The rear exterior of a blue Lexus CT

Lexus CT review

The CT is Lexus' entry-level car, but it offers the same level of luxury and craftsmanship as its more expensive models. It’s well made with high-quality materials and has lots of kit as standard.

Pros

  • Luxurious feel inside
  • Plenty of standard equipment
  • Impressively low running costs

Cons

  • Less space than other hybrid cars
  • Some people find the gearbox a little noisy
  • Could be more fun to drive

Summary

“The Lexus CT is very well made from high-quality materials and is low cost to run.”

The exterior design of the Lexus CT is distinctive and modern. Inside, the car is eye-catching with luxurious fittings you’d normally find only on bigger and more expensive models. It’s equipped with features such as air con, sat nav and parking sensors. 

Featuring a petrol-electric engine, the CT is good to drive and very economical. With low tax and insurance costs, the running costs are inexpensive.

Fascia shot of the Lexus CT

What's the interior like?

“There’s no faulting the quality and the amount of standard kit.”

The Lexus has a high quality interior made from top-notch materials. There’s lots of kit, with all cars getting Bluetooth, USB connection and 6 Panasonic speakers. Move up the range to the F-Sport version and you’ll find luxury soft leather trim for the seats and a powerful Mark Levinson stereo.

While the interior is beautifully finished, space is at a premium. The driver and passenger space is sufficient, but the back seats are cramped.  

The boot can accommodate just 375 litres with the seats up, so enough space for several small suitcases. This expands to 985 litres with the rear seats folded flat, but the Mercedes A-Class and Audi A3 are roomier.

Interior shot of the Lexus CT

What's it like to drive?

“The Lexus is a car that likes to take it easy, making the most of its hybrid engines efficiency.”

Driven gently the Lexus CT is quiet and smooth, its engine remains hushed and there’s very little wind noise. Very supportive front seats make long trips supremely comfortable. Around town, careful use of the accelerator pedal results in near-silent driving in electric mode for short periods. But ask more of the car and the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) automatic gearbox can be a little noisy. 

Light steering and the extra weight of the hybrid system’s batteries means the CT can feel slow driving through corners.

Boot space shot of the Lexus CT

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“This economical hybrid has low fuel and tax bills, while generous equipment delivers strong value for money.”

The combination of a 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motor makes the Lexus remarkably efficient. It will return 54.3 mpg which is really good. 

It wasn’t a cheap car new and depreciation hasn’t been as steep as mainstream cars, but the CT is still good value if you take into account the generous amount of standard equipment and high-quality finish.

You’ll pay a little more for servicing than a Prius owner, but insurance costs are reasonable compared with rivals.

The interior of a Lexus CT with steering wheel and dashboard in shot

How reliable and safe is it?

“Few cars are as highly regarded by their owners, while later versions come loaded with safety equipment.”

The Lexus CT has topped numerous customer satisfaction surveys, with owners raving about the cars reliability, quality and low running costs. 

Safety has always been key for the CT, with the car earning a five-star EuroNCAP rating in 2011. All versions feature eight airbags and electronic stability control. Blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control were options when new, so are worth looking out for when buying used. From 2018, all versions from SE Plus Pack and above feature an improved Safety System+ pack, which added lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking as standard.

Engine shot of the Lexus CT

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - Advance

Best for families - SE Plus Pack

Best for fun - F-Sport

With the same Prius hybrid engine used throughout, the running costs for various Lexus CT models are largely the same. However, search out post-2014 versions with the smallest 16-inch wheels and you’ll benefit from tax-busting CO2 emissions of just 88 g/km.

All versions of the Lexus CT come well equipped as standard, but models such as the SE Plus Pack and Advance deliver additional desirable extra kit, including sat nav and more safety systems. The F-Sport comes with a racy body kit and a sporty interior trim.

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