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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
As a radio or CD player, the system is easy to use, but the small, green-backlit LCD display (the same one Toyota has been putting in cars for some twenty years now) isn't sufficient for iPod song-hunting
impressive configurable dash
If you actually want to see your iPod playlists as you scroll, the optional top-of-dash navigation unit is a must.
A clever device holder plugs into the dash near the power and stereo input ports and adjusts to hold everything from an iPod Nano to a Droid X.
The optional navigation system takes care of the display problem but adds Lexus's polarizing, console-mounted joystick.
As the least expensive model from a luxury brand, the 2014 Lexus CT 200h carries high expectations and the chance of disappointing buyers. While mass-market compact cars have added a number of formerly luxury features, the 2014 CT still delivers close to all of the functions, features, and fittings you'd anticipate in a luxury car. But they've been selected with a younger, more tech-savvy shopper in mind, reflecting the car's mission of replenishing Lexus ranks by luring in buyers who've never owned a luxury car before.
Standard features even on the base CT model include Bluetooth hands-free voice and audio streaming, SiriusXM satellite radio, fully integrated iPod control, keyless ignition, and the Lexus Safety Connect emergency alert system. Then the options list begins, including LED headlamps with washers, a power moonroof, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, Park Assist, and an in-mirror backup camera.
There are also packages that combine popular options into bundles: premium audio with a moonroof and/or the hard-drive based navigation system, for example. Navigation systems also include the Lexus Enform information system. A Seat Comfort package adds just the heated front seats and power adjustment for the front passenger seat.
Then there's the Lexus CT 200h F-Sport Special Edition model, with special 17-inch alloys, a slightly lowered suspension with anti-sway bars, plus premium audio and navigation, and appearance items like a larger rear spoiler, aluminum sport pedals and NuLuxe leather-trimmed seats.
The base price of a Lexus CT is around $30,000, but a heavy hand on the options list can boost the total north of $40,000. Buyers who want even more options can browse the performance and appearance accessories offered by Lexus dealers under the F-Sport range.
The 2014 Lexus CT 200h outdoes pretty much any other compact for standard and optional features, both electronic and luxury items.