2017 Lexus CT200h – Test Drive, Review, Ratings, Specs

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An Entry-Level Lexus Gone Hybrid

The CT200h is the cheapest ticket that will buy you into the entry level Lexus Luxury club. While sporting flashy looks, its impressive fuel economy is where the CT200h really shines. And that’s thanked by renowned hybrid powertrain directly derived from the Prius, which has been tested down to its bones. The CT200h is no by no means a thing of new however. Its window price sticker stacks up against the Mercedes GLA, Audi A3 minus the gasoline-electric options though.

Although its initial debut dates back in 2010, the 5-door hatchback looks and feels fresh and modern inside out with its sporty styling and premium interior qualities even in today’s standards. And there aren’t a lot of hatchback wagons that exist nowadays, let alone one that wears a luxury badge. With that said, the ever emerging trend of the more favorable cross-over SUV platform is a likely indicator that the 5-door hatchback CT200h will soon reach its end of shelf life.

What was Good

The CT200h’s was designed to accomplish one mission, and that’s to deliver an impressive fuel economy. Its EPA ratings score a combined 42 mpg city and highway via a miniature 1.8L 4 cylinder engine. Its entry-level luxury price tag certainly buys you into a very well built Lexus that does not disappoint at all. For a hatchback, the CT200h styling is supreme and the interior is exceptionally well built with quality leather material. The chassis also sits low to the ground and coupled with stiff-tuned suspensions make the CT200h semi-capable of delivery a satisfying driving experience with precise steering and handling and minimal body roll. The rear seats also provide decent legroom with the ability to fold down in a 60/40 split ratio for added rear trunk cargo capacity.

What Wasn’t Good

Its ultra fuel-efficiency ratings aren’t achieved without compromise though. Despite its semi-athletic appearance, acceleration is somewhat sluggish and downshifts emulated by its CVT transmissions are slow to respond. With that said, lane changes and highway merges do require a bit of pre-planning. The hatchback chassis is also relatively flat in its design. While it contributes to a sportier exterior design element, that also means the interior cabin space headroom is reduced unfortunately. I’m about 5’7″ tall, and I only had about 2 or 3 inches of head clearance with the seats positioned low to the ground. Front and rear windshield vertical visibility also felt limited, but that’s something one can get used to. Handling is good, but not great. I felt that the steering ratio was not tuned to be sensitive enough that allowed the CT200h to corner with sharper precision, but that can also be blamed by its longer wheelbase chassis dimensions inherent to the hatchback design.

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Final Thoughts

No car is perfect, and the CT200h certainly isn’t. Still, I very much enjoyed every aspect of what the CT200h had to offer with its ultra smooth and whisper quiet hybrid powertrain. The interior cabin space is exceptionally comfortable with quality grade leather materials used throughout the construction. And above all, the fuel economy is impressive that rivals many top competitors in the hybrid sector. All this made the Lexus CT200h a pleasant driving experience. Our 2017 Lexus CT200h tester model comes priced in at $40,521.

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Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2017 Lexus CT200h
  • Model : CT200h Hybrid
  • Vehicle Type : 5-door Hatchback
  • Seating Capacity : 2+3
  • Engine : 1.8L 4 Cylinder Engine + Electric Motor Hybrid
  • Horsepower: 176 hp, 172 lb.ft
  • Transmission :  CVT Transmission
  • Price as tested: $40,521

Pros

  • Sharp and modern styling
  • Exceptional fuel economy
  • Smooth and quiet hybrid powertrain
  • Practical with excellent cargo space and fuel economy
  • Exceptional interior cabin quality construction

Cons

  • Lack of driving enthusiasm
  • Stiff tuned suspension makes for a harsher ride