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STYLING | 7 out of 10
the CT 200h's proportions appear slightly off at first glance
unapologetically wagonlike shape
less bland than its Prius progenitor
LED daytime running lights are reminiscent of a certain unnamed German manufacturer
Road & Track
The overall design of the dash is unconventional and brings to mind the cockpit of a jet airliner, but it looks as though Lexus has simply dropped in parts wherever they fit with little thought to aesthetics.
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h has the silhouette of a hot hatch, as well as a hybrid-exclusive body style, so those in the know will have no trouble picking the CT out as a hybrid.
Adding to this model's unique look, it isn't merely a hatchback form of the Lexus HS sedan. The CT 200h has an entirely different design, building on Prius goodness and moving forward with some other pieces and concepts from other Toyota/Lexus models and becoming a model that stands alone. While the CT200h might look a bit like a doppelganger of the Toyota Matrix from some angles, it's not at all based on the budget-priced Toyota hatch, either.
Overall, the CT looks like a city-savvy hot hatch, ready to take on the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen GTI, or Speed3. The side profile of the new CT 200h is clean and neat, yet a little racy, and it combines 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. At the front, the grille and air dam have much in common, design-wise, with the IS compact sport sedans, although the headlamps and 'eyebrow' marker lamps look better detailed. In back, the thin, tapered taillamps and sharp, roof-extended spoiler add a more aggressive look.
You won't find any basic or economy-minded feel to the interior, and the overall effect is that a cockpit feel is paired with an airy design. The 2012 CT is way more upscale in look and feel than any other high-mileage hybrids, with an interior look and feel that's a little less smooth, a little more mechanically influenced, as we've seen on other new Lexus models as of late. The instrument panel doesn't have anything in common with that of the Prius; 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.it's somewhat low-set, with horizontal creases and a thick center console.
Lexus is clearly attempting to appeal to a more youthful, adventurous crowd with the CT's styling, and its colors themselves are a little more daring—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. The luxury cabin look is kept sharp with simple black, bamboo or ash burl wood, or metal trims.
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h has a hybrid-exclusive body style that looks good from every angle and stands out as very different than the Prius.