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Zipping along the tight and twisty rural roads of France or negotiating the maze of diesel puffing Peugeots in Paris it doesn't seem to matter – my fuel economy that is. Regardless of the style of driving, the Lexus CT200h hatchback I'm behind the wheel of is registering just under 40-mpg, a few ticks short of the claimed 42-mpg average.

That number might not sound as impressive as some, but it is. While most automakers brag about their highway mileage and omit the city number, the CT200h hybrid is proud of both with a 42-city and 41-mpg highway rating that averages out to 42-mpg. By comparison, that average number (which is the one that really counts) is 8-mpg ahead of the CT's nearest competitor.

What might that be? Well, it's the Audi A3 TDI, a uniquely European Audi that's also offered here in the U.S. And while the CT will be sold in North America, targeted at cars like the A3, BMW 1 Series and Volvo C30, it's destined for far greater success on the Continent where those other models make up a significant segment of the market.

Historically, hybrid models have had very little success in Europe, while their popularity has spiked here at home. The opposite is true of diesels. There's an obvious irony here, as apart from major urban centers diesels make more sense in the U.S., while a hybrid powertrain seems best suited to European style driving.

A HYBRID BUILT FOR EUROPE

So why haven’t hybrids caught on in Europe? For starters, European automakers have been reluctant to adopt the technology and consumers have been equally skittish about buying non-EU cars. But Lexus believes there’s a bigger reason, namely, that no one ever offered a hybrid for Europe. Sure, automakers, (including Lexus and parent company Toyota), have offered hybrids in Europe, but not for Europe.

More: 2011 Lexus CT200h Review – First Drive on AutoGuide.com
 

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What Toyota?
2008 Saab 9-3
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10,477 Posts
Anyone else think that this is SEXY as hell? More so than any gen or model of the Mazda(speed) 3 hatches?
 

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Vivir el momento
Corolla
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Anyone else think that this is SEXY as hell? More so than any gen or model of the Mazda(speed) 3 hatches?
lol the Mazdaspeed3 would eat this for lunch. It's better looking than the current gen car (then again, what isn't) but not the previous gen Mazda3.

It's far from sexy.... I would get the Honda CR-Z over this anyday.
 

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What Toyota?
2008 Saab 9-3
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10,477 Posts
Oh yes FOR SURE the speed3 would eat this. :rofl: I still think it looks better than all of those cars. CRZ included.
 

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77 Posts
Paddle shifters on a CVT... wow. Thats about the dumbest thing I've heard in a while.
Actually, Subaru has that on the Legacy. Essentially they just create a bunch of gear programs and then let you access those rev points using the shifters. It makes for a much more enjoyable driving experience.
 

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What Toyota?
2008 Saab 9-3
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10,477 Posts
Hahahhaha, yeah... it's odd. But Nissan does it. Honda does it.
 

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What Toyota?
2008 Saab 9-3
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10,477 Posts
Yes, the HS isn't selling well. It's kind of a shame. If it got better MPG I think it would do better. Or maybe a LOWER price. I love the way it looks too.
 

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straight cash homie
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Yes, the HS isn't selling well. It's kind of a shame. If it got better MPG I think it would do better. Or maybe a LOWER price. I love the way it looks too.
I think the styling of the HS is the weakest link, since it has the Toyota appliance looked. But coupled with MPG that is disappointing and a price tag that is $10k too much, its no wonder that HS's sit on the lots for long and most dealers hate selling this car. I guess if you want to buy one, you can get a great deal on them.

The CT definitely looks better, but we shall see how it does in the marketplace. Of course, a lot of media aren't crazy about the car, but the test is with the buyers.
 
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