Has the arrival of the refreshed 2018 Lexus CT Hybrid made you wonder how it compares to the outgoing model? If so, this post will explain some notable updates to the design and specification of a vehicle that remains many people’s first experience of the Lexus brand.
2018 Lexus CT Hybrid: exterior design
The aim of the exterior refresh was to strengthen the model’s sporty design. There are three key elements to note about the front aspect for SE, Luxury and Premier grade models. The mesh pattern within the metallic silver grille is now formed using intricate, spindle-shaped blocks; new LED headlights with high-level arrow-motif daytime running lights are standard on Premier grade models (see below); and the fitment of new metallic grey fog light bezels within a triangular framework.
The aim of the exterior refresh was to strengthen the model’s sporty design
F Sport models differentiate themselves with a more aggressive frontal design. It consists of an exclusive metallic black mesh across the spindle grille and within the trapezoid fog lamp bezels – a varying, three-dimensional pattern that gives the impression that the segments are interwoven. Both surrounds feature a new dark chrome finish, while each fog light wears an attractive chrome ring.
Moving to the rear aspect, the shoulder line of the tailgate has been substantially flared and the rear combination lamps are now lit by LEDs throughout. SE, Luxury and Premier models feature a reflector bezel similar in design to the front fog light bezel, and the wing-shape lower bumper garnish matches the colouring of the grille.
Similar front-rear harmonising is adopted on F Sport models, with the lower bumper garnish painted in black and the vehicle’s stance emphasised through enlarged, trapezoid-shape reflector bezels featuring the same exclusive mesh pattern.
Alloy wheels are now standard across the range, with SE models equipped with new 16-inch alloys, while Luxury and Premier models share the same 17-inch design (see below). F Sport models feature exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels with a new Dark Premium Metallic finish.
Numerous exterior colour options have been made available on the 2018 Lexus CT. Solar Flare (see below) and Azure Blue are new exclusive options on F Sport models, both of which can be paired with a contrasting black roof. Optional two-tone paintwork can also now be specified on Luxury and Premier models, though this feature extends from the A-pillar, across the roof and upper door surrounds and intersects the C-pillar.
2018 Lexus CT Hybrid: technology
The big news here is that Lexus Safety System + is now standard on all grades from SE ‘Plus Pack’ and above, making CT the only model in the premium C-segment with such a comprehensive safety package. The system includes: multi-function Pre-Collision System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert, Automatic High Beam, Road Sign Assist and Vehicle Sway Warning.
A notable new feature of the 2018 Lexus CT’s interior is availability of the Lexus Premium Navigation System – optional on Luxury and F Sport models but standard on Premier and F Sport ‘Premier Pack’ models. Models with this system can be identified by the 10.3-inch multimedia screen (see above) for enhanced graphics and ease of use, such as a handy split screen function. The previous seven-inch multimedia screen is retained for vehicles without navigation (SE) or that have standard Lexus Navigation (Luxury and F Sport).
2018 Lexus CT Hybrid: interior design
The most obvious interior design revision surrounds the new widescreen multimedia screen. However, new inlays, fabrics and leather trim options have improved perceived quality, while new stitching lines have been added to the upholstery to accentuate the lines of the seat and create an attractive two-tone effect. The internal construction of the seat has also been enhanced.
New two-tone trim options include black/red fabric, and white/black, sandstone/black (pictured here) and red/black leather. These are matched with coordinating gloss black, metal film or Naguri inlays across the dashboard.
Related to the interior is the grade structure, which Lexus has simplified to provide clearer differences between versions and offer a more intuitive route from the entry-level SE to higher grades that focus on either luxury or sportiness.