2017 Lexus CT 200h Hybrid

Susan Frissell
www.womenwithwheels.com

Although some have named Lexus CT 200H a “good value,” we’re not sure we are in agreement. At $30,000 it may be; at a total vehicle price of $41795, it wouldn’t make our list. A premium-compact vehicle, the 200h gets notice due to its high fuel economy ratings (42), sports handling and pricing. It’s also been called “Best in Segment” with a driver-friendly cabin and superb ergonomics.

The ride in the Lexus CT 200h is smooth, yet bottoms out when navigating rough roads. Seating is comfortable and body-fitting. The driver’s seat is a 10-way multi-adjustable power seat so drivers of all sizes and shapes will most likely find a comfortable driving position.

Our test 200H came equipped with several options, making the total vehicle price climb into the $40,000+ range. Included among those options were the F Sport luxury package for Navigation (F Sport 17-inch alloy wheels, Sport Tuned suspension mesh grille, rear spoiler with cutouts, black roof, F Sport Exterior fender and rear badges, perforated leather trimmed steering wheel, perforated leather trimmed shift know, F Sport smooth leather seats, Aluminum sport pedals-accelerator, brake, footrest, Metal Tone instrument panel trim, black headliner, rain-sensing wipers, HomeLink garage door opener, rear mirror with memory and automatic reverse tilt, heated front seats, 4-way power front passenger seat, driver seat memory), $3,325.

The F Sport LED headlamps/flog lamps/driving lamp option was $1,265, and the Navigation System option, including backup camera, premium audio system, remote touch controller, Lexus Enform service connect, remote destinations, Lexus Enform App Suite, was priced at $3,480. And the final option on our test vehicle, the Pre-collision System Dynamic Radar Cruise Control ($1,500). Without these options, of course, the 200h hybrid carries a more reasonable price point.

The F Sport packaging adds a little panache to this little hatchback, such as a more aggressive front fascia, a sport-tuned suspension and 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler and black roof. Compliments came from friends as a nice package-hatchback with some extra room-and good looks, but when hearing the sticker price, said ‘no way.’ And although it’s hard not to say good things about any Lexus product, we wonder how necessary this compact is in the lineup.

If looking for a fun-to-drive, easy to maneuver and always reliable hatchback, the 200h CT offers great fuel economy, handles well for a hybrid and has a very smooth hybrid powertrain. However, for a hatchback configuration, the CT has poor visibility, small cargo space (14.3 cubic feet) for a hatchback design and lacks sufficient power when attempting to pass, merge or climb hills. The rear seats do fold (6/40), making for added space.

The Lexus CT 200h comes into 2017 with few changes. The CT 200h does get four new exterior colors, including our test vehicle color, Atomic Silver. Does silver never die? Other than black and the popular gunmetal/gray, silver is ever popular. The other new colors include Caviar, which replaces the Obsidian-base model only, Autumn Shimmer (replaces Fire Agate Pearl)-base model, and Blue Vortex Metallic (replacing Ultra Blue Masonic).

Safety equipment on the Lexus CT 200H is plentiful and expected, including ABS, with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control (TRAC), and Electronic Throttle-Control System (ETCS); Smart Stop Technology, Curtain airbags, supplemental restraint system, passenger knee airbags, front side impact airbags, side curtain airbags, supplemental restraint system and Safety Connect with Automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location, emergency assist button (SOS),and enhanced roadside assistance (1-yr. trial), and LED running lights.

Perhaps more than other manufacturers, Lexus does offer some standard equipment on the CT 200h, such as carpeted floor mats, Lexus personalized settings, Tunneau cover, XM Satellite radio, USB input/Miniplug auxiliary input for MP3 player, tilt/telescoping steering column, 4-Mode drive mode select, SmartAccess with Push-Button Start/stop, and audio controls on the steering wheel.

The 2017 CT 200h offers a smooth ride, is easy to navigate and with the F Sport suspension, deals well with most road surfaces. It is a fun car to drive, although not a challenging or performance-oriented one. Apart from the out-going Prius, the CT’s rear suspension is a independent double wishbone rear suspension.

The CT offers only one transmission: the electronic continuously variable (eCVT), paired with an Atkinson cycle, 1.8-liter I-4 /electric motor backed by nickel-metal hybrid battery. This is reflected in good fuel economy (43/40), but less than the current generation Prius.

Key competitors of the Lexus CT 200h include Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, Acura ILX and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, to name a few. The hybrid powertrain in the Lexus CT 200h is shared with its cousin, the last-generation Prius and larger Prius V.


SPECS

MSRP: 31,250; total vehicle price $41,795, destination $975
Engine: 1.8-liter in-line 4-cyl DOHC w/VVT-4, Electric Drive Motor with Lexus Hybrid Drive, 134 hp., 142 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: ECVT (Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission
One trim level, hatchback; F-Sport option
Wheelbase: 102.4 in.
Length: 171.3 in.
Width: 69.5 in.
Height: 57.3 in.
Curb Weight: 3,130 lbs.
Tires: 215/45R17
Wheels: 17-inch aluminum alloy
Fuel Economy: 43/40/42 mpg. combined
Fuel Tank capacity: 11.9 gal., 511 range in miles
Warranty: Basic: 4 yr/50,000-miles; drivetrain: 6 yr/70,000-miles; Hybrid component: 8 yr/100,000-miles

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