Our cars: Lexus CT200h - July

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Lexus CT200h
Lexus CT200h
Lexus CT200h SE-L Premier

Week ending July 27
Current mileage 13,519
Miles driven this week: 777 miles

Lexus CT200h review

My CT200h's large door mirrors are a crucial safety and convenience aid. You can see plenty of what’s behind you on the motorway, and they help make low-speed manouevres and reverse parking easier.

They also automatically dim, so you won't be dazzled by someone’s badly adjusted headlights, lower when you select reverse gear, and retract at the touch of a button or when you lock the car.

It's easy to overlook door mirrors, but the CT's are worthy of praise.


Week ending July 20
Current mileage 12,742
Miles driven this week: 826 miles

The CT200h's keyless entry system works a treat. Have the key on you, walk up to the car and it unlocks the moment your hand gets close to grasping the door handle.

Or if you want to put something in the boot, press a button on the underside of the tailgate and, hey presto, that unlocks. Step out of the car, touch the door handle and the car is locked, all without having to take the key out of your pocket.

It's simple and effective, just like any piece of convenience kit should be.


Week ending July 13
Current mileage 11,916
Driven this week 768 miles

We're driving a 2013-model-year CT200h next week. It features retuned suspension that is claimed to provide a better ride. Considering how poor my car is on all surfaces, I can't wait to feel the difference.

This refreshed CT is being tested against the new Volvo V40, BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf for the October issue of What Car?, on sale on August 23rd.

You don't have to wait that long to hear how effective the changes are, though. Log on to whatcar.com on Friday, July 20th for our first drive of the car.

Week ending July 6
Current mileage 11,148
Driven this week 611 miles

It's safe to say that I didn't really like the CT200h the previous time I drove it. I had hoped that time would have softened my opinion of it, but no – after another couple of days with the Lexus, I'm still not a fan.

Sure, it has its good points. The stereo sounds excellent, the cabin looks suitably upmarket (even if some of the plastics aren't the nicest) and it feels beautifully assembled. It's everything else that doesn't cut it.

You have to drive the Lexus really, really gently to get the best economy from the petrol-electric drivetrain. That's fair enough, but there's no getting away from the harsh ride. A car that demands such a laid-back driving style should have a comfortable ride to match.

When you do want to go quickly, when joining a motorway for example, there's not enough punch to get up to speed rapidly. You also have to put up with a long blare of revs while the CVT gearbox and engine do their thing until you settle down to a cruise.

The boot is only just big enough to hold a week's shopping for two, and the driver's seatback doesn't go upright enough for my (admittedly unusual) liking.

I can appreciate the CT's impressive on-paper qualities, and it's certainly a tax-efficient company car. They're popular, too, so many owners doubtless feel differently to me, but I struggle to see the appeal from the driver's seat.


Our cars: Lexus CT200h - June


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