2013 Lexus CT 200h

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$11,825–$21,089 Inventory Prices

Key Specs

of the 2013 Lexus CT 200h base trim shown

  • Body Type:
  • Combined MPG:
    42 Combined MPG
  • Engine:
    98-hp, 1.8-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain:
    Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission:
    2-speed CVT w/OD
  • View more specs

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Handling
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Front-seat comfort
  • Navigation system

The Bad

  • Narrow cabin
  • Tight backseat
  • Ride on rough roads
  • Modest acceleration
  • Blind spot visibility
2013 Lexus CT 200h exterior side view

Notable Features of the 2013 Lexus CT 200h

  • Standard model discontinued
  • Four-door hatchback
  • Hybrid drivetrain
  • Available collision warning system
  • Seats five

2013 Lexus CT 200h Road Test

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/64x64/69/1227674403-1425053041469.jpg
David Thomas

Minor changes may not make the 2013 CT 200h feel like an "all-new" model, but it remains one of the most charming hybrids on the market.

A luxury hybrid isn't an easy sell. A luxury hybrid with sporty intensions is an even harder one. Yet ever since Lexus' compact CT 200h hatchback debuted a few years ago, it has impressed by exuding cool and still delivering results at the pump.

The 2013 edition gets a few minor changes, most notably a new schnoz that takes on the spindle design of the new GS, ES and even the RX SUV. There's also a new F Sport version, which I tested for this review.

You can compare the 2012 and 2013 models here.

Green Performance
The CT 200h looks a lot faster than it is; I wouldn't call acceleration the car's strong suit. Other editors pointed to sluggish off-the-line speed, an uncivilized continuously variable automatic transmission and unresponsive throttle.

Hit a road with even the slightest curvature, though, and you realize why the CT 200h is so appealing. The little hatch flings around curves with a light-footed nimbleness reserved for small roadsters, not front-wheel-drive hatchbacks. In fact, its turning radius is even smaller than the standard Mini Cooper hardtop.

Three drive modes — Eco, Normal and Sport — allow for some adjustments. Indeed, when set in Sport, the steering tightens and the CVT revs slightly stronger. Eco dampens the accelerator more than any other setting, making the CT slow for the sake of bet...

Minor changes may not make the 2013 CT 200h feel like an "all-new" model, but it remains one of the most charming hybrids on the market.

A luxury hybrid isn't an easy sell. A luxury hybrid with sporty intensions is an even harder one. Yet ever since Lexus' compact CT 200h hatchback debuted a few years ago, it has impressed by exuding cool and still delivering results at the pump.

The 2013 edition gets a few minor changes, most notably a new schnoz that takes on the spindle design of the new GS, ES and even the RX SUV. There's also a new F Sport version, which I tested for this review.

You can compare the 2012 and 2013 models here.

Green Performance
The CT 200h looks a lot faster than it is; I wouldn't call acceleration the car's strong suit. Other editors pointed to sluggish off-the-line speed, an uncivilized continuously variable automatic transmission and unresponsive throttle.

Hit a road with even the slightest curvature, though, and you realize why the CT 200h is so appealing. The little hatch flings around curves with a light-footed nimbleness reserved for small roadsters, not front-wheel-drive hatchbacks. In fact, its turning radius is even smaller than the standard Mini Cooper hardtop.

Three drive modes — Eco, Normal and Sport — allow for some adjustments. Indeed, when set in Sport, the steering tightens and the CVT revs slightly stronger. Eco dampens the accelerator more than any other setting, making the CT slow for the sake of better mileage.

And what of mileage? Rated 43/40/42 mpg city/highway/combined, the CT falls in the middle of modern hybrids, but it holds a unique space in the luxury market. There are no 50 mpg hybrids like the Toyota Prius from luxury brands. Acura's new ILX Hybrid sedan has EPA numbers of 39/38/38 mpg. A gas-powered automatic Mini Cooper, in comparison, rates 28/36/31 mpg.

Driving aggressively around town with the kids over a weekend, and on a few 45-mile round-trip commutes, the trip computer read an impressive 39 mpg almost the entire time, dipping below that figure mostly in suburbia. The weather was in the low 30s most of the time, which can lower mileage in any vehicle type but especially hybrids.

Interior
The outside may have gotten a few upgrades, but inside remains the same as the last CT I tested a few years ago. It's a nice interior, but it doesn't scream "luxury," and it just feels small.

Our test car's all-black interior made an already tight cabin feel even more confining, but I had plenty of headroom and legroom when driving alone. After I put my kids in the backseat, however, I had to move my seat up farther than I was comfortable with to give them room.

I'm average height, at 5-foot-10, and I found the front to be a bit small. Taller editors complained loudly, one saying he felt like he was in a cave.

The materials are decent for an entry-level luxury car, but at $32,945 to start, the CT 200h isn't exactly cheap (all prices cited include destination charges). The roomier ILX Hybrid starts at $29,795 but packs less driving fun. For another $1,000, the F Sport trim on the Lexus added a claustrophobia-inducing black headliner to the black interior, as well as a unique steering wheel. Yet the car comes with faux-leather seat covering called NuLuxe. Leather costs an additional $1,330.

Lexus' optional navigation and multimedia system in my test car is a generation behind versions I've tested in the new GS and ES. The control mimics a computer mouse, but requires commands to be entered via a button on the side, where your thumb rests. Newer versions let you click on the controller itself. The 7-inch display screen is also considerably smaller than the 12.3-inch screens the larger sedans pack.

Despite its ease of use, I'm not sure the option is worth its $2,735 price. An upgraded stereo isn't part of the package; it comes in an $890 Premium Package, which buyers are unlikely to escape on the cars already on dealer lots.

Cargo
I was a bit surprised by how much room the hatch provided. I was expecting something close to the Mini Cooper's 5.7 cubic feet, but it's rated at 14.3 cubic feet. The CT 200h fit a day of shopping trips with my kids — meaning the bags had to fit without the rear seats folding down.

The added utility of the hatch and folding rear seats definitely sets the CT apart from the ILX: The hybrid sedan has only 10 cubic feet of trunk space.

Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety deemed the CT 200h a Top Safety Pick, representing Good ratings in side, rear and medium-overlap frontal crash tests as well as roof strength. A more strenuous small-overlap front test has yet to be performed on the CT 200h.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash-tested the CT 200h.

CT 200h in the Market
Is there even a market for a sporty, luxury, hatchback hybrid? Judging by CT 200h sales to date, there's a small one; it has clearly been a success as a niche car.

It's easy to see why people like it. It delivers inspired handling and 40 mpg, with a small amount of utility thrown in.

The price may keep some shoppers away, though — there are plenty of thrills for less money at dealerships, even if they do cost more at the pump.

Send David an email  



Latest 2013 CT 200h Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.6)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(5.0)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Latest Reviews

(5.0)

Best eco hothatch

by Shelli from LA, CA on April 15, 2018

My only 2 complaints after 2 years of ownership are: 1) the front doors are quite low and often have trouble when opening onto curbs. 2) It's not very backseat friendly (a little tight, but also, no a... Read full review

(5.0)

Reliable Slick Hybrid

by CesCARFL from Orlando, FL on April 13, 2018

It's definitely an upgrade to the Prius no doubt, even though it's the same internally. Can't beat the style and handle. The appeal of being a Lexus is great, but you get style and reliability no ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Lexus CT 200h currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Lexus CT 200h Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Lexus

Program Benefits

Every L/Certified vehicle now comes with an unlimited-mileage warranty up to 6 years, complimentary maintenance plan. Each L/Certified Pre-Owned Lexus must pass a rigorous inspection and be thoroughly reconditioned to meet the same high standards as a new Lexus. Exclusively at a Lexus dealership.

  • Limited Warranty

    Unlimited Mileage Warranty Up To 6 Years

    Warranty is valid for a minimum of two years/unlimited mileage after the expiration of 4 yr/50,000 mile new vehicle Basic Warranty, or two years from L/Certified purchase or lease date, whichever occurs later.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 70,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 161 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The CT 200h received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker