A Lexus IS 200t is always fun-to-drive, but with the F Sport package, it gets ramped up to another level. If your’e looking for a luxury sports sedan, Lexus has been bringing some heat lately, and the IS trim will make driving enthusiasts smile. Lexus has an IS 200t trim that offers both performance and fuel efficiency.
Can you really have both? Let’s find out.
Recently, we drove the new 2016 Lexus IS 200t F Sport.
The Lexus IS 200t and IS 300 are both new models for 2016. The IS 200t is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder engine.
Features & Options
The 2016 Lexus IS 200t ($37,325) comes standard with LED daytime running lights, 60/40 rear seats, eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth capability, and voice recognition. Optional safety equipment includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, dynamic radar-based cruise control, lane departure warning, and park assist. Optional fun equipment includes 18-inch wheels, twin projector LED headlamps, and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound system.
An F Sport package ($3,545) is available for any IS, a performance enhancement that changes the character of the car. It includes 18-inch F Sport 5-spoke wheels, TFT instrument cluster, ventilated front seats, aluminum pedals, backup camera, and a performance F Sport tuned suspension. Our tester also came with optional navigation ($1,505) and blind spot monitor w/ rear cross-traffic alert ($600).
Total MSRP including destination: $44,235.
It’s hard to believe, but you can’t get a back-up camera as standard equipment on the IS models. You can get it standard on a compact economy car costing thousand less, but not on a Lexus? You have to purchase an option package costing thousands to get it. Not a good plan Lexus.
Other than that, we like the Lexus IS cabin. The materials are typical Lexus quality, and the fit and finish is excellent. We especially liked the tiered dashboard in the IS that gives it an upscale and upsize feel. There’s lots of soft-touch materials used throughout the cabin for a luxurious feel, and the aluminum F Sport pedals let you know it’s a sports sedan. If there’s any doubt, the digital instrument display, inspired by the LFA supercar, is the defining attribute of the IS F Sport.
The leather F Sport front seats are comfortable and won’t leave you tired at the end of a long drive. The only thing needed is extra bolstering for more spirited driving. There’s reasonable room in the rear for two adults as long as it’s not for a long trip.
The trunk is, unfortunately, not very expansive with 13.8 cubic feet.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Lexus IS 200t is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four, developing 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. It sends power to the rear wheels by way of an 8-speed automatic transmission. The steering wheel paddle shifters offer another level of fun for driving enthusiasts.
The IS 200t gets the best mileage of the lineup with an EPA rated 22/33 city/highway and 26 mpg combined.
Not bad a for a sports sedan but what about performance?
Sporty performance, luxury, and excellent fuel mileage in one package is a good formula. Lexus brings an IS 200t that offers a rear-drive sports sedan that’s not only fun-to-drive, but practical for everyday commuting. If you live in a warm-weather climate, you can enjoy the 200t all year long. It’s 2.0-liter turbo engine delivers good performance, and when you get the F-Sport package our tester was equipped with, you get a sedan that will put a grin on your face.
We chucked the IS 200t F Sport with Adaptive Variable Suspension around tight mountain corners and it takes most of the roll out of the curves. The steering wheel paddle shifters help get optimum performance out of the luxury sedan. The only complaint is the slight turbo lag, but the manual shifters will clear that up.
You can also put the 8-speed automatic transmission in Eco, Normal or Sport mode, depending on your driving preference, to take advantage of the four-cylinder’sfuel mileage and performance. The cabin is quiet on the open road and the smooth ride will have you feeling relaxed after a busy commute. Overall, the IS 200t is a fun ride and can be used easily as your daily driver.
The 2016 Lexus IS 200t F Sport is a unique luxury sports sedan. Lexus has been bringing some heat lately, and the IS trim is a good choice for driving enthusiasts. The IS 200t trim offers both performance and fuel efficiency, proving that yes, you can have both.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy