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Review | 31.10.2013 - 22:11

Lexus CT 200h: Fuel economy and handsome sportier looks

If you are looking for a premium compact car, you will find there is not really an extensive selection. With the 2013 CT 200h, Lexus seeks to satisfy such compact luxury car needs, and ups the fuel-efficiency ante with a hybrid-electric powertrain.
2013 Lexus CT 200h

It stands to reason for Lexus to build a hybrid compact luxury car, provided parent company Toyota's wide expertise with the technology. As one probably suppose, the 2013 Lexus CT 200h borrows a lot of the Prius' tried-and-true -- and tremendously efficient -- hardware.

Even though it borrows a great deal from the components and tech of Toyota Prius all of the rest are different and modified to follow an alternative, sportier path with its modern, angular appearance which grants the CT a distinctly stylish and urban design. Additionally, it is more fun to drive when compared to a Prius, having a lowered stance along with a sport-tuned suspension system.

Using a trio of drive settings (Normal, Eco and Sport), everything from the throttle mapping to the steering weight, stability and traction control systems is affected in the name of enthusiastic driving. Shifting from Normal to Sport function will not truly make the CT any quicker, however it does open the drivetrain's taps sooner and firms up steering effort.

 

Performance

 

The 2013 Lexus CT 200h is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder motor in combination with a set of electrical motor/generators utilizing the Atkinson cycle-- a combustion process optimised for economy instead of performance. This is paired with an 81bhp electric motor. Combined, they come up with 134 horsepower.  The CT 200h accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 10.4 seconds. Gas mileage is the CT 200h's strength: The EPA reports fuel economy at 43 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 42 mpg in combined driving.

Lexus offers the option for taking advantage of the car's electric-only driving setting, which disables the engine temporarily to energize the vehicle on electric power only. This will move the 200h at speeds as high as 27mph, although, by having a total range of merely 2 miles.

 

Body Styles and packages

 

Standard equipment consists of 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, premium vinyl upholstery, heated side mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone air conditioning, key less ignition/entry, a 10-way driver seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity along with a six-speaker audio system employing a CD player, satellite radio and audio/USB jacks.

The Premium bundle includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror as well as an upgraded 10-speaker sound system with a six-disc CD changer. The Seat Comfort package offers a four-way power passenger seat plus heated front seats. The CT 200h Leather package adds to the above mentioned leather upholstery, auto-dimming side mirrors,  rain-sensing wipers and power passenger and driver-seat memory settings. The Navigation package adds the Lexus Remote Touch interface, a navigation system, a back-up camera and Lexus Enform telematics.

The F Sport package has exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels, a larger rear spoiler, a sport-tuned suspension system, aluminum sport pedals, a mesh grille, leather-trimmed steering wheel and unique upholstery. Stand-alone choices feature a backup camera with rearview-mirror display, park aid, LED headlamps as well as adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision system.

 

Interior Design

 

What the CT 200h gives up in sheer yardage regarding luxury material is actually balanced by a properly assembled interior. Additionally, there is enough soft-touch material exactly where it matters - which includes a now-padded door armrest for the driver - to let you comprehend you are in a automobile that is a step higher than the standard. Even though leather is optional, the standard leather-look upholstery is charming.

Lexus relies on a completely new method for handling entertainment and satnav systems using the so named Remote Touch controller which instead of having a touchscreen as an alternative you will find a little joystick which vibrates in order to feedback each time you browse throughout the several options on-screen. The system is very simple to use while you are stationary or while the car is in motion -- even more so, perhaps, than a regular touchscreen display, considering you don't have to exert yourself by physically hanging your arm in the air.

What the interior does not provide however is lots of areas to pack your stuff. As one would expect from an auto with these tidy dimensions, the door containers and glovebox aren't extremely expansive. Luggage capacity is a fair 14.3 cubic feet; folding down the rear seats provides additional space thanks to the CT's hatchback body style.

 

Safety

 

Standard safety equipment on the 2013 Lexus CT 200h features antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front, rear and side curtain airbags, dual front knee airbags and Lexus' Safety Connect. Customers can select an optionally available pre-collision system which comes packaged with adaptive cruise control, which can help determine an imminent crash responding as necessary by tightening the front seatbelts and initializing brake assist. In brake testing, the CT's overall performance was satisfactory, with the car stopping from 60 mph in 120 feet.

 

Driving Impressions

 

If you're purchasing a luxury automobile simply because you desire increased performance then the 2013 Lexus CT 200h should not be the primary selection in your list. The CT 200h's essential design puts fuel economy at the core of its functionality.

The 200h is not especially fast in a straight line, however Lexus did its best to help make the car handle efficiently, using smart weight distribution. The car's hybrid-propulsion elements are attached as near towards the floor of the car as possible to maintain a low centre of gravity. The hood, tailgate and bumper reinforcements are made of lightweight aluminum. Handling is pretty good and the CT 200h is an enjoyable vehicle to drive in the tighter surroundings of the city or suburbs.

 

Conclusion

 

Lexus CT 200h is a rather enjoyable car to spend time in, an economical car to run and an amazingly reasonably priced one to lease. We actually like the Lexus CT 200h. Its straight-line performance is not outstanding, nonetheless it corners fantastically, has a comfy, elegant air and it is cheap to operate.

The luxury compact sector is beginning to offer more selections. But bear in mind, if your focus is on a well-built and yet reasonably priced luxury car which also happens to offer among the best fuel economy ranks of any automobile, the Lexus CT 200h is definitely an outstanding choice.

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