2012 Lexus CT 200h Live Review

The following is a series of updates from my time behind the wheel of a 2012 Lexus CT 200h.

April 14th, 2012

2012 Lexus CT 200h Road Test

Last week, I picked up a 2012 Matador Red Mica Lexus CT 200h from Lexus Canada for a road test, and so far, I’ve been really enjoying my time behind the wheel.

This CT is equipped with the Canadian Premium Package, which adds leather seats, the backup camera in the rearview mirror, the ten speaker audio system, and 17" aluminum alloy wheels – the only notable feature missing is the Navigation system and its accompanying Remote Touch controller, and I’m very curious to see how its absence affects the overall CTh experience.

2012 Lexus CT 200h Windy Tree

First thing I did with the CT 200h was take it down to the Port Colborne Marina for an introductory photo gallery:

The Matador Red Mica is very photogenic, showing off the CT’s lines and curves with some real *pop* – I’m on the lookout for some locations that really let the color shine.

April 16th, 2012

Lexus CT 200h Drive Mode SelectorAs my first extended opportunity to switch between the CT 200h’s three different drive modes, I find myself gravitating towards SPORT mode, but not for the reason you might expect — first off, here’s graph of the three acceleration curves:

Lexus CT 200h Acceleration Curve

Despite the fact that ECO, NORMAL & SPORT modes all eventually reach the same point on the acceleration curve, that the SPORT mode’s initial burst of energy has helped me to be more fuel efficient.

Now, I only have arbitrary data to back this up, but in NORMAL mode, I hit 5.4l/100km (43.5 mpg) over a tank of gas, and in SPORT mode I scored 5.1l/100km (46.1 mpg) — I attribute this to getting up to city cruising speed faster, which allows me to coast longer.

With my current tank of gas, I’m trying to stay under the 5.0L/100km (47 mpg) mark — too bad ECO mode is so painfully slow.

April 18th, 2012

As I prepare to take the CT 200h out for its big photoshoot, I went back and looked at the photos I took at the CT press event in Paris two years ago — even now, they remain some of my favorite photos ever, and I wanted to republish my favorite one here:

Black Lexus CT 200h in Paris Rear Fog

I was also reminded of the Daybreak Yellow CT I drove in Paris — a color I have yet to see again:

Daybreak Yellow CT 200h

(Hopefully I’m able to get some good photos tomorrow on the mean streets of Hamilton, Ontario.)

April 20th, 2012

I had an idea for some busy-street city-shots with the CT 200h, but the results didn’t exactly meet my vision:

Busy City Streets with a CT 200h

Busy City Streets with a CT 200h

Busy City Streets with a CT 200h

Usually, when I’m driving in the city during the day looking for photo locations, it’s a stressful event to be bobbing & weaving through traffic and navigating the hustle & bustle, but that’s not the case with the CT — it feels like the perfect balance between functionality and size.

(Luckily, I was able to get photos for the main article I’m writing — more on that in a couple weeks.)

April 23rd, 2012

Over the course of my CT 200h road test, I was curious to see how the lack of the Navigation package would color my opinion — it’s always strange when there’s obvious absences in a vehicle interior:

Lexus CT 200h Missing Remote Touch

Lexus CT 200h Missing Navigation Screen

Considering that I use my iPhone for pretty much everything anyways, I never did pine for the missing technology — in fact, I much preferred the rearview-mirror-embedded backup camera that’s included in the Canadian Premium package in lieu of the usual nav screen display:

Lexus CT 200h Rearview Mirror Backup Camera

April 30th, 2012

Lexus CT 200h Graffiti

My time with the CT 200h ended a couple days back, and over the 1,798km (1,117 miles) I drove, the CTh averaged 5.16l/100km (45.5 mpg) — excellent numbers considering that most of my time was spent on highway and rural roads.

I’m now going to be turning my attention to the real reason behind my road test — I’ve long been a proponent of a Lexus city car, something smaller than the CT 200h and built to take on cars like the Mercedes A-Class and Audi A1. However, without any real-world experience to back up my opinion, it was pure theory — so that’s why I not only drove the CT 200h, I also spent a couple weeks driving both the Scion iQ & the Toyota Prius C.

But that’s a future article, one that I’ll be posting on the main Lexus Enthusiast site — thanks for following along with my CT 200h road test!

This 2012 Lexus CT 200h was loaned to me by Lexus Canada, and retails for $35,950 CAD. For all the details, including full specification and pricing information, I recommend visiting the Lexus Canada website.