It's an upmarket small hatchback that's well equipped for the money, while the petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain means low CO2 emissions, high mpg and small tax bills.
Dreadful ride quality, lifeless steering and disappointing performance. The boot is small and the CVT automatic gearbox makes the engine drone noisily when you accelerate hard.
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Lexus CT performance
The CT200h has a 1.8-litre petrol engine that’s helped out by an electric motor where possible, and it’s all driven through a CVT automatic gearbox. Despite having two power sources, the car is still slow, even in its Sport setting – ultimately, the electric motor can’t compensate for the engine’s shortage of mid-range urge.
Lexus CT ride & handling
There’s plenty of grip and body lean is well controlled, so the CT200h’s handling is pretty good. The steering offers absolutely no feedback, though, which robs you of confidence on a twisty road. The biggest issue, however, is the harsh ride. Even in entry-level S trim, which comes with small 15-inch wheels, the ride is choppy around town. Still, this is preferable to the stiffer suspension set-up of the F Sport version, which is downright uncomfortable.
Lexus CT refinement
The CT200h can run on battery power alone at low speeds, so it’s whisper-quiet in stop-start traffic. Sadly, that’s the only time it’s even remotely hushed, because the petrol engine wails noisily whenever you try to go faster. Factor in the horrendous amount of road noise on the motorway and you have a particularly unrefined car.