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Lexus CT200h Is Nothing More Than An Ultimate Luxury Version Of The Toyota Prius, Change My Mind

Lexus is Toyota. The CT200h is really nothing more than a hyped-up technical version of the Toyota Prius. Here are my reasons why.

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Lexus is nothing more than an overpriced and highly technical Toyota. So why does the Lexus CT200h cost so much more than a fully loaded Toyota Prius?

Here are three ways the Lexus CT200h is nothing more than an over-glorified Toyota Prius.

Fact One: Lexus CT200h and Toyota Prius Share The Same Battery
The CT200h and Toyota Prius share the same 28 modules high voltage battery pack. Toyota does this to keep the production costs down for making multiple vehicles with a similar platform.

Toyota and Lexus Battery Modules

I know this because the same warranty coverage covers these hybrid batteries at the Toyota Prius. The new 10-year 150,000-mile battery warranty also has to cover the Lexus CT200h. Also, those batteries will need servicing as well. With all the research I have been involved in with hybrid battery maintenance and reconditioning, I know this is true.

Fact Two: Lexus Ct200h Uses The Same Engine As The Toyota Prius
The 2ZR-FXE 1.8Liter engine is in both third-generation Toyota Prius and also the Lexus CT200h. The difference lies within the engine covers. The plastic trim that goes on top of the engine is the difference between Lexus and Toyota.

Toyota/Lexus 1.8 Liter 2ZR-FXE engine

The engine part numbers are identical also. Meaning spark plugs, coolant, coils, and a plethora of other parts are the same. There is one key thing to remember here, though, some of the part numbers will be Lexus, and some will be Toyota.

Toyota, again, does this to keep production costs as low as possible. Sharing parts between models and across platforms make financial sense. So, next time you need a few pieces for your CT200h, check the Toyota part number too; it could save you a few bucks.

Fact Three: The CT200h Body Is Different But The Idea Is The Same As Prius
The whole hatchback idea took off with the advent of generation 2 Prius. As the model ran from 2004-2009, it became and still is one of the most wildly popular Prius generations.

Lexus CT200h Silver side shot

Lexus captured the essence of gen two and gen three Prius. The CT200h is a blend of elegance, style, and versatility based on the success of the Prius hatchback shape. The Lexus has different lines, lights, and windows that make it a very different looking car, but why would Lexus take on that shape specifically? I think it was to capture another part of the hybrid market that wanted an affordable (so to speak) luxury hybrid.

2017 Toyota Prius Prime Silver

It is smart on the part of the Toyota/Lexus brand to share ideas that sell, and this is one reason Toyota does so well with marketing.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Lexus CT200h and if you think it is just an overpriced Toyota Prius. Drop me a line. Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great pre-holiday weekend coming up. See you in the next story, Pro Tips From An Auto Instructor Allows Toyota Prius Owners To Steal Back Robbed Fuel Mileage

Watch the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid Prime video presentation and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for daily automotive news analysis.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting

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Staaboi (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 10:13AM

I don't agree with the whole Lexus is basically the same as a Toyota but more technical and luxurious. Take the Lexus GS or IS or even LS what's the Toyota equivalent? I do how ever agree that the 2 cars mentioned are basically identical power train wise. Body wise is actually different and you would be blind not to see it. Ta

Dave (not verified)    December 21, 2019 - 12:53PM

In reply to by Staaboi (not verified)

Toyota equivalent of IS is Corolla. Equivalent of ES is Camry. Equivalent of LS is Avalon, sold in US, not in UK. Lexus cars are just Toyotas re-badged with more sound deadening and more luxurious interiors. Similarly, Honda with their Acura brand and Nissan with their Infiniti brand. Nothing wrong with any of them, just superb marketing....genious

Gam (not verified)    December 21, 2019 - 4:43PM

In reply to by Dave (not verified)

That's literally absolutely not true. The IS and LS are both RWD based platforms. The Corolla and Avalon are FWD. They're literally completely different cars. The ES and Camry are related, yes, however everything else you state is completely incorrect.

Jeff (not verified)    November 24, 2020 - 11:24PM

In reply to by Dave (not verified)

Wrong.. Besides ES BUT wrong as well in the newer version. Its all different sheet metal. The old ES yes.. IS is NOT anywhere near a Corolla, not even the engine configuration. Same with the Avalon, not even close to an LS remotely. Do some research before you spew nonsense.

Chuggy (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 1:34PM

Now that you have seen this, look at most every luxury trim ever in history and you will begin to see a grand pattern of automobile design.

Randy gaber (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 1:52PM

I owned a Prius and drove it for almost 350 thousand miles with absolutely no problems and was completely happy with its performance. However when looking to replace with another hybrid I test drove the ct200 and that was a game changer. Although the power was very similar to the Prius the Lexus drove like a true sports car in term of handling curvy roads and sporty feel when driving aggressively. I have driven this vehicle in our mountains that I live in which is the great smokies and i can tell you this. There aren't many vehicles that can stay with me around these hill and curves. Believe me I've had plenty that have tried and couldn't keep up. There's been a few that could but I've lost many in my rear view mirror due to fear of them losing control of their sports cars. I'm 60 years old and have absolutely thrilled with this vehicle. Plus when I'm not driving like a maniac I'm getting 50 mpg. It handles like a Porsche but doesn't have the acceleration. But I've still lost a few of them as well on these roads because the get scared trying to keep up. This glorified Prius has shamed many many sports car drivers. You obviously haven't driven one.

Sardine Kisser (not verified)    December 21, 2019 - 1:05PM

In reply to by Randy gaber (not verified)

Thanks for the laugh. That lexus wouldn't leave any dedicated sporting car behind. More likely, the other drivers are wondering why grandpa is flying down the road so fast, and giving him space.

To the author, I'd say the Lexus Ct200h is to Toyota Prius what Cadillac Cimarron was to Chevrolet Cavalier.

Badge engineering is smart, and the upscale models should be considered 'more betterer,' but yes, the bones are similar. Keep in mind, however, that most folks who drive a car can't tell you much more about their engines beyond liters, horsepower, torque, basic layout (inline 4, v6, etc) and milage. Bore and stroke? Camshaft profile? Gearing? So nicer seats and radios would be, for a lot of people, definitely better, regardless of what was lurking under the hood, or not.

Pat Rogers (not verified)    September 14, 2020 - 3:49PM

In reply to by Randy gaber (not verified)

Hey I’m looking at a 2014 Lexus CT200h and wondered what your thoughts were on it? It’s for sale with 135,000 miles on it and just wondered if it would be worth looking at or not. Worried about battery life. I spend most weekends in mountains of e Tn. And live on Norris lake.

Christina (not verified)    May 4, 2021 - 12:33PM

In reply to by Randy gaber (not verified)

Hi there, appreciate your comment. I’m trying to decide whether I should get a Prius or CT200, did the ct200 give you problems and what’s the maintenance cost like?

Paul Cahill (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 2:37PM

This is kind of a non-article. Pointless.
"The CT is a luxury hybrid based on the Toyota Prius drivetrain and Toyota MC platform chassis"
The MC platform was the basis for the prius, corolla, rav4, matrix a bunch of other vehicles. Is this supposed to be an edgy article actually looking for an argument against your hypothesis?

Yasin (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 3:07PM

I would say it's actually more like a Lexus branded Auris. The body type matches more to Auris than to Prius. Lexus, as usual, offers a couple of more / different interior features that make it look more elegant.

No news here (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 3:27PM

They haven’t sold the CT200h in the states since 2017. How about an article on the on going expensive and dangerous rodent wire damage on all Toyota/ Lexus vehicles.

Buddah (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 3:30PM

Well to get to the point your not wrong but Almost All manufactures of luxury cars have cheaper car division and uses parts from the lather on the luxury models. So by definition using the same points in this article..
Acura is overpriced Honda,
Infinity is a overpriced, Nissan
Cadillac is an overpriced GMC/ Chevy
Lincoln is an overpriced Ford
Audi is and overpriced Volkswagen..
With knowing these facts it makes the point moot to call any Lexus model an overpriced Toyota model.

2014CT (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 4:40PM

I have a 2014 CT and I can say that even though the drive train is the same it is far from a Prius. I test drove a Prius before buying the CT and ergonomically they are night and day difference in terms of driving comfort. The CT's interior is layed out perfectly and the seats are more comfortable. The dash and center console is far more elegant and practical. The CT does have a very firm ride but weighs more which is why I think it is smoother than the Prius. Once I swapped the stock Michelin tires for Kumho's it rides way better. My decision to buy the CT is not me being a badge whore, I wanted a very nice hatchback with great gas mileage because I drive 70+ miles a day. I get roughly 55mpg on average which is well over the rating of 40mpg. I also chose the CT for's a Toyota...I own 3 Toyotas and never have problems. Since the performance factor is out the window I still chose to modify the appearance as I do with all of my cars because I plan to have them for a long time. Mine is lowered, tinted and has a body kit. I get so many compliments on the car because it looks damn good and you don't see many on the road. Most people will agree that the Prius and CT are the same but they're the same people that will buy a higher trim package on a car for more bells and whistles with no performance increase. I bought mine smart...certified pre-owned with very, very low miles. I paid the same as you would for a Madza 3 hatchback, Focus hatchback or Civic hatchback. The CT is far more reliable than those cars and looks WAY better especially after the appearance mods I made.

Zade Hamam (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 4:58PM

I daily an MR2 that is very well built suspension wise. Super fun to drive. But my mother has a ct200h that I get to drive here and there, have taken it to Seattle and back from Portland. Lemme tell ya, that thing is one of my favorite vehicles to ever drive, I drive it like a grandma, try to hypermile in comfort with seat heaters and a great sound system. It's truly an amazing vehicle and my ideal daily at some point.

David Bluhm (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 8:46PM

We have had both Toyota & Lexus. The ride and feel of a Lexus not the same at to a Lexus. Great cars some parts the same some not. Depends on what you want to spend.

Steve (not verified)    December 20, 2019 - 9:08PM

I agree there may be identical parts however, having worked for a Lexus Toyota supplier, the quality standards were far more extreme for Lexus than Toyota. Lexus parts were assembled On a different line with more exacting standards. I believe the same is true with their engines.