Fresh looks, more tech, prices up for luxury hybrid

Australian pricing and specifications for the updated 2018 Lexus CT200h range have been announced this week, with the company's smallest model now kicking off at $40,900 before on-road costs (+$2150).

Offsetting the price hike is a raft of visual, equipment and technology upgrades that should help the Lexus be more competitive in the premium small car segment.

As before, the Luxury, F Sport and Sports Luxury grades will be offered, with the line-up ranging from $40,900 to $56,900.

The entry-level Luxury gets the Lexus Safety System+ - which includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, adaptive cruise control and auto high beam - along with a larger 10.3-inch infotainment system (up from 7.0 inches) with satellite navigation, Enform connected services, 16-inch alloy wheels, a 4.2-inch driver's display and an electrochromatic rear-view mirror.

Optionally available on the base model is an enhancement pack ($4500) adds larger 17-inch alloys, LED fog-lights, DAB+ digital radio, leather-accented interior trim, and heated front seats. A power moonroof is also offered for an additional $2500.

Next up is the F Sport (pictured) at $50,400 plus ORCs (+$1960). Additional equipment includes bi-LED headlights with washers, LED fog-lights, new 17-inch alloy wheels, and a sports body kit.

There's also new leather trim choices in the F Sport model, 'F Sport White' and 'F Sport Flare Red', both of which feature contrasting black trim on the front seats. An all-black interior is available too.

Options include an enhancement pack with a 13-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, moonroof and smart key ($4500), and the standalone moonroof ($2500).

Finally, the Sports Luxury ($56,990, +$810) gets heated and power-adjustable front seats, the Mark Levinson sound system and moonroof.

Premium paint commands an additional $1000 across all grades.

The hybrid drivetrain is unchanged, pairing a 1.8-litre petrol engine with two electric motors for a system output of 100kW. Fuel consumption is rated at 4.1L/100km, while the CT200h can also run at up to 45km/h in electric mode.

Sales wise the CT200h can't touch the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3, shifting just 51 units in September and 664 year to date (YTD). That compares to 540/3802 for the Benz and 464/3769 for the Audi (Sept/YTD).

2018 Lexus CT200h details

Luxury - $40,900 (+$2150)

F Sport - $50,400 (+$1960)

Sports Luxury - $56,900 (+$810)

Options

Enhancement Pack (Luxury): 17-inch alloys, DAB+ and heated front seats - $4500

Enhancement Pack (F Sport): Moonroof, Mark Levinson sound system, smart key - $4500

Moonroof (Luxury, F Sport) - $2500

Premium paint - $1000