Lexus has launched a compact class hybrid: a revised CT 200h. It offers individuality, luxury, technology, and low fuel consumption. Lexus says the 100-kilowatt engine burns 3-point-8 liters of super per 100 kilometers. But that figure can vary greatly, depending on the stretch driven.
Mathis Kurrat, Car Tester
Our car tester Mathis Kurrat says the hybrid CT 200h's advantages are especially apparent in the city and at low speeds. That's when it shifts to the electric engine, using no gasoline at all. But if you drive on a rural road at a faster speed, then fuel consumption rises, so that I now have an average rate of 6-point-1 per 100 kilometers. That's still pretty low for a gasoline engine, but there are diesel models in this segment that undercut it.
The interior of the Lexus is luxurious. The finest materials, comfortable seats, and an instrument cluster that changes its gauges to fit the driving mode. But the central console is initially confusing.
Once again, things take getting used to, says Kurrat. Everything has been kept relatively simple, but all the technology has means lots of buttons. Kurrat thinks the control knobs for the seat heating are a bit odd; he's never seen them in another car. But once you accustom yourself to them -- as with the Infotainment system -- they're okay.
The Lexus differs not only injternally, but externally from other European car-makers' compact offerings. Lexus designed the CT 200h specifically for the European market.
The CT 200h's high starting price of 27,600 euros will make it hard for Lexus to grab market shares from VW Golf and the others in this class. But for a compact hybrid, the price is decent, and the selection of compact hybrids is still very limited in Europe. Someone looking for one could soon find himself getting into the Lexus.