Home » Toyota Prius » The 3rd Gen Toyota Prius vs the Lexus CT200h.

I read this on a FB group and had to share it with you all!

Just want to say, this is going to be a very long post/mini review. So grab your favorite drink and some popcorn and let’s get started! First a little disclaimer I am not Mr. Toyota or Mr. Lexus and I am not The Car God! I’m just a regular old blue-collar worker who happens to own both of these vehicles and has just a little knowledge on both the cars in question. So with the best of my ability, I’m going to try to give my honest opinion on the differences between these two cars. So if I get something wrong, or don’t say something exactly right, please don’t get mad or pick up the pitchforks. First a little background about myself: I am a maintenance technician and I have worked for Denso for over 33 years (Toyota is like the mother company to Denso, sort of). I currently own both cars, a 2011 Toyota Prius Plus performance evolution edition (3rd gen.) and 2015 Lexus CT200h F-sport. I also recently sold a 2007 Toyota Prius (2nd gen.), which we owned for quite a few years. For reference I also own a 2014 328d BMW and a 2010 BMW M3 as well as a couple other vehicles. So let’s just say I’m a car guy. I also work on all of my cars and do most of all the maintenance. So with that said, let’s do this review…..
The Prius and the CT share the “EXACT” same drive train (engine and transmission). And pretty much for the most part that’s about it. There may be a few other little things here and there, but not much, at least from what I understand. They are two completely different cars, different chassis, suspensions, interiors, and exteriors. The cars were built and designed for two different types of customers. One thing to note- because they share the same power train, they both are plagued with the same potential head gasket and EGR problems. First, let’s talk about the Prius. The Prius was basically designed for the customer that wants a very reliable car that gets exceptional fuel economy and is very practical, versatile, and very roomy for its size. It is geared towards a customer that’s not looking for high-end or a luxury brand. But keep in mind, most car manufacturers offer an entry level and a fully-loaded version, and the Prius is no exception to that rule. Then the exterior look of the Prius is not too impressive to look at. I definitely believe that the 3rd generation made some improvements and definitely looks better than the previous two versions, as well as the fourth generation. Now, the all new 2024 Prius, that one definitely looks better than all the previous models. Hands down! Also, depending on which model/trim level you get, you can get either the basic 15-inch wheels or an upgraded 17 -inch wheel. In my opinion, the 17-inch wheels look way better, which is what I have on mine. The interior is decent and has a decent layout. But keep in mind, it’s very plasticky-feeling especially on your touch points. The seats offer very little side bolstering/support and they are just OK to sit in, but not super comfortable. I am 6 feet tall and with the front seat adjusted for me(seat all the way back), you can still seat two full-size adults somewhat comfortably (or three depending how big they are). The car is very versatile and has plenty of storage. The seats fold down with a pretty decent hatch opening and more than adequate rear cargo area to get somewhat large items in the back. As far as driving the car, it drives like a somewhat normal car (other than obviously being a hybrid with a transmission that doesn’t shift) -nothing too fancy and definitely not a car that handles great. You can definitely hear the road noise when driving. As far as getting up on the freeway and passing anybody, it’s a Prius, but if you put it in the power mode it does OK. However, it’s definitely nothing to write home about. Quick side note, the Prius is just little under 200lbs. lighter than the CT, which means the Prius is ever so slightly faster. I know all die hard CT lovers are not going to like to hear that. I personally don’t understand why Lexus did not put a little bit more engineering/tuning into making the car a little bit faster than the Prius. That doesn’t make sense to me. Cost savings, I’m sure, but also if it’s not broke why fix it? Prius also gets better fuel economy than the CT. Probably on average 10 miles a gallon. Now onto the Lexus CT200h. If you are the customer that wants a slightly more premium luxury type car with the Lexus badging, but still wants most of the Prius reliability and fuel economy, but doesn’t want the stigma of the Prius or some people looking down at you because you drive a Prius, the CT might just be the right fit for you. Let’s talk about CT a little more. The exterior of the CT is a much sexier looking little car. Especially the 2014 facelift F-sport. The interior is much more refined with soft touch points and doesn’t feel super plasticky on the inside. The room inside is much smaller than the Prius with a somewhat tighter cockpit and has a little sportier feel to it. The seats have decent side bolstering and hugs your body a lot more. Most of them come with some kind of synthetic leather, which by the way, doesn’t feel bad at all. From what I understand, they did have a an option for true genuine leather. As far as seating in the back, it’s very small and it would not be very comfortable for your average full-size adults. But in a pinch, you could make it work for short distances. The back hatch area, is not very big, but you can still put a decent amount of stuff in the back if you fold the rear seats down. So it still versatile, just not as good as the Prius. Driving the CT, feels a lot more sporty and, dare I say, faster than the Prius, but it’s not. The independent rear suspension and overall stiffer suspension definitely handles and feels much more sportier than the Prius. Now keep in mind, I do have the F-sport, which has a slightly stiffer suspension than the base model. The cabin road noise is minimal and much better than the Prius. Even shutting the doors on the CT vs the Prius feels much more premium. Overall, I believe they are both great cars, but serve two slightly different customers. So with that being said, you will ultimately have to decide which one’s right for you. As for me, right now my daily driver will be the Lexus CT200h and I will be selling the Prius very soon. By the way, I will be doing full reviews on both of these cars on my YouTube channel in the near future. If you would like to show some love and support, please check out My YouTube channel, Blue Collar Reviews. I only have one video up right now and it’s the review of the 2007 Toyota Prius I mentioned earlier. Please keep in mind this is my very first video, so I encourage you to leave a comment, but please be kind! I hope this information was helpful for anybody considering whether to buy the 3rd gen. Toyota Prius or the Lexus CT200h. Thanks for reading! E


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