If you do the (rough) math before you set off, you’ll expect to find a decent performer under you while traveling outside the city, as the vehicle theoretically offers almost 100 hp per tonne. However, the lazy eCVT (a.k.a electric motor which is used as a transmission) and the way in which the ICE and the electric motor deliver the power and torque change the real world results.
According to Lexus, the CT 200h needs 10.3 seconds to hit 62 mph (100 km/h) from standstill, which should mean that the car offers decent straight line performance. We know that we’re talking about an eco-friendly vehicle, but it would need some extra grunt. When the battery has a proper charge status, the car offers enough muscle for overtaking maneuvers performed at under 80 mph (130 km/h), but if you exceed that, or go uphill, or need the power “NOW!”, you’ll become frustrated.
Knowing all this, you’ll enter any corner in a relaxed mood, expecting the handling to be at the same “kinda’ OK” level as the straight line performance. 1st bend: you notice that the vehicle has much more corner-tackling potential, you just need to build up speed. 2nd bend: you’ll be even more surprised by the fact that, even though you’re doing a few tenths of km/h more than you should, the car is still following your orders.
Eventually, you’ll reach the limit (the steering, which is a decent one in standard conditions, will be the first to cry), but this is a high one and you won’t be punished for crossing the line. The ESP, which can’t be deactivated, will step in and things will return to normal.
Both on A and B roads, the CT 200h offers an engaging handling, showing you its sporty side, which is also helped by the engine-brake mode of the transmission. We can go as far as claiming that the body rigidity and suspension would turn this car into a delicious hot hatch if Lexus decided to (almost) double the power and fit a transmission that would send the power to the wheels though a mechanical connection.
However, if the road becomes a bit too “irregular”, the suspension will bring a unsettling ride, which will spoil the experience. The same agitated feeling can be experienced on certain portions of the highway. Here, the ride is much more comfortable, but not quite what you’d expect for an eco-focused Lexus. Speaking of freeway, we have to mention that, cruising at 80 mph (130 km/h) we were treated with a fuel consumption of 31 mpg (7.5 L/100km).
All in all, you can use the CT 200h as a medium and long trip companion. You just have to make sure that you play with the buttons inside your head before you set off, adjusting your expectations so that they’ll match what the car has to offer: ride comfort: -, sheer speed - -, handling + +, fuel efficiency + +.Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
You see? The accident I had because of speaking to Toyota’s customer “voice” in an effort to convince it to give the Prius’ tech to a proper designer paid out. They’ve finally made a nice one! OK, we’ll call it a Lexus, anything you want, just shut up and let me drive it so I know what I’m doing tomorrow when I’m going to ask my boyfriend to buy me one.
Read the full opinion and flame the editor →