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Lexus CT 200h Test drive

Lexus CT 200h

In this car Lexus CT many things – “almost sport.” Not casually version called F SPORT. Frankly, the whole spirit of his is – gambling, even a little aggressive. But why “almost”?

The fact that the manufacturer is releasing the model, focusing on its environmental friendliness. In fact, Lexus CT 200h – the world’s first premium hatchback with hybrid power plant. This setting – Lexus Hybrid Drive – in fact virtually a copy of that of the new generation Toyota Prius: 1,8-liter 99-horsepower gasoline engine works here in a pair of 60-kilowatt electric motor. In other words, the premium hatchback from the premium brand – a very, very “green.” He is considered the most “clean” production car equipped with an internal combustion engine, as per kilometer traversed path “produces” only 87 grams of carbon dioxide, 3.3 grams of nitrogen oxides, and particulate matter – no one!

“He would sit in the car, press the POWER – and you might think that nothing happened, because the sound of the engine start-up you will not hear” – so I admonished the press Park. “It’s okay, do not hurry to press the button a second third and fourth time. Just get on the dashboard a small green sign READY. This means that the car is ready to get under way in a way. ”

But I do not want is to get under way in a way. I want to settle in the “cockpit” – and looks exactly workspace Lexus CT 200h. It is already over me comfort, comfort and quality finishes.

Lexus CT 200h Test drive

With only a single electric motor power 82 l. with. Lexus CT 200h can develop the speed to 45 km / h. In a high-speed mode is connected to the 1.8-liter internal combustion engine capacity of 99 liters. with. The combined capacity of the two units when they are working together – 136 l. with. The car is capable of a top speed of 180 km / h. Fuel consumption, according to the manufacturer, is about 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers.
I lower the seat to the floor – so the conditions will be more close to “combat” (all electric adjustment). Now, barely visible in front of the hood. The back installed close to the vertical: the laws of sports “genre” my shoulder blade should rest against it. Rested. Interestingly, the back of the head on head restraints, t. E. Contact with the seat – the most complete. Now the wheel need a little lift and slide toward you to the hand behind it, was slightly bent. Now I’m just perfect. And the setting can be stored – button “memory” are located on the inner door panel.

Not everyone, not every car can offer such a landing and, as a consequence, not everyone is able to immediately adjust the driver’s sporty mood. Lexus CT 200h designers have succeeded in full. Tall in front of the center tunnel is convenient to support the elbow of the right hand. Interestingly, just behind the front seats, this “Chinese Wall” … cut off and simply disappears. In the place where they should be in the middle of the foot passenger rear couch, the floor completely flat. However, frankly speaking, three in the back seat is cramped. And the two of them, too, if they are tall. Knees may rest against the back of the front seats.

The rear lights - modern LED section
Lexus CT 200h – The rear lights – modern LED section

Of course, pleasant and interesting stay in front. As in the cockpit? I would even say – like a cocoon. There is clearly the premium feel of the car, you feel a pleasant smell of leather. Soft finish – from roller bearing right hand on the center tunnel, in the sidewalls of the tunnel, at the steering wheel. Even seam skin steering pleasant to the touch. Some vintage gives the cabin panel branded audio system. It is designed for playback of advanced media: CD- and MP3 CDs, USB-flash drives – but the design resembles the good old cassette recorder.

But the climate control panel in the cabin seems to have migrated here from … Toyota Camry. Let it go. “Climate” is regulated here is excellent, in both zones (left and right). The audio system also emits a different sound, though it is not Mark Levinson. My staff were not too lazy to bring branded CDs to test the sound. Bass a little lacking, but overall – the highest grade.
So, I shoot, finally the engine. Indeed, in response to pressing the Power – silence in the air, and full. Shop safely isolated from external noise. But the inscription READY lit, which means that you can get a move on.

I translate mini-variable transmission selector in position D. This mini-selector – funny “thing.” He is very small and moves some strange algorithm in the slot, resembling the letter «h». At the top – the reverse gear in the lower left – actually D, and at the bottom right – the mysterious mode in which it is necessary, according to the owner’s manual, use the downhill and in the other modes, when engine braking is required. The difference between the modes & D, in fact, occurs only when resetting the “gas”. Observation devices, regenerative energy storage in batteries is more active when it is in motion mode B.

Hey, these vehicles have to be tested with a partner. Put him behind the wheel and from the outside, to make sure the full quietness Lexus CT 200h. While it remains to note how you react to the silent onlookers: parking workers, security guards, drivers of other vehicles, passers. They are something certainly seems that I’m moving coasting downhill. And in fact, I silently driven motor.

Lexus CT 200h - The driver's "cockpit" perfectly "fits" the body
Lexus CT 200h – The driver’s “cockpit” perfectly “fits” the body

However, the electric range is very small. After a few minutes the work is included gasoline engine, and it is clearly audible. Even a slight vibration of the steering wheel passes. Sometimes the inclusion of a petrol unit comes almost immediately after the start-up electric. This can be seen, for example, a cold morning after an overnight stay in the yard. A hybrid car is not needed during the stay to recharge from the mains – it recharges itself.

In particular, it is responsible for the warming: temperature indicator here. And would be it, because the cooling system here is already two expansion tank with liquid nice pink color scheme. Cool, then we have not only the gasoline engine, but also its electrical “couple.” The driver can also monitor the state of the electrical system only, so to speak, “out” of the power unit. The left side of the instrument panel located a pointer indicating the battery charging (the arrow is in the sector of Charge) or “return” (Eco Mode and Power). In charging mode the arrow moves mainly during deceleration and braking, and the rest of the shows substantially empty.

In modes «Eco» or «Normal» Car chooses, at what point move alone electric and gasoline engine when connected. A separate button on the tunnel floor, you can choose a purely electric driving mode and enjoy rolling in silence … but not for long. The battery allows you to drive a maximum of three kilometers at a speed of 45 km / h, then still in his “help” comes DIC. And it accelerates Lexus CT 200h has a completely car: from zero to 100 km / h in about 10 seconds, maximum – up to 180 km / h.

Lexus CT 200h - To the left on the dashboard - status indication of the power unit
Lexus CT 200h – To the left on the dashboard – status indication of the power unit

Ten seconds to “hundreds” – this, of course, a bit too much. But do not forget that it is a small miracle weighs quite a lot: gross weight of 1845 kg. And in the course of this great sense.

In general, the appearance of mini-Lexus looks swift and outline resembles Mazda3 by MPS. 4.3-meter hybrid slightly longer than its closest competitors – hatchbacks Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series and is “in between” the length of the wheelbase (2600 mm). Through carefully calculated aerodynamics (including big spoiler on the tailgate and plastic shields, a capping bottom) drag coefficient turned him equal to 0.28. A very good result!

Again, it would be desirable from the look on his acceleration. But as natural split personality person is not available, and the psychic is useless in this case, it is necessary to test only one feeling – the driver. Dislodged the small hatchback wagon is practically impossible: the electronic “brain” of to-olgo understands how much thrust to take a gasoline engine as – in electrical and when he realized the time will be irretrievably lost. That also here these 10 seconds to “hundreds” …

Lexus CT 200h - The engine started up button, and makes it completely silent
Lexus CT 200h – The engine started up button, and makes it completely silent

Accelerate by pressing the pedal “gas” each time a new one. It seems that the car “tupit” that, like, dispersed at the capacity of its engines. However, in the mode of «Eco», when electronics prefers electric motor, acceleration, it seems not at all, there is only forward movement. Press the dial to switch modes (large washer on the tunnel floor in front panel audio) mode is selected Normal. Now the car with significantly lower center of gravity starts to literally ironing the road. How nice it is to feel how you want to fill, however, did not refill, but simply throwing the car into turns! Sharp steering, committing 2.7 turns from lock to lock, perfectly contributes to this. Grippy tires Yokohama Advan dimension 205 / 55R16 perfectly cling to the asphalt. Hard korotkohodnaya suspension, however, clearly shakes even on minor irregularities (to say nothing about unpaved roads – they are contraindicated bebi- “Lexus” if for no other reason that it does not exceed the clearance 130 mm). But this suspension did not have many sports hatchback that I have tested! By the way, McPherson type front suspension is borrowed from the series Lexus IS. But back mnogoryichazhka designed specifically for Lexus CT 200h.

In general, to enjoy and to enjoy the process of governance, holding themselves in a tenacious and hard seat firmly holding poured enjoyable effort “steering wheel”. But, alas, the main advantage of the car …
And the lack of this – the power unit. It has a total capacity of 136 liters. s., amazingly eco doubtless quality and reliable, as well as on the verge of a reasonable cost (in the “ragged” and “incendiary” cycle consumes 95-octane gasoline ranged from 6-7 liters per 100 km), makes this car a big problem . Whatever I have dived in turns (even if not disconnected again feel the operation of the system of stabilization VSC, so no, front-wheel drive Lexus, did not seem to notice her presence and well-fought with the demolition, drifts and other troubles on their own), it is still necessary to ascertain: lacks dynamics!

But maybe, SPORT mode helps? It can be activated by turning the mode dial to the right washer. This instrument lighting changes from blue to red, but instead the index CHARGE-ECO-POWER on the dashboard of a sudden appear … tachometer. Dynamics also improved only partly. The comparison showed that if in the NORMAL mode the car accelerates from 80 to 120 km / h in about eight seconds, the mode SPORT – seven. Approximately second was the difference in the rate of acceleration from 120 to 140 km / h.

Lexus CT 200h - The front seats look artless, but their configuration is close to ideal
Lexus CT 200h – The front seats look artless, but their configuration is close to ideal

Brakes Lexus CT 200h effective – thanks to the energy recovery system. But it also should “scold” the ambiguity of the process of slowing down. When the motor braking helps, it seems that the car is about on the roof will sink into the asphalt. And when you get used to this intensity, he suddenly begins to slow down … medium-fine, thereby scaring up chills on the back brakes are gone! In fact, they have not gone anywhere – just to the “difference” should be a little getting used to.
No, of course, the car became more cheerful. But it would be desirable for more! Or it’s time to wean from seriously high speeds and fully devote their travel business, as well as environmental and fuel economy. They say that future generations will live in a cleaner world and appreciate our efforts and sacrifices. But not a fact that will appreciate! Firstly, having tasted the good speed as a child, they may well think about a higher rate of movement than is available to us today. And secondly, they will surely find something simple and convenient solutions to environmental problems. After all, future generations will always smarter than the last.

And hybrid “Lexus” lacks manual mode CVT. To be able to choose from 6 or 8 virtual “steps”. Quite possibly, this mode is largely compensated to a lack of dynamics. Only in this way would have to be made more coherent job selector. In its current form for manual gear selection method this device is not adapted at all. Suffice it to say that even “neutral” with it come true grope.

Furthermore, if the manual mode switch on the instrument panel would have to be constantly present tachometer. However, it would be possible to make manual gear selection available only in SPORT.

Lexus CT 200h is not cheap. The package includes the F SPORT front bumper special design, rear spoiler, side “skirt” double grille mesh structure, F SPORT logo on the front wing, tinted rear side windows and the glass tailgate, and special wheels alloy 16-inch. The interior has leather upholstery F SPORT, wheel logo F SPORT, aluminum pedals, door sills, aluminum insert in the front. The driver’s seat adjustable (electric) in 8 directions, there is a memory 3 installation. On the liftgate above the license plate is mounted rearview camera, an image which is broadcast on the small screen, located in the salon the rearview mirror.

This could be addressed by such a car? Without a doubt, the woman – a modern, advanced (thinks about environmental problems), earns a good idea (see. The price of the car), and are not burdened with family and children (the trunk is small: the nominal volume of 375 liters, the maximum – 985). Still, for all the sporting character and the makings of excellent sprinter is not the offspring of wild cheetah and its plush copy. Made very high quality, made of natural fur and stuffed with ultramodern electronics, which can propel the foot, draw and release the claws glittering LED “eyes” and gently purr.

Lexus CT 200h - The ground clearance of the car - only 130 mm. Any unevenness is "contact" bumper skirt with roadbed
Lexus CT 200h – The ground clearance of the car – only 130 mm. Any unevenness is “contact” bumper skirt with roadbed

The irony of irony, and the car-hybrid, in my opinion, left … superb trainer. It so happened that at the same time with the model Lexus CT 200h on the test in our editorial office was another Lexus – new IS 250 F SPORT, much tougher, “sharpened”, aggressive, bold. The car, which will not bring special skills to the driver without anything but drubbing nerves and headaches. The vehicle to which it is necessary to come, to prepare, to train yourself.

In the background LexusCT 200h just looked kind of preparatory plan. According to the impression its chassis was to become the basis of a “hot hatch”, but, alas, pripozdal. It is time to fight for the environment and the economy, and in this “discipline” sports cars and their similarity is usually lose. But the quality and generosity can not hide – the chassis came out excellent.

It is a pity that in the maximum configuration Lexus CT 200h F SPORT no place so interesting options such as pull-8-inch multimedia system with navigation, as well as funny controller Remote Touch – a device that resembles a computer mouse for controlling and multi media (it the display is not a touch).

However, the Internet met reviews, they say, the device – not the most convenient. But try anyway it would be interesting – like every innovation. Including hybrid drive. Perhaps in the near future, he and our country will be an important argument for choosing a vehicle. Because already in several European countries such cars allow owners to save thousands of euros on taxes alone compared with pure gasoline competitors. In addition, many major European cities closed their centers to enter vehicles with internal combustion engines and for hybrid and electric vehicles – is not closed.