When you think of the Lexus brand, do you imagine a compact, semi-sporty hybrid hatchback? That's what the 2012 Lexus CT 200h is, and while it's a departure for Toyota's luxury brand, it's a surprisingly successful one. Its mission is to make Lexus relevant to a new audience: Gen X and Gen Y buyers with green leanings who are moving up from their basic compact cars—or Toyota Prius hybrids—and might be persuaded to consider a more luxurious Lexus that delivers gas mileage of 40 mpg or more.
Regardless of the luxury level, the CT 200h is one of the most efficient vehicles sold in the U.S. this year. The EPA rates the littlest Lexus at 43 mpg city, 40 mpg highway--giving it a combined 42 mpg rating--and we found the car to deliver 40 mpg in a variety of real-world uses.
The CT 200h is a slightly squat hatchback that attracts little public attention. There's no equivalent gasoline model--in the lingo, it's a "dedicated hybrid" car--but you'd never peg it a hybrid in the way...
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