Hybrids are becoming more common. With Toyota dominating the market, luxury brands have started to take notice. The CT 200h hatchback is Lexus’s most serious attempt to bring more sound engineering, fuel economy and luxury touches into the growing hybrid market. Let’s find out what’s being said about it.
If fuel economy is your thing, the CT 200h gets 42 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway. Those figures are pretty close to the Prius.
MotorTrend calls the CT 200h “a far smoother and more comfortable car to drive than the Prius,” saying that “the CT 200h rides nicely over poor-quality pavement, and vibrations are nearly non-existent. Exterior noise is effectively dampened as well, though not the tire noise.”
The RX 450h is a luxury crossover hybrid SUV from Lexus. Other than the discontinuation of one of its options packages, it remains unchanged from 2010, so you’ll see reviews from both years. Let’s have a look at what people are saying.
Automobile says that the RX 450h “represents a careful evolution” of the hybrid crossover SUV, though they note that the trend for Lexus SUVs has been attention to performance over fuel efficiency. However, Automobile says that the newest 450h is making positive strides. It gets 28 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
The V-6 gas engine and electric motors combine for 295 hp, which Automobile says “makes the hybrid the most powerful RX and produces strong, seamless acceleration.”
The Lexus HS 250h is a hybrid luxury compact sedan which many people have dubbed Lexus’s answer to the Prius. While it boasts a similar chassis shape and is in the Prius’s class, it is its own car. The 2011 model is unchanged from the 2010 model, so the reviews below cover both years. Let’s see what folks are saying about it.
Edmunds says that the HS 250h “truly deliver[s] admirable fuel economy numbers,” as well as “all of the luxury trappings you’d expect from a Lexus.”
The reviewer also says it offers “significantly better performance than a Prius.” Edmunds calls it “quick,” as it accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. The downside, they say, is that fuel economy is 35 MPG, which doesn’t touch Prius’s 50 MPG.
The drivetrain is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that works in concert with two electric motor/generators, producing 187 horsepower. Edmunds assessment is that this car “won’t impress spirited drivers as much as frugal owners.” They add “Transitions between gasoline and electric propulsion are seamless and smooth, though throttle response is a bit leisurely.”
The GS 450h is a midsize luxury hybrid sedan. It’s remained largely unchanged since its debut in 2007. All of the reviews below, except for Edmunds, are for the 2010 model, which, minus some trim packages, is the same car as last year. Lexus says that its fourth generation of GS’s are on the horizon. Let’s see what people are saying about the GS 450h.
The GS 450h has a 3.5-liter V6, which produces 292 horsepower. The electric motors turn that up to 340 hp. Edmunds says “With this kind of power on tap, it’s clear that this hybrid is geared more toward increasing performance than reducing fuel consumption.”
The EPA says the 450h gets 23 mpg highway and city. Edmunds says that it “seems like the smart choice between its gas-only powered brethren — at least until you consider the price.” The price is nearly $56,000.
MotorTrend says “the E350 Bluetec is not a blast to drive, period,” adding “In fact, the driving experience is actually quite dull.” They say that the motor noise is quite loud, compared to other modern diesels, although the cabin does a good job at dampening the noise. The shifts are quiet, as well.
Regarding performance, MotorTrend says: “Acceleration is lackluster, with the 210-horsepower, 400-pound-foot turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 needing 7.5 seconds to get the 4167-pound sedan to 60 mph and 15.6 seconds to get it through the quarter mile. The brakes… are fairly middle of the road as well, with 60-0 mph requiring 128 feet. Handling? That’s middling too.”