2012 Lexus CT Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2012 Lexus CT Hybrid was new.


Interior: 7.2

The interior of the 2012 Lexus CT 200h is given praise from most of the press for its good materials and build quality. However, some reviewers question the interior design because it isn’t as upscale as the Lexus nameplate implies.

  • "We've never been particularly fond of Lexus' choice of layout and materials for its center stack, however, and little has changed with the CT 200h. For some reason, their choices have somehow always come across as ‘less-than’ when compared to the equivalent Germans." -- Autoblog
  • “Prius drivers might consider the CT200h a downgrade in both utility and economy. The Lexus is five inches shorter in length than America's favorite left-lane plugger, and that translates to dramatically reduced rear-seat and trunk room." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The overall effect is one that fits the CT's premium aura." -- Consumer Guide
  • "If you're expecting standard Lexus opulence and lots of wood trim, you won't find it here." -- Edmunds


Reviewers say the front seats in the Lexus CT 200h are comfortable, and some even prefer the standard faux-leather to the optional leather. One common complaint is that rear visibility is poor. The back seat has enough space for tall adults, but only if the driver and front passenger move their seats forward.

  • "The interior can be trimmed with either a new, polyurethane-based NuLuxe, which comes standard, or with optional leather. The former is a softer and, according to Lexus, greener alternative to vinyl, but we think other manufacturers' synthetic leather looks, feels, and breathes better." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Drivers will appreciate the CT200h's low seating position, rakish steering angle, and fat steering wheel, all of which are decidedly un-Prius-like." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "(Front seat) Sufficient headroom and legroom for adults on comfortable seats, but the seating position is low enough to make ingress and egress awkward for taller folks. When rotated to the side, the sun visors don't come close to covering the side windows, and they neither extend nor have pull-out panels. Visibility is good to the front corners but only average to the sides. Rear-corner visibility is poor with the rear-seat headrests up, but lowering them (a rather awkward process) unveils a helpful rear-quarter window. (Rear seat) CT is considered a compact, and it shows in rear-seat accommodations. There's sufficient headroom, legroom, and toe space for someone nearly 6-feet tall, but legroom virtually disappears if the seat in front is pushed far back. A center rider will be squeezed. The door opening is narrow enough to catch your hip on the way out." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Reviewers appreciate the 2012 CT 200h’s driver-focused dashboard, and like that the entertainment controls are relatively easy to use when the optional navigation system is added. They also find the cabin upscale, but one point of complaint is the dated-looking layout of the radio’s display screen.

The Lexus CT 200h has a standard leather-trimmed steering wheel, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, satellite radio and a USB port. A moonroof, backup camera and an upgraded sound system are optional.

  • "With or without the navigation system, the climate controls are mounted high within easy reach, but nearly all are tedious repetitive-step pushbuttons. The audio controls are mounted low and recessed, but are also easy to reach. Without navigation, they consist of simple buttons and knobs. With navigation, however, most functions get absorbed into the dashboard screen, making adjustments slightly more complicated." -- Consumer Guide
  • "However, the CT 200h's cabin is still upscale, with soft-touch surfaces on the most heavily contacted points. The optional leather upholstery feels rich, yet the standard ‘NuLuxe’ upholstery (a synthetic imitation that's 50 percent lighter than leather) is convincing and won't disappoint. The cabin looks modern in a premium sort of way, with the exception being the radio's dated-looking panel layout and display screen." -- Edmunds
  • "The normal cadre of redundant switches for volume, channel and phone functions are easy to read and manipulate, as is the center-mounted climate control stack." -- Autoblog


The 2012 Lexus CT 200h isn’t particularly big in the cargo department. It offers 14.3 cubic feet behind the second row, which is decent for a hybrid. The cabin doesn’t offer much storage space either. There is a glovebox and door bins that reviewers say are too small.

  • "Cargo capacity of the glovebox, door bins and center bin is unimpressive, which means there's not much in-cabin storage. Luggage capacity is 14.3 cubic feet, and the rear seats fold down to give you more room for storage." -- Edmunds

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