Lexus CT 200h

2016 Lexus CT 200h

The Lexus CT 200h compact five-door hatchback hybrid has changed little since its 2011 debut, and it carried into the 2016 model year with minor feature updates, a newly optional moonroof, and a new chrome grille surround.

The Lexus CT 200h is a rarity in todays market: a small luxury hybrid hatchback. Its the smallest, lowest-priced model in the Lexus lineup, blending impressive gas mileage with a sporty character.

Fun to drive in Sport mode, the CT 200h is a likable and practical hatchback that handles decently. In real-world driving, 40-mpg fuel economy is easily achievable.

Sitting low on 17-inch wheels, the CT 200h has an assertive profile, with appropriate chrome trim and a long, flat roof that ends in a spoiler. Next to the CT 200h, many similar-size economy cars look drab and dull.

A 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, rated at 98 horsepower, works with Toyotas Hybrid Synergy Drive system. Powertrain output totals 134 horsepower. Essentially, its a Prius powertrain, but in a more refined model.

Dual motor-generators can propel the car without the gas engine at low speeds. They also add torque to supplement gas-engine output. Finally, they serve as generators to recharge the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, located under the rear load deck. Drive Mode selection offers four choices: Normal, Eco, EV, and Sport.

Gas mileage is where the CT 200h shines brightest. No other luxury compact comes anywhere close to its EPA estimate of 42 mpg Combined city and highway driving.

Stylish two-tone interior trim, bolder than in other Lexus models, may be accented by bamboo, black wood, or ash burl. In addition to the base model, an F Sport edition features special suspension tuning, as well as a variety of appearance extras.

Standard equipment is bountiful, and the CT 200h has an extensive option list, including active-safety features. Options include a moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights, heated front seats, parking assist, in-mirror rearview camera, navigation, pre-collision warning, and radar cruise control. Many options may be purchased in packages.

The CT 200h gets top scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which named it a Top Safety Pick Plus.


2015 Lexus CT 200h

The Lexus CT 200h is a five-door hatchback powered by a hybrid gas-electric powertrain based on the Toyota Prius. The CT 200h is 6 inches shorter than the Prius, or about the same overall length as the Audi A3 wagon. It was introduced as a 2011 model and received minor styling revisions for 2014.

For 2015, Lexus CT 200h gets few changes. The 2015 CT 200h gets a new Siri Eyes-Free mode, an upgraded Lexus Enform App Suite that adds Slacker, and an updated HomeLink garage door opener. Turn signals adopt the three-flash system, and 2015 models equipped with navigation get additional voice commands.

The CT 200h is a hybrid and works very similarly to a regular gas-powered car. You dont plug this car in. You simply fill the tank with gas. Its propelled at times by both the electric motor and its four-cylinder engine, but at very low speeds it can run in electric-only mode for short periods of time. The 2015 CT 200h achieves an EPA-estimated fuel-economy rating of 43/40 mpg City/Highway (42 mpg Combined). We got 38 mpg while not exactly striving to drive green.

The Lexus CT 200h F Sport model has slightly firmer springs than the standard model, but its sports appeal is mainly aesthetic: black leather, racy 17-inch alloy wheels, a mesh rendition of the front grille, big rear spoiler, aluminum pedals, perforated leather steering wheel, titanium-gray metal instrument panel trim, and F Sport badging (including a new rear badge).

Inside, the cabin is cozy with a comfortable drivers seat. Everything is easy to reach. Rear-seat legroom is tight. Cargo space is about the same as a compact sedan, smallish for a hatch. The view rearward is restricted, so we recommend the optional rearview camera that comes with the navigation system. The next-gen multimedia system includes HD Radio and real-time traffic and weather.

With the Prius powertrain, the CT 200h makes 98 horsepower from the 1.8-liter Atkinson Cycle gas engine and 80 hp 60 (kW) from the motor/generator, for a total of 134 hp. Its 0-60 mph acceleration time of 9.8 seconds is the same lethargic pace as that of the Prius. Because it corners so well, a driver might be lured into treating the car in a sporty manner, but the small engine and continuously variable transmission cannot respond to that urge. The CT has four driving modes: EV, Eco, Normal and Sport. Dont count on going far in EV, the all-electric mode.

We were surprised and delighted to discover the CT 200h handles so well, and the F Sport goes even better. In any CT 200h, the cornering is spirited and secure. This Lexus has impressive balance, with a low center of gravity and centralized moment of inertia (the spin-out factor). The chassis offers high torsional rigidity, using a double-wishbone rear suspension, and sophisticated performance dampers.

Ride quality is very good. We drove hard over a section of road with a lot of lumpy tar patches, and our Lexus took them in stride. The CT 200h is very maneuverable, able to make a U-turn in just 34.2 feet. Brakes are firm, too. Its very quiet inside the cabin at freeway speeds.


2014 Lexus CT 200h

The Lexus CT 200h is a five-door hatchback powered by a hybrid gas-electric powertrain taken from the Toyota Prius. The CT 200h is 6 inches shorter than the Prius, or about the same overall length as the Audi A3 wagon. 2014 is the third year for the CT, now poised to claim a bigger presence, on its striking new face with the Lexus family spindle grille.

You do not plug this car in, you fill the tank with gas. It's propelled at times by both the electric motor and its four-cylinder engine, but at very low speeds it can run in electric-only mode for very short periods of time. The CT 200h achieves an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 43/40 mpg City/Highway.

The Lexus CT 200h F Sport has slightly firmer springs, but its sports appeal is mainly aesthetic: black leather, racy 17-inch alloy wheels, mesh grilles, big rear spoiler, aluminum pedals, perforated leather steering wheel, titanium-gray metal instrument panel trim, and F Sport badging.

Born of a hatchback, the CT 200h looks like no other Lexus, from the sides and rear. The shape of the CT 200h looks more European than Japanese, and its profile from all angles is very similar to that of the Audi A3. The design was determined largely by wind tunnel testing, and the coefficient of drag is a low 0.29 Cd. The Lexus CT makes boxy look stylish, with smooth and flowing lines, from the contours on the hood up to the long roofline and straight back to the spoiler with a little lip over the muscular liftgate. The details of the design, trim and wheels are flawless.

For 2014, the CT gets the Lexus spindle grille. Designers make this grille different with every car, and the CT version is fairly quiet compared to the visually loud Lexus GX 460 SUV. On the CT the striking spindle outline is chrome, but it's black mesh not chrome bars. LED daytime running lights are new for 2014. There's also a new rear bumper design with a larger rear spoiler, aero fins, and a shark-fin antenna. And every 2014 CT gets a scratch-resistant clearcoat on the sheetmetal.

Inside, the cabin is cozy with a comfortable driver's seat. Everything is easy to reach. Rear-seat legroom is tight. Cargo space is about the same as a compact sedan, smallish for a hatch. The view rearward is restricted, so we recommend the optional rearview camera that comes with the navigation system, that's now on a thinner screen with upgraded touch-interface. In the audio department, the speaker system is improved in both the 6-speaker base and 10-speaker premium systems. The next-gen multimedia system includes HD Radio and real-time traffic and weather.

More interior tweaks for 2014 include the flat-bottom steering wheel redesigned for better feel, a new leather shift knob and sliding sun visors , and metallic interior ornamentation, with more choices in color and trim.

With the Prius powertrain, the CT 200h makes 98 horsepower from the 1.8-liter Atkinson Cycle gas engine and 80 hp 60 (kW) from the motor/generator, for a total of 134 hp, not much. Its 0-60 mph acceleration time of 9.8 seconds is the same lethargic pace as that of the Prius. It corners so well that a driver might be lured into treating the car in a sporty manner, but the small engine and electronically controlled continuously variable transmission cannot respond to that urge. The CT has four driving modes: EV, Eco, Normal and Sport. Don't count on going anywhere in EV, the all-electric mode: We couldn't cross the street from the bank to the grocery store in EV mode. It's EPA-rated at 42 mpg Combined, and we got 38 mpg while not exactly striving to drive green.

We were surprised and delighted to discover the CT 200h handles so well, and the F Sport goes even better. In any CT 200h model, the cornering is spirited and secure. This Lexus has impressive balance, with a low center of gravity and centralized moment of inertia (the spin-out factor). The chassis offers high torsional rigidity, using a double-wishbone rear suspension, and sophisticated performance dampers.

Ride quality is very good. We drove hard over a section of road with a lot of lumpy tar patches, and our Lexus took them in stride. The CT 200h is very maneuverable, able to make a U-turn in just 34.2 feet. The brakes are firm, too. It's very quiet inside the cabin at freeway speeds.


 

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