That’s So Gay: 2016 Lexus IS 200t is a knockout, and a nice bit of turbo luxury

2016 Lexus IS says “the 2016 Lexus IS 200t might be right for you if you’re searching for a small luxury sedan with plenty of style, comfort and power.”  Hey, why reinvent the wheel when you agree, right?

Perhaps the biggest take away about this year’s IS 200t is that it is a gorgeous car.  I mean, not just a “his face is cute and his wallet and his bulge are even cuter” – I mean, knockout gorgeous, sorta like what hetero men apparently see when they think of Melania Trump. This is a car that makes you stop and take notice, especially in colors like red, white and blue, which for some, are always attractive – just ask the Democratic National Convention.

The 200t (which, in my opinion, is a bit of a rebranding of the old Lexus CT 200, one of the first ‘compact luxury’ cars that I really liked) is considered the base model for the IS series and comes standard with a turbocharged engine. I will admit, I’m still not sure what to make of a small car being ‘luxurious’ and needing a turbocharged engine.  Used to be that if you bought a small car, economy was all that you cared about. Today, however, just because you are compact doesn’t mean you can be fast and flashy. This engine is a four-cylinder, 2.0 liter, 241 horsepower knockout that can give you 33 mpg on the highway but only about 22 in the city.  Hey, they ain’t bad. The turbo is what really gives this knockout a kick in the pants of everyone around you.

2016 Lexus IS 200t(Important note: the 200t is a Rear-Wheel Drive car, so for those of you enjoying an active lifestyle that involves a fair amount of cold weather gear from REI, you should pass on the 200t and move up the food chain to the IS 350, which comes with All-Wheel Drive.)

My only real complaint is that darn mouse that crawls all over the center console. To navigate around the navigation, Lexus puts a joystick of sorts right in between you and your date, requiring you to lightly move it left, right, up, down in order to change stations or change screens or change anything. That mouse can be persnickety – move it just a little too much and you’ve gone past your destination. Bend your wrist just a little off and you could find yourself listening to Fox News instead of MSNBC (and I hate when that happens). Try doing this will driving and you really will be forced to be a safe driver by pulling off the road to correct what you overshot. The advice is simple: sometimes a gentle touch will do the trick, but be careful, since sometimes being gentle is tricky.

The base price on the 2016 200t is $37,325. Indeed, beauty and velvetiness do have a price, so know that here is where ‘compact’ and ‘economy’ part ways. The interior is clearly cozy, comfortable and classy – and can hold average-sized (and generally average) adults rather comfortably.  It can always be a tight fit for girth-ier grizzlies like me and my friends. Drive before you buy, and be sure to stick your nose and arse in everything before you say I Do.

2016 Lexus IS 200tFellow write Dave Bear has mixed feelings on the 2016 Lexus IS 200t, which he liked but found “performance a bit lackluster at the bottom and top ends” (and Dave Bear knows his ends and tips rather well). Sure, if you are looking for a truly impressive racing vehicle, there is only so much you are going to get from a four-cylinder turbo, no matter how much pizzazz you put into it. For me, the biggest selling point to this year’s 200t is how it looks and how it roars, at least on the first few dates….

That alone is worth an investment for at least a couple of years until newer models come along.

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