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2012 Lexus CT

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2012 Lexus CT Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

Though you wouldn't know it by looking at its tidy sport-hatchback design, the 2012 Lexus CT 200h shares key underpinnings with the Toyota Prius, including its 1.8-liter engine and hybrid electric drive architecture. Handling is on the sporty side and steering is responsive. The CT 200h is the least-expensive Lexus, yet offers a nicely trimmed, feature-filled cabin. But rear seat room and cargo space are cramped and rearward visibility is poor. Road noise is intrusive for a Lexus, and the ride is choppy at times. EPA fuel economy estimates are excellent for a luxury car, but fall 8 mpg below the Prius.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 5-door 2012 CT 200h may appeal to you if you want a well-equipped small hatchback car with sporty handling and the best fuel economy wearing a Lexus badge.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The CT 200h may not speak to you if you expect a luxury brand entry, even one that saves the planet, to be quiet, smooth-riding, powerful and roomy.

What's New for 2012

All-new for the 2011 model year, the 2012 CT 200h is little changed. Nebula Gray Pearl paint replaces Smoky Granite Mica this year. Also, new is a Vehicle Proximity Notification System that beeps when the little Lexus hybrid is in electric mode to alert cyclists and pedestrians.

Driving the CT

Driving Impressions There is no getting around it, compared to the similarly sized and priced Audi A3, the Lexus CT 200h feels down on power. It just LOOKS faster than it drives....

Freeway onramps just seem longer. The hybrid hatchback's blending of internal combustion and electric propulsion is as seamless as it is in a Prius. In fact, the pictogram that shows how the gas and electric systems are collaborating is an immense source of driver entertainment. Which is not to say the CT 200h isn't fun to drive on a back stretch of the twisties, it's just more fun doing so in Sport mode.

SELECTABLE DRIVING MODES
Lexus CT 200h drivers can choose between the Normal mode, which provides all-electric propulsion up to one mile at up to 28 mph, an Eco mode that slows throttle response to save gas, and a Sport that maxes engine revs, quickens steering and increases battery power.

NAVIGATION WITH REMOTE TOUCH CONTROLLER
This mouse-like device with haptic feedback just forward of the shifter gives the driver full control over the infotainment system without ever lifting a hand from the console.

2012 Lexus CT Details
Interior

Though snug, Lexus didn't scrimp on materials in the CT 200h cabin. The form-fitting front bucket seats are generously bolstered for lateral support. Attractive and brightly lit gauges are complemented by a prominent 8-inch LCD multi-display screen and sensuously curved, billet-like console shifter. Beyond the sporty, the CT 200h gains green cred with standard simulated leather that's 60% lighter than real hides, speaker frames made from bamboo, and floormats and other interior trim constructed from 30% plant-based materials. Missing, however, are paddle shifters for manual control of the continuously-variable automatic transmission.

Exterior

Far from being an old man's gray Lexus sedan, the 2012 CT 200h looks like a hot hatch with class. It may be a hybrid with Prius internals, but the image it projects, from its jutting, low-slung nose and arrowhead LED running lamps to its muscular wheel arches, steeply raked roofline and deep rear spoiler, is one of sporty sophistication. Slightly smallish in the wheel openings are the 17-inch tires, but larger ones might hurt the car's excellent fuel economy. The CT 200h doesn't look out of place next to an Audi A3, BMW 1 Series or Mazda Mazda3 5-door.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Among other Lexus luxury touches, the base model comes with keyless entry, dual-zone A/C, a 10-way power driver's seat, a 6-speaker audio system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth interface and SiriusXM satellite radio. Opting for the Premium model adds heated front seats and a moonroof. There is no base cruise control system, just the expensive dynamic system sold as an option.

Optional Equipment

The comprehensive CT 200h Navigation Package adds a backup camera, voice-command HDD tilt-screen nav system with remote controller, Lexus Enform emergency notification system, NavTraffic and other features. The better kitted-out CT 200hs will also have the Leather Package, which besides real leather also includes rain-sense wipers, electrochromic mirrors and memory driver's seat. The optional dynamic cruise control is combined with a Pre-Collision System that warns of an impending crash. Also available is an F-Sport Package that adds sportier-still suspension, high-gloss wheels, a mesh grille and larger rear spoiler, and further interior leather trim and metallic accents. A power passenger seat, however, is not available.

Under the Hood

By channeling the Prius's renowned 98-hp 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine and 80-hp electric drive motor, the Lexus CT 200h is way ahead of the competition in the fuel economy department – 43 mpg in the EPA city cycle is nothing to sneeze at. But the 10-second 0-60 mph acceleration performance that feels so socially responsible in a Prius is a bit of a letdown in a sporty luxury-brand car that looks like it should run with Audis and BMWs.

1.8-liter inline-4/AC 650-volt permanent-magnet motor
98 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (gas engine)/80 horsepower (electric motor)/134 horsepower (combined)
105 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 43/40 mpg

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2012 Lexus CT Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 43 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

New Owner and Love It

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, Economical, Fun to Drive"

Cons: "No-Touch LCD, No Cooled Seat Option"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This replaces my Optima SXL which had just about every option that anyone needs as well as being a head-turner. My biggest gripe with that car was its inferior fuel efficiency at 21 or 22 mpg. I wanted something that had a similar luxurious feel but with much better mpg and this is the best car out there that matches these needs (At this price) albeit a much smaller car. I opted for the F Sport model and I hear a lot of complaints about the acceleration and I must say, it is quite slow off the line but what do you expect, its a hybrid. However, its so easy just to flip that bad boy into F Sport mode and the acceleration is sufficient in my opinion. Once I get up to speed I switch it back to Normal mode. This car handles very well and even better in F Sport mode. Truly fun to drive. My wife and I have a 4 year old and I was a little concerned about it being too small. However, I think the interior is bigger than the exterior alludes. My wife rides with the seat-back at about a 75-80 degree angle and my son says he still has plenty of room and I see that he does as well. The storage/trunk space is sufficient for our use. The seats are very comfortable and everything is ergonomically laid out with the right angles which is very nice. The mouse controller for the LCD screen def takes some getting used to. In the late 90's I think we viewed our vehicles as this machine that we spend a lot of time in and we moved towards these big SUV gas guzzlers. My viewpoint has changed since 9/11 and with higher gas prices. I just want something that gets me from A to B comfortably, economically, and with as little impact to the environment as possible. I must say that this car delivers in all three categories. I'm very happy with this purchase!"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

love my car

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, saves money,"

Cons: "I can't even think of any."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car does everything that I ask it to do and it does it with style. Lots of room to carry whatever I want, yet looks and feels like a sports car. Saves on fuel and maintenance and is one of the best quality vehicles I've ever driven."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I love my car!

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, amazing gas usage, cute car."

Cons: "Some of the interior details seem cheap."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had my CT200H for four years, and I truly love this car. It has been incredibly reliable, and my gas mileage is stellar. I gloat every time I fill her up. I have had no mechanical issues with the car. My only caveat is that the car does not feel as luxurious as the average Lexus. In order to keep the price low, I think they skimped on some of the more elegant finishes. The car has a very low profile, which had led to some scrapes on the underside. Overall, I would highly recommend this vehicle."

13 people out of 23 found this review helpful

Reliable, Stylish and Great MPG — But Hard Ride

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: end of lease

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"This was a 2012 CT200h 3 year lease which I just returned at 39,250 miles. I replaced it with a purchased Prius V. I drive in NYC and surrounding suburbs. The mileage ranged from 37 to 41mpg. The car had absolutely no issues. It had the original brakes and tires at 39,250 miles, with life left on them. The brakes are super powerful and will send you through the windshield. Handling is excellent. The front seats cushions were comfortable up to 100 miles on long trips. After that, my legs would start to hurt because the butt cushion is too soft, causing too much pressure on the hamstrings. Also, the bolsters were too aggressive. I had hurt my ribs a while back and couldn't ride in this car for a few days because every time I hit a bump it was like getting punched in the ribs. The back seat... is ok, not much room to place your feet because the HVAC vents under the front seats. No cup holders at all in the back. I would hit my head on the roof (I am 5'10") getting out and the door would get stuck on the curb (car is very low). As time went on, the hard ride got worse. I would feel every little bump. If you hit a pothole at any speed over 10mph, the sound is horrible! I hit a pothole in the city that sounded like the car snapped in half!!! I was sure there was damage, but luckily there wasn't. NO MORE low profile tires for me again. I liked the CT for the mileage and style. I didn't like it for it being cramped and economy-car like harsh ride. The hatch is useful, but cargo space is compromised by the tall load floor and thick taillgate. If you drive on smooth roads and are not that tall and want a hybrid with nice driving dynamics and style, you may like the CT."

17 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Excellent Car

By on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great economy"

Cons: "Too low to the ground"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Wonderful car to drive. Contrary to common publicity, the average mileage has been 50.5 mpg. It has this wonderful button that allows the driver to choose one of three modes of operation: Sport (engine w/ battery assist); ECO (battery w/ engine assist); Normal (car manages battery & engine mix). Sport gives more power than I need. Normal is the one I use the most. It feels very much like driving a sports car (I've owned 2 "sports cars" but I like this better). It has a 6 disc changer and speakers everywhere. The AC is more than adequate. Seat warmers work well for cold mornings. The electronic shift is great. Rear view camera as part of the rear view mirror. Outside mirrors can be focused down when backing up so as to see the parking stall lines. Has USB port where I can charge my phone while driving; blue tooth system works very well as there is no problem with me being heard when talking; radio can be switched between AM, FM, CD, bluetooth, USB, satellite (satellite service n/a for Hawaii). I like everything about this car except it's getting more difficult for me to get in / out - I'm getting too old."

13 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Great Car!

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun drive, great stereo, great mileage, good looks"

Cons: "slightly small leg room in back seats."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Had this car for four years now. This is our forth Lexus and like all the others is a great driving car with absolutely no mechanical issues. Quite cruising, quick enough, very fuel efficient (43 mpg average), handles well and the seats are great, Like all Lexus cars the stereo is great. Only issue and a small one at that, is the leg room in the back seats. If your only two people great car, if your three or more regularly you might want a slightly bigger car. We are currently looking for a 2014 or 2015 model to replace this 2011 model. That is how happy we are with this vehicle."

17 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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