The new Lexus RC F touched down in Britain briefly this summer, as the countdown to its launch continues.
Lexus CT 200h review
The Lexus CT 200h combines two of Lexus’ greatest strengths – premium-level luxury and world-leading hybrid technology – in a compact and affordable five-door hatchback that appeals to the younger buyer. Powered by the advanced Lexus Hybrid Drive system, the CT 200h is exceptionally quiet and refined, as well as economical and kind to the environment. And with six trim levels on offer – S, SE, Advance, Luxury, F Sport, and Premier – to suit a wide range of budgets, you could be behind the wheel from less than £21,000*. It’s the perfect way to get started with a Lexus.
Refinement and quality are intrinsic with the Lexus brand, and the CT 200h doesn’t disappoint. As a full hybrid, it has both a 1.8-litre petrol engine and a powerful electric motor, two of the principal components of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system.
Able to operate independently of each other for maximum economy or work together for the best performance, the 134bhp Hybrid Drive system uses an intelligent E-CVT transmission to automatically select the right gear ratio for the driving conditions.
The CT 200h’s Hybrid Drive system has several driving modes – Eco for maximum efficiency, Normal for everyday driving, and Sport for a more responsive drive – but can also operate for up to a mile in electric-only EV mode using no fuel and producing no harmful emissions, ideal for short urban journeys.
As you’d expect from a luxury car, the suspension gives a stable, supple and comfortable ride, but if you prefer a sportier feel, the CT 200h F Sport uses special dampers (optional on Premier models) to attain even higher levels of steering response and ride comfort.
Travelling in the premium quality CT 200h is a quiet and peaceful experience, particularly important when operating in near-silent EV mode.
To accomplish this, the aerodynamically efficient CT 200h slips through the air with the minimum of wind noise penetrating the cabin, and increased levels of insulation and sound-absorbing materials keep out road and engine noise.
The interior is spacious – the CT 200h boasts class-leading head and shoulder room in the front – but keeps all the controls on hand for the driver, enhancing the experience behind the wheel.
High quality soft-touch materials are used throughout the cabin, which is furnished in a choice of five different fabrics, three leathers and four insert trims (dependent on model grade).
Equipment levels are similarly high-end, with a premium and eco-conscious six-speaker sound system featuring a DAB radio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity fitted as standard in S, SE, Luxury and F SPORT models.
Most models can be upgraded to a ten-speaker audio package, with all models also benefiting from a large standard-fit 7″ display. The CT 200h Advance has a navigation system fitted as standard (optionally on other model grades), while the CT 200h Premier edition comes with the top-of-the-line Premium Navigation system and 13-speaker, 7.1-channel audiophile quality Mark Levinson sound system and DVD player.
Even though the CT 200h packs a lot of technology into a compact hatchback, it doesn’t skimp on space. By cleverly locating the hybrid system’s battery beneath the boot floor, the CT 200h has an ample 375 litres of boot space, which increases to 985 litres with the rear seats folded forwards.
A maximum five-star score in the Euro NCAP crash safety test proves that the CT 200h is a safe and strong car in which to travel. In addition to the inherent strength of its body structure and passive safety features like its eight airbags and whiplash-reducing seats, Lexus has equipped the CT 200h with a comprehensive set of active safety measures.
These include stability and traction control to maintain grip, the latest anti-lock braking system with brake assist technology, Hill Assist Control for smooth and safe hill-starts, and emergency braking detection that flashes the rear lights to warn following drivers.
The range-topping CT 200h Premier model can be optionally fitted with a radar-based Pre-Crash Safety system that wanrs the drive of an impending collision and can even automatically apply the brakes to lessen the severity of an impact. The radar also controls the Premier model’s speed and distance-senstive Adaptive Cruise Control.
Thanks to Lexus’ Hybrid Drive technology, the CT 200h is premium quality without premium running costs. Fuel consumption on the combined test cycle is 68.9mpg (74.3mpg on the entry level CT 200h S), giving a potential cruising range of around 700 miles per tank of fuel. Because its carbon emissions are below the 100g/km threshold for road tax, all CT 200h models are exempt from the charge, so that’s more money in your pocket.
And if you’re a company car driver, the emissions levels mean that the Lexus is in the lowest band for benefit-in-kind company car tax. The hybrid system is designed for low maintenance, so servicing is required at 10,000 mile intervals or once per year.
The Lexus CT 200h is built to the highest standards of manufacturing quality at Lexus’ Kokura factory in Japan. Meeting more than 500 strict guidelines on design, construction and quality, Lexus is confident that you’ll have worry-free motoring in its cars. But for peace of mind, the CT 200h is backed by a three-year/60,000 mile mechanical warranty (five-year/60,000 mile for specific hybrid components), three-year surface rust and paintwork warranty and 12 years’ anti-corrosion cover. That’s not to mention Lexus’ award-winning customer service.
It’s cheaper than you think to enjoy Lexus quality – the entry-level CT 200h S costs just £20,995 on-the-road. The SE model is priced at £22,495, while the CT 200h Advance includes extra features like cruise control, navigation and parking sensors in its £23,995 sales price. The Luxury model costs from £24,495, or you could choose the sportier CT 200h F SPORT from £26,745. Lastly, the range-topping Premier model is priced from £29,495.
For further information about the CT 200h, visit the designated section of the Lexus UK website. If you’d like a taster of the Lexus experience, leave a comment and we’ll arrange a test drive at your local Lexus dealer.
*Prices correct at time of publication