Find a car review

Make
Model

Lexus CT200h review - A premium hatchback alternative - Engine and Gearbox

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

Engine and gearbox

It might not excite, but the CT 200h’s powertrain is unquestionably impressively engineered. It mates an Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder 1.8-litre petrol engine to an electric motor/generator. They can work entirely independently of each other, or together, depending on the driving mode.

The engine’s maximum output is 98bhp, while the electric motor produces 81bhp. Man-maths might have that equating to 179bhp, but the reality is actually a maximum system output at any one time of only 134bhp. Below 28mph the electric motor can provide all the drive, though manage that and you’ll drain the nickel-hydride batteries in just 1.2 miles if you do achieve electric-only motoring around town.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

With that large AC synchronous electric motor/generator there’s no need for a starter motor and the electric motor plays the role of electricity generator when it’s not needed, so energy is recuperated during coasting or regenerative braking.

Drivetrain changes in 2014 saw Lexus adapt the e-CVT transmission’s mapping for a more linear relationship between engine revs and road speed, in a bid to make it feel more like a conventional automatic. It was only partly successful though, as that e-CVT still rather wilfully hangs onto revs if you ask for anything more than modest acceleration.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/abarth/201755/2020-abarth-595-pista-arrives-with-162bhp
Abarth 595

2020 Abarth 595 Pista arrives with 162bhp

The supermini has been given a new Garrett turbocharger, paint options and tweaks inside
13 Sep 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
Features

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22872/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-the-toughest-test-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport (advertisement feature)

We went to Bedford Autodrome to find out what evo readers think of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport Ultra Ultra High Performance tyres
10 Jul 2019