2017 Lexus IS200t F Sport Review

Posted on Lexus

Lexus did well by the base version of its IS luxury sedan for 2016, replacing the previous IS250’s small-displacement V-6 with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder cribbed from the NX200t crossover. It was an effective transplant—one that brought the junior IS closer to parity with lower trims of the Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Cadillac ATS, and Mercedes-Benz C-class—but it only went so far. While the IS lineup in general is a bit handsomer and more feature laden for 2017, the boosted-four-pot IS200t—now also known as the IS Turbo—is still outclassed by lighter, quicker competitors.

You’ll be forgiven for confusing our 2017 IS200t F Sport test car with the 2016 version we reviewed previously. The two even share the same 18-inch F Sport wheels and wear the same Redline Red paint. But look closer and you can spot where the new car went under the knife, its black-mesh spindle grille slightly more agape and its revised LED headlights a bit squintier. Larger air intakes flank the grille and flare out more prominently, while new LED taillights and rectangular exhaust outlets nicely accent the rear.

Eyes Front

Lexus now includes collision-mitigation and lane-departure-warning systems, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beams as standard on all IS models (a bundle it refers to as its Lexus Safety System+). Besides that new gear, additional updates for 2017 are limited to the interior. There’s a new cupholder layout, and the designers have futzed with a few of the dashboard and steering-wheel buttons, the analog clock, and some trim around the instrument binnacle, but most people will strain to see much change. Opting for navigation in the infotainment system also includes a higher-resolution 10.3-inch screen in place of the standard 7.0-inch unit, both of which are still clumsily operated via a mouselike controller on the console (the Remote Touch Interface, or RTI). Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Alex Conley

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