Does your car fit you just right? Is it your version of an automotive size 6? It should be. Here are 6 things to know about the Lexus CT 200 Hybrid (F Sport) based on our test drive in Los Angeles, California.
1. Wall Mount. This is one of those inventions that makes so much sense you wonder why no one thought of it before. The CT 200h comes with an adjustable cell phone holder between the two front seats. It holds your cell phone face up so that when the phone rings for a Bluetooth call you can see who is calling with an easy glance, eliminating the urge to fumble around with your cell phone while driving. Pictured.
2. Long Distance Love. If you’re in the market for a hybrid, you obviously want great MPG and the CT 200h was fab in that department. We averaged 40 MPG. Just slightly less than the advertised combined MPG of 42. Not too shabby. Also, when you know you’ll be driving at low speeds you can squeeze even more milage out of the CT 200h by pressing the EV Mode button and forcing the car into full electric mode.
3. Sporty Spice. Even though our CT 200h test drive car was a hybrid, it was also an F Sport edition. That said, it came with 3 flavorful settings: Normal, Eco, and Sport. Just turn the knob to the left for Eco mode and the backlighting of the dashboard gauges turns blue. If you can keep yourself from being a lead foot, the lights will stay blue. Dial the knob to the right for sport mode and those same lights will turn (and stay) red and the digital MPG meter will transform itself into a racy lil’ RPM gauge. The best trick, though, is the fact that the 200h will actually make more noise in sport mode–giving you and your passengers much more of a race car feel.
4. No More Peekaboo. In an apparent nod to the tech-heavy direction that world is moving in, the power plugs in the CT 200h are right out in the open as opposed to, let’s say, hidden inside an armrest console. This is great because you’re much less likely to accidentally leave your power cable in the car. Plus, the armrest cubby will be free for your recent acquisitions at the M.A.C. makeup counter!
5. Help! Okay, we admit it. Lexus Assist is pretty snazzy, especially when you don’t know where you’re going. Just hit the “Lexus Assist” button on the touchscreen navigation and a live (yes, live) operator will come online to help you chart your course. And a separate SOS button will get you to 911 in a jiffy, although those two functions should really be combined. Who can think straight in an emergency?
6. Game on. There are two joysticks in the CT 200h. Don’t worry they aren’t connected to an Xbox that’ll keep your boyfriend spot welded to the passenger seat. The first joystick controls the car itself. It’s a gearshift, of sorts, that snaps back into a center position each time you shift the car into a new gear. Oddly enough, the “park” position isn’t even on the gearshift. To put the car in park you push a separate button. It takes a bit of getting used to but feels kind of Judy Jetson-ish. The second joystick is found a little lower on the dash, between the two front seats where a typical gearshift would located. This joystick however controls the flip up (!) navigation display. By using a combination of joystick movements and thumb button presses, you can navigate just about all of the cars options. It’s so intuitive that, once you get the hang of it, you’ll hardly need to look down.
Sidebar: The interior space on the driver’s side is a bit dainty, which will serve you well, but if your man is tall, you might want to keep him out of your driver’s seat. Just sayin.
Base price: $29,000
As tested: $38,000