By: IOL Motoring Staff

Johannesburg - Lexus has released its revised-for-2014 CT 200h compact premium hatch in South Africa with new styling, extra spot welds, more extensive use of structural adhesive for a more rigid bodyshell - and revised specification.

What that actually means, however, is that there is now just one model, with upmarket kit such as his-and-hers auto aircon (credited with saving more marriages than Dr Phil!) leather upholstery and a full suite of active and passive safety equipment.

The stiffer bodyshell is not just aimed at improved crash-test scores; reduced chassis flex has allowed the springs, damper valving and and rear anti-roll bar to be revised for a smoother ride without compromising handling, while the electric power steering has been re-calibrated for a smoother, more natural steering feel.


Lexus now has so much confidence in the 200h's road-holding that it has added an off-switch for the traction-control.

There have also been no less than 94 detail changes to reduce noise, vibration and harshness, including more effective sound-absorbing material for the rear wheel-housing liner, fender separators to prevent noise from entering the cabin through the space between the fender and front apron, a sound-deadening sealer coat to reduce the amount of engine and road noise audible in the cabin, and a revised hybrid inlet duct that reduces intake roar and improves efficiency.


The CT200h becomes the seventh model to get the signature Lexus spindle grille, in this case with separate mouldings for the front bumper creating a clear distinction between the upper and lower grille to lend a three-dimensional effect.

The new rear bumper incorporates L-shaped reflector housings and a black lower centre section as a suggestion of a diffuser; there's also a new shark-fin antenna, and airflow aero stabilising fins on the tail-light clusters and door frames, as well as the engine and rear floor undercovers.


Here we're looking at a smaller (370mm) steering wheel with an larger L emblem in the centre, as on the IS models, a new, silver shift lever with a leather-upholstered boot, metallic-plated trim on the audio switches, a flip-up cover for the accessory connector socket, an upholstered armrest, a ticket holder behind the passenger side sun-visor, brighter back-lighting for the window switches, rear seatbelt indicators, a re-designed Hybrid Eco indicator and (if you like sitting on soft brown stuff) a new toffee-coloured upholstery option.


All of which will cost you R388 800 (as we said, there's just the one model) which includes a four-year or 100 000km warranty and service plan.