The Netherlands September 2020: After being known for luxurious sedan (ES) & limousines (LS) for two decades, Lexus launched the pursuit of a city hatchback in 2010; The Lexus CT200h. A hatchback sitting on the same platform as the Prius, but with a unique body style, curves, all the luxury Lexus can provide, a unique driving style and to date the only hatchback Lexus ever produced. Thanks to Louwman (Lexus) Groningen who provided us this beautiful Lexus CT200h Business so we can delight your senses regarding this city hatchback.

Text: Benjamin Wefer, Roley Richardson
Picture: Benjamin Wefer, Roley Richardson

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The ‘Creative Touring’ which is what CT stands for, was design to target the European market. This market is changing, hence little things have changed on this city hatchback since the launch (start selling in EU in 2011); The CT200h received a facelift in 2014 and a second one in 2017, where daytime lights were relocated to the top of the headlights, front bumper adjusted to give the car a more aggressive and modern look. This contributed in a much nicer streamlined body. The suspension has been upgraded and a new multimedia system added. But still Lexus chose to leave it on a the Toyota MC platform.

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First noticeable when taking place in the front seats is that there isn’t a traditional Lexus type analog clock, but a digital one integrated into de climate control system. Lexus chose a driver centric cockpit, making day to day configuration of the car, just one finger touch away. The ten inch multimedia display is well positioned and provides a good visibility for the driver. But still you get the feeling that the dashboard itself is pretty straight and conventional. Eye catchers are the beautiful dash trim panels (can be customized from aluminum to bamboo) and the joystick shifter. Hybrid cars have been around for a couple of decades now, but for someone who never drove one with a joystick shifter before, might ask themself how to put this beauty in gear. Even with the instruction on the shifter, it’s just a weird fun feeling to change gear using a joystick that always goes back into his 0 position.

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The seats of the CT200h are very comfortable and with a total length of 4.3 meter bumper to bumper, the average person will fit just fine. The CT200h is big enough to pass as a family car, where the driver enjoys 106 cm on leg space and the back passenger has 83 cm to fit their legs. Due to the battery pack just under the back seat, you will lose some head space in the back. But, for a person with average length it is still comfortable as a passenger. If you’re above the average length you can still enjoy the full comfort in the driver’s seat, but in the back seat you might think otherwise. Even if you’d put a baby car seat in the back, with some tweaking of the front seat and you can make it all fit. Trunk space of the CT is pretty decent; 375 liter and 985 with unfolded rear seat. In case you need more, you can always add 300 liter or 460 liters with the roof trunk storage pod.


The Lexus CT200h is powered by Toyota’s 2ZR-FXE normally aspirated 1.8 liter four cilinder engine with a Variable valve timing system (VVT-i). Meaning that the valve timing and depth is precisely controlled to reduce emmision and increase effenciency. As the CT200h is a conventional Hybrid and not a plug in hybrid, it uses a 3-phase high voltage AC permanent magnet electric motor (3JM AC). like other hybrid models, the CT starts up electronically only, making it very quiet when leaving home in the morning. The CT200h stores its power in a 28-modules, 201.6 Volt Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack. This battery pack adds around 41 kg to the weight of the car, which brings the total weigh of the car up to 1420 kg. Although its weight is pretty decent for a car carrying a battery pack, it is on the heavy side for a hatchback. This can be felt when accelerating (0-100 km/hr. in 10.3 seconds), especially in the eco mode. In normal mode, it’s more comfortable to drive and when switching to sport modus it will give you a more ‘normal feeling’ throttle response, nearly aggressive response. But then again, the CT is more a smooth quite hatchback and not a speedster. Al together the CT200h generates around 136 horsepower at 5200 rpm and a top speed of 180 km/hr. For the greenies among us, the Ct200h produces around 93 mg/km on emission.


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Lexus made a pursuit on the small compact market with a Hatchback, but changed its course with time. The CT200h was left on the old platform as this European generation has reached end of time. Will Lexus bring back a fun hatchback? Only time will tell. But for now (for anyone looking for the last European 2020 version or a good occasion), you can say that the Lexus CT200h is a good alternative if you want a city hatchback with a luxurious touch!