As expected, the 2014 Lexus CT200h made its official debut at the 2013 Guangzhou auto show sporting refreshed bodywork, with the major changes taking place on the front grille, rear fascia, and wheels. The 2014 Lexus CT200h falls in line with the rest of the Lexus lineup, adopting the gaping “spindle” grille as well as slightly sportier taillights and more horizontal bumper design.
In addition to the refreshed exterior sheetmetal and wheel upgrades, the 2014 Lexus CT200h will now be available in an all-new Lexus red paint, one of six available body colors. Also available is an optional black roof, which creates the opportunity for a sportier two-tone color scheme. The new F-Sport models have more aggressive visual cues such as a roof-mounted spoiler and dark mesh grille, elements that feature prominently on the 2014 Lexus IS F-Sport.
The 2014 Lexus CT200h also features a few interior and tech upgrades, including an updated steering wheel, infotainment functionality, and speaker system. The steering wheel now can incorporate switches to control the infotainment system, which is also linked to a new center console-mounted controller. Speakers benefit from bamboo fiber technology, which results in much better sound quality according to Lexus. Tech upgrades include equipment like rear view camera and backup monitors, parking assist, tire pressure warning, and the option to deactivate traction control.
Lexus made some minor mechanical upgrades like increased body rigidity and retuned suspension, helping keep the 2014 CT200h balanced while reducing harshness and road noise for better comfort. The luxury hybrid hatch keeps the same 134-hp 1.8-liter four-cylinder mated to Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive and a continuously variable transmission. Fuel economy remains at 43/40/42 mpg city/highway/combined.
This refresh helps bring the 2014 Lexus CT200h into the fold with the rest of Lexus’ refreshed models, and it also adds a bit more premium feel to help justify the its high price in response to recently lagging sales. The current 2013 Lexus CT200h starts at $32,960 including destination costs. Lexus has not yet revealed the price or on-sale date for the 2014 model.
Sportier looks and a more comfortable ride help better differentiate the CT200h from the Toyota Prius with which it shares a powertrain, but Lexus will have to make some more drastic changes if it wants to convince more people that the hybrid hatchback is worth the extra coin.