2013 Lexus CT Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Lexus CT Hybrid was new.


Performance: 6.8

Some reviewers say the 2013 Lexus CT 200h accelerates slowly, but it’s important to remember that hybrids aren’t designed for drag races. Several reviewers add that the CT 200h’s steering is unresponsive, but say the Sport mode makes the driving experience a bit more engaging. Though the CT 200h doesn’t stand out for its performance, it has some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class.

  • "Let's be honest: compared to the similarly sized and priced Audi A3, the Lexus CT 200h feels down on power. But it looks fast." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • While that's great for efficiency, having an engine droning at a constant 5,500 rpm when flooring the throttle doesn't provide much in the way of aural excitement." -- Autoblog (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 CT 200h has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that make a total of 134 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. According to the EPA, the CT 200h averages 43/40 mpg city/highway.

Since it’s a hybrid, the 2013 Lexus CT 200h’s priority is fuel economy, not power, but reviewers still seem disappointed with the CT 200h’s powertrain. Several reviewers mention that the CT 200h is underpowered and has poor acceleration during passing maneuvers and when driving uphill. Some test drivers say performance improves in Sport mode, but think that even in this setting, the CT 200h is uninspiring.

  • The most performance-oriented setting is Sport, which sharpens steering and throttle response, making this car seem more willing than most other hybrids. Despite its unremarkable 10.4-second acceleration time to 60 mph, the CT feels reasonably powerful and responsive with Sport mode engaged." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • Power is plenty adequate in most situations, but can leave you wanting when passing or climbing hills." -- Motor Trend (2011)
  • "This lowly amount of power has to haul roughly 3200 pounds, so this vehicle is slow." -- Car and Driver (2011)

Handling and Braking

The 2013 CT 200h has four selectable driving modes: Normal, Eco, EV and Sport. Of the four settings, reviewers like Sport mode best because its steering is the sharpest and most responsive in this setting. Still, test drivers say that even in Sport mode, the CT 200h’s steering isn’t very responsive. In the other modes, steering is characterized as light and lazy. Reviews of the CT 200h’s brakes aren’t positive. One auto critic says that at lower speeds, the brakes aren’t smooth, and a different reviewer says they are touchy.

  • "And indeed, it can be fun to toss around over a winding back road, especially with the Sport drive mode engaged. This setting sharpens steering and throttle response compared to the softer Normal setting and the extra-lazy Eco mode." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Brakes are also touchy, with some surging just before coming to a stop." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • It also features adjustable drive modes, including a Sport setting that noticeably sharpens throttle and steering responses. As a result, the CT 200h delivers a more enjoyable drive than you'll get in most other hybrids. However, despite its respectable handling chops, more serious driving enthusiasts will bemoan a lack of feedback from the chassis and steering." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • The steering is heavier in Sport Mode, which is good because it's normally very light, but there isn't a whole lot of feedback." -- Motor Trend (2011)
  • "Like in many hybrids, the brake pedal feels OK on soft applications, but its response to big pedal inputs is abruptly nonlinear." -- Automobile Magazine (2011)

Find the Best Price

Enter your zip code to get local pricing.

Get Dealer Quotes

To get dealer quotes, enter your zip code.

Search Used Listings

To search used listings, enter your zip code.

Change Location

Enter your zip code to see listings near you.

Please enter a valid zipcode

Best Price Program

Interested in a New?

Use the U.S. News Best Price Program to find great deals and get upfront pricing on the.