17 September 2010
Lexus CT200H (Hybrid)
Toyota are undisputed leaders of the hybrid scene. The Prius has sold well for them and Lexus already has the RX SUV, the GS and LS cars. Now it will have the car pictured above as its new hybrid for imminent release. Lexus needs more models if it is to compete with its German rivals who take to new models and segments like the proverbial duck to water. For that reason, Lexus is falling behind its Teutonic rivals in sales, so a branching out with another model is just what the doctor ordered. So how good is it?
Many feel it isn't that green, with fuel economy only comparable to modern diesels. Of course, emissions are vastly superior to oil burners. Others say it is not very sporty, which will limit interest to 'tree huggers' and pottering retired folk. Apparently, it accelerates at the rate of a Prius, which says it all really. As for its appearance, I think it is very average. If it had for example, a Hyundai logo on it, I wouldn't have battered an eyelid.
For all of the above reasons, I expect what could have been a strong spike in Lexus sales, may in fact turn out to be only a modest improvement in forecourt activity.
The bottom line: Lexus rivals will sleep well.