The side profile of the new CT 200h is clean and neat, combining Lexus's flowing L-finesse design language—evident in the smoothly curved sheetmetal and gently arced back pillar—with a pert, even slightly aggressive hatchback profile. In front, the CT has a slightly scaled-down interpretation of the same Lexus front end and grille as the IS family, with even more modern, detailed headlamps with 'eyebrow' marker lamps and a chunky, low air dam, while in back the thin, tapered taillamps and sharp, roof-extended spoiler add a more aggressive look. Overall, the CT looks like a city-savvy hot hatch, ready to take on the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen GTI, or Speed3.
Colors are also quite adventurous for Lexus—including hues such as sparkly Daybreak Yellow Mica and Matador Red Mica tones, and light, glossy Starfire Pearl and Tungsten Pearl shades. The interior can be had in a stylish two-tone charcoal/caramel combination, along with several blacks and grays; upholsteries include a newly standard NuLuxe synthetic in Black, Ecru, or Caramel, with Black or Water Gray leather optional. Simple black, bamboo or ash burl wood, or metal trims complete the look.
Inside it's a different story; the CT is way more upscale in look and feel than any of those other non-luxury hatches, and it's less smooth and organic in design than the exterior. The instrument panel is doesn't even vaguely resemble those of the Prius or Lexus HS; it's somewhat low-set, with horizontal creases and a thick center console—truly a hybrid interior design pairing a cockpit feel with an airy design. According to Lexus, there's an (upper) display zone, while most of the controls are relegated to the (lower) control zone that's part of the center console, jutting upward.