Car Review: 2015 Lexus CT 200h

If you’re looking for a hybrid, but you still want a luxury vehicle, you’re now in luck, as there are so many more options on the market. Lexus alone has six hybrids in its lineup, so you now have many options to choose from. The sporty CT 200h is aimed at introducing the Lexus brand to younger buyers with its styling and connectivity features.


Lexus has changed its image with its signature spindle grille, which is very prominent on the front end of the CT 200h. The compact hatchback reminded me of many of the cars you see in Europe and the rear spoiler gives it a very sporty look. You certainly don’t get the impression that you’re looking at a hybrid, and I suspect younger buyers and professionals will love it. Little has changed from the 2014 model other than a badge for the F SPORT version.


The interior is comfortable and impressive with leather and all the comforts you would expect from Lexus with standard features like a 10-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and a power tilt-and-slide moonroof. I liked the layout of the controls and gauges, including the left gauge option that left you know when you were using power, charging the battery or cruising in Eco mode.


If you’re accustomed to hybrids, much about this vehicle won’t surprise you, but anyone looking for a hybrid for the first time should definitely test drive a number of vehicles and have a salesperson explain things to you. Simple things like starting the engine can seem strange, as you don’t hear the gas engine fire up. But all of this is very easy to get used to.

One new feature for 2015 for iPhone users includes the newly standard Siri Eyes Free Mode, which lets drivers select and play music through iTunes, call contacts and get turn-by-turn navigation through Siri and Apple maps.

The model we tested had the standard six-speaker audio system, which sounded fine, and a 10-speaker system is also available.


When you’re considering a hybrid, everything starts with gas mileage, and the CT 200h offers EPA fuel economy estimates of 43 MPG city, 40 MPG highway and 42 MPG combined. The vehicle features a 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder gas engine combined with a 650 volt motor/generator for a combined output of 134 horsepower, with a second motor in the hybrid system that’s used as an engine starter and generator to charge the hybrid battery pack. The powertrain is mated to an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT) that is designed to make the best use of the instant torque of the electric motor and quickly finds the optimal gear ratio to enhance the driving experience.

The changes from electric to gas power is pretty seamless, and overall, it was a pretty enjoyable driving experience. The CT 200h is nimble with decent acceleration, and it performed well in city and highway driving. You definitely get better handling here than you’ll get with a Prius.


Fans of hybrids now have so many more options, so sporty vehicles like the CT 200h should be on the test drive list of more consumers. The model we tested was listed at $39,100 with delivery fees. It certainly offers more luxury than other compact hatchbacks with hybrid engines, so hybrid fans looking to upgrade their driving experiences should check this one out, along with luxury car fans looking for a hybrid alternative.