2011 Lexus CT 200h review 2011 Lexus CT200h test drive

26 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2011 Lexus CT 200h review 2011 Lexus CT200h test drive отключены

Luxury-car culture shock

the past twenty years, has redefined what Americans in a luxury car — but now they’re a small five-door hybrid that prioritizes efficiency luxury. Have the staff at flipped their lids, or they stumbled on to the Next Big Read on.

Estimated price $33,000 — $40,000, EPA economy estimates 42 MPG city, 41 MPG

First glance: Innovation or

When I first laid on the CT 200h, I thought someone at had blown a circuit breaker. A 5-door hatchback hybrid? Was holding some sort of to create the least Lexus-like (Winner: HS 250h .)

A little with the Lexus folks set me The CT 200h was designed for Europe, small, high-MPG hatchbacks are the and good handling is more than rapid acceleration. knows this is a small segment in the US; the cars against the CT will be pitched — the A3. the BMW 1-series. and the Volvo C30 — sell about 1,400 per month combined. (For Toyota moves about Camrys per month.) Looking at it way, Lexus’ modest goal of 1,000 CT 200hs per seems a bit ambitious

So why even bother bringing the to the USA? Lexus sees as an opportunity to attract a new type of to Lexus dealerships: Younger, more liberal tastes and sporting expectations. Being as an old person’s car is the kiss of death for a brand; in a way, Lexus is to battle Buick/Lincoln syndrome it has a chance to set in.

Even understanding the motives, it’s odd to see a five-door (although I really dug the old IS 200 Touring wagon). Up front the CT looks a proper Lexus, but the truncated end takes some getting to. The design shares many cues with other hatchbacks (Lexus is a division of there’s a distant family to the Matrix as well as the European-market and Aygo.

At first glance I the CT was ugly as all get-out, but as I saw more and on the road — during our preview, we basically took a couple of small towns in — the CT’s looks on me.

In the Driver’s Seat: Size (or thereof) matters

CT 200h Less cushy, more than your average

Photo Aaron Gold

the exterior styling, the CT 200h’s is a departure for Lexus: Less more functional. The dashboard goes to photo) comes in black, although the seats are in other colors and the dash inserts can be swapped out for aluminum or grain. The CT is the first Lexus to fake leather upholstery ; calls it NuLuxe, presumably vinyl doesn’t sound Lexus-like.

It’s fairly stuff, thinner and more than other faux-leather I’ve sat in, though it’s from the feel that not real cowhide. (Before you on Lexus for going cheap, in mind that most and BMWs use fake leather.) perforated leather is available as an option.

I was surprised to find the seats rather lacking in support, but not surprised to find the seats lacking in legroom; aren’t as spoiled for rear-seat as we are. Still, if you frequently four-up, the CT 200h isn’t the choice. Ditto if you like to family vacations: The cargo bay roomy at 14.3 cubic but a lot of that volume comes of the upright rear window.

In reality, the CT is better suited to than suitcases. Good the rear seat folds flat.

In its favor, the CT 200h has got of nifty high-tech options, rain-sensing wipers, in-mirror camera. dynamic cruise (which matches the speed of the car in and a navigation system that Lexus’ excellent mouse-like But I was surprised to see that, unlike Lexus models, a Mark stereo is not on the options list. The stereo is good, but not audiophile and the integrated head unit fitting a replacement difficult.

On the Delivers what it promises

The CT shares its powertrain hardware the Toyota Prius. although says the CT’s control programming is unique. The 1.8 liter and electric motor produce a of 134 horsepower, and Lexus quotes a time of 9.8 seconds. That may underwhelming, but in real-world driving the CT has plenty of usable power to into a gap on the freeway or pass a truck on a two-lane road.

EPA fuel economy estimates are to come in at 42 MPG city and 41 MPG highway, and I had no topping 45 MPG during two days of back-road driving.


Unique to the CT is a dial that provides driving modes: Eco, and Sport. Eco is pretty self-explanatory; it the throttle response and helps fuel economy. Sport increases both accelerator response and the voltage available to the motor at part throttle; it changes the look of the instrument going from blue to red and changing the hybrid power to a real-live tachometer.

It also the heft of the steering, although I notice a huge difference in the way the car around corners. (At least the red lighting makes it feel The CT has a firmer, louder ride other Lexus models remember, it was designed for Europe and while it’s no Infiniti it’s certainly a lot more to drive than most models.

Journey’s End: is good. and different

2011 CT 200h

Photo Aaron

After a couple of days the wheel of the CT 200h, I was surprised to how much I liked it, especially the luxury-car culture shock I got I first saw it. Once you get over the that it’s not intended to the same people who would buy an ES 350 or an LS the CT 200h starts to make a lot of

Lexus has not yet announced pricing for the CT but they say it will start beneath the IS250, so figure $33,000 for starters. The CT has an extensive list, so it will most top out above $40k.

In my opinion, the CT is streets better than other dedicated hybrid, the HS 250h. which has more but returns fuel economy of a hybrid. The CT’s stiffest comes from the diesel-powered A3 TDI. The A3 is priced in the same but with fuel economy of 30 MPG city/42 MPG highway, the A3 is at its best on the road. If you do most of your in town, consider the Lincoln MKZ which is rated at 41 MPG city only 36 highway).

It’s than the CT, but it’s also more comfortable, and has a bigger seat and a more usable And if maximum fuel economy is goal, why not buy a plain ol’ Prius? It’s not as luxurious as the CT, but more practical and gets better fuel economy.

Bottom line: The CT 200h may not be for but I think it’s an excellent to the Lexus lineup. It’s and innovative, but it still manages to like a proper Lexus. If looking for a green luxury car and if you have an open mind the CT 200h definitely deserves a drive. — Aaron

Next page: Pros and who should buy it, details and specs


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