Lexus CT200h Hybrid: Where Luxury Meets Reason… or Not?
The CT200h came in 2011 as the first ever hatchback for Lexus. Its purpose was to attract younger customers who are perpetuating the hatch (and SUV) trend and drop the price for the brand which is often considered out of financial reach for many customers. How did it do?
Pretty well, actually. It had a nice styling for the time, it offered the premium feel and it turned out to be pretty reliable. However, a few years later, it was time for a facelift. The current version is that one with a few minor changes added for every model year. So, let’s have a look at the latest.
At A Glance
- luxurious interior
- great suspension
- good standard equipment
- less fuel efficient
Design: 4.0 / 5.0
The facelift really improved the looks. The CT200h became far more aggressive through the use of sharper lines and additions from more upmarket models, such as the spindle grille, LED lights and even an optional two-colour exterior. The darkened roof and C pillar may not do much for efficiency, comfort or performance, but they really make the car look far better.
The rear view goes with the vast majority of hatchbacks from other manufacturers which look like slightly altered versions of the larger SUV models. Indeed, the CT200h is pretty reminiscent of the RX450. This being said, we have to add that this is by no means a bad thing. It adds to the sporty look, without diminishing the class that Lexus is known for. Aside from the sporty but familiar silhouette, the side view is pretty bland.
Interior 4.5 / 5.0
It’s a Lexus. Attention to detail is impeccable and high-quality materials are ever-present. Still, it’s a lower class Lexus, so don’t expect executive luxury. What we love is the Remote Touch Controller, which is also familiar from more expensive models. The central console is packed with buttons, but their placement allows for intuitive use. The dashboard screen is of great quality and visible even in broad daylight.
Generally speaking, the driver and the passengers should have no complaints of the interior looks and space, while the driver and the front passenger are very likely to love it. Cargo space is pretty good for the class, ranging from 375 l with the rear seats in place to 985 l when the seats are folded.
The 2016 models add optional features such as Lexus Inform Remote iOS and Android connectivity and Lexus Service Connect.
Performance: 3.5 / 5.0
The 134 hp 1.8 petrol engine will make nobody thrilled by power, but it offers a pretty sufficient push. It is aided by a 60kW electric motor that is a nice addition, especially when we have in mind the torque figure of just 142 Nm. One of the most notable changes in the latest model is a different CVT gearbox setup that offers far better ride and more interesting acceleration.
Suspension, on the other hand, is a lot better. The facelift model is way more comfortable thanks to its more rigid body structure, which made room for softening the ride without making it any less capable in curves.
The official fuel efficiency rate stands at 24.4km/l. However, 18-20km/l is far more realistic, which is by no means bad.
Conclusion 4.0 / 5.0
The latest Lexus CT200h is a perfect car for its class. It seems like a more interesting choice when compared to the Prius and despite its segment, it offers the amazing build quality from Lexus.
However, after almost 6 years, this is about as far as this model will go. Minor tweaks have made significant difference, but they are used up. For the time being, the CT200h is a great car, but we are bound to see a completely new model pretty soon.