2012 Lexus CT Hybrid Review
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h is a sporty hybrid, but many reviewers don’t think much of its performance.
The term “sporty hybrid” may sound like a bit of an oxymoron, and many critics agree after testing the 2012 Lexus CT 200h. They say it offers decent handling and good power for a hybrid, but compared with other upscale small cars, the CT 200h is lackadaisical at best, even in Sport mode.
The CT 200h’s interior doesn’t receive rave reviews either. While materials quality is okay, many reviewers think the CT 200h doesn’t have the level of refinement they’ve come to expect from Lexus. Plus, the hybrid’s rear row isn’t ideal for shoppers who need to carry passengers because it will be too tight for adults.
Overall, test drivers think you can do better than the CT 200h because other cars do a better job of appealing to enthusiast drivers or green-conscious ones. However, if you fall somewhere in the middle, the 2012 Lexus CT 200h might be a hybrid you’ll like.
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 turbodiesel engine that has good fuel economy ratings, though they aren’t as high as the CT 200h’s. With the A3, you also get what reviewers consider to be a nicer, more upscale interior. The A3 also has a lot more cargo space than the CT 200h.
The Lexus CT 200h is one of two sporty hybrids on the market. The other is the Honda CR-Z, which also debuted in 2011. While the CR-Z has lower fuel economy ratings than the CT 200h and only seats two, it does have its perks. The CR-Z is a lot more affordable than the CT 200h, even when you add features like navigation. It also has a sporty exterior, and driving dynamics that reviewers consider to be pretty good for a hybrid.
Details: Lexus CT 200h
The Lexus CT 200h was all-new for 2011, and for 2012, a new F Sport package is available. It adds a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels, aluminum sport pedals, perforated leather-trimmed seats and F Sport badges, among other features. On all models without navigation, there is also a powered auxiliary console with a 12-volt outlet inside. The CT 200h is available in base and premium trims.
See the full list of 2012 Lexus CT 200h specs.
- "Lexus positions the CT 200h as a fuel-sipping alternative to the Audi A3, BMW 1-Series coupe, and Volvo C30. While it sacrifices ultimate performance to those rivals, its levels of luxury and utility are quite similar. At its base sticker price of about $30,000, the CT is a decent value compared to those competitors. Any more than that, however, and this car gets quickly outclassed by its competition in pretty much every way. 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
- "This combination of high fuel economy but slower acceleration puts the CT is an unusual position in the premium compact segment. The only model that comes close to matching the CT's fuel economy and four-door hatchback practicality is the diesel-powered Audi A3. Beyond this, you'll likely be looking at regular gas-powered, two-door cars like the better-handling BMW 1 Series or the stylish Volvo C30. These are all pretty desirable cars, but the 2012 Lexus CT 200h remains a respectable choice. It's affordably priced, practical, nicely furnished and, of course, the greenest of the bunch." -- Edmunds
- "The CT200h is competent, but not particularly convincing as a sporty car." -- Popular Mechanics