The 2011 Lexus CT 200h is a luxury five door hybrid that’s equal parts performance, efficiency and style. Proving that hybrids don’t have to be dull, the CT 200h is a rakishly-styled design that evolves the trademark L-Finesse Lexus design language to an all-new class of vehicle.
The CT 200h looks fun, and it drives that way, too, and it remains fun at the fuel pump, returning up to 42 miles per gallon worth of frugality. Power is provided by a 1.8 liter inline four cylinder engine that’s teamed with a high-output electric motor for a combined total system rating of 134 hp. On the street, the electric motor puts instantly-responsive muscle right underfoot, so the CT 200h always feels lively. All the while, the powertrain allows modest emissions, with the CT 200h carrying a SULEV II certification and requiring more affordable regular unleaded fuel.
There are two trim levels of CT 200h available, the CT 200h (MSRP starting at $29,120) and the CT 200h Premium. Both carry plenty of standard equipment like SmartAccess touch sensors on the front door handles and push-button starting, dual-zone climate control with air filter and Lexus Personalized Settings to customize the electronic functions of the CT 200h to your preferences. There’s even a standard six-speaker Premium Sound System and Bluetooth® hands-free technology. CT 200h Premium models gain heated front seats, a power moonroof, and available Premium Audio, Navigation and Leather packages.
Fun and efficiency are the two mandates that the CT 200h satisfies simultaneously. The chassis uses a unique rear suspension that features double wishbones for enhanced handling, and a MacPherson strut front design. The result is a responsive chassis that also delivers exceptional ride comfort. The CT 200h also uses Yamaha® Lateral Performance Dampers, a piece of equipment normally only found on huge-dollar high performance vehicles. The front and rear Lateral Damping System was developed in conjunction with Yamaha® to reduce vibration, improve handling and deliver a linear steering feel. There are four drive modes to choose from, too, allowing drivers to fine-tune the CT 200h to any road conditions with Normal, Eco, EV and Sport modes.
It wouldn’t be a Lexus without a luxurious and well-equipped interior. The CT 200h looks after the environment at every turn, too, with bio-sourced materials wherever possible and a design that’s 85-percent recyclable. Even the NuLuxe seating material has green credentials. It’s soft and supple like the finest hides, but it weighs half as much and the manufacturing process is less toxic for the environment by generating 65 percent less CO2 emissions and using no volatile organic compounds, which can damage the ozone layer. The available Hard-drive Based Navigation System teams with the revolutionary Remote Touch device that makes it easy to navigate between audio, climate and navigation functions on the LCD screen with less distraction.
The design of the interior is intentionally sporty, with bolstered seats that are set low. The CT feels like a performance car from behind the wheel, even as it offers sensible convenience and premium features. The advanced audio system features an amplifier that’s more efficient than conventional designs and innovative bamboo speaker cones. It’s clear that Lexus has left no stone unturned looking for opportunities to prove driving enthusiasts and caring for the environment can coexist.
The CT aims to keep its occupants safe, too. Active technologies like an available backup camera, Vehicle Stability Control and rain-sensing windshield wipers act as your right-hand man, always having your back as you drive. A Pre-Collision system detects when there might be a collision and primes the Brake Assist system while cinching up the front seatbelts to help mitigate the effects of a crash. Driver and passenger front airbags can deploy at different speeds depending on vehicle speed and the severity of the impact. There are eight total airbags, including driver and front passenger knee airbags. The front seats are designed to help prevent whiplash by limiting head movement in an impact, too, and the CT 200h also features Smart Stop Technology that reduces the engine’s output when both the brake and accelerator pedals are pressed at the same time.
Safe, swift and a steward of the planet, the Lexus CT 200h is an evolution of the comprehensive Lexus suite of features and luxury into a niche that’s been missing out. With the availability of this revolutionary and efficient five door, there’s yet another hybrid option for buyers who want something different than you’ll find anywhere else. There’s only one place to find this unique blend of strengths, and that’s at your Lexus dealer.