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2014 Lexus CT 200h

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/10/2014 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2014

The 2014 Lexus CT 200h gains a revised exterior styling, an available solid black roof on the F Sport grade, a new navigation system with a fixed screen, new-design 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights and fog lights, leather-wrapped gear shifter, and a shark fin antenna.

Research

Vehicle Summary

The 2014 Lexus CT 200h is a luxury compact four-door hybrid hatchback sold in base and F Sport models.

Overview

The 2014 CT 200h uses a 1.8-liter hybrid I-4 with a total system output of 134 hp paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is good at 43/40 mpg city/highway, making it one of the most efficient luxury cars on the market. Acceleration is lazy at best due to the weak engine and CVT, and while handling is not on par with competitors like the Audi A3, the CT200h remains agile and competent around corners due to its independent suspension setup and sportier tuning.

Interior quality is notable with a well-built cabin with "attractive gauges and a cool gear selector" that "provide a suitably upscale appeal for an entry-entry level car." Passenger space is acceptable for four adults while the trunk is decently sized and has extra storage room under the false floor. A low seating position combined with a low hood enhances the sporty driving position but sacrifices rear visibility. The interior's design, however, is conservative, uninspiring, and has "little thought to aesthetics."

The 2014 Lexus CT 200h has not been tested by the NHTSA but earned a good score on four categories in IIHS testing (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

The 2014 Lexus CT 200h is a fuel-efficient, good-handling compact hatchback ideal for city driving where hybrids excel. In a 2011 First Test, we said that while in Sport mode, the car is fun during "spirited back road driving." Despite the stiffer suspension setup, the CT 200h makes up for it in handling even with low rolling-resistance tires, which complements the heavier steering in Sport mode. Its lack of power, however, means straight line speeds remind drivers of its focus on fuel economy over outright performance. Despite its entry-level positioning, the CT 200h's interior is a pleasant place to be with high-quality materials, comfortable seats, and a navigation system with "intuitive mouse-like controls."

You'll Like

  • Fuel economy
  • Good handling
  • Well-built interior

You Won't Like

  • Weak acceleration
  • Conservative interior design
  • Poor rear visibility

Key Competitors

  • Audi A3
  • Acura ILX
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  • Buick Verano

Rating

3 star

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