A hybrid of many kinds: 2014 Lexus CT200H

Written by on September 1, 2014 in Cars and Chicks, Perspectives, Trends - 25 Comments

Krystyna Lagowski 2014 Lexus CT200HSince I live in a motley urban jungle, there’s always an eclectic mix of cars swinging by. But lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of sleek little Lexus CT200H hatches around. At first, I thought my eyes were deceiving me. A Lexus is usually driven by a banker, who wants a big comfy couch of a car. Why wasn’t this a Scion? Or for that matter, a Prius?

So naturally, I had to check one out for myself. Up close, it definitely looked more like a Scion. All aggressively hard edges, creased contours, and insouciantly low to the ground. What banker would want their butt so close to the asphalt?

CT200H InteriorInside, the CT200H was a totally different story. It was all Lexus, and then some. Practically everything was well-upholstered, from the doors to the seats to the headrests. And so ergonomic, my physiotherapist would have been in heaven. I could adjust the driver’s seat a dozen different ways, servicing the tangled stress of muscles in my back, shoulders and legs. What’s more, four simple memory keys on the driver’s door meant that other drivers with completely different seating needs could get the same treatment.

Since it was a hybrid, there was so much to look at, and choices to make. Should I go eco? Should I go sport? Ooh, the speedo lit up with a blaze of red when I hit sport! Should I go for maximum brake regeneration? And of course, there was satellite radio. This was a tekkie’s dream, with all kinds of digital doodles on the display screen and dashboard, showing battery regen, eco considerations, and a gear shift lever that seemed to be patterned after a Cyrillic numeral.

But it seemed someone at Lexus has a sense of humour. The parking brake was strictly old-school, a pendant-type contraption in front of the firewall – and next to the way-cool aluminum pedals – straight out of a 1963 Valiant!

Toronto road closures

Toronto road closures

For those who aren’t familiar with Toronto’s roadways, this summer, the neighbourhood looks like this. See where all those blue traffic cones are heaped up, one on top of another? That’s where I live. So having a hybrid with its fuel-sipping ways was heaven-sent. Getting through the calamity of congestion that rules Toronto’s roads requires a small, agile set of wheels that’s easy on gas. And I have to say, the Lexus did so, with great style and panache.

One evening, we went for dinner with cousin Irving, who was in town from Montreal. He fell in love with the luxe, sporty feel of the car. But then – we got lost in the Junction, right by the three-way railroad tracks. That’s when we could have used a navigational system, but my Sport package didn’t come with navi. Well, it gave us an excuse to draw out the drive, and kvetch up on news.

This was one of the quietest cars I’ve driven, and not just because it was a hybrid. All that upholstering kept the cabin silent, save for the chatter between us. When we finally parked, I got ready to step out when oops – I almost forgot to turn the engine off! That actually happened more than once.

CT200H Wheel

Then there was the matter of the trunk, which I was sure would be compromised by the hybrid battery. But it was reasonably sized, big enough to accommodate a weekend’s worth of luggage and groceries. It also had a cool hidden compartment for stashing contraband cat food. Or whatever you’d want to hide under there.

And at the end of the week, having set it on maximum eco and brake regeneration, I was thrilled to find that I had saved on gas. While I usually use 1/4 of a tank for my 180 or so kilometres a week, I barely used 1/8 of a tank.

So when your neighbourhood gets taken over by construction crews, and there are more front-loaders than there are cars, the Lexus Ct200H could be a life-saver.

It’s elegant, sporty, comfy and frugal.

These days, you can’t ask for much more than that.

CT200H front

25 Comments on "A hybrid of many kinds: 2014 Lexus CT200H"

  1. Jacqueline Gum September 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm · Reply

    I don’t think I have seen one of these around here! You make is sound very appealing…traffic in downtown Charleston, where I live, can be brutal during tourist season…which is pretty much all year round now:) But I have to say, my very favorite line of the entire blog is…”What banker would want their butt so close to the asphalt?”. Hahahahaha! Indeed:)

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:26 am · Reply

      Oh, downtown Charleston! I’ll bet that would be a tourist heaven, and as much as we love ’em, tourists don’t always make for the best drivers. Yes, no doubt traffic is crazy around you. Tickled that I gave you a good laugh! : ))

  2. Susan Cooper September 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm · Reply

    We are now in the planning stager to buy a new car. The big discussion is to go hybrid or not. I have yet to look at this Lexus Ct200H. Based on your review, it may be one worth taking on a test drive.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:24 am · Reply

      Susan, if you lived closer, I’d love to help you out with your car shopping. If you do a lot of city driving, the hybrid will save you money on fuel – every time you brake, it recharges the electric motor. That’s how it works. So if your driving routine involves stop-and-go, hybrid might suit you. Glad I was able to help, even from afar!

  3. Lenie September 2, 2014 at 10:50 pm · Reply

    Hi Krystyna – once again I am envious of you trying out all these neat cars – oh, if only………… The Lexus is and always will be out of my price range but that doesn’t matter – the way you write makes me enjoy anyhow.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:19 am · Reply

      Oh, I do have a lot of fun, Lenie! You can come along for a virtual ride any time. Trust me, the Lexus is out of my price range too! But we can always admire from afar … sometimes, that’s even better …

  4. Jeri September 3, 2014 at 4:39 am · Reply

    Nope, haven’t spotted one of those in my neck of the woods. Then again, a Lexus is a mighty rare bird in these parts 😉 I do like the look of some of the newer hatchbacks I’ve been seeing and would love to give this one a test drive. Good to know too that the trunk is a decent size.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:18 am · Reply

      Funny how Lexus crops up in some areas more than others. You’d like this one, Jeri, there’s plenty of cargo room in the back for hauling all kinds of things. Can’t beat the combo of good looks + cargo space + hybrid!

  5. Beth Niebuhr September 3, 2014 at 9:31 am · Reply

    My husband drives a Lexus SUV and it is a really nice car. I appreciate reading about the Lexus as I have driven my son’s Prius. (I have a Mazda Miata.) Interesting to hear about the Lexus hybrid.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:16 am · Reply

      Oh yes, Beth, rub it in about the Miata! Did you see the 2016 model, just revealed this week? It’s verrrry nice. If your hubbie drives a Lexus, you know how beautifully finished that interior is. And yes, if the Luxus and the Prius had a hybrid baby, it would be the CT200H!

  6. Ken Dowell September 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm · Reply

    I suspect that I would spend my first week with this care screwing around with stuff on the dashboard. I have a Ford Escape hybrid which is seriously lacking acceleration.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:15 am · Reply

      You could have a party with the technological wonders on the dashboard of this vehicle! The sport mode on the Lexus was pretty impressive – I know hybrids have a reputation for being sluggish, but this one was just fine.

  7. Welli September 4, 2014 at 9:15 am · Reply

    I have seen a couple of these and also thought my eyes were deceiving me, as Lexus had no hatch as far as I knew and definitely not so small. I had to look twice to be sure. And you describe it perfectly, the hard edges, I also thought the same.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:10 am · Reply

      Who knew Lexus had a hatch? And such a slick one. And a hybrid to boot. Really all you’d want under one clever roof. Glad you agree!

  8. Deidre M. Simpson September 4, 2014 at 11:05 pm · Reply

    I have seen one of these…no idea it was a Lexus…but your detail and enthusiasm are infectious. The unintended rhyme just got me again.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 5, 2014 at 2:09 am · Reply

      Thanks, Deidre! It took me a while to catch on that these cool vehicles were Lexus. Glad you enjoyed the read, and do you mind if I borrow your rhyme some time? It’s a good one!

  9. Carl Hedinger September 5, 2014 at 6:19 am · Reply

    That is one good looking car! Having a fuel saving eco-friendly car is definitely important in more congested “urban jungles” like Toronto!

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 6, 2014 at 12:25 am · Reply

      You said it, Carl. It’s a very attractive car, and I couldn’t believe it was a Lexus – let alone a hybrid. For sure, a good car to have in the city, when construction crews rule the road.

  10. Tim September 5, 2014 at 6:26 am · Reply

    I have had that “Is the engine off already” feeling when driving other hybrids. You go to step out becuase you think it’s off but it’s just being a peaceful soul. Your car reviews are an easy read and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 6, 2014 at 12:24 am · Reply

      I like that, “a peaceful soul.” That’s a great attribute for a car, very true of the Lexus and hybrids in general. Thanks for the lovely words about my reviews! : ))

  11. Bindu September 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm · Reply

    I know, Toronto is so bad in this summer. Can’t wait for the construction to finish. A trip to downtown is very scary. Lexus is in my dreams. Anyway, I don’t drive. Reading your review makes me drool…

    • Krystyna Lagowski September 6, 2014 at 12:21 am · Reply

      I’ll bet you have no desire to drive, Bindu, especially these days – when Toronto roads are just a nightmare. I fear it’s not going to change for a while, either. All we can do is make ourselves as comfortable as we can!

  12. Arleen September 6, 2014 at 9:30 pm · Reply

    Hi Krystyna- I am glad to see that Lexus came up with an affordable eco friendly car. The hybrid is the wave of the future and more car companies will have to get on the band wagon to survive. I was reading yesterday on a stock site that was a good idea to start investing in hybrid cars. My nephew just bought a
    Tesla. I know it is not a hybrid but it sure runs quiet.

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