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Driven: Lexus CT200h F-Sport

Toyota, Lexus’ little sister, entered the Hybrid industry with the launch of the uninteresting, slow, celebrity-attracting Prius a while back.  It was one of the first hybrid vehicles to go into mass production.  Now, a few years later, Lexus have joined the furore with the CT200h.

What is it?

Well, it’s a Hybrid, and that means it has an electric motor as well as a 1800cc petrol motor which work together to achieve low fuel consumption, as well as being nice to the environment.

In a nutshell, when you require full power for accelerating, both motors work together. When idling, both motors switch off, completely.  When cruising around a parking lot or on the open road, the electric motor is used.

When electric motor isn’t in use, the petrol motor charges the electric motor.  It’s all pretty neat, and the car comes with a simple to understand monitor which shows exactly where the power is going.

How does it look?

Epic.  This is also Lexus’ first adventure into the hatchback market, and while this is far from being a hothatch, with the F-Sport kit it definitely lives up to the looks of a hatchback.  Borrowing some design cues from the Lexus LFA, it’s sure to turn a few heads.

[showSpecs]How does it drive?

It has the not-so-exciting CVT transmission which variates the ratios according to power required.  It’s not going to blow your hair back, or give that guy in his GTi a run for his money.

Handling-wise it’s a gem, but unfortunately you don’t get this full experience due to the fact that it wasn’t really designed to go fast.  A real pity really.  What we would like to see from Lexus is the IS350 motor slapped into the engine bay of the hatchback, that would be eye-popping.  Here’s hoping.

In terms of fuel consumption, it wasn’t over-exciting.  We achieved an average consumption of 10l/100km around town.  Which is the norm, nothing really spectacular.

The interior

The interior is functional, everything is where it needs to be, albeit a little bland.  The TFT touchscreen is well-placed and easy enough to operate.  It’s seems to be a bit dated, as with most Lexus models, although this seems a little older.

The seats? Oh the seats. By far the most comfortable in its class.  They hug you and keep you firmly in place while offering great lumber support.  That goes for all Lexus models, one of the many things they have perfected.

 

Safety

It has all the standard safety features; ABS, EBD, stability and traction control, park distance, etc.

Conclusion

It’s beautiful, absolutely stunning to look at.  It drives well, not very powerful.  But if you’re a tree-hugging, hairy-footed, bunny hugger, who wants luxury and comfort with a little more oomph than other hybrids on the market and you have around R400k to part with, then this is the hybrid car you want to buy.  It’s an average drive, it gets you from A to B in style, comfort and with enough power.  Don’t expect mind-blowing performance, it is a hybrid after all.