Lexus says the CT 200h is for customers who want “miles of fun” in a “fuel-efficient luxury vehicle.” To accomplish this, they adapted a Toyota Prius powertrain to a modified Toyota Corolla platform. In our test drive we experienced exactly that: a car with Prius-like acceleration and Corolla-like handling. The Sport models have different settings for throttle response, steering boost and traction control. All-in-all it’s not bad, but if you’re looking for “fun” performance in a hybrid vehicle, look elsewhere. Still, this is not just a parts-bin car. Four adults can ride in typical Lexus style, and a long list of options and special features fulfill the “luxury vehicle” promise, at luxury vehicle prices of course.
And of course being a Toyota product, the CT200h is unquestionably reliable: Lexus has been ranked Number One in the J. D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study for the past five years in a row. The 2011 models are just coming out of factory warranty now, and the most serious Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) issued for these cars were to address engine starting problems in sub-freezing temperatures. If you’re buying a used CT200h, find out if the intake manifold has been replaced. As hybrid vehicles go, there’s nothing unusual about this particular model. Any repair shop that’s properly equipped to service a Toyota Prius can also take care of this Lexus.
The CT200h seems to be holding its price as well as any other Lexus model, but like all Lexus models, its true value is a matter of opinion. Still, it does indeed look and feel like a luxury vehicle, albeit one with ‘stately’ performance.
To find a hybrid vehicle service shop near you, go to shop finder on this web site.