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2015 Lexus CT 200h

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/28/2015 Stefan Ogbac
© Lexus

New for 2015

The 2015 Lexus CT 200h gains new voice commands (when equipped with the navigation system), an updated Homelink system, Siri Eyes Free, rear F Sport badge on the F Sport trim, turn signals with a three-flash system, and Lexus Enform App Suite with Slacker and iHeartRadio 4.0.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Lexus CT 200h is a luxury hybrid hatchback that serves as the brand's entry-level offering. It is available with the F Sport package, which comes with sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels, black "NuLuxe" leatherette or leather upholstery with white perforations, and a host of cosmetic interior and exterior changes that make the car appear sportier. Its only engine is a 1.8-liter hybrid I-4 with a total system output of 134 hp. It's mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is excellent at 43/40 mpg city/highway.

Overview

Because the 2015 Lexus CT 200h isn't that powerful and is focused on fuel efficiency, its acceleration is leisurely. Handling is good due to the car's stiff chassis, which allows it to take turns well but doesn't come at the cost of ride comfort. The selectable drive modes also change how the CT 200h behaves. Sport mode provides good steering weight and increases battery power. In Eco mode, the car attempts to maximize fuel economy, and EV mode allows the car to operate in full electric mode at speeds up to 28 mph.

Interior build quality in the 2015 CT 200h is appropriate for its price; however, the dash design is unconventional, particularly the gear selector. Seating is comfortable for the driver and front passenger, but the rear bench is snug, especially for taller adults. However, the low seating position hurts the driver's view out of the back of the car due to the small rear window. Cargo space is small for a hatchback, with up to 34.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is less than cars like the Honda Fit, Mazda3, Kia Forte5, and Ford Focus.

A Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which detects imminent frontal collisions and prepares the brakes for increased pressure, is also available. The IIHS considers the 2015 CT 200h a Top Safety Pick+, earning a Good score on five categories (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

For those who prioritize fuel economy, the 2015 Lexus CT 200h is a good choice, offering impressive gas mileage in an upscale package. In a 2011 First Drive review, we said the car's handling is impressive, with a stiff suspension that allows it to corner confidently without ruining its ride quality. We found it "difficult to upset" in aggressive driving. Additionally, the steering is tight and well-weighted when in Sport mode but doesn't offer much feedback regardless of where it's set. Acceleration, on the other hand, is lackluster due to the car's emphasis on fuel efficiency instead of performance. The interior has good build quality and is up to par with the rest of the class, but cargo capacity, as we noted in a 2011 First Test review, is small for a hatchback. Cabin design is unconventional but feels upscale despite graphics that look dated, especially without the optional navigation system. Although there are technically seat belts for five passengers, the rear positions are tight and best suited for two adults of average size.

You'll Like

  • Good handling and ride comfort
  • Fuel efficient
  • Class-appropriate build quality

You Won't Like

  • Lackluster acceleration
  • Snug rear seats
  • Cargo space is small for a hatchback

Key Competitors

  • Audi A3
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  • Acura ILX
  • Buick Verano
  • Mazda3

Rating

3 star

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