Saturday, May 27 2017 12:34

Test Drive: Rockin' the Road - 2017 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT

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It's no secret that I'm a fan of Lexus in general, so I was excited to drive the 2017 CT 200h F SPORT when it arrived here at Rock Father HQ some weeks back. Packing Lexus style and F SPORT performance into a small, hatchback package, the immediate draw of the CT 200h is that it's a hybrid - a fuel-efficient, gas-powered luxury vehicle that carries a combined fuel economy of 42mpg. 

2017 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT Review

Delivered by the folks at DriveShop in Atomic Silver, the CT 200h is the smallest Lexus that I've personally driven, so I was eager to see just how it performs as a family car. I don't like "boring," which is why style and performance rank so highly to me along with function and price. Also, living in the Chicago suburbs (where "it's not the distance, but how long it takes to get there"), I always think in terms of the commute to-and-from work. Even though I work from home the vast majority of the time, my wife puts about 80 miles on her car each day. It's a distance that can stress a purely electric vehicle, but the perfect sweet spot for a hybrid like this.

2017 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT Review

If you're gonna go with Lexus, you've got to go with F SPORT, and I stand behind that right here. The styling and  sport-tuned suspension make driving fun, and the driver's position in the cockpit just feels right. This one is certainly smaller than other models in the Lexus lineup, but they all sort of "hug" the driver with a feel that I enjoy. It's not a powerful ride, but it's smooth and comfortable, riding a weird line between being a "luxury" car and a fuel-efficient economy ride. You probably wouldn't notice, but the CT 200h shares a lot of innards with the Toyota Prius, but it's a far better vehicle in my opinion.

2017 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT Review

Where this one lacks is in space. The trunk is average, and the back seat is tight - a pet peeve I have with many, many vehicles across classes. I had the girls in their car seats, and they were getting the back of the front seats with their feet - but still, this is a doable car for every day use. Road tripping with a family of four is a bit challenging, and I tried it - making a quick 160 mile round trip to my mom's house and my old stomping grounds in Chicago's southland.

2017 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT Review

As my wife and kids hung out with the grandparents, I made a quick run to The Chicago Dough Company to pick up pizza for dinner.

2017 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT Review

Overall, I like the CT 200h F SPORT as a fun daily driver that would make for a great commute, and work well for around-town errands. Fuel economy, safety and performance are all excellent, but the size would make me denote this as the "work" car, leaving room for something bigger for family usage.

2017 Lexus CT 200h F SPORT Review

If you're interested in owning a CT 200h, this will be your last year to buy new. It was recently revealed that the vehicle will not return to the U.S. market for the 2018 model year.

The 2017 Lexus CT 200h starts at $31,250, with the F SPORT package starting at $32,980. As-driven, $41,795. Learn more and build yours at http://www.lexus.com/models/CT-hybrid

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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