Lexus CT Hybrid Review
The 2013 Lexus CT Hybrid ranks 9 out of 12 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Lexus CT Hybrid, as well as reliability and safety data.
Although auto writers complain about 2013 Lexus CT 200h’s underpowered engine and lackluster interior, its fuel economy and reliability ratings are two of the best in the class.
Among its rivals, the 2013 Lexus CT 200h stands out with one of the highest reliability scores in the class, as well as excellent gas mileage. Together, the 2013 CT 200h’s four-cylinder engine and electric motor produces just 134 horsepower. According to critics, this meager horsepower rating translates to poor acceleration, but it’s important to remember that as a hybrid, the CT 200h prioritizes fuel efficiency. It achieves an EPA-estimated 43/40 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. The CT 200h is only available with a continuously variable transmission. This hybrid also has four selectable driving modes, and test drivers say that the Sport mode delivers the best performance because steering is firmer. Still, they’re disappointed with CT 200h’s handling in Sport mode, and say it isn’t as responsive as they’d like. "Our overall impression is of a car that's only a bit more nimble than the hybrid norm and not nearly as sporty as Lexus would like you to believe," says Consumer Guide.
The 2013 CT 200h hatchback seats five, and like most small cars, the rear seats are cramped for adults. Cargo space is good for a hybrid hatchback. Test drivers find the CT 200h’s interior quality and confusing features disappointing. Some say the materials Lexus uses aren’t as opulent as the ones used in the CT 200h’s rivals. Additionally, critics find the CT 200h’s controls and navigation system frustrating to use.
- "The … Lexus CT 200h stands out in the small but impressive premium-compact segment thanks to its high fuel economy, sporty handing and attractive price." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "The CT200h is competent, but not particularly convincing as a sporty car." -- Popular Mechanics (2011)
Other Cars to Consider
If you like the Lexus CT 200h, but aren’t willing to sacrifice performance for high fuel economy ratings, consider the Audi A3. It is available with a turbocharged diesel engine that has good fuel economy ratings of 30/42 mpg city/highway, though they aren’t as high as the CT 200h’s. With the A3, you also get a well-made interior and more cargo space than what the CT 200h offers, though both vehicles have a cramped rear seat.
The Volkswagen GTI hatchback offers a powerful engine, smooth manual and automatic transmissions and good fuel economy ratings for its class, all while costing less than the CT 200h. Reviewers say that GTI also has a well-made and attractive cabin that’s one of the most spacious in the class. They say that adults will be comfortable in the GTI’s front and rear seats, and add that it’s one of the most utilitarian models in its class thanks to its ample cargo space.
Details: 2013 Lexus CT 200h
The 2013 Lexus CT 200h is available in base and Premium trims, and can be equipped with a variety of features and options packages, including a navigation system, F Sport package and safety features such as park assist, a rearview camera and a pre-collision warning system. The Lexus CT 200h hasn’t changed much since it was introduced for the 2011 model year, so this overview uses research and reviews from 2011, 2012 and 2013.