The new front-wheel-drive Lexus CT 200h, scheduled to hit dealer showrooms in late February, is a terrific upscale alternative to the Toyota Prius (TM
), sold by the parent company of Lexus. This all-new model has two big selling points: a relatively low price—it's the least-expensive model in the Lexus lineup, with a starting price of $29,995—and an average fuel economy rating of 42 miles per gallon. It's no BMW but the CT 200h has a nicer cabin and greater driving panache than such high-mileage competitors as the Prius and Honda Insight (HMC
). We'd recommend test-driving Lexus's new entry level hybrid against a diesel-powered Audi A3 wagon (NSU:GR), which is rated to get 42 mpg on the highway. We like both and would be hard-pressed to choose one over the other.