From £21,7146

Price, fuel economy and range, finance and depreciation

Vastly more important than the CT200h’s entry-level price is its low CO2 emissions of 94g/km. This used to free it from road tax and the London congestion charge, and qualify it for the Government’s 10 percent benefit-in-kind company car tax band.

However, new WLTP emissions testing and changes to road tax means that's no longer the case. Facelifted 2018 CTs produce 97g/km of CO2, pushing up first year VED to £115 and benefit-in-kind band to 20 percent.

It makes most sense as a company car

Because it emits less than 110g/km of CO2, fleet managers can write down 100 percent of the car’s value against corporation tax – an advantage that many employers are now passing on to drivers in part, with larger company car allowances for sub-110g vehicles. Plus, it escapes the 10 percent surcharge applied to diesel vehicles.

By choosing the Lexus instead of a less-efficient rival, company car drivers who pay 40 percent income tax could save more than £1000 a year on their tax bill.

So considering contract hire and company car tax together, a CT200h could be even cheaper for a fleet driver to run than a 1.4-litre turbocharged Vauxhall Astra – even though the Astra is several thousand pounds cheaper at list price.

Where the CT200h probably won’t save so much is at the pump. During our test, it returned just over 45mpg overall, and 51.8mpg on our touring route. That’s about average for a car of this size with a 2.0-litre diesel engine, but sufficiently far from Lexus’s 68.9mpg official claim to be disappointing.

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Residual values are a little disappointing, too, hovering in the low 40 percents after three years and an average mileage. BMWs and Audis do better.

On the flipside, the standard kit list is generous on all models (as is quality), while Lexus’s position as a consistent leader in the JD Power satisfaction survey shows that you shouldn’t experience any problems, but if you do, you’ll be royally looked after by your Lexus dealer.