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2014 Lexus CT200h: Style meets sustainability

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Lexus CT200h

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The Lexus CT 200h is a hybrid hatchback that made its debut a few years ago, but for this model year, has matured into a sportier style that retains great fuel economy.

The previous generation CT 200h was nice enough, but hardly distinguishable from many other small hatchbacks on the market today. That's not necessarily bad; there are a number of good-looking hatchbacks on the market today.

But many of them aren't from luxury brands, and therefore don't carry luxury price tags.

This one was a Lexus, so you might expect a bit more.

With the upgrades for 2014, the CT 200h delivers.

There is a new front fascia, new wheel designs and some interior updates.

Up front, the lower air intake combines nicely with the spindle grille and the modified front bumper to give a more aggressive look than the previous version. Lexus also added a new rear bumper.

Standard features include side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators and a power moonroof.

The CT 200h is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor - the combination yields 134 horsepower.

Fuel economy is rated at 43 mpg city, 40 highway. But if you wish to try to exceed those numbers, you can switch the car into Eco drive mode, one of four settings offered (Normal, EV and Sport are the others).

If you want a really sporty version, you can select the CT 200h F Sport, which offers even more aggressive styling and a more sport-tuned suspension.

The CT 200h's interior is of modest space, but is still pretty comfortable if you aren't trying to haul too much stuff or too many people.

We used it for a three-person trip to the beach for a fishing outing, and after the nearly five-hour drive, we all emerged comfortably relaxed and none the worse for wear.

The CT 200h starts at around $33,000 and ranges to a little below $38,000.

This car proves that driving green doesn't have to mean driving boring, so if it's style and sustainability you're after, the CT 200h is a fine choice.

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