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2012 Lexus CT 200h

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2012 Lexus CT 200h Review

Slow, sexy, gas-sipping hybrid

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview
Lexus has offered hybrid versions of its GS and LS sedans, plus the RX crossover. The company also released a new standalone hybrid model for 2010, the HS 250h. The 2012 CT 200h is Lexus' newest hybrid, a compact luxury five-door hatch. While the CT 200h is designed to provide excellent efficiency and fuel economy, it's also intended to be sporty and fun.

It's powered by a version of Toyota's 1.8-liter Atkinson cycle inline-4 gas engine. The hybrid system has two electric motors. One acts mostly as a generator, while the other helps power the CT 200h's front wheels. The transmission is an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. There are four driving modes: Normal, Eco, EV, and Sport. Lexus says that Sport mode provides more direct steering and throttles settings, and boosts drive voltage to the maximum level. Sport mode also reduces the intrusion of stability and traction controls.

The Range

Body style: Four-door hatchback
Engine: 1.8-liter inline-4
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Model: CT 200h

What's New

This is the first hatchback from Lexus, and the company's second standalone hybrid. Since it was released last year, there is only one change for the new model: Nebula Gray Pearl replaces Smoky Granite Mica for 2012. An F Sport package adds to the Lexus' performance.

Exterior

The styling of the CT 200h is sporty and youthful. Though not as wild as the LF-Ch concept on which it was based, there are still plenty of aggressive cues, like recessed fog lights, a dual exhaust, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Interior

Layout is driver-centric, with as a tiered instrument panel, the Lexus Remote Touch mouse-like control, and seats that are covered in an environmentally-friendly, leather-like fabric called NuLuxe. There is an EcoDrive indicator which provides eco driving feedback, a dual-temperature control system, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, and a six-speaker CD sound system.

Performance & Handling

The CT 200h offers the fuel economy of a Prius, but with the upscale styling that comes with the Lexus badge. It has been designed with a low center of gravity and low seating positions, and a sporty suspension with 17-inch alloy wheels. Peak power output for the CT is 134 horsepower, the same as the Prius.

Safety

Eight airbags are standard on the CT 200h: dual front, dual front knee, side curtain, and front-seat-mounted side. Also standard are anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, stability control, and traction control. A pre-collision system is optional.

EPA Fuel Economy

43 mpg city/40 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Hybrid frugality
  • Sporty design
  • Eco-friendly interior

You Won't Like

  • It's not faster than a Prius
  • Pricey

Sum Up

Slow, sexy, gas-sipping hybrid

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Volkswagen Golf TDI
  • Toyota Prius
  • Audi A3 TDI
  • Honda CR-Z

See the New 2014 CT 200h.

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