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Lexus CT 200h
Lexus adds another entry-level hybrid to its portfolio

Toyota is continuing its quest to spread hybrid technology throughout its entire lineup of vehicles and the next stop for the hybrid train is the all-new Lexus CT 200h. The CT 200h is the production version of the Lexus LF-Ch concept which debuted last year. Although the CT 200h is toned down quite a bit from its concept form, it still shares much of the design philosophy first seen five months ago.

Unlike its HS 250h sibling, the CT 200h forgoes the largish 2.4-liter inline-4 engine and instead uses a 1.8-liter VVT-i four-cylinder engine. As is the case with Toyota's other hybrid vehicles, the gasoline engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), electric motor, and a NiMH battery pack.

Toyota isn't discussing official fuel economy numbers for the CT 200h, but it does say that the vehicle can travel a measly 1.2 miles and at up to 28 mph on battery power alone.

Assuming that the 1.8-liter VVT-i engine used the CT 200h is the same 2ZR-FXE motor used in the Prius, expect to see stellar fuel economy for the vehicle. The Prius is pegged at 50 mpg combined, but every aspect of the vehicle from its tires to its body shape to its underbody is designed to slice through the wind with the utmost efficiency. The CT 200h has a more conventional shape, but we'd be surprised if it dips below 40 mpg combined using the same powertrain as the Prius.

The Lexus CT 200h is due to debut for the European market later this year. It is unknown if the vehicle will find its way to the U.S. -- there may not be enough room in the Lexus lineup with the HS 250h already occupying the bottom rung.

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By DigitalFreak on 2/25/2010 9:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
Not a big fan of the interior. Way too many knobs and buttons.

RE: Interior
By siuol11 on 2/25/2010 10:09:34 PM , Rating: 4
Really? I kind of dig the whole cockpit thing. Give me buttons, give me knobs, but just don't let it kill me!
Can we haz please? Must we always get stuck with the same bland sedans?
Perhaps Toyota will feel it necessary to actually step up their game and bring something cool like this to the US... Good hatchbacks are sort of a niche market, but usually large enough of one to make a tidy profit.

RE: Interior
By Nfarce on 2/26/2010 12:55:09 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely! More toys to play with while on long road trips or in traffic. I also like a "busy" cockpit at night being lit up like a Learjet - especially with center console and overhead console stuff. Who wants to stare at a blank dashboard with one all-in-one button and all-in-one gauge cluster all day? Oh, an iCar driver.

RE: Interior
By Jedi2155 on 2/25/2010 10:14:34 PM , Rating: 5
I bet you're an Apple fan as well.

I <3 my buttons and options!

RE: Interior
By Samus on 2/26/2010 12:35:49 AM , Rating: 3
While I question the decision to market such an entry level vehicle as a Lexus, I dig it.

However, I agree. Lexus is a luxury brand and this thing has nothing on the C30 as far as interior design. Even the Matrix has a smoother interior with those cool flip-disc vents and clean dash. I just don't get it. I'm all for a luxury hatchback, and although this looks cool, throwing 18" rims, HID lights and pearl white paint on a Toyota shouldn't make it a Lexus...they're saturating the brand much like Ford did in the 90's with Lincoln and Mercury.

RE: Interior
By inighthawki on 2/25/2010 10:29:25 PM , Rating: 3
if you wish to have advanced features in your car, you cannot expect to solve everything with a single big button that says "Do stuff"

RE: Interior
By FITCamaro on 2/25/2010 11:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
You have something against the Easy button?

And actually Lexus' do have a button that lets you give it verbal commands to change the radio, turn on headlights, turn down the volume, etc. At least my buddies 06 IS350 does.

RE: Interior
By Aloonatic on 2/26/2010 2:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
Dude, Ford Fiestas have had voice command stuff going on for years, although that might be just for the radio in fairness.

My father's Mondeao (I don't know why he bought on either, considering what it cost) does quite a few things with voice commands too. However (in my experience) quite a few cars do voice stuff too and no one ever really uses it, other than to show it off to their friends when it''s parked up on the driveway, but that's about it.

RE: Interior
By The0ne on 2/26/2010 10:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm against it because when it fails you're really screwed. That's just too scary to consider for me.

RE: Interior
By HeavyB on 2/26/2010 9:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Interior
By Keeir on 2/26/2010 1:55:50 PM , Rating: 3
While that might be true... check out that literal -sea- of buttons and screens again.

Keep in mind, this car is like VW Rabbit/Golf sized.

Driver Buttons
- 11 on the Door
- 7 on Door Side
- 9 on Wheel
- 3 Stalks --> Minimum 12 buttons
- 16 on "Climate Control"
- 9 + 2 Knobs on CD Control
- 14 "other" buttons

80! Buttons which doesn't include that silly stalk shift on dash or bonus buttons on stalks.

The VW Golf/A3 type car, with Nav etc, ~65 buttons.

Personally I think designers should stive for <50 buttons on the Dash/Around the Driver... especially in small C-segment class cars.

RE: Interior
By Flunk on 2/25/2010 11:17:03 PM , Rating: 2
Really, I like the interior a lot. Exterior too, although it doesn't really look like a "luxury" car to me. Looks more like it should be a Toyota and about $30,000 starting price, less if it wasn't a hybrid.

For less than the price of this you can get a Golf GTI which might not have quite the fuel economy (although it is quite good) but the performance blows it out of the water.

Overall nice, but I can't see people paying this much for a small hatchback at least in the US market.

RE: Interior
By MickKelleher on 2/26/2010 9:51:23 AM , Rating: 2
I can't see anyone buying it in the European market either.
Hybrids have flopped in Europe as everyone has moved to clean diesel cars instead (More MPG, cheaper fuel, and less emissions).

I know about 5 or 6 people with Lexus cars all of them are diesel.
The traditional big 4 car companies selling at this market (BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus) in Europe are going for the diesel market.

With Diesel hybrids heavily in development that's going to be where they money will be in Europe.

Hybrids suit the US market as the quality of diesel is poor, this car is better suited to the US market.

RE: Interior
By TheMouse on 2/26/2010 3:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
I'm glad to see more and more lux hybrids. Hopefully they are paying attention to how fun the drive is and how comfortable the ride is.

With the current selection of (mainstream) hybrids out there, you're either stuck with great drive and poor economy or lousy drive and superb economy.

I ended up going with the Nissan Altima (Toyota Synergy Drive) Hybrid (which currently gets me 36mpg avg over last 6 months). Mostly because the size, Nissan D-Platform handling and it's pretty zippy for a hybrid (0-60 in 7.1s). The Ford Fusion hybrid is nice in fuel economy, but much slower (0-60 in 8.9s) and much more expensive given that Ford's tax credit is gone. Camry Hybrid rides well, but just isn't fun to drive... and frankly, given all the issues with Toyota at the moment, I feel a little safer.

So, I'm glad Toyota is releasing these lux models and hoping others do as well. This is good news in my book.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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