By on November 1, 2016

2016 Lexus IS200t front quarter

2016 Lexus IS200t

2.0-liter DOHC inline four, turbocharged (241 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm; 258 lb-ft @ 1,650 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive

22 city/32 highway/26 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

24.2 (Observed, MPG)

Base Price: $38,625*

As Tested (F-Sport Package): $45,705*

* Prices include $940 destination charge.

To say I was shocked at the color is an understatement. Like many, I’ve always known Lexus as a builder of staid, solid, but uninspiring sedans for “older” people. As an impressionable youth who watched too much TV, I always wanted a Lexus commercial to come immediately after the “Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile” spot for the perfect “This Is Your Father’s Oldsmobile” juxtaposition.

I once even asked an exchange student if Lexus was a Japanese acronym for champagne beige pearl metallic.

No, this bright red (Lexus calls it Redline) 2016 Lexus IS200t F-Sport that appeared in my parking spot isn’t the dull sedan your dad may have driven. It’s potentially the sports sedan this dad wants to drive — but with one trivial flaw that might keep me from signing a note.

2016 Lexus IS200t red rear quarter

The IS is nominally the baby of the various Lexus sedans, as the entry price point is about $1,000 less than the slightly larger ES. While the IS is roughly nine inches shorter overall than the ES, 184.4 inches versus 193.3, the highly sculpted rear fenders and short overhangs make it seem even more compact.

2016 Lexus IS200t front

The corporate “Predator” grille dominates and defines impressions of the front. While it does a decent job of concealing the bumper within from most angles, the yawning hourglass is trying too hard to out-Audi Audi. On either side of that big mouth, the headlamps look a bit disjointed, with a small-but-significant body-colored gap between the main lights and the LED daytime running checkmarks.

While the bright red paint is attractive, it’s not the right hue for this car. Lexus offers an Atomic Silver finish that looks almost like pewter and beautifully highlights the complex curves throughout the car. Yes, it’s very nearly beige — but it’s magnificent.

2016 Lexus IS200t profile

Out back, the complex taillamps extend a character line that starts below the doors and continues to the trailing edge of the trunk. It’s a marvelous, cohesive detail that hides some of the bulk of the tall trunk lid. The dual-exhaust outlets aren’t necessary but for symmetry. Also, since most trims of the IS are equipped with a V6, it’s easier to keep one style of bumper on the factory shelves.

2016 Lexus IS200t rear

The interior is exactly what one would expect from Lexus: sturdy, plush materials all around, and nearly perfect ergonomics. The shifter, even though it’s never really needed but a few times per drive, is placed perfectly to manually tap the lever up and down if one is so inclined.

2016 Lexus IS200t interior

The tilt and extend steering wheel is similarly comfortable, though the lack of a power steering column at this price is bothering. As a larger-than-average human, I could use some clearance to assist entry and egress, which can be eased with a memory function on a power-tilt wheel. It’s a minor complaint, certainly — there is no such function on my old Miata, which I’ll drive happily once I reassemble it — but it’s a feature that several competitive models do offer, as well as higher specified IS trims.

The optional F-Sport seats are magnificent. Several hours of a long interstate cruise didn’t fatigue my backside nearly as much as I’d expect, aided by alternating application of cooling and heat from the perforated, ventilated seats. Plus, I love the look of the nearly white leatherette, though I’m certain I’d choose another, darker color due to my family’s frequent misapplication of Capri Sun juice and/or Pilot G2 gel pens.

2016 Lexus IS200t dashboard-2

The rear seat is a bit cramped for my large frame to sit behind myself, but it’s otherwise comfortable for moderate distances. My kids reported better than average seat comfort, so take my own comfort notes with a grain of salt.

My biggest gripe is something I’m almost ashamed to mention, #FirstWorldProblems and such.

2016 Lexus IS200t cupholder

But the placement of the front seat cupholders is inexcusable for a modern car. They occupy the exact location any passenger might want to place an elbow. Worse, they are placed too closely together, meaning two large soda cups from McDonalds (hey, a guy has to eat on a writer’s salary) cannot use the two cupholders without banging into one another. This leads to dislodged lids and potential spills. There has to be a better way to get your drink on in a Lexus.

Like so many in the entry-level sports sedan segment, Lexus has chosen a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to power its least expensive models, rather than the once-standard six-cylinder. Now the six is the upmarket, performance choice, allowing shoppers a budget alternative that still looks like big money.

The four in the IS200t is rated at 241 horsepower and 256 lb-ft of torque. Sixty-one horses clear of the 2.0-liter turbo in the BMW 320i makes one think this would be significantly quicker, but most tests I’ve seen give both cars similar zero-to-60 times, right around 7 seconds. The eight-speed automatic shifts almost imperceptibly except when the console-mounted dial is turned to sport mode, which does crisp the shifting a bit. This car would likely wake up nicely with a manual transmission, but it isn’t even an option.

2016 Lexus IS200t center stack

Rather than the typically seen touchscreen in most modern cars, Lexus employs a fingertip-controlled joystick placed immediately to the right of the gear lever to control the entertainment and navigation systems. The screen is well recessed into the dash, out of comfortable reach, so something other than a touch was needed.

While touch input is certainly intuitive, I actually like having the screen a bit farther from my eyes. I’m not certain, but I feel that my eyes are strained less by shifting focus from the road to a far-away screen and back, rather than to a close-up screen within arm’s reach.

Plus, I hate the fingerprints that gather on touchscreens.

2016 Lexus IS200t instruments

The sound from the optional Mark Levinson 17-speaker audio system is phenomenal. I’m no audiophile like others here, but anything that can drown out the endless chattering of tweens in the rear seats without rattling the rear view mirror is worth the near $2,700 upcharge.

A few months ago, I drove the Infiniti Q50, similarly powered to this IS200t with a 2.0-liter turbo. While the cars aren’t completely comparable — the Infiniti was equipped with all-wheel drive, where the two-liter powered Lexus is only available with rear-wheel drive — they are naturally cross-shopped.

In short, the IS200t is a better driver’s car. The steering is tighter, the suspension more accepting of aggressive driving, and the extra horsepower in the Lexus is welcome when driving briskly. This could be pinned down to a lower curb weight in the rear-drive Lexus, as the AWD Infiniti carries over two hundred pounds of additional heft.

The tradeoff comes on the daily commute. That lively suspension is a bit coarse on rough Ohio highways, though not at all punishing. The road noise is a bit more than I’d expect from a Lexus, as well. The more substantial Infiniti soaked up road imperfections nicely, with less of a drone from the tires.

That’s not to say I dislike the IS200t — conversely, I enjoy driving it. The slightly cramped interior and firm ride would only be a problem for me on a long road trip hauling the entire family. Still, the majority of my driving is solo commuting or short trips, and this would be an excellent daily driver.

If not for that cupholder.

[Images: © 2016 Chris Tonn/The Truth About Cars]

Lexus provided the vehicle and a tank of fuel for purpose of this review.

Chris Tonn is the Large Editor at Large for Car Of The Day, a classic-car focused site highlighting cool and unusual finds.

Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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93 Comments on “2016 Lexus IS200t Review – Two Holes Away from Greatness...”


  • avatar
    dal20402

    Until the last sentence, by “two holes” I thought you meant two holes in the engine block. I can’t imagine choosing this engine when the dual-injection 3.5 is available for not much more.

    I’m also surprised the power steering column requires Premium Plus. I would have thought it would come with Premium.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      I’m sure the headline was carefully crafted to give that impression. “Oh, look, another automotive writer with selective amnesia who thinks 250hp is insufficient for a small-ish family sedan, I better click and hate-read it”

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Two things you can’t get with an F-sport: Memory seats and power steering column. The former is my biggest gripe about my IS. The seats are wonderful, but they are ridiculously hard to get to that “perfect” spot. I hate it when the seat has to be moved for some reason or another.

      • 0 avatar

        Memory Seats have become the stealth gotcha option. In a car north of 30k, they should just be included, but are usually found in the middle of a package of other options, which, much like Cable TV, you probably don’t care about….VW always upgraded the stereo with a sunroof required….BMW will do heated seats but not the base non-leather.

        Sneaky nonsense like this abounds.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Lol.

    “Lexus is always sort of known for being for old people, unfortunately.”

    *Toyota sends bright fire engine red Lexus to test.*

    “Hey, have you got any beige metallic ones?”

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      An old person in a little red crampy car may as well shout “Same underwear for a week!”.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The IS is too firm for you, please proceed to the nearest ES location*.

        *The ES should offer AWD.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Can those be optioned with fart cans, too?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The ES is too low for the fridge. The Lexus for him is the RX.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I agree, I just didn’t want to cut to the CUV tangent so early in the day. We rarely get to talk about other things for very long. :)

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Heck even the ES might be too stiff. I have a rental ’16 Camry XLE right now, I think it’d be just the ticket for Kenmore as far as ride comfort goes. Aside from the leather(?) not smelling very leathery and some remaining cheapness endemic to modern cars, it is a very nice and relaxing place to spend time in. The ’15 facelift did the interior a lot of good. Gauges look particularly sharp (rip off of Mercedes IMO, in a good way), formerly creaky lower center stack is much improved to feel very solid. Just a bit of matte dark wood trim and decently laid out dual climate control rounds out the XLE. Been getting 33 mpg in a 77mph cruise control state, not astounding but better than an Ecoboost Fusion did for me at lower speeds. Doesn’t have the wow factor of the Passat SE (that one got 38mpg in similar conditions FWIW) I liked to rave about here, but definitely the safer long term bet.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Have you driven a new Accord to compare? I have been in a new Accord a few times, but never in a refresh Camry yet.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I find the refresh Camry, which I’ve experienced in SE and LE but not XSE or XLE form, to create an odd divide between my ears and my other senses.

            My ears tell me it’s one of the best-assembled new cars I’d been in in quite some time (and a meaningful improvement over the pre-refresh version). No squeaks or rattles whatsoever from interior or mechanicals, seriously solid structure, good NVH for a cheap four-cylinder car.

            My eyes and fingertips, on the other hand, just scream “CHEAP COST-CUTTING!” I find the dash to look as if it were purposefully designed to look as cheap as possible. Materials are mostly various forms of hard plastic. Molded “stitching” looks chintzy. Gauge cluster and radio/HVAC displays look like afterthoughts. It’s hard to believe it’s from the same company that’s capable of giving us the current LS and GS interiors.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I hear you on the interior plastic texture/touchability. The grain on it is horrible. The hard plastic in my 4Runner is patterned in a ‘leather’ look that doesn’t fool anyone obviously, but looks very nice, not glaringly ‘THIS IS CHEAP PLASTIC.’ Likewise agreed on the stitch=expensive meme, it just looks bad. XLE trim definitely helps inside, but only does so much.

            Having said all that, I rather like the blue faced gauges with many hashmarks, looks like a watch face sort of.

            Exterior wise, I really wish we got the global camry:

            2.bp.blogspot.com/-CRHeBWnGN8Y/U_z67l0UDpI/AAAAAAAADfM/zDXdg9p6SGk/s1600/2015-Toyota-Camry-5.jpeg

            i0.wp.com/bestsellingcarsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Toyota-Camry-World-May-2013.-Picture-courtesy-of-zr.ru_.jpg?resize=600%2C359

            We need to bear in mind that the current Camry that can be easily bought for $18k in LE guise, used to cost an inflation adjusted $30k or so for a 4cyl LE.

            Corey unfortunately and somewhat strangely, I haven’t had a single ride in a current gen Accord (’13+)! Kind of an important point of comparison, especially for a Honda-phile like myself.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      In Chris’s defense, the Atomic Silver is a glorious color on this car. The way the light bounces off the creases is something special. The IS300 that I test drove prior to buying my 4Runner was an Atomic Silver F sport. I really, really, really wanted to take it home. It didn’t make any sense in my fleet, though.

  • avatar
    ajla

    A $60K IS-F with the 5.0L would be cool.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      You mean like the one they made for the last generation?

      Now they want those buyers to get RCs.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        In ajla’s dream Lexus lineup there is the 5.0L in a $63 IS-F, a $65K RC-F, a $70K GS500, and a $80K LC500. Then a V10 goes in a $90K GS-F and $100K+ LC-F.

        And, if we want to get into serious dreaming territory, a Toyota Chaser on the New-N platform using the 4.6L and 5.0L for Charger Scat Pack and SRT money.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I don’t understand why both the IS300 and the IS350 have the same engine, at two different power levels – 255 vs. 306. The pricing is so close across the models, it seems really lame to choose the 200 model.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I could see choosing the IS200t. It starts at almost $3K cheaper than the IS300, and gets significantly better fuel-economy (on paper). Not only that, but you’re stuck with AWD on the IS300, which is completely unnecessary in my region. The delta between the IS300 with the standard AWD that I, personally, do not want…and the IS350 RWD is a little over $1K. So for me, the IS300 would be the stupid choice.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Yeah, the IS300 was *probably* created because they couldn’t get a 2.0l AWD powertrain ready by the ’16 model year.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I looked at one of these when they came out and it got to near top of the list but for me the deal breakers were:

    1. You can’t get leather on F-Sport options – only vinyl. Stock of leather equipped non-F cars is also nearly non-existent.
    2. The infotainment ergonomics are as bad as Cadillac CUE
    3. No tilting mirror without the leather option (which is nearly impossible to get). Also no lumbar support for the passenger which is a deal breaker for my wife.

    Apart from that it’s a solid, fun but slow car.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Yeah, BMW, with whom Lexus is trying to compete, has all sorts of weird options you want that’ll totally be missing on inventory cars (although leather is not one of them!) but at least BMW has a fast, streamlined and rewarding system for ordering your car exactly the way you want it.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      There are Luxury Package 350s out there. 200ts will be harder to find equipped that way.

    • 0 avatar
      focus-ed

      I can’t speak of ergonomics but design-wise this looks like a poverty infotainment package (with small screen hiding in a cave). Hopefully the substance (the thing that actually moves you from A to B) will be enough of distraction (in a positive way). 17 speaker system sounds impressive (pun intended) but I’d never spend the kind of money they ask for it (decent 8 speakers, with sub – if desired is just fine).

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    How weird about the missing power-tilt-telescopic steering column. Lexus was the first to do an electronic, memory-enabled tilt-telescopic steering column with the original LS. It became avaiable on the IS for its second-gen redesign starting with MY2006. On the current IS, the cheapest I was able to configure one was by equipping an IS200t with the Premium Plus ($345) package, which requires the Premium ($345) and Blind-Spot / Rear Corss-Traffic Alert ($600) packages, bringing the car to almost $41K. The IS300 and IS350 trims had similar upgrades available. However, the IS300 F-Sport and IS350 F-Sport did not list it as a feature anywhere on the configurator. I confirmed this by finding a loaded 2017 IS350 F-Sport on a dealer’s lot, MSRP’ing at $52K. At that price point, if it were available with the power tilt-telescoping steering column, it would have had it. But it didn’t.

    It seems that for 2017, Lexus has omitted that option for all F-Sport variants of the IS. Which is odd.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      You’re not going to find an IS anywhere on a lot without Premium and BLIS. There’s nothing in the product information that suggests you can’t order F-Sport and Premium Plus on the same car. Sometimes the Lexus configurator excludes configurations that do exist. I wish they’d just jettison it and adopt BMW’s configurator wholesale.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “… one trivial flaw that might keep me from signing a note.”

    Yeah, it’s still a Corolla underneath. Not a “trivial” flaw IMHO.

    As far as the cupholders being in the wrong place, there’s a simple fix: Go to Wally World or K-Mart (if you can find one) or Auto-this-or-that and buy a few 50¢ cupholders you hang on the window sill on the door. Problem solved – mostly.

    As to your other complaints: It doesn’t matter – you’re a writer – you most likely can’t afford one of these, anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      “Yeah, it’s still a Corolla underneath. Not a “trivial” flaw IMHO.”

      Sorry, no. This is a RWD platform and is not related to the Corolla at all. You should know better.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      No, the IS on a dedicated RWD Lexus platform, and always has been. It even had a straight-six in its first incarnation.

      • 0 avatar
        Der_Kommissar

        So- it’s RWD and has more HP than the BMW 320. What’s keeping it’s 0-60 times so high? I expect the engine in the 320 is somewhat underrated, but with the specs of the 200t, the BMW 330 hits 0-60 in the 5’s (A bit slower for RWD).

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The ’30 tune of the BMW motor seems to actually be making more like 280 hp.

        • 0 avatar
          tonycd

          Der K, if this car honors Toyota tradition as I suspect it does, Toyota has always had a standing dictate to its engineers that everything they build has to have a design life of at least 250,000 miles. As a result, for at least 30 years now, Toyota has a rich history of performance models that read on the spec sheet like they should really haul, but disappointingly ordinary performance over the road. Of course, if you buy instead of lease, there will come a day when you really appreciate that kind of conservatism. If not, though…

        • 0 avatar
          Lack Thereof

          The difference in 0-60 times can be well and easily explained by taking a look at more detailed test results on other sites.

          Both have 8-speed automatics, and practically the same final drive, but the Lexus has a steeper first gear than the BMW, and more importantly, much wider ratio spacing through the first few gears.

          So leaving a stoplight, the BMW builds engine speed faster and thus hits its powerband faster. The BMW hits it’s 1-2 shift at a lower speed than the Lexus, and dumps less RPM during the shift than the Lexus (33% RPM drop vs. 41% RPM drop). Once both cars hit 3rd gear, though, the situation reverses, with the Lexuses 3-4-5-6 shifts coming much closer together than the BMW’s, with RPM drops less than half of what they were in the low gears.

          So what it loses in 0-60 times due to it’s widely spaced low gears, the Lexus should make up in passing times above 60 thanks to those closely spaced passing gears.

          But the Lexus is also hauling around about 500 lbs more than the BMW, so that theoretical 60+ mph passing advantage fails to materialize on the test track. The BMW stops outrunning the Lexus above 60, but the Lexus can’t close the gap until the BMW hits top speed.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Lol I can’t afford it either, but I can still give an opinion as to which one I’d have (between this and similar cars).

      Since when does that make a difference? Is no one allowed to converse and theorize about cars they can’t afford?

      I think you need a cup of coffee and/or a smoke if applicable. You’re being way too critical of the author. Its a car review. Its not a choice between two idiots for President. No need to stress, man.

      And yeah. Not FWD.

    • 0 avatar
      PJmacgee

      The writer’s salary jab was a little below the belt considering the light tone of the review. Although I have to agree, anyone with young kids “considering” an IS seems silly – the backseat is practically vestigal.

      “Yeah, it’s still a Corolla underneath.”

      Nice troll, dude… (?) You knew the B&B wasn’t going to let that one slide by.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        While the gen 2 IS rear seat was useless, the gen 3 is OK if you have a kid or two. During my test drive that I mentioned above, my 5’8″ wife was in the passenger seat and my daughter in her front facing car seat was behind here. Both had plenty of space. I wouldn’t buy it as the vacation car, but it is fine otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Troll? I don’t think so, I’ve been on here ‘way too long for anyone to call me a troll. I was just insinuating a TTAC-approved axiom that no one buys anything new on here except me and a few others!

        Anyway, I was joking and it was too late when I checked back and re-read the post and noticed I didn’t word my final comment correctly. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone, especially a writer of an article on here – that’s not my style or intent.

        As for as the mini-Lexus goes, I’m not concerned which wheels drive the car, I’m looking at the styling, and the greenhouse is too close to a Corolla to suit me. I was thinking: “Cimarron”.

        In any event, if I was in the market, I’m not certain I would seriously consider one, but in another life, who knows?

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          “As for as the mini-Lexus goes, I’m not concerned which wheels drive the car, I’m looking at the styling, and the greenhouse is too close to a Corolla to suit me. I was thinking: “Cimarron”.”

          If you had brought up the oddball CT200h or HS250h I’d get that, but the IS is just so far removed from the “Cimarron” comparison that it comes across as very forced.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think Zackman was irritated this morning because Cincinnati traffic headed south was very jammed up whichever road you took.

            I happened to see an HS250 in Texas, and I had to remind myself what it was for a few moments.

          • 0 avatar
            Zackman

            Naw, CoreyDL – I take the west I-275 loop from West Chester to Hebron. A nice, easy cruise at 6 am. My post just didn’t come out the way I intended.

            Some days I just can’t win!

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    While I like the idea of a small RWD car and I’m happy this one exists, I think I’d choose the Infiniti if not the Giulia. The Alfa is (naturally) the looker of the group, and quirks like cup holders for armrests as well as no passenger lumbar support (my Taurus has that! It came from a 1992 LX), no leather, etc as what’s been mentioned thus far are strange issues to have at this price.

    I read on Autoblog that the US Giulia may not offer a manual trans, like this car doesn’t. That pisses me off if true.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Not even the Quadrifoglio model is coming to the US in manual form. Big mistake IMO by FCA.

      The M3 buyers they’re trying to court are one of the few segments in the US that actually do care about manuals.

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    The cup holder placement is what kept my wife from getting the last generation BMW 3 series. They popped out of the dash.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    “the headlamps look a bit disjointed, with a small-but-significant body-colored gap between the main lights and the LED daytime running checkmarks”

    I hope Mr. Tonn understands this is done to make the headlights look more like the ones on Lexus’ recent concept cars with exposed elements and no overall lens. The LED checks’ inner-bottom corner and the headlamp housings’ outboard-upper corner frame the whole shape of the headlight, and if you squint just a little you can see what it would look like if it had a big lens over the whole thing.

  • avatar
    incautious

    “the yawning hourglass is trying too hard to out-Audi Audi.” For 38K Id much rather have the Audi

  • avatar
    PJmacgee

    “The four in the IS200t is rated at 241 horsepower and 256 lb-ft of torque. Sixty-one horses clear of the 2.0-liter turbo in the BMW 320i”

    Holy crap you’re right! I was about to snap off a snarky correction to these numbers, then I googled…WTF. I always assumed the 320 had ye ol’ N20 (240/260 hp/tq), but no, instead it’s the “B48” with…180hp?? No wonder everyone hates on the 320i so much, what a joke!!

    • 0 avatar
      Der_Kommissar

      But if the performance of the 320 is similar to the IS200t (7.3 to 60 vs. 6.8 from edmunds), what are those extra horses buying you? Plus- $300 to Dinan buys you another 30 HP for the 320. The 330 gets 5.5 to 60 with about the same HP as the IS, so again, what is the extra HP doing except padding the ego?

      • 0 avatar
        PJmacgee

        “what are those extra horses buying you?”

        0.5 second quicker isn’t nuthin, it’d be a noticable power increase on the butt-dyno. Plus I imagine the Lexus produces much less ugly ticking/clacking noises from the engine bay, and that 8-speed auto is likely super buttery too – all worth serious consideration over its BMW “competition”.

        (Just don’t understand BMW having two different 2L turbo engines – one that matches (and exceeds mpg) most other 2.0t on the market, and another that is weaksauce…)

        • 0 avatar
          Der_Kommissar

          The lower HP 2.0 BMW engine is tuned for higher compression and better MPG. It also has some cost cutting to get the price down (more restrictive exhaust), but you do get some efficiency for the loss of HP.

          I was just trying to point out that in the land of blown 4 pots, all HP numbers are not equal. There seems to be a lot more variability in what real world performance these turbo 4’s produce compared to the 6 cyls they replaced at similar HP.

          • 0 avatar
            carguy

            @Der_Kommissar: Never mind the HP look at the weight of the cars (the IS is a heavy car) and how it delivers the torque. The IS never felt as if it delivered as much as low RPM torque as the BMW. Combine that with the extra weight and you have a slower car.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The B48 replaced the N20. The 330i and 320i both have it, in very different states of tune.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      It did have the N20, prior to the refresh.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    Column shifters and flappy paddles are the answer to the infotaimnent/ cupholder/ armrest space conflict. With no manual available and no mechanical linkage between shifter and tranny, there is no reason to have a shift lever occupy this prime real estate.

    Touchscreens can’t be operated without taking your eyes off the road. A touchpad or rotary controller can be safer, and as a bonus it lets you keep your arm on the armrest, instead of contending with “gorilla arm.”

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Lexus – getting a little bit less “special” with every generation.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    This would be a better car if I could row my own /stubborn manual fetishist

  • avatar
    kogashiwa

    Challenge to TTAC reviewers: sometime, in the next year, write a single review of a Toyota product without mentioning the word “beige”. I bet you can’t do it.

    This is really the most tired automotive meme in existence.

  • avatar
    Fred

    The more expensive a car is the more I nit-pick it. For some reason those AC vents with that old clock bothered me. Cramped interior and expensive options, so I walked away from this car.

  • avatar
    andyinatl

    I could potentially get over the overwrought grille, and i don’t need a ton of space inside, but boy those headlights are some of the ugliest headlights ever. It seems IS and GX are both victims of someone’s distorted idea of proportions when it comes to headlights. There’s just something wrong about their proportions…

  • avatar
    05lgt

    “(hey, a guy has to eat on a writer’s salary)” and “…drown out the endless chattering of tweens in the rear seats without rattling the rear view mirror is worth the near $2,700 upcharge.” don’t belong in the same voice.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    By the way, if you’re shopping slightly used for these, you can save a few dollars or two thousand and just get a GS instead. Seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      Von

      That’s exactly what I did, still don’t understand why a used IS of the same MY and mileage costs the same or more than a similar GS.

      I had a IS300 back in the early 2000’s and loved it except for the slight delay of the drive by wire throttle control, it made driving a manual a chore instead of fun. The GS is pretty good. Still got my eye on a GSF…someday.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “meaning two large soda cups from McDonalds” – people driving thise do not eat at McDonalds

    Center console – cheap
    Driver instrumentation – pathetic 1995 computer game. Where are those classy analog instruments?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    At first I was OK with the whole 2.0T revolution thing but honestly I’m starting to believe it’s not right to pay more than $40-45K for an enthusiast car with 4 cylinders

    If you can afford $5000-6000/yr in depreciation you can afford a little higher gas bill. To each their own I guess but the only 4 banger I want from here on is a motorcycle

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The engines work fine, with perfectly good power and power delivery, but they don’t sound fine. 4-cylinder sound is just not quite right in luxury cars. Although in this size class it’s not really a big deal. It’s in the bigger cars where you expect more isolation that it starts to be really incongruous.

      • 0 avatar
        White Shadow

        My 2.0T Audi was so unbelievably quiet that it was maddening. So I did what any red-blooded enthusiast would do–I put an aftermarket exhaust on it. It’s still very quiet, but at least I can hear it now. It’s got a really nice little rumble to it and it sounds fantastic. It will be the best money I ever spend on the car.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    That thing is butt ugly. Also front ugly and middle ugly.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Drove the NX with the 2.0L turbo, very disappointing, can’t imagine why they put it in the GS too. I found it alternately pokey and peaky. The 3.0L V6 is much nicer to live with and more in keeping with what a Lexus should feel like.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      What 3.0L V6? Lexus doesn’t sell any product with a 3.0L V6.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Yeah, Lexus did have a 3.0-liter V6 a while back on the transverse-engined cars (ES, RX); it was replaced with the 3.3-liter V6 and then the 3.5-liter V6. They also had a 3.0-liter I6 for the longitude-engined products, the GS and IS. It was also replaced with the 3.5-liter V6.

        Now if you’re referring to the engine in the IS300, it’s a de-tuned version of the same 3.5-liter V6 that’s in the IS350.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    0 to 60 takes longer than 7 seconds?

    SNARK ON

    A death trap! This car is a death trap! How can you merge on the highway to 60 in only 7 seconds! You and your family will be crushed by an 18 wheeler. You can buy a car for less money that can get to 60 in a far safer under 5 seconds.

    This is a death trap!

    SNARK OFF

  • avatar
    Rochester

    Never in a million years would I consider this car. Over-styled into ridiculousness, and underpowered for what it tries to be. This car is a joke. If all you do is glance at it, you’d think Toyota really pimped out their Corolla.

  • avatar
    hifi

    Lexus has managed to achieve a delicate balance of creating a car that is both stupidly ugly and bland. Tacking-on aggressive looking plastic to an ordinary and conventional car is something that Pontiac used to do.

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