I have to admit, the Lexus CT 200h is one of my favourite luxury sport wagons, and I have a real soft spot for this sleek, compact family cruiser. I like the slick hatchback format, and the 2017 Lexus CT 200h is indeed a sporty-looking alternative to other hybrids with an Eco-conscious upscale look and feel. The cool Lexus spindle grille and revered rear window treatment give it a unique front and side profile. This is a practical hybrid offering very good fuel economy and true Lexus ownership experience.
For 2017 there are no major changes to the Lexus CT 200h compact sports hatchback as it comes off a 2016 refresh. Our smart-looking 2017 tester was equipped with the sleek looking FSPORT package. Including: Front and rear performance dampers; unique black finished 17” FSPORT alloy wheels 3-spoke FSPORT steering wheel; rear spoiler; Nuluxe SPORT seats, metal look interior trim and FSPORT scuff exclusive interior trim; and aluminum sport pedals with rubber inserts There is also a plethora of technology such as: the available Lexus Display Audio system, including the world’s first use of bamboo-fiber loudspeakers. Backup rear camera, power moonroof, Dual Zone climate control, other features include: steering wheel-mounted audio system controls; Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls; Integrated Sirius XM Satellite Radio; USB audio input jack; and more.
Fuel economy is also up now, (combined 4.6L/100km) thanks to an advanced and proven Lexus Hybrid Drive system, which combines a 1.8L four-cylinder gasoline engine with a high-torque electric drive motor for 134 net horsepower. Four drive modes can be selected by the driver including Normal, Sport, ECO, and EV. The latter allows the CT 200h to operate for short distances on battery power alone.
The CT 200h’s 1.8-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor is the same as found in the current-generation Toyota Prius. The drive motor uses electrical power from the battery pack or the engine-driven motor, and turns the front wheels. The battery pack is located under the rear cargo area, ahead of the rear axle. Power output is the same – 134 horsepower. Granted it is not a lot, but then again, this is not a super high performance hatchback. The CTV is not as quick as more performance Lexus orientated –non-hybrid model, and won’t give you the sizzling 0-100 kph of other faster Lexus, although it sure look like one inside and out!
Like the Prius, the hybrid drive system in the CT 200h has four drive modes: Normal, Eco, Sport and EV (electric vehicle). Normal mode offer a longer throttle while Eco mode adjusts air conditioning settings and practically puts the throttle to sleep for the best possible fuel economy. Sport mode provides quicker more direct electric power steering settings. EV mode is ideal for low speeds for example in park lots. At low speed, CT200h is eerily quiet, but once it exits the battery mode the CVT engine nose is noticeable much like its Prius cousin.
Having driven the Prius on many times the driving sensation of the CT 200h is familiar and it is an easy comfortable car to drive- so no issues there at all. The actual fuel economy you achieve will of course depend very much on you driving style, but I found the figures to be pretty close to the estimates. The CT 200h has nice, firm driving dynamics with well-modulated and precise steering. There is little if any body roll when cornering and a smooth comfortable ride quality. To sum up, the CT 200h offers premium quality, excellent looks, hatchback versatility and a very effective hybrid drive train for greater fuel efficiency. There are no real drawbacks to the CT 200h, although cargo capacity is not huge. However with its high quality fuel efficiency and wonderful driving experience it is one of the best hybrid cars in the market. Highly recommended.
2016 Lexus CT 200h base priced from $32,750. Price as tested with options, AC Tax, freight and PDI – $40,521.