Lexus CT 200h - Used

Car Review

Lexus CT 200h
Lexus CT 200h, 2019, rear
Lexus CT 200h, graffiti
Lexus CT 200h, cabin
Lexus CT 200h, interior

Lexus' smallest model the CT 200h remained pretty much the same throughout its life - from 2011 until 2020.

Perhaps the reason for this longevity was that it's not only capable of 60 miles per gallon economy with very low emissions, but throughout those years, it came with many perceived ‘extras' as standard and was therefore fine value when compared to some of the other premium hatchbacks.

Lexus simplified the line-up in 2014 so that there were just three versions available with a series of option packs.

Although it looks very different and is aimed at a more up-market audience, the CT shares its powertrain with parent company Toyota's Prius.

So power comes from a 1.8-litre petrol engine boosted by an electric motor, and together they generate 134bhp, which is more than enough for decent performance when needed.

Press the start button, put the continuously variable automatic gearbox into drive and it pulls silently away on electric motor alone and with little more than a whisper.

And pottering through town it can maintain electric-only progress provided you don't go above about 28mph.

If you do, then the petrol engine cuts in automatically and very quietly. Of course, if the built-in battery was depleted the previous day, then it will start in petrol power and start to charge it up.

In normal driving conditions the power switches automatically between the two completely seamlessly for optimum efficiency, but there are also Eco and Sport settings that are selected via a rotary knob in the centre console.

These alter accelerator response and steering weight quite markedly - especially in Sport - when the dashboard illumination changes from blue to red and the hybrid system indicator in the digital dash becomes a rev counter.

Eco means you have to press the accelerator further down than in Drive to get the same result, but Sport vastly improves response and acceleration.

That acceleration gives a zero to 60 miles an hour time of 9.9 seconds, and emissions are a low 97g/km.

Attention to detail is a hallmark of every Lexus of course so the fit and finish is superb throughout, sound insulation is first rate, comfort is very good and interior space sufficient for five.

In electric only mode, this is a car that you have to drive very carefully because it's so quiet. Pedestrians often do not hear you approaching and a little use of the horn from a decent distance always helps.

Safety remains a priority as with all Lexus models, and all versions come with the company's Safety System+ which features autonomous pre-collision braking, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control together with automatic high beam.

Standard kit in the mid-range Luxury includes sat nav with a seven-inch display, a reversing camera, leather covered steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and six-speaker stereo.

Other standard kit includes eight airbags, audio remote and voice activation, traction control, heated seats and an alarm.

Pay about £15,100 for a '19 19-reg Luxury, or £18,000 for a '20 20-reg F-Sport.

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