The new 2014 Lexus CT200h saves the planet in style
What to make of the 2014 Lexus CT200h? On the outside it looks like some tuner inspired by The Fast and Furious movie series, but under the sheet metal, it has mechanical bits designed to make a Greenpeacer swoon. It’s quite the contradiction. With the 2014 Lexus CT200h, they’re hoping to fill a gap that no one knew existed.
When you first start the 2014 Lexus CT200h, you don’t hear the wail of a boy-racer-style exhaust as expected. Instead, you are greeted by near silence since the Lexus is designed to run on electron juice alone at speeds up to 28mph, or for distances of up to a mile and a half. Whether you actually achieve these figures, depends on your driving style and other environmental variables. The electric motor is an 82bhp unit, but the hatchback’s main power source is the same 99bhp 1.8-litre VVTi petrol engine found in the Toyota Prius. The CT200h is rated as putting out a total 134bhp. Um ok, that’s rather odd since the gas and electric units never operate at the same time.
After you get rolling, you can experiment with the centre drive controller which can be set to ‘NORMAL’, ‘ECO’ or ‘SPORT’ mode depending on what mood you’re in. If you want to feign being speedy, choose the ‘SPORT’ setting and you get an extra 150V of power from the electric motor. This configuration holds the revs longer, improves throttle and steering response, all while keeping the traction and stability control in check. These goodies provide a ho-hum journey from rest to sixty in 10.3s. With the 2014 Lexus CT200h, the handling complements its sporty looks, but the rough ride will leave you questioning whether the hatchback is worthy of the Lexus nameplate.
Some will love the 2014 Lexus CT200h and its styling while others will think it an abomination. Regardless of how you feel about the aesthetics, fit and finish is up to typical Lexus standards. The interior is also high quality and well-engineered. The driving position is comfortable and all of the controls are right within reach – you don’t need the arms of an orangutan to switch the radio station. There is also the nifty mouse control that mimics your home PC to operate the 7-inch LCD multi-display information screen.
With hybrids, you expect to sacrifice interior space to accommodate the battery pack. This is not a necessary compromise with the CT200h, since the unit is tucked between the rear wheels leaving a 375-litre boot. If you fold the rear seats, this expands to 985-litres of cargo space. Now you can go to the supermarket and not have to worry about where you’re going to stuff those cases of wine you bought.
2014 Lexus CT200h has a new model to its line up- the entry-level ‘S’ trim priced at around the £22,000. There are also the SE, Luxury, F Sport and Premier levels, with the top of the line model pricing out just over £30,000. All models including the base, get a host of standard equipment including 17″ alloy wheels, Bluetooth compatibility, USB for the stereo, rain sensing wipers, 6-speaker CD stereo, a leather-covered steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and UV-glare-reducing windows. However, if you want to know where you’re going without resorting to archaic paper maps, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium model for navigation. You can feel secure when you embark on your journey thanks to the Lexus’s eight airbags and 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating. Electronic braking, stability and traction control are also onboard.
Scooting around like the Jetsons is affordable too, given the 68.9mpg fuel economy figure. This figure may be a bit bloated and is likely not easily obtained in the real world, but economy is excellent nonetheless. An added bonus is that the little hatch is exempt from London congestion charges. As far as hybrids are concerned, the technology used in the CT200h is pretty conventional and well proven. Repair costs shouldn’t keep you awake at night either, since there is a 5 year/60,000 mile warranty. The chief benefit is that you can brag to environmental activists about the diminutive 87g/km your Lexus produces. The CT200h will also incur zero road fund licence as well as rock bottom company car tax. Take that diesel lovers!
The 2014 Lexus CT200h is definitely a unique concept which judging from its excellent sales record, has caught on quite well. If you want to go green and look sporty the little Lexus might be what you’re looking for – as long as you don’t care about genuine performance or the dental bills you will incur from the unforgiving ride.
What do you think of the 2014 Lexus CT200h?