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in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $32,050 - $32,050
Invoice: $30,417 - $30,417
MPG: 43 City / 40 Hwy
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Lexus CT Hybrid Review

The 2014 Lexus CT Hybrid ranks 10 out of 13 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.

The 2014 Lexus CT Hybrid is ranked:

Though the 2014 Lexus CT Hybrid is meant to be a sporty upscale car with great fuel economy, reviewers note that most upscale small cars are faster and more athletic, and several hybrids use less gas.

The CT Hybrid has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that test drivers say deliver poor acceleration. The 2014 CT Hybrid has a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that critics think is slow to respond to throttle inputs. The CT Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 43/40 mpg city/highway, which is better than what most upscale small cars get. Test drivers think the CT Hybrid’s handling is reasonably athletic for a hybrid, but they note that it can’t match the agility of rivals like the BMW 1-Series and Audi A3. Some automotive journalists think the steering is precise, but others wish it provided more feedback. Most critics agree that the CT Hybrid’s brake pedal feels vague. They think the CT Hybrid delivers a comfortable ride, but that adding the F Sport package can make the ride too rigid.

Auto writers think the Lexus CT Hybrid has very nice interior materials and an attractive interior design, which are augmented by elements like soft-touch plastics and sharp electroluminescent gauges. Test drivers write that the front seats in the CT Hybrid are comfortable and have good bolstering, but they say the back seats are pretty small. The CT Hybrid hatchback has more cargo space than many rival upscale small cars, but not as much as some hatchback rivals. The 2014 CT Hybrid comes with a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a proximity key, push-button start, a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, a USB/iPod port and Bluetooth phone and music streaming. Available features include leather upholstery, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, a 10-speaker stereo system and a redesigned navigation system with Lexus’ Remote Touch infotainment interface, which operates similarly to a computer mouse. Automotive journalists write that Remote Touch is too sensitive, which makes it difficult to change infotainment settings when the car is underway.

  • "Although the 2014 Lexus CT 200h has some appealing qualities, we suspect most people shopping in this price range will ultimately prefer something a little quicker." -- Edmunds
  • "But as long as you don't care about track-ready reflexes or swift acceleration, the CT could very well hit the spot. It has stellar interior quality along with hatchback versatility, and although 43 miles per gallon in the city isn't Prius-perfect, it's nothing to sneeze at either." -- AutoTrader
  • "Let's face it: The 2014 Lexus CT 200h is no match for the BMW 1 Series, Cadillac ELR or upcoming Audi A3 sedan, at least not in the areas of performance and handling." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Unless you place top priority on the Lexus badge and the privileges of ownership that entails, you would be better served with the thriftier, more practical, mechanically similar Toyota Prius." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers agree that the BMW i3’s strong acceleration and sporty, agile handling help distinguish it from other EVs and hybrids. If you’re not sure you’re ready for a full EV, the i3 is available with a gas generator that can double its range. 

The plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt is a good choice if you want to be all-electric on your daily commute and still be able to take longer trips without waiting to for a battery to charge. Critics say the Volt’s electric motors provide plenty of power in all situations, and they like its composed handling and responsive steering system.

Compare the CT Hybrid, i3 and Volt »

Details: 2014 Lexus CT Hybrid

The 2014 Lexus CT Hybrid, or CT 200h, is a five-seat, front-wheel drive hatchback. It is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CT Hybrid comes in one trim and can be equipped with a variety of features and options packages. The Lexus CT Hybrid hasn’t been fully redesigned since its debut for the 2011 model year, so this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 Lexus CT Hybrid specs »

Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

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