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Lexus CT 200h (2011–)

Last updated 21 March 2019

Kerb weight 1410–1560 kg
Warranty 3 years / 60000 miles
Servicing 10,000 miles

Full specifications

Driving

Unlike other premium hatchbacks there are no conventional petrol or diesel engines in the Lexus range - just the CT 200h hybrid.

The Lexus Hybrid Drive system combines a 1.8-litre VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine that develops 98PS with an electric motor to give a system that has 134PS in total. The electric motor works in tandem with the petrol engine to boost acceleration or can actually power the car on its own when it's in EV mode.

At low speeds the electric motor gives the CT 200h a huge advantage over conventionally powered cars. It has 207Nm of torque and this is available from zero rpm so performance from a standstill is incredibly quick and effortless too. In town it makes the Lexus feel swift and it's great for nipping in and out of traffic.

It also fees very refined helped by the fact the engine is mounted on a four-point suspension system, with the rubber used for the mounts optimised for suppressing noise and vibration.

On clearer roads the CT 200h isn't as impressive though. It looks pretty good on paper with a 0-62mph time of 10.3 seconds but it's not an enjoyable or pleasurable car to drive. The steering is very artificial and lacks any feel while the hybrid system seems sluggish and unresponsive at higher speeds. On the motorway it can make passing a long and drawn out affair, even when you have your foot to the floor.

It's not helped by the CVT gearbox which seems to sap a lot of the power. It also means that any acceleration is met with continual high engine revs along with plenty of noise. It's not a pleasant sound either and not what you'd expect from a supposedly 'luxury' hatchback. The ride isn't anything to write home about either and it particularly struggles on rough roads which are all too common in the UK.

There is the F Sport version which has performance dampers, designed to absorb body vibrations, give a more linear steering feel and improve ride comfort (it's also an option on the SE-L). It makes the CT 200h more comfortable but it's still not especially good to drive and while the steering has more weight, there's barely any more feel.

Of course it's the economy figure of 68.9mpg that really stands out along with CO2 emissions of just 94g/km. This means the CT 200h is free to tax and cheap for company car drivers too. It's also exempt from the central London congestion charge.

Engines

Engine MPG 0-62 Top speed CO2
1.8 Hybrid 64–74 mpg 10.3 s 112–113 mph 82–101 g/km
1.8 Hybrid S 74–79 mpg 10.3 s 112–113 mph 82–87 g/km
List Price from £25,550
Buy new from £23,087
Contract hire from £263.99 per month
 

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