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Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about car technology at the Roadshow in . Prior to joining the automotive industry, he worked in spyware, web building technologies and computer hardware. He started covering technology and the Internet in 1994 as editor of Net magazine.
2012 Lexus Ct200h F Sport
After a day whipping up my 2012 Lexus CT 200h on a mountain road, I was ready to peel off the F Sport badge adorning the car’s fenders. I had no problems with the car’s handling, but the hybrid powertrain’s 134 horsepower combined with its inability to shift gears could not produce anything close to excitement.
Lexus Ct200h Review
The Lexus CT 200h 2012 offers excellent fuel economy in a fancy hatchback. The infotainment system includes connected data such as gasoline prices and weather. Lexus luxury means a comfortable ride.
With a hybrid powertrain like the Toyota Prius, the CT 200h doesn’t have enough power to support its cool looks.
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h’s beautiful aesthetic is complemented by great practicality, but it lacks power and the technology inside is not up to date.
The CT 200h looks good enough, but the new Toyota Camry Hybrid is faster. And the new optional F sport package for the CT 200h only affects the suspension and some cosmetics, not the power.
Lexus Ct200h F Sport Review
For the CT 200h, Lexus opted for the same hybrid system based on the 1.8-liter engine found in the Toyota Prius. This translates to 9.8 seconds from 0-60 mph tested on the Lexus, which is not that fast. On the plus side, this power unit gives the CT 200h excellent fuel economy, with an actual average fuel economy of over 40 mpg.
Like the Prius, the CT 200h has buttons for different driving modes, in this case Eco, Sport and EV. Sport is the Prius’s power button and has a very nice effect of turning the power sensor on the instrument cluster into a tachometer.
The power meter does an interesting trick by switching to a tachometer when the CT 200h is in sport mode.
That’s not to say the tachometer is useless on the CT 200h. This is because the car’s transmission, the planetary gear set, does not give the driver control over the shifts. Similar to the continuously variable transmission with range drive, the transmission of the CT 200h is programmed to continuously change gear ratios and optimize fuel economy depending on driving conditions. Depressing the accelerator pedal causes the car to advance at a slower speed and has no effect when exiting a corner.
European Ct200h F Sport
Given the behavior of the drivetrain, my experience with the CT 200h has mostly been about the way it gets into corners. And it was very good. The power steering felt a bit numb, but the car remained stable and didn’t bounce when thrown into a corner at high speed.
The F Sport package helped a bit by tweaking the suspension and didn’t hurt too much. The ride quality of the CT 200h remains true to the Lexus image of luxury. I had the opportunity to drive with a Hyundai Veloster on the same uneven pavement, and the difference was astounding. The Lexus was much more comfortable.
The exterior of the F Sport package includes custom 17-inch wheels, aluminum pedals and a mesh grille. These elements fit well with the overall design of the CT 200h. F Sport also means a larger rear spoiler, making the rear window look like a very narrow tinted strip. The LED running lights in the headlight housing give the front a unique character.
The CT 200h makes a case for comfortable practicality, even as a fake hot hatchback. The first point in favor is fuel consumption. The hatchback design offers a variety of interiors. The roofline is slightly lower, which limits the height of the cargo space, but it is very roomy and the rear seats fold easily to create a flat cargo floor.
Lexus Ct 200h F Sport Review
Since the CT 200h model is only a year old, it has received the latest generation of Lexus cabin electronics, and its most unusual feature is its mouse-style interface. A palm-mounted joystick mounted on the center console moves the cursor around the car’s LCD with haptic feedback that notifies you when the cursor is over an icon on the screen. Pressing the Enter button on the side of the controller worked like a mouse click.
The vehicle’s LCD display mounted on a motorized mount is located at the top of the dashboard. This generation of Lexus received a hard drive navigation system with traffic data downloaded via satellite radio channels and superimposed on maps. The map is strictly 2D with no perspective, but good for route guidance. The system reads street names for nearby turns, but could have been more aggressive to avoid traffic jams.
The navigation system integrates with the Lexus Enform telematics service, so you can find your destination on your computer and send it to your vehicle. Other related features include weather, fuel prices and stock prices downloaded from satellite radio.
It’s standard for Lexus these days, but the Prius v. Lexus is expected to get its own version of the Toyota Entune app integration soon, but it will likely bypass the CT 200h until those models get an update, and that may not happen as early as 2014.
The 2012 Lexus Ct 200h Delivers Life In The Moment With An All New Available F Sport Package
So the CT 200h does not offer Pandora or iHeartRadio. These two online music streaming sources are the Prius v. It offers a standard set of sources in a nice, tabbed interface, including Bluetooth audio streaming, iPod integration via USB port, and satellite radio.
Lexus made an annoying design choice by placing the USB port under a small hatch in the center console. After a short use, I wanted to tear off the hatch cover, making it difficult to connect the iPod cable or USB drive. To make matters worse, the port’s location meant that my USB stick would stick out above the control level, making it more likely the driver would drop it while reaching drive mode control.
Other Lexus models have an optional Mark Levinson audio system that produces excellent sound. But Lexus seems to think the CT 200h doesn’t deserve that stereo quality as an entry-level car. Instead, it comes with an unbranded 10-speaker system. I wasn’t very impressed with the playback quality of the system. The treble on some tracks sounded sharp and the bass didn’t impress.
Despite its appearance, the 2012 Lexus CT 200h should not be mistaken for a sports car. The hybrid drive system provides excellent fuel economy, but the fact that the transmission doesn’t allow the driver to turn at high speeds limits the Lexus CT 200h’s ability to turn and accelerate quickly. Think of it as a really cool hybrid. The F Sport package adds a nice look. Another advantage of automotive design is the controller interface, which is easy to use by anyone who has mastered computers.
Lexus Ct Ct200h Luxury Auto
The internal electronics of the CT 200h do not meet the most modern standards. The navigation system works well and the audio system provides most of the sources you want, but these are all standard these days. A hallmark of cabin technology is external data such as gas prices and weather transmitted via satellite radio. When we saw the optional F-Sport package included in Lexus’ press release for the new 2012 CT 200 hours, we had hopes. Could the CT finally be a true hybrid hot hatch? Well, maybe not.
New for 2012, the F-Sport package makes the CT faster thanks to a faster mesh front grille, 17-inch wheels, aluminum interior trim and perforated leather. Nevertheless, the package gives up powertrain modifications. As a result, the CT 200h still goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.8 seconds, ensuring this hybrid’s priority as the fuel to go from A to B at a leisurely pace.
The 2012 CT 200h will also come standard with Lexus’ new “Vehicle Proximity Warning System”. The system emits low noise under certain conditions (when CT is in electric mode) to warn nearby cyclists and pedestrians. Lexus appears to be preparing for a new law in the United States that requires all electric and hybrid vehicles to have an electric-only low-speed warning system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently researching and developing standards for new warning systems. A new exterior color, Nebula Gray Pearl, replaces Smokey Granite Mica to complete the changes for the 2012 CT 200h.
The above color change is IS, ES,
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