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Want to recharge? Hit the brakes

The Japanese answer to BMW or Audi, Lexus has trumped its rivals by being the first to launch a hybrid premium compact.

The Japanese answer to BMW or Audi, Lexus has trumped its rivals by being the first to launch a hybrid premium compact.

The CT200h is the smallest car Lexus has made and it uses the same technology that’s in the Toyota Prius.

It can be driven in all-electric EV mode so the car pulls away and travels in near silence for up to three kilometres before the engine kicks in.

Thanks to clever technology, the battery that supports the engine is recharged by braking.

Best thing

Shifting gears using the floating chrome-handled gear selector is easy and feels very classy.

Worst thing

With a 0-62 m.p.h. time of 10.3 seconds the CT200h is not as sporty as it could be. Get your kicks elsewhere by counting the fuel you’re saving.

Interior

The interior is a nice place to sit thanks to a soft, leather steering wheel and an efficient and gentle AC. The information system is operated by a mouse and the audio is excellent. It’s tasteful, comfortable and luxurious.

Exterior

With a tubby backend (good for storage but not the most appealing), the CT200h is a little funny-looking and its design doesn’t reflect its groundbreaking technology.

Performance

Capable of 4.1 1/100km (on an urban and a combined cycle) the CT200h emits very little carbon dioxide. It’s greener and more economical than many of its rivals.

 
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