Lexus CT200h review - A premium hatchback alternative - Performance and 0-60 time

A frugal choice, but lags well behind German rivals for driving entertainment

Evo rating
Price
from £21,000
  • Peerless Lexus service, reliability and tax-dodging emissions status
  • Eco focus makes for a dreary drive, yet the suspension is overly firm

Performance and 0-60mph time

A 10.3-second sprint to 62mph isn’t likely to get your pulse racing. Neither is the way the CT 200h achieves that. Prod the accelerator to the floor and the 1.8-litre engine revs maniacally around to its peak power through a continuously-variable transmission, as road speed slowly catches up with engine revs. There’s battery assistance helping too for a combined 134bhp, but it’s all rather unbecoming and, really, not in any way what the CT 200h is all about.

Performance here then is measured by petrol station visits rather than lap times, with the most economical CT - the entry-level CT 200h S fitted with 15-inch tyres - managing an official combined economy figure of 78.5mpg with emissions of just 82g/km. It’ll not be doing that if you wind it up to its 112mph maximum, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever want to, even if you happen to be driving through Germany.

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Take it easy and the 1.8-litre engine is decently refined, though the CVT doesn’t do it any favours if more than moderate acceleration is required. The combined electric generator/motor assists the four-cylinder engine when it’s required and can run on pure electricity alone in EV mode for up to 1.2 miles. To achieve that requires exceptionally light footwork - and little or no gradient.

For maximum performance you’ll need Sport mode selected, this adding power from the electric motor, the supply voltage leaping from 150V to 650V increasing the overall output, while engine revs are held higher and the throttle response is improved. If the enhanced performance isn’t apparent in Sport mode then the red glow of the instrument panel is another giveaway.

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