New Lexus CT 200h Hybrid

Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995

Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995

Thirty grand will now buy you a new Lexus, now that the CT 200h hybrid has been priced. The entry-level hatchback has an MSRP of $29,995.

Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995 image

Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995

Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995 image

Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995

Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995 image
Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995 image
Cheap and Efficient: Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Carries Base Price of $29,995 image

Lexus claims the CT 200h will be the most fuel efficient luxury vehicle available in the U.S. when it goes on sale in March, with its expected EPA ratings of 43/40 mpg city/highway and 42 mpg combined. That compares to 35/34 mpg on the hybrid-only Lexus HS 250h and 30/42 mpg on the diesel-powered Audi A3. The Lincoln MKZ hybrid comes closest with 41/36 mpg and 39 mpg combined.

A base CT 200h includes a keyless entry system, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, USB/iPod connectivity, a six-speaker sound system, and three driving modes (Normal, Sport, and Eco). If you don’t opt for the Leather Package and its perforated, heated leather seats, you’ll sit on NuLuxe seats the automaker says looks and feels like leather but is more environmentally friendly — and, of course, less expensive to make. A moonroof is optional, along with a 10-speaker sound system with HomeLink and an automatically dimming rearview mirror with an integrated compass. Spend enough money on a CT 200h and you can opt for LED headlights, a backup camera, and a Pre-Collison System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

With the Lexus CT 200h’s dual position as the entry-level Lexus and the most fuel efficient model in the lineup, the car may do market battle on multiple fronts. The 2011 Audi A3 has a similar body style and starts at $29,625 with an automatic transmission. Within the Lexus lineup, the IS sedan no longer does duty at the very bottom of the lineup. An IS 250 with an automatic transmission is priced at $34,190; the HS 250h and Lincoln MKZ hybrid start in the $35,000 range.

If the similarly priced Acura TSX and Buick Regal sedans aren’t on your shopping list because they aren’t sufficiently efficient, the Toyota Prius probably is. The Prius beats the Lexus CT 200h on fuel efficiency and offers more for the money, but can’t match the Lexus’ brand cachet or slightly sportier demeanor.

At $29,995, does the Lexus CT 200h seem like a smart buy to you?

Prices include destination charges.

Source: Lexus

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