Last month we wondered if the Lexus CT200h’s noiseless start-up would still be catching us out one month into its new crankandpiston life. Fortunately, it is not. Unfortunately, it has now started catching out those poor souls who happen to be walking past the hatchback when we pull out of parking spaces. If we can’t hear anything on the inside, then they stand no chance, and this has led to a lot more caution on our part!
On the whole though, life with the Lexus is proving something of a hoot. The early weeks were spent on banzai fuel-save runs, the challenge being to complete the after-work run home exclusively with the electric motor, even with the air conditioning on full blast. High palpitations aside, caused by fellow motorists showing their displeasure at our leisurely pace on the inside lane of the highway, we were impressed to find each challenge completed with ease.
The latter part of the month has been spent punishing the Sport mode, and once again, the CT200h comes through in style. Granted – given the ridiculously comfortable leather seats, user-friendly infotainment system and, of course, battery pack and electric motor – the Lexus is a bit weighty, and acceleration thus can prove a bit ponderous in Sport mode (as opposed to Eco, interestingly). A bit of extra headroom wouldn’t go amiss either.
Still, the Lexus is no flobbery bag of understeer. Handling has proven responsive, with good weight and decent feel through the front tyres, from which the driver receives pretty impressive amounts of grip. Add to that a responsive throttle and a gutsy powerplant, and the hatchback can prove enjoyably lairy at times. Nice to know the CT200h can also let its hair down when it’s done trying to save the world.