Car Culture

Lexus CT 200h: Economy wins over sport

CNET Car Tech reviews the 2011 Lexus CT 200h.

Lexus CT 200h
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The newest hybrid from Lexus comes in the form of a low-down hatchback with futuristic side styling, an aggressive front end, and a dark sunglasses-looking rear window. It seems like a perfect fit for the class of hot hatchbacks that includes the Civic Si, VW GTI, and Mazdaspeed3.

And a sporty hybrid? Sign us up.

But hitting the gas produces the same sort of half-hearted push that you get from a Toyota Prius, no surprise as it has the same power-train specs. Sure, it shows nice composure when manhandled through a corner, but you won't exactly be powering out the other side. No, Lexus opted for fuel economy over push with the CT 200h. You will have to be satisfied with slow cruising with stylish looks and practical hatchback space.

Cabin tech isn't exactly cutting-edge in the CT 200h, either. Although it's a completely new model, Lexus fitted it with electronics that were current in 2008. That means a solid set of features, such as navigation with traffic and a quality audio system, but Lexus missed an opportunity here to push out tech that might compete with the likes of Audi or BMW.

Read our review of the 2011 Lexus CT 200h.