Lexus CT 200h (2011 – 2020) Review

Lexus CT 200h (2011 – 2020) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Lexus CT 200h scores for running costs and image, but its dull drive and poor infotainment are frustrating and count against it.

+Upmarket hatchback powered by the same hybrid system as the Toyota Prius. Exceptional front seat legroom. High-quality interior.

-Underwhelming ride, handling and performance. Poor infotainment.

Insurance Groups are between 15–20
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

The Lexus CT 200h was pitched as a clever alternative to small premium diesel-powered hatches. Its Toyota-sourced hybrid system worked a treat and the build quality was faultless, but the car was dull to the point of boring to drive compared to an Audi A3 e-tron, the dynamically impressive BMW 1 Series or the big-selling Mercedes A-Class. Read on for our full Lexus CT 200h review.

The Lexus CT 200h was billed as the world’s first hybrid to be launched in the premium hatchback market. The Japanese firm used technology from the Toyota Prius and applied it to a model that sits alongside the likes of the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3.

It’s powered by a 1.8-litre VVT-i petrol engine alongside an electric motor and together they develop 134PS – similar to the output from a contemporary BMW 116i. The hybrid system is clever, and can operate in petrol and electric modes, as well as a combination of both.

As a result it’s efficient and, according to the official figures, it can average 68.9mpg with CO2 emissions of just 94g/km. The later S model, introduced when the Lexus CT 200h was revised in 2014, is even more efficient, with economy of 78.5mpg.

The Lexus CT 200h is most at home in the city. It’s very refined at low speeds and thanks to the fact it can run purely on electric power up to 25mph, it’s quiet, too.

Decent acceleration is available from a standstill, which makes for effortless performance away from the lights, but with no noise. It all seems very impressive and every inch the luxury hatchback Lexus claims.

The problems arise once you leave traffic-laden streets and head to open roads. Here the Lexus CT 200h fails to impress, with sluggish performance and poor steering, while the CVT gearbox means the engine sits at high revs when you accelerate with any vigour.

It’s not exactly in keeping with the refinement the Lexus CT 200h is supposed to offer.

On the motorway, it’s slightly better, but it lacks in-gear performance and if you’re heavy with your right foot, fuel consumption quickly drops.

The Lexus CT 200h is certainly different from other premium hatchbacks thanks to its advanced technology. If you live in or near a low-emissions zone, it could make sense. However, for many a diesel version of a rival hatchback will probably be a better buy.

Fancy a second opinion? Read heycar’s Lexus CT 200h review.

Lexus CT200h Long Term Test Reports

Ask Honest John

Does the Lexus CT have a smoother ride than the Mazda CX-3?

"I have tested a used Mazda CX-3 and like the car with the reservations that it is a bit noisy and the ride is a bit harsh. Would a Lexus CT have a better ride? "
The Lexus CT has stiff suspension to cope with the weight of its batteries, it's not known for its smooth ride.
Answered by Russell Campbell

Can you suggest a small, premium hybrid?

"I drive a 4-year-old Mercedes C-Class - which I love. But even before lockdown, I thought it was time to get a smaller car and venture into the world of hybrids. I'm looking for a high-spec, small, self-charging hybrid - either a hatchback or small SUV. I do mostly local journeys but some longer ones so I don’t want to go fully electric yet. On the Mercedes, I'm used to a high spec and lots of gizmos so I am looking for the most luxurious small car - this time with 5 doors, that is easy to park. I realise performance will not be as good as I'm used to but would like to get the best I can. My car is my luxury item in life so cost is not a big issue. I would be very grateful for your recommendations."
We'd recommend a Lexus UX 250h. It's a small hybrid crossover SUV with a premium cabin. Lexus is Toyota's premium brand and owners are generally a very satisfied bunch: You could also consider the CT 200h hatchback although it's been around for a number of years and is showing its age a bit now. Alternatively, look at a Toyota C-HR or the excellent new Yaris – they won't feel as classy as your Mercedes, but they're very dependable and efficient cars.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Buying a used car - is four previous owners too many?

"When buying from a dealer, should I be put off if the car has had lots of previous owners? I've found a nice Lexus CT 200h with 63k miles on the clock, but the history shows four previous keepers. How can I tell if this was a lease or hire car? I'm very hesitant about this sort of area and would appreciate your guidance. "
No - not necessarily, the way the car has been treated and used is more important than the number of owners, in my opinion. But, similarly, a 1-year-old car that's marketed as having one previous owner could have been owned by a hire company the entire time. You can only check the V5C and pay for a comprehensive car history check. The V5 will list the former keeper's details on the logbook, so you can check if it's potentially been owned by a business that way. But the dealer won't be able to tell you about the previous owners other than that. You can see all your legal rights when buying a used car from a dealer here, though - which should put your mind at rest in regards to the possibility of something going wrong once you've bought a car:
Answered by Georgia Petrie

Should I get a catalytic converter lock?

"Should I get a catalytic converter lock from Lexus for £300. I have a 2016 Lexus CT but wasn't sure if this model was affected or whether it is worth the cost. Please advise me."
It's your decision to make, but I will say that hybrids are more susceptible to cat converter theft than petrol or diesel cars. My thoughts would be, if you can afford it then £300 isn't an eye-watering price to pay for peace of mind. However, there are other preventative steps you can take if you're concerned. You can see our advice here: I would research online, too. There's a lot of chat about cat converter theft in forums - and there will certainly be ones that are Lexus-specific. I'd browse some of those to see what other owners are doing.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
More Questions

What does a Lexus CT 200h (2011 – 2020) cost?