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Lexus lobs fresh-faced CT200h

Hybrid theory: The hybrid-powered CT200h has been around since 2011 and this latest update marks its second facelift.

Extra safety, infotainment tech prompts price increase for Lexus CT200h range

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Lexus logo17 Oct 2017

By DANIEL DEGASPERI and TIM NICHOLSON

UPDATED: 18/10/2017

LEXUS Australia has introduced a late-life facelift for its ageing CT200h hybrid hatchback, ushering in infotainment and safety upgrades across the range as well as price increases for all three variants.

The line-up continues to kick off with the CT200h Luxury, but it has risen in price by $2150 to $40,900 plus on-road costs, while the F Sport jumps $1960 to $50,400 and the flagship Sports Luxury is now $810 dearer at $56,900.

This price increase means the base variant is now more expensive than equivalent entry-level versions of all of its key rivals, including the Infiniti Q30 GT ($38,900), BMW 118i ($39,990), Audi A3 1.0 TFSI ($36,200), Mercedes-Benz A180 ($38,700) and Volvo V40 T3 Momentum ($36,500).

Lexus chief executive Peter McGregor said the premium car-maker was expecting a sales uptick for the CT on the back of the range refresh.

“Since going on-sale in 2011 it (CT) has attracted more than 300,000 customers globally, and that number includes almost 7000 here in Australia,” he said at the media launch in Adelaide this week. “This year we expect CT200h to deliver its strongest sales result in Australia since 2012.

“With the updates being revealed today it receives more dynamic styling, enhanced cabin, more features that build on the model’s established strengths, and adds to its reputation for reliability, efficiency and driver appeal.

“It will be clear that the value of the new features outweighs the price changes.

“These prices, along with the enhanced styling and new features, will progressively enhance the reputation of the CT200h and provide further improvement to the sales, which are on track for its best performance in five years.”

Asked whether a facelift is enough to keep the CT fresh among newer competitors, Mr McGregor replied:“The CT is already having its best year in five years, and I think when you look at the comprehensive specification that we’ve added and the pricing that we’ve announced for that comprehensive specification, the CT will only improve.”

So far this year Lexus has sold 664 CTs in Australia, which is 3.6 per cent off the result from the same period in 2016 and still behind its Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo rivals.

In 2012, Lexus found homes for 1500 CTs, making it the model’s best sales year in Australia to date.

Following its introduction in early 2011, the CT was given its first major facelift in early 2014 before the latest refresh that will see it to the end of its lifecycle.

Like the updated NX crossover, the Japanese car-maker has added Lexus Safety System+ as standard across the CT range.

It features a pre-collision system that detects pedestrians as well as vehicles ahead via a camera and radar system, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning with steering assist, active cruise control and automatic high beam.

Inside, the CT’s infotainment upgrade includes a new 10.3-inch display – up from the outgoing model’s 7.0-inch unit – which incorporates satellite navigation with Suna live traffic updates, a reversing camera and the Enform connected mobility system.

From the Luxury grade up, the CT features a 4.2-inch multi-function display in the instrument cluster, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a GPS function for the analogue clock that adjusts to different time zones.

A $4500 enhancement pack adds leather trim, 17-inch alloy wheel, LED foglights, DAB+ digital radio and heated front seats, while a $7000 pack includes all of this as well as a moonroof.

F Sport variants now have two new interior trims with leather accents to choose from, as well as auto-levelling bi-LED headlights, LED foglights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

An extra $2500 adds a moonroof, while $4500 adds a moonroof, smart key card and a Mark Levinson audio system.

Sports Luxury variants come standard with leather-accented trim, heated and power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats, Mark Levinson audio and a moonroof. Premium paint is a $1000 option on all three variants.

Standard safety equipment across the range includes eight airbags, electronically controlled brake system with ABS, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, vehicle stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, whiplash-injury lessening front seats and emergency flashing brake lights.

Styling wise, the Luxury and Sports Luxury gain a new mesh grille and redesigned front bumper as well as new L-shaped LED tail-lights, a new tailgate and a fresh rear bumper with metallic silver and black highlighting. All CTs gain new alloy wheel designs.

F Sport variants have even more black highlighting than the outgoing version, with a black mesh pattern for the spindle grille, black mirror caps and a dark chrome spindle garnish, while the lower rear bumper and reflector bezel is bigger and has the same pattern as the front grille.

No changes have been made under the bonnet, with the CT200h retaining the Atkinson cycle 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 73kW/142Nm, paired with a 60kW/207Nm electric motor in the hybrid system connected to a 650-volt nickel-metal hydride battery for a total system output of 100kW.

The CT drives the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and the hatch can cover the 0-100km/h dash in 10.3 seconds, while consuming 4.1 litres of petrol per 100km on the combined cycle and emitting 95g/km of CO2.

It can only drive on electric power up to 45km/h before the petrol engine kicks in, while regenerative braking aids fuel economy.
2017 Lexus CT200h pricing*
Luxury (a)$40,900
F Sport (a)$50,400
Sports Luxury (a)$56,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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