Lexus is  the luxury brand of Toyota. Lexus is known for making luxury cars and sport sedans. The brand produced its first supercar, the LFA, in December 2010. Lexus also has made hybrid versions of its popular models, the HS (IS hybrid), RX, GS, and LS hybrids. These car have good performance. When I first saw the CT 200h hybrid, I thought maybe Lexus would make a vehicle that is only available with hybrid drivetrain that is not slow. Then I remembered who owns Lexus.

I first saw the CT 200h at the 2011 Houston Auto Show. This was one of two hybrids that Lexus was exhibiting. The other was the LS 600h. My initial thought was “Great another hybrid hatchback.” I was going to just ignore this car, but commercials started airing and Lexus was claiming 40+ mpg in the commercials. I took a look at its performance and was not impressed.

The Lexus CT 200h is powered by a 1.8L I-4 engine and a high-output, permanent-magnet, electric-drive motor with an EV mode that produce 134 hp and 152 lb-ft.  It goes from 0-60 mph in 9.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 113 mph. It has the same 0-60 time as the third generation Toyota Prius and has a higher top speed than the Chevrolet Volt and Prius. The price for the CT 200h starts at $29,120.  It is cheap for a Lexus but it is one of the slowest cars Lexus currently makes. This is Lexus’ version of the Toyota Prius, just with a higher top speed.

It is a new car, so it has not been featured in video games. There are reviews online of this car, but nothing from Top Gear or Jay Leno’s Garage. Motorweek will be featuring the car next month.

Final Thought: It is cheap and slow. There are better cars for under $30,000. Any Volkswagen Golf would be a better buy than the CT 200h. It is another hatchback that is is not “hot.” The CT 200h is the Prius of Lexus.


Photo taken from a camera phone

Originally written on April 11, 2011 in TGWTG blog section

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