Lexus CT200h hybrid
Too posh to rush?
My ride's here
The CT200h’s combined-cycle fuel consumption of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 94g/km are impressive for car in this class. Both those figures are a gnat’s todger worse than the Prius and Auris Hybrid, but then the CT200h is heavier than the latter and less slippery than the former, with a drag coefficient of 0.29 versus the Prius’ 0.25.
Not an unpleasant look, but anonymous
Combined with a 45 litre fuel tank, the Lexus has a theoretical maximum cruising range of 682 miles, but you'll have to drive very carefully to get close to that figure.
In the real world, I was getting around 57mpg.
On the open road, the Lexus is more refined and more poised then the Prius. Road holding is altogether better thanks to double wishbone rather than torsion beam rear suspension. Throw it into a corner and the Lexus stays flat and tucks in with none of the wallow the Prius would sometimes display.
Ride quality is also rather impressive. You may not be wholly isolated from the vast potholes that riddle Britain’s B-roads but you don’t feel like they are shaking the fillings out of your teeth when you hit them.
The cabin is a similar step up from Toyota-land, with aluminium inserts and soft-touch plastics everywhere. You don’t get leather seats with the base SE-I spec, but the cloth is so lasciviously pleasant to the touch I was tempted to take a quick spin in the buff just to get the full effect. More importantly the seats are extremely comfortable and supportive.
Sculpted flanks all the rage these days
The optional 8in screen satnav, communication and entertainment system is controlled with the help of what Lexus calls a Remote Touch unit. Think of a large PC mouse stuck to the centre console with a flat-headed joystick at the top and Enter buttons on either side, and you get the idea.