Buy/Drive/Burn: Forgotten Offerings From Lexus in 2012

Car manufacturers don’t always strike a chord with consumers, and even studious brand Lexus is not immune from model flops. Back in 2012, the company offered three compact vehicles nobody wanted.

Today you’ll select one to take home for keeps, whether you like it or not.

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The Discontinued Lexus CT200h Is Actually Updated for 2018

This is not the Lexus CT200h that was sold in the United States for seven model years.

This is the updated 2018 Lexus CT200h.

Lexus’ U.S. operations no longer wishes to bother with the CT, so 2017 is the end of the line for the hybrid hatch in America. But Lexus’ local discontinuation of the CT comes just in time for Lexus to update the CT200h for other markets.

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The Lexus CT200h Is Dead, Though It Was Way More Popular Than the HS250h You Forgot Existed

The current 2017 model year will be the last for the Lexus CT200h.

An indirect successor to the Lexus HS250h sedan, the Lexus CT200h will end a seven-year model run in the United States that resulted in more than 90,000 sales.

Imported from Miyawaka, Japan, the Lexus CT has seen its average U.S. monthly output fall 58 percent over the last three years. Never a tremendously popular entry-level luxury car, the hybrid-only Lexus was forced to compete against very successful luxury sedans from Mercedes-Benz and Audi — CLA and A3, respectively — in the latter portion of its tenure.

The Lexus couldn’t compete.

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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…

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  • JREwing It suffered the same small back seat problem that the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique did. 2 more inches in wheelbase or a taller roof would've helped a lot.But the biggest issue was that it wasn't a SUV/crossover/soft-roader with 3 rows in a market that couldn't get enough of them.
  • Inside Looking Out Ford also was bankrupt with his first company that became The Standard of the World.
  • 28-Cars-Later If only some kind of gasoline/electric... hybrid... existed.
  • Wjtinfwb Cool cars that drover pretty well, thank to the Benz bits underneath. But that interior.... Chrysler must have sourced interior materials to Lego or Mattel. I spent a week in a rented 300 Touring of this vintage, very enjoyable car to drive but the interior would have made an old Isuzu i-Mark blush. No sale at any price.
  • Wjtinfwb The airport I fly out of and frequently rent from when driving (VPS) has no facilities for charging an EV. It's just an open, unsecured lot that requires getting the agreement and keys from the counter in the terminal. I doubt Hertz would want to invest in the infrastructure needed to add Hi-speed EV charging stations in an open air, unsecured lot. Bigger airports like Atlanta or Baltimore have dedicated garage facilities for rentals, but the majority of secondary or tertiary markets airports are open air lots like mine in NW Florida. Plus, unless you're planning on only driving a few miles a day who wants to deal with finding an EV charge station that is working then standing around for hours while Hertz's car gets recharged. Rental EV's are The answer to the question no one asked.