In light of the Prius’s hero status, it’s understandable that the Lexus CT200h should have a conventional five-door hatchback silhouette instead of a more aerodynamically efficient profile. It’s vital that this car has its own visual identity, and that it’s accepted into a class full of two-box hatchbacks such as the BMW 1 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3.
The Lexus looks contemporary, although not especially handsome to our eyes (its mission, remember, is to attract a more youthful customer to the brand), and it still sports a low drag coefficient of 0.29.
The front wings have wheelarch liners and side protectors to reduce the road and engine noise that enters the cabin, while a dynamic noise damper positioned inside the tailgate reduces the transmission of road noise into the cabin via the boot floor. These features contribute to the impressive levels of mechanical refinement at low and medium speeds.
A power bulge in the bonnet is more than a little unnecessary on a 134bhp hybrid, but it’s one of the styling flourishes intended to attract younger clientele to the Lexus brand. The muscular rear haunches emphasise the CT200h’s broad stance on the road and have a similar aim.
On performance cars, exhaust styling is usually an evocative feature, but the Lexus’s designers have deliberately disguised the exhaust on the CT200h. Unless you peer under the valance, you wouldn’t know it had one.
Most of the models in the range look broadly the same, save for the F Sport, which gets a fairly subtle set of body tweaks, including bumpers, grille and gunmetal-coloured alloy wheels.