2016 Lexus IS 200t Heels on Wheels Review
HEELS ON WHEELS 2016 LEXUS IS 200t REVIEW
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel
INTRO TO THE LEXUS IS 250 VEHICLE
Not necessarily a new car for Lexus, this entry-level luxury sedan replaces the 250 IS with a now-turbocharged 2-liter engine capable of delivering additional horsepower. Another clear benefit is the way this smaller yet sporty vehicle blends refinement and technology together.
I drove a 2016 Lexus IS 200t with the turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder delivering 241 horsepower paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i). Available in one model (with or without optional packages and features) standard equipment for the IS 200t include: leather upholstery; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; seventeen-inch alloy wheels; Lexus Enform Safety Connect; ten-way power driver’s seat; Lexus Premium Display Audio System; Bluetooth; Driver Mode Select; and touch-based climate controls. Pricing as described without options or packages is $37,325.
There is also an IS 350 series with two engines: a new 255-horspower 3.5-liter V6 engine with standard all-wheel drive and a more powerful 306-horsepower V6. The Lexus IS 200t is pitted against competitors like the Audi A4 2.0T and the Mercedes-Benz C350.
HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA
Stylish But Comfortable Results: Without a doubt, the eye is drawn to the IS’s higher beltline design and heighten fenders. Ready to fit five, only four will sit comfortably. Touch-sensitive electrostatic temperature switches are a classy addition to the tech-heavy center console. Quality leather, crafted wood inlays and an arrangement of chrome-like dials and knobs do give the cabin an elevated feel. Now here comes the punch: Upgrade to the F SPORT package, which adds must-have items like a unique front bumper, LED headlights, a special wheel design, heated and ventilated front seats, and a back-up monitor, among other features, all for an extra $3,545. My test drive also had a Blind Spot Monitor System with Rear Cross Traffic Alert ($650), a $2,645 navigation system with a Mark Levinson audio system, and a few other touches to jazz it up.
Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2016 Lexus IS 200t has tested Moderate Overlap Front and Side with ratings of “Good” in both areas. It has a Five-Star rating with The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Standard safety equipment includes: ten airbags, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system; Anti-Lock Brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control. Lexus Enform Safety Connect is also standard and incorporates automatic collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator, an emergency-assist button and roadside assistance.
Cost Issues: The Lexus IS series ranges from a base price of $37,325 for the 200t to $44,025 for the IS 350 F SPORT. The F SPORT is a serious draw as it heightens suspension performance and the overall look of the vehicle – well worth consideration.
Activity & Performance Ability: The IS chassis already has the upmost rigidity at the tightest of corners thanks to various body bonding techniques from the engineers at Lexus; plus the steering angle dropped three degrees for a more connected feel. If you want a bit more muscle, you’ll be convinced the IS 350’s 3.5-liter V6 can bring needed attitude. Outfitted in the F SPORT package, and IS vehicle can mirror what an Audi and Mercedes deliver in terms of a race-inspired experience.
The Green Concern: My IS 200t test-drive featured ECO, Sport and Normal drive modes, with ECO controlling the throttle more to conserve fuel for an overall fuel economy of 22-city and 33-highway for a combined 26 miles-per-gallon. The Lexus IS 350 with rear-wheel drive and various driving modes (including Snow) gets 19-city/28-highway for a combined 22 miles-per-gallon.
FINAL PARTING WORDS
The Lexus IS series represents a smaller luxury worth your attention, with a new 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and two powerful V6 engines to choose from. Style is evident at every corner inside and out, with the F SPORT package satisfying the need for something sassier.
©2016 Katrina Ramser
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