New models - Lexus - CT - 200h
More luxurious new-look Lexus CT stays at $39,990
Lexus boosts value equation of CT200h, but retains higher starting price than rivals
26 Mar 2014
LEXUS has announced an unchanged starting price of $39,990 plus on-road costs for its new-look CT200h hybrid hatch range launching in April, but substantially improved the value equation.
The CT range update – premiered last November in Guangzhou, China – is headlined by a revised frontal design that incorporates the signature Lexus ‘spindle’ grille. It is the first update to the vehicle since it launched in Australia in March 2011.
Other more subtle changes include new L-shaped daytime running lights, a restyled rear bumper and new alloy wheel designs. Improvements to the cabin include a new IS-style steering wheel, a new gear shift lever and a slim-line display screen.
But value gains aside, Lexus’s small-segment fighter remains more expensive – albeit potentially better equipped – than entry versions of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series (all $35,600) and Volvo V40 ($36,990).
The company has axed the entry level Prestige variant and cut the price of the formerly mid-range Luxury by $7000 to make it the new sub-$40,000 price leader.
As well as the price drop, it adds an upgraded reversing camera, a new 10-speaker audio system (up from six), a Remote Touch rotary multimedia controller on the transmission tunnel and rain-sensing wipers.
The F Sport is now $48,990, a cut of $2000, and gets a new black roof, larger rear spoiler and Lexus’s Enform embedded app suite.
The flagship Sports Luxury is cut by $1000 to $56,990 and gets LED headlights, fog-lights, new seat trim and tinted glass.
As is the case with other models in the Lexus range, the CT carries a slightly more generous standard features list in base guise than some key rivals in equivalent specification.
Features such as front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera are standard, whereas in some its rivals these are listed as options or part of an option pack.
Lexus will sell you a host of numbered Enhancement Packs on Luxury and F Sport variants, bringing all manner of extra equipment for an additional outlay.
Starting with the Luxury, Pack 1 adds leather-accented interior, heated seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and fog lamps for $3250, while Pack 4 includes digital radio, sat-nav, Lexus Enform connectivity system, a self-dimming internal mirror and a moon-roof for $9750.
In F Sport guise, Pack 1 adds a moon-roof for an extra $2500, while Pack 2 adds the moon-roof, adaptive cruise control, Lexus’ ‘Pre-Collision Safety System’, a smart key and a Mark Levison audio system for $6500.
Lexus has not revealed full details of the revised CT range – those will come at the press launch on April 7 – but it is expected to carry over the 100kW/142Nm petrol-electric drivetrain that currently delivers fuel economy of 4.1 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.
Lexus Australia chief executive Sean Hanley said the CT’s hybrid drivetrain made it a unique car in the Australian market, and added that the changes to the range should boost its appeal further.
“CT 200h was and remains the first and only hybrid luxury hatch available to Australians, and these significant improvements and new look will enhance our already unique offering,” he said.
“Since launch, the majority of CT 200h vehicles sold in Australia have been Prestige, Luxury and F Sport models, and we've concentrated our improvements to cater for these high demand models by increasing value and specification.”
Last year, Lexus sold 847 CTs in Australia, a 43.5 per cent drop over the previous year’s results when it shifted 1500 units.
This is behind newer rivals include the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (3248) and A-Class (3218), the BMW 1 Series (2311), the resurgent Audi A3 (2138), and the Volvo V40 (1064).
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