Lexus CT To Cover All Bases?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
lexus ct to cover all bases

I can’t speak for the US market, but in the UK car market there is one segment which I can never see dying. The small, luxury car segment (A.K.A The luxury entry level). This is the area reserved for your Audi A3’s, BMW 1 series’ and, to lesser extents, Volvo S40’s and Mercedes-Benz A-Classes. The reason I believe this segment is more robust than other is because it revolves around one factor which has been around for a very long time. Vanity. In the UK, you have many (and I mean “many”) mid-20’s to early 30 men, who’ve got a half-decent paying job and want to lash out on a car with a luxury make. Very few will go with cars like the Audi A4, BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, because they either scream “rep-mobile” or “old man”. They won’t go any higher up the ladder because that’ll be too costly. So the small, luxury car segment is perfect for them. The least amount of money for the most amount of badge-snobbery. This is why the BMW 1-series is so successful in the UK, despite being quite a poor car. “I can get a BMW for the price of a Golf? Sign me up!” Well, it seems a new boy is coming to the market. Only this one has a trick up his sleeve…

AutoCar reports that the Lexus CT200h hybrid hatchback will emit only 96g/km of CO2. The “96” part is very important because this means the CT200h will be below the 100g/km car tax bracket, which means that the CT200h will be exempt from car tax. It has also been rated as having a combined fuel economy of 68.9mpUKg. Now some base (and I DO mean “base”) 3 door Audi A3 can match or beat these figures, but the base 5 door Audi A3’s (the comparable model to the CT200h) can’t. Neither can the BMW 1-series. And naturally, those Germans run on diesel, which means that you’ll still be pumping out NOx fumes and other nasties. Because of these low emissions, company fleets will look on this favorably.

But you probably think that people will still stay with the Germans because of the better driving dynamics? Well, Lexus have seen to that, too. The hybrid will have 4 modes, Normal, Eco, Electric only and Sport. If you switch to “sport” it’ll firm up the suspension, tighten the steering and sharpen the throttle response. If you want your normal, wallowing luxo-barge, switch back into “Normal” mode.

From what I’ve seen, this car should (theoretically) do well in Europe. A small, well built, reliable sporty luxury car with no road tax and very good fuel economy. Sounds good to me. But, as we all know, theory and reality are two different things. Toyota and Honda make reliable, well equipped cars. But they haven’t broken the UK market at all. And they’ve been around for a very long time…

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2 of 29 comments
  • Akitadog Akitadog on Sep 13, 2010

    At first glance, I thought that Lexus wised up and finally decided to give us an IS wagon, but it was too good to be true.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Sep 13, 2010

    Cammy, Driving a 3 series means you're old or a sales rep??? Must be a British thing - I've seen one grey hair - ever - driving a 3er, and sales reps getting a 3er to drive in the US is unheard of.

  • SCE to AUX I charge at home 99% of the time, on a Level 2 charger I installed myself in 2012 for my Leaf. My house is 1967, 150-Amp service, gas dryer and furnace; everything else is electric with no problems. I switched from gas HW to electric HW last year, when my 18-year-old tank finally failed.I charge at a for-pay station maybe a couple times a year.I don't travel more than an hour each way in my Ioniq 1 EV, so I don't deal much with public chargers. Despite a big electric rate increase this year, my car remains ridiculously cheap to operate.
  • ToolGuy 38:25 to 45:40 -- Let's all wait around for the stupid ugly helicopter. 😉The wheels and tires are cool, as in a) carbon fiber is a structural element not decoration and b) they have some sidewall.Also like the automatic fuel adjustment (gasoline vs. ethanol).(Anyone know why it's more powerful on E85? Huh? Huh?)
  • Ja-GTI So, seems like you have to own a house before you can own a BEV.
  • Kwik_Shift Good thing for fossil fuels to keep the EVs going.
  • Carlson Fan Meh, never cared for this car because I was never a big fan of the Gen 1 Camaro. The Gen 1 Firebird looked better inside and out and you could get it with the 400.The Gen 2 for my eyes was peak Camaro as far as styling w/those sexy split bumpers! They should have modeled the 6th Gen after that.