Looking to shakeup the makeup of the IS sedan, Lexus ushers in some new engines with new badging to keep things fresh. And our QuickSpin in the 2016 Lexus IS 200t is one such change.

Replacing the IS 250, the 200t grabs power – 241 horsepower, to be exact – from a 2.0 liter turbo I4. That replaces the 250’s 2.5 liter V6. All-wheel drive is no longer an option for the smaller engine; its rear wheel drive only.

That change in powertrains means better performance, as we ripped off a 0-60 time of 6.9 seconds, aided by quick shifts from the eight speed automatic. Sadly, there’s little in exhilarating sounds to accompany it. So, despite the brand’s move towards performance, it’s Lexus heritage quiet on the streets.

On the other hand, the intimate cockpit-styled interior allows the IS to feel uniquely sporty. Ride is also on the sporty side, though even there the Lexus brand comes through.

Stepping up is the also new IS 300 AWD, which uses a detuned version of the carryover 3.5 liter V6, making 255 horsepower, and a six speed automatic. As the name implies, all-wheel drive, or all-weather drive in Lexus speak, is standard. The IS 350 is still available with little change.

On sale now, the 2016 Lexus IS 200t starts around $38,000, while the 300 AWD goes for $41,000.


  • Engine: 2.0 liter turbo I4
  • Price: Starts around $38,000
  • Horsepower: 241