood. Keep in mind that you can access rear-wheel drive only with an auto transmission.
Which Features Were New for 2017?
For its second and final production year, the sedan changed cosmetically from the 2016 Lexus 200t, with upgrades including a new grille and LED headlamps. In the rear, Lexus revised the exhaust tips and taillights. A number of safety features and driver assistance benefits became available at the base trim too.
Finally, there was now a more prominent display screen for the navigation system.
A Zippy, Nimble Drive
The 2-liter turbo engine was a major highlight for the 2016 and 2017 IS 200t. Handling is not as strong, but it is still fun to drive the 200t on twisty roads. It is fairly thrifty regarding mileage, with fuel economy EPA rated at 22 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined.
In the city, the Lexus offers a comfortable ride even when you are spending hours behind the wheel. It suppresses road noise, too. It is everything you'd expect from a Lexus.
Beneath the layers, you will surely notice the bite of the suspension and the sharp steering. Every time you hit the throttle, the engine responds with a satisfying growl. All in all, it is an excellent luxury sports sedan that is fun to drive all around.
How Do the Brakes Handle?
Lexus is not normally known for its short brake distance, and the 200t is no different. In emergency tests, it takes 117 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 mph with summer tires. For a luxury sports sedan, this is below average, so make sure to always stay at least one car length behind.
A Fast, Powerful Engine
The IS 200t has more than enough power to tap into, considering that the engine generates 241 horsepower on demand. It is enough power to go for a fun drive but not so much that you will blow past the speed limit.
With 258 pound-feet of torque, it is a smooth ride all the way to the red line. If you floor the throttle, there is a slight but mostly insignificant delay. After that, acceleration is smooth and enjoyable.
What Is the Best Trim to Select?
Picking the best trim will be easy, considering there is just one. All Lexus IS 200t sedans come with a 2-liter turbocharged engine powered by four cylinders. The engine generates 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet through an eight-speed automatic. Unlike other Lexus models, you can only get this model with rear-wheel drive.
A Good List of Features to Consider
If you can find one for sale, you can expect the IS 200ts to come with plenty of desirable options. It helps to be somewhat decisive about which details are priorities and which you are willing to live without.
Some features came in packages, while others were standalone options. For example, you can find the backup camera as a standalone option or as part of the Luxury or Premium packages. These packages could have additional features you may decide you do not need.
The base equipment is plentiful on its own, though. Sitting on 17-inch wheels, the Lexus IS 200t sedan comes with dual-zone climate control for year-round comfort, a 7-inch display screen for optional navigation, a 10-speaker sound system for entertainment, and premium vinyl upholstery for a touch of luxury. Along with navigation, 18-inch wheels, blind spot monitoring, and a heated steering wheel all serve as optional upgrades.
Finally, there's the F Sport package, which includes special interior trim, exclusive exterior styling, sport front seats, and a sport suspension.
What Kind of Storage Space Is Available?
At just 10.8 cubic feet, cargo space is not really a feature the 200t provides. The rear seats can tilt forward, but they do not lie flat, so they are not helpful either. Because the seats do not lie flat, you cannot carry many oversized items.
Upfront storage includes the glove box, the armrest, and door pockets.
Expert Exterior Design
For 2017, Lexus refreshed the style of the 200t, adding new bumpers to the front and rear. The company also added exclusive touches to the F Sport models, helping them stand out even further at the Lexus dealer.
Otherwise, it is hard to find the differences on the lots, but they are still good updates. The same is true for the cabin, though it also falls short of great.
Despite these updates, the Lexus IS 200t retains much of the familiar style from the previous year. At the front, aggressive angles wrap around the grille while gracefully curving down the back. The sedan has an intentional stance that takes on whatever the day has to give it.
As for the interior, the premium vinyl upholstery is nice, but it is the upscale design that is worth praising. The center console is wide and sports an attractive analog clock. The whole design is reminiscent of cars that cost triple the price.
Is the Lexus IS 200t Safe?
For the most part, the 2017 IS 200t has good safety data, but select scores say otherwise. In federal testing, the car received a five-star rating for overall safety, but it received only four stars for protection in frontal collisions. Otherwise, it received "good" scores in IIHS testing and an "acceptable" score for overlap crash tests.
If you are looking for a stepping stone into the luxury sports sedan market but you are not willing to sacrifice reliability, fun driving dynamics, or striking looks, then the 2016 or 2017 Lexus IS 200t may end your search.
That said, the styling is not for everyone. While many people think it is some of the best work to come out of Lexus, others think it is plain ugly. There is also an undeniable faction of folks who feel the best luxury sports cars come from Europe, but rest assured that Lexus writes a great formula.
Once upon a time, Lexus enthusiasts knew the automaker for copying German vehicles, and they were satisfied with the results. But, Lexus grew up and designed one of the finest entry-level luxury sports sedans.
That is the main reason that the IS 200t stands out. Despite all of its European influences, it is still clearly a Lexus. The interior is comfortable and attractive, the seats are supportive, and the company crafted everything with an excellent eye for design.
All in all, the Lexus IS 200t checks all of the important boxes for drivers.
Pros and Cons of the 2016 Lexus IS 200t
- Good engine beneath the hood
- Fun from behind the wheel
- Pleasant to view
- Plenty of features at the base trim
- Excellent eight-speed auto transmission
- Short production life
- Cramped backseats
- Remote-touch joystick increases interior complication
Since 1999, Lexus has sold the IS model, though it was originally known as the Altezza in Japan. The following year, Lexus introduced the IS as an entry-level model, serving as a stepping stone to the ES.
For the 2016 model year, Lexus discontinued the IS 250 and replaced it with the rear-wheel-drive Lexus IS 200t, which lasted only two years.
Specs & Key Features of the 2016 Lexus IS 200t
- Body Style
- 2.0L Turbo I4 DOHC 16V Dual VVT-iW
- 241 hp
- Electronic 8-Speed ECT-i Automatic
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Rear Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Cruise Control
- LED Lights
- Leather Seats
- Leather Steering Wheel
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 2.0L Turbo I4 DOHC 16V Dual VVT-iW
- Transmission: Electronic 8-Speed ECT-i Automatic -inc: Multi-Mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters
- Rear-Wheel Drive
- 3.13 Axle Ratio
- Engine Oil Cooler
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- 17.4 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Polished Tailpipe Finisher
- Double Wishbone Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
- Wheels: 17" x 7.5" 10-Spoke Aluminum Alloy
- Tires: P225/45R17 AS
- Steel Spare Wheel
- Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
- Clearcoat Paint
- Express Open/Close Sliding And Tilting Glass 1st Row Sunroof w/Sunshade
- Body-Colored Front Bumper
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper
- Chrome Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
- Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
- Light Tinted Glass
- Speed Sensitive Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
- Black Grille w/Chrome Surround
- Trunk Rear Cargo Access
- Fully Automatic Projector Beam High Intensity Low/High Beam Daytime Running Auto-Leveling Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- Front Fog Lamps
- Perimeter/Approach Lights
- LED Brakelights
- Radio: Lexus Display Audio -inc: 293-watts, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA, HD Radio (complimentary traffic and weather), 7" VGA screen, 8 speakers, digital signal processing w/automatic sound levelizer (ASL), integrated SiriusXM satellite radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription), iTunes tagging, dual USB/iPod audio input plugs, streaming audio via Bluetooth 3.0, voice recognition and Siri Eyes Free Mode
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
- 293w Regular Amplifier
- Audio Theft Deterrent
- Window Grid Diversity Antenna
- Real-Time Traffic Display
- Front Power Bucket Seats
- Driver Seat
- Passenger Seat
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows
- Leather/Metal-Look Steering Wheel
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Proximity Key For Doors And Push Button Start
- Valet Function
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 2 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Power Fuel
- HomeLink Garage Door Transmitter
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Console Ducts
- Illuminated Locking Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- NuLuxe Seat Trim
- Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert, Metal-Look Console Insert and Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Leatherette Door Trim Insert
- Metal-Look Gear Shift Knob
- Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console and 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front And Rear Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
- Cargo Space Lights
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate, Windows and Sunroof/Convertible Roof
- Tracker System
- Driver And Passenger Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Analog Display
- Seats w/Leatherette Back Material
- Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest w/Storage
- 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
- Perimeter Alarm
- Engine Immobilizer
- 2 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Safety Connect Emergency Sos
- Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag and Rear Side-Impact Airbag
- Rear Child Safety Locks
- First Aid Kit
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners