2015 Lexus CT 200h Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy
  • handles well for a hybrid
  • versatility provided by the CT 200h's hatchback design.
  • Very pokey acceleration, and the engine is quite noisy in the process
  • not much storage or luggage space
  • available mouselike electronics interface can be distracting to use.
Other years
List Price Range
$16,981 - $20,966

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Lexus CT 200h is a distinctive choice for a premium-brand hybrid car, thanks to its high fuel economy and moderately sporty handling. But it's also one of the slowest cars in its class.

Vehicle overview

Are you somebody who desires an upscale car that's stylish enough to impress your friends and co-workers, but also one that's sufficiently practical to keep up with your active lifestyle and environmentally friendly enough to allow you to go to sleep at night with a clear conscience? Well, you might have come to the right vehicle review because that's exactly what the 2015 Lexus CT 200h is meant to be.

This luxury compact hatchback has been around for a while now, but it still manages to be pretty distinctive. The CT 200h's combination of attractive styling and upscale amenities is appealing, while its utilitarian four-door hatchback body style can accommodate a wider variety of cargo than your average sedan. What really sets the CT 200h apart from other luxury or luxury hybrid vehicles, however, is its fuel-efficient gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that delivers an impressive EPA fuel economy rating of 42 mpg combined.

The CT 200h backs up its athletic looks with crisp handling that makes it feel a good bit more nimble than many hybrid models. Unfortunately, the car's sporty styling is ultimately writing checks the hybrid powertrain can't cash. With just 134 horsepower available, the CT 200h is no quicker than a Toyota Prius and is sorely lacking in the thrilling performance department. Also keep in mind that, while folding down the rear seats creates a flexible cargo hold with a good deal of space, the interior isn't exactly cavernous by modern compact crossover standards.

With those shortcomings in mind, buyers may want to consider other vehicles that might suit that trifecta of desires better. Although it's considerably more expensive, the 2015 BMW 328d wagon is a much more satisfying vehicle to drive and still provides very good fuel economy thanks to its diesel-fueled engine. On the other end of the price spectrum, the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid and new 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI are cheaper, yet still provide much of the same experience as the Lexus (and are quicker to boot).

All things considered, the 2015 Lexus CT 200h is likable enough, but it's only by taking a test-drive that you'll truly know whether you can live with its modest performance.

2015 Lexus CT 200h models

The 2015 Lexus CT 200h combines a hybrid powertrain with a compact, four-door hatchback layout that seats five passengers. It's offered in a single trim level.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors with built-in turn signals and puddle lamps, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), split-folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri Eyes Free technology that connects to select smartphones and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and a USB/iPod interface.

Naturally, there are a number of option packages available, but availability can vary depending on the region in which you live. The CT 200h's Seat Comfort package includes heated front seats and a four-way power front passenger seat. The Premium package adds automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 10-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer. The Leather package includes auto-dimming outside mirrors, leather upholstery and driver memory settings. The Navigation package features a rearview camera, voice-controlled navigation system, the Remote Touch interface, HD radio and Lexus' Enform app-based infotainment and Safety Connect emergency telematics systems.

A Display Audio package includes the premium 10-speaker sound system, plus a 7-inch display screen, a rearview camera, an additional USB port and the Remote Touch controller. The optional F Sport package bundles distinctive 17-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a larger rear spoiler and a host of unique styling tweaks inside and out.

There are also a handful of stand-alone options, including LED (low-beam) headlights, adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision system, front and rear parking sensors and a back-up camera with the display built into the auto-dimming rearview mirror.

2015 Highlights

While there are no major changes for the 2015 Lexus CT 200h, it does get Siri Eyes Free functionality and additional voice commands for the available navigation system.

Performance & mpg

Power for the 2015 Lexus CT 200h hybrid comes from a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a pair of electric motor/generators and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Total output is 134 hp, which is routed to the front wheels by way of a specialized continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

In Edmunds testing, the CT 200h accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a slow 10.4 seconds. Fuel economy is where the CT 200h shines, however; the EPA estimates the CT 200h delivers 42 mpg in combined driving (43 city/40 highway).

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2015 Lexus CT 200h include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front- and rear-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and dual front knee airbags. Lexus' Safety Connect telematics system is also standard and includes functions like automatic collision notification, stolen-vehicle location and emergency assistance. A rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors are available as options.

The optional adaptive cruise control system includes a pre-collision feature that uses radar sensors to detect an imminent impact and responds by tightening the front seatbelts and initializing brake assist. In Edmunds brake testing, the CT's performance was acceptable, with the car stopping from 60 mph in 120 feet.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the CT 200h its highest rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. Its head restraint/seat design also earned a "Good" rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

What you think of the 2015 Lexus CT 200h from behind the steering wheel has as much to do with your preconceived notions as it does with the car itself. If its sporty stance has led you to expect pulse-pounding performance, you're going to be sadly disappointed. Go in expecting to find a fuel-efficient car with a nimble feel and enough power to capably get you between Points A and B, however, and you'll likely find this hybrid to be pretty livable.

The reasoning behind these observations has to do with the fact that the gasoline-electric powertrain is tuned to maximize mpg rather than sprightly acceleration. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine can also sound labored when pushed hard, which isn't all that fitting for a car with a Lexus badge.

Otherwise the CT 200h's hybrid hardware performs admirably, with the switching back and forth between the gasoline engine and the electric motor happening so smoothly that you might not even notice. Same goes for the fuel-saving auto stop-start feature that kills the gasoline engine in situations like waiting for a red light to change, and then fires it back up again instantaneously when it's time to pull away.

As far as handling goes, the CT 200h feels relatively agile compared to most hybrids, a quality that's enhanced by the sharp reflexes of the steering hardware. The ride quality is good with the standard underpinnings, but may be a little jarring with the optional F Sport package's firmer suspension in parts of the country where winter-ravaged pavement is an ever-present annoyance.

Interior

With its emphasis on being environmentally friendly, the interior of the 2015 Lexus CT 200h doesn't have quite the same opulent feel of the traditional luxury models Lexus has built its reputation on. In place of the usual soft leather and gleaming wood trim, this hybrid's passenger cabin incorporates recycled and sustainably sourced materials wherever possible. That said, the cabin still has a premium look that sets it apart from many more mainstream hybrids.

For the most part, gauges and controls are well-placed and intuitive to use. The singular exception to this would be the laptop track pad-like Remote Touch system that's used to make selections on the large central display (included in the Display Audio and Navigation option packages), which is frequently too sensitive to use on the fly. Ultimately, it's a clever idea, but ends up being more frustrating than it's worth.

Up front, the seats are comfortable and well-bolstered for a sporty feel. The backseat also has decent head- and legroom for a couple of adults, though getting passengers in and out can often be complicated by the narrow rear door openings. Storage for cell phones and other items you'd like to keep close at hand is limited to a pint-sized glovebox and door pockets. When it comes time to really load up for a weekend away, there's a passable 14.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the backseats, which grows to 34.8 cubic feet with them folded down. Both those measurements are on the small side compared to similarly sized hatchbacks.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Lexus CT 200h.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Gorgeous car!
Loving the new CT,10/17/2015
4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Just got my 2015 CT F-Sport with navigation. I LOVE it. Great mileage, comfortable handling, and fun to drive in sport mode. I usually drive in Eco mode for the fuel economy which of course, is not as peppy but is excellent for my long commute. The car offers plenty of power unless you have excessive road rage or are used higher hp. The interior is beautiful and I really recommend the styling of the f-sport with the black roof and sexy alloys. Tons of extra features that are a bonus when you purchase a luxury vehicle such as keyless entry, push-start, voice commands, i-Phone integration, bluetooth, and so much more than I'm still learning about. It's an unusual car in that there is almost nothing else like it: small hatchback, great mileage (and my definition of great is not 30mpg! averaging 44+ and loving it!), luxury vehicle, all at a relatively reasonable price point. Love
Driven almost 36,000 miles
Robbie,12/26/2017
4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
We leased this car, love the MPG, hate to give it back next month! the seats are very comfortable for my back, which normal vehicle seats really bother my back and hurt my sciatic nerve. I drive 15 hours to my second home in this car and I find that these seats offer me wonderful support with all the various ways you can adjust it. It doesn't have the neat little pull out seat portion that the NX of the same year had, which might be a great addition to long drives. (for passenger). I love the heated seats, love the fake leather used, very luxurious feeling and easy to clean. Its absolutely great on gas and i love only putting 20 bucks in the tank. the cons to it are the "sportyness" of it I guess. It is stiff and not luxurious feeling in the suspension. you do get somewhat road noise unless you have the wonderful sound system on. the headlights are sort of odd, in that you don't get a FULL shine, it's sort of cut off, unless you have the bright lights on then it's great. I wish this had roof racks to haul a surfboard or kayak, the smooth top is very nice looking but not utilitarian. This was our first Lexus, coming off of an Audi Allroad, the Lexus has had zero issues and no recalls or anything. I like the low tire sensor, it went off one time and wouldn't go back to normal, and a check up at the deal resulted in a very clean washed car and the sensor light going back to normal, at no cost. Never had to replace the tires, and only a few oil changes. We have no complaints and are going to consider another Lexus for the new vehicle.
You get what you expect
Paul Segal,01/02/2016
4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Great car for handling and fuel economy. The car has a Prius drive train, but thats where there similarities end. Difficult to exit at my age, but I can live with it. I really like this car!
Great mileage car. Sporty looks
Russell,09/19/2015
4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Love the car. Got the FSport and Navi. Enjoy it for may everyday commuter. Yes I do have a nice receiver hitch on my CT for my bike rack. Very nicely done. Completely trouble free for 5 years now

Features & Specs

See all Used 2015 Lexus CT 200h features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2015 Lexus CT 200h

Used 2015 Lexus CT 200h Overview

The Used 2015 Lexus CT 200h is offered in the following submodels: CT 200h Hatchback. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Lexus CT 200h?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Lexus CT 200h trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Lexus CT 200h Base is priced between $16,981 and$20,966 with odometer readings between 46181 and56679 miles.

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Which used 2015 Lexus CT 200hs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Lexus CT 200h for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2015 CT 200hs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,981 and mileage as low as 46181 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Lexus CT 200h.

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Find a used Lexus CT 200h for sale - 7 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $8,821.

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Should I lease or buy a 2015 Lexus CT 200h?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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