- Low running costs
- Impressive equipment levels
- Refined drivetrain
- Well-built interior
- Lacklustre performance
- Poor ride on pre-2014 cars
- Lifeless driving experience
While the Japanese firm may want the tagline to read ‘world’s first compact premium hybrid’, look beyond the company spiel and in fact the Lexus CT200h is merely an affordable way in to the Lexus brand and an avenue for the manufacturer to try and pull in ‘younger’ buyers.
So the hybrid hatchback has a lot to live up to. Powered by a 1.8-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor, this is an affordable car in a premium package.
The problem is, compared to the competition and the market it’s aimed at, affordability isn’t everything. Performance is a major part of the package and this is where the CT200h suffers.
While the handling is sharp and precise it’s let down by a lifeless drive and then there’s the petrol and electric hybrid engine, which is a little sluggish and unresponsive.
What it does have over its rivals is a good level of standard equipment and well-finished interior.
Loaded with standard kit
There are five trim levels to choose from, though there were only three when the car was launched. Standard fare across the whole range includes electric door mirrors, electric windows, climate control, front foglights, automatic wipers, Bluetooth, USB and aux-in sockets and a choice of 16- or 17-inch alloys.
Since it’s crammed full of equipment and it boasts low CO2 emissions, the CT200h is likely to appeal to company car drivers who look for low P11d values coupled with low tax bills. The fact that this car uses a petrol engine means it isn’t liable for the 3 percent levy applied to diesel cars, which really helps the Lexus to stack up very well on paper.
If you are willing to make some compromises and your priorities are low running costs over an engaging driving experience, then there is no reason why the CT200h can’t be a viable alternative to the premium hatchback norms.
Comprehensive makeover for 2014
Spring 2014's facelift brought more than just a full-height spindle grille similar to larger models in Lexus' range. By making the body stiffer, engineers have been able to soften the ride quality while attention has also been paid to make the engine rev less harshly under harder acceleration.
When fitted with 15-inch wheels, CO2 is also lowered to just 82g/km.
Read on for our comprehensive Lexus CT200h review to find out more.