When you think about hybrid car technology, Lexus should never be too far from your mind. They have been there right at the front of the queue when it comes to introducing successful cars to the hybrid market. And, their latest effort has attracted plenty of attention – for good and bad reasons.

So, we thought we would investigate the Lexus CT 200H ourselves, and give you an honest appraisal of what to expect. There is often a disconnect between car journalist’s opinions and those of the general public – and never more so than here. Let’s get started with a closer look at the Lexus CT 200H.

Lexus CT 200H

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Overview

On the face of things, the Lexus CT 200H has plenty to draw people in. It’s a good-looking vehicle; sporty, without being too flashy. It’s a hatchback, too, which makes it a handy little motor to get around the city and its hybrid tech means you should save a lot of money at the pumps, too. The only problem is, it may not be enough to beat off the competition. It’s stiff, to say the least, with both Toyota’s RAV4 and the Audi A3 SPortback garnering a lot of attention.

Regarding cost, you are looking at an upmarket vehicle, here. The Lexus CT 200H will save you on fuel, but it is a fair old investment to make. We popped over to rrg-group.com for a quick look at current pricing – it starts from just under £21,250 for the standard model. That’s not a huge amount for a car coming equipped with the latest hybrid technology, but is it great value? We’re going to find out shortly.

Design basics

As we mentioned already, the Lexus CT 200H is an attractive option, without overdoing it in the style stakes. It’s small, sporty, and comes with big alloy wheels as standard. The headlights fit into the sporty vibe quite nicely, and a sunroof also comes as standard. There are slight shades of ‘boy racer’ with the Lexus CT 200H, but overall it looks good enough to appeal to most tastes.

Back of Lexus CT 200H

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Performance and driving

Don’t expect too many miracles when you start up the Lexus CT 200H. While it looks sporty, the acceleration and speed do suggest otherwise. For a city car, it can zip about without too many issues, but it can feel a little strained on the motorways. It takes over 10 seconds to get from 0-60 mph, which isn’t going to blow any presenter from TopGear.com away. That said, for fuel efficiency, the Lexus CT 200H is excellent. You can get around 42 mpg on an average road, so if saving fuel is your priority, it’s worth taking a look.

Driving the Lexus CT 200H is a pretty good experience. There is enough grip and lean on the car for making turns feel safe, and you can derive a lot of confidence from its overall handling. That said, things can get a little uncomfortable with the F-Sport version. There seems to be a slight stiffness to the suspension that leaves a lot to be desired. If that’s a concern, though, you can go for the S-Trim model. While it can be a little choppy, there are no suspension issues, and it seems a lot smoother.

Front of Lexus CT 200H

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Interior and entertainment

For a four-door hatchback, the Lexus CT 200H is surprisingly roomy. Five adults could fit in the car without too much discomfort, although there is a lack of boot space. And, the two back doors are on the small side, so when entering and exiting the vehicle, you won’t be at your most glamorous. It is, perhaps, more suited to the young singleton or couple without kids than for anyone with a young family.

The standard model comes with premium vinyl seats, which is nice enough. However, you can upgrade these to leather should you choose one of the add-on options. Both versions are comfortable, and well-suited to short or long-haul driving. The standard models also come with keyless ignition and heated mirrors. Other upgrades include in-seat heating, touchscreen interface with HD radio, and a telematics system.

Overall thoughts

The Lexus CT 200H hasn’t been well received by journalists, but we think they have been a touch harsh. There are some suspension issues, and the drive can be sluggish on the motorways and up steep hills. But, there is plenty on board to appease most customers – which is why it is getting solid if unspectacular reviews from the general public. Your best bet? Take one for a test drive. It will give you an indication of whether you can put up with the problems – as minor as they are, in our opinion. You might decide you are better off waiting until they enter the used market.