The Lexus CT200h was first released as the first full-hybrid entry, intending to join the rest of the compact premium cars. At the same time the CT was also the company’s first ever compact model. This petrol-electric parallel hybrid vehicle shares similarities to the Toyota Prius, inheriting much of its reliability from the first two generations of the said model. How then does this first entry and first compact for the Lexus stand out against rival models? The CT will have to offer the same drive as BMW but share the same appeal as the Audi to really stand out in its given market. Read on to see how else the rest of the CT’s features fare given such pressure and high expectations.
The Lexus CT’s design is contemporary in nature. Some of its main design features include the wheelarch liners on the front wings, the dynamic noise damper in the tailgate, side protectors for noise reduction, and a tailgate to reduce road noise transmission. All these features not only give a more comfortable ride but also provide better mechanical refinement on low to medium speeds. A subtler feature of the CT200h is the disguised exhaust; however you’ll have to look under the valance for it to gain notice. Other notable design tweaks cover the grille, bumpers, a few parts of the body, and the alloy wheels.
The Lexus stands out in equipping and giving style to the CT’s cabin. Tactile leathers, soft plastics, and a beautiful finish characterise the CT’s trademark Lexus cabin. Handy features such as the DAB radio, a pre-crash safety system, sat-nav, and adaptive cruise control are included in the top range model. The design isn’t the only thing that keeps drivers in the CT; positioning is comfortable and low on the seat and allow for easy adjustment. The load bay reaches up to 375 litres, making the CT’s capacity larger than the 1-series. This volume already includes the underfloor storage box.
The CT impresses with its quiet performance: wind and road disturbance is kept at a minimum. When there’s a need to push the piston engine further, there’s little disturbance as you begin revving. The CT200h is also quite responsive, especially on Sport mode. Plus the electric motor gives both a sharper throttle response and an additional boost to the performance. Overtaking below 70mph actually becomes relaxed, but this act requires charge in the batteries.
The CT200h’s problem lies not in power but in the delivery of the said power. Drivers will feel lacking in control of the engine, demanding extra work just to accelerate into and maintain the desired speed. The throttle also tends to be a switch once you start driving too keenly; expect a slight flat out when you decide to go into a forward thrust. You’ll have to turn off the accelerator and wait for the batteries to regenerate. But given that a compact car driver won’t be demanding regular speed, the CT is able to do the job on regular roadways and average speeds.
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