The CT 200h is Lexus’ “baby”. It’s a five-door hatch priced in the 30’s that can carry four adults….five kids in a pinch….and will get you mileage well into the 40’s.

Let’s call this baby Lexus a “Prius with Panache”….as they share a number of components.   The Lexus has a more squared-off look than it’s corporate cousin, and can carry a decent-sized load in it’s rear hatch.

Our test car came in “Redline”…fire engine red, if you will, and it kind of personified the character of this car….sassy and non-traditional.

To go with our red exterior, we had a very attractive light beige “NuLuxe” interior.

NuLuxe, translated, means that Lexus has figured out how to make leather better than have many cows.   Not only comfortable and attractive, it looks like it’ll wear well long after the last payment is made.

The CT 200h is a delight to drive around town.   It’s maneuverable, and you have pretty good visibility.

Now….as a high-mileage hybrid, you get somewhat harder-riding high-mileage tires….so don’t expect the usual butter-soft Lexus ride.

If you want that in a hybrid, fork over another $7,500 and step up to an ES Hybrid.   It’ll only cost you a couple of MPGs, and you’ll have more room and the Lexus ride you’ve come to expect.

The 200h, in contrast, is the “rascal” in the Lexus family. Short and feisty.

As with so many hybrids, you can select “sport mode” which kicks in the engine more frequently, but doesn’t seem to cost much in the mileage department.   The CT 200h is rated at 43 city and 40 highway, but we seemed to get 44 regardless of how we drove it.

Our test CT 200hcome with a 1.8 four running through a continuously variable transmission, and again, in Sport mode, it held it’s own getting on freeways and squirting through gaps in the traffic.

A moonroof is standard, as are 17” alloys….all for a starting sticker of $32,960 including transportation. An extra $900 gave us heated front seats, 4-way power passengers’ seating, rain-sensing wiper and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.  Another $500 added intuitive part assist.

Then to top it off, another $3,490 brought us nav with a backup cam, Lexus’ “Enform” w apps and destination assist, voice command, HD radio, premium sound and more.

If you like your “green” served with a little dash of distinction, Lexus’ CT 200h might deserve a good look.



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