The CT 200h represents Lexus' second effort at a compact luxury car, the first being the mundane-looking HS 250h. For 2012, Lexus offers an F Sport package, with which this car is equipped.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The CT 200h shows standard Lexus styling language in compact form, with a much smaller grille than found on other models. LED running lights give the CT 200h a distinct look at night. The F Sport package adds an aggressive front air dam.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The hybrid power train in the CT 200h is essentially the same as in the Toyota Prius, with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine complemented by an electric drive system. It makes a total of 134 horsepower. With the CT 200h's heavier weight and inferior aerodynamics, it gets worse fuel economy and slower acceleration than the Prius.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The F Sport package adds a rear spoiler just above the rear window, which gives the car a much cooler look than standard versions. This spoiler is the single best reason to get the F Sport package.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The F Sport package means a lower and more sport-tuned suspension, but Lexus does not sacrifice much in the way of ride comfort. The CT 200h feels like it would handle very well if it had the on-demand power necessary for fast driving.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Getting into the cargo area requires some ducking and bending, typical in a compact hatchback.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Power-adjustable front seats are bolstered just enough, maintaining the cabin's accessibility and comfort while keeping driver and passenger planted.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The rear seat area is functional, but shows less attention than the front.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Lexus uses a flip-up motorized LCD for the infotainment functions. The tilt is adjustable.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The electric power-steering boost is very obvious in the CT 200h, the wheel turning easily and emitting a whirring sound at slow speeds.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Lexus integrates phone and audio controls smoothly with the wheel spokes.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The drive mode selector is a strange little chrome handle, and there's a dial for choosing between Normal, Eco, and Sport modes.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Aluminum pedal covers come as part of the F Sport package.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
This joystick controller is one of the more innovative cabin tech interfaces in the automotive industry. It works just like a mouse, so should be intuitive for most people.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The joystick controls this cursor on the LCD, letting you select from the available icons.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The power animation on the LCD shows when the engine and the electric motor are driving the wheels.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The backup camera is very basic, merely showing the view, without distance or trajectory lines.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Lexus' navigation system has been little changed in the last few years. The hard-drive-stored maps show traffic data.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The Bluetooth phone system downloads a phone's contact list, making it available on the LCD. The phone system also works through voice command.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The stereo offers a good selection of modern music sources, such as satellite radio and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The USB port for the stereo is set in the console, with a very inconvenient hatch facing away from the driver and no cable pass-through.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The music library interface lets you select music by artist, album, and genre.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
The play screen also shows "repeat" and "random" buttons.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Although it has 10 speakers, the audio system in the CT 200h does not rise to the heights of the Mark Levinson systems used in other Lexus models.

Back to review.
Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

Tablets that put your TV to shame

Binge-watch your favorite episodes on these portable screens.

Hot Products