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Old 04-14-11, 06:01 AM   #31
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Class act from a Lexus hatch


Published on Wednesday 13 April 2011 15:23

LEXUS brings a touch of posh to the hybrid hatch sector. David Vivian assesses its chances.

LEXUS is aiming to gatecrash the small prestige hatch territory dominated by Audi and BMW with an up-market/low emissions five-door hatch using the petrol-electric hybrid powertrain of the Toyota Prius and Auris HSD.

It’s the first hybrid in this sector and carries the promise of Lexus quality.

Under the bonnet lies a 98bhp 1798cc variable timing four-cylinder engine that, working in tandem with an electric motor, delivers 134bhp.

Lexus has tweaked the electronics to smooth the delivery and, in Sport mode, provide a little more shove while, at the same time, sharpening throttle and steering response and reducing the effect of the stability control.

As with the Prius, there are three other settings: Normal, Eco and EV (in which guise you can travel on electric power alone at up to 28mph while battery reserves permit).

Premium small hatches as a breed don’t make spaciousness a big priority and the Lexus is certainly no worse than the class norm, though what would be quite a decent luggage capacity is compromised by the battery pack located underneath the rear seats and boot floor.

Leg and headroom dimensions in the back look adequate and the small of stature shouldn’t feel cramped, though the CT’s high waistline means the view out won’t be great for anyone.

The good news is that, when it comes to perceived quality - the standard of the paintwork, fixtures and fittings, the sense of solidity and the tactility of the cabin materials - the Lexus should be able to stand toe-to-toe with Audi and BMW and maybe even force them to look to their laurels.

Plenty of kit is a foundation stone of the Lexus ethos, so it’s a little surprising that only the topline Premium models have satnav as standard.

To be fair though, it’s quite some satnav, boasting touchscreen controls, a display with excellent clarity and graphics and a level of sophistication few other line-fit systems can match.

In other areas, though, the lesser CT200h variants aren’t found wanting. There are three trim levels to choose from: SE-I, SE-L and SE-L Premier. Lexus reckons that it would cost over £1,700 to specify a comparable BMW 118d SE to the same level as a CT200h SE-I.

Cost of ownership is where the CT200h can really hurt its conventionally-powered rivals.

Its hybrid technology might be fairly conventional - we’re on the cusp of a transition to plug-in lithium ion batteries - but that can’t detract from CO2 emissions of just 96g/km and the running cost benefits that go with it: rock bottom road fund licence and company car tax.

A 10 per cent benefit-in-kind company car tax rating compares with 13 per cent for a BMW 118d or an Audi A3 2.0 TDI - or 18 per cent if you properly match this Lexus by choosing these German rivals in their automatic guises.

Take the official combined consumption figure of 68.9mpg with a pinch of salt - achievable but not in the real world - and you won’t be disappointed with returns at least the equal of the best diesel competition.

Throw in congestion charge exemption, reasonably-priced servicing and what’s almost certain to be a snail-like rate of depreciation though, and the running cost package looks compelling.
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Old 04-15-11, 04:36 AM   #32
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Everything's Right
even the price; Believe it ... it's small, sporty, swift, a hatchback and a hybrid

Lexus, and to a lesser degree "hybrid", are 2 words you probably don't associate with 'affordable.'

That changes with the introduction of the all-new Lexus CT 200h. A start price just under $31,000 makes it the least expensive new Lexus you can buy, it has a full-hybrid powertrain and just as surprising ... a sporty attitude.

Starting out on our morning drive, Calgary was initially a winter wonderland, but as we headed north of the city towards Cochrane we came upon a five-kilometre stretch of highway that looked more like a war zone.

Bashed-up cars and trucks were strewn along the side of the road or half-buried in the ditches as ice rain and super-slick roads had taken a heavy, heavy toll on some early morning commuters. The weather cleared faster than the depressing images of vehicle carnage, however, and we pressed on to the west and the town of Canmore, at the foot of the Rockies.

The new Lexus CT200h I was driving was fitted with snow tires, and it confidently took it all in stride, with some extra driver caution on the slickest sections of the route.

A departure from what we normally expect from Lexus, the CT 200h is not a big car and it's a hatchback. Power comes from a small 1.8-litre gasoline engine or an electric motor or both. It's basically the same hybrid powertrain that you'll find under the hood of a Toyota Prius, and it has a combined output of 134-horsepower.

That said, the CT200h not only has a much sportier appearance but is built on a totally different body platform and offers distinctly better handling than a Prius. It also comes with the luxury appointments that a Lexus buyer would expect, and provides the driver with a choice of 4 operating modes, Normal, Sport, Eco and EV.

The EV (Electric Vehicle) mode is an interesting one, with a maximum range of about 2 kilometres at a maximum speed of 40 km/ hour. It's a handy engine-off fuel saving feature that can be used in stopn-go traffic and great for slow moving lineups, like a drive-thru or a border crossing.

Lexus expects the CT200h to compete directly against the Audi A3 TDI, winner of last year's Green Car of the Year award. It offers better fuel (gasoline instead of diesel) economy (4.6 L/100 km combined), especially when city driven, and its CO2 emissions are 40 per cent lower.

Another possible competitor may be within its own ranks, the Lexus HS250h. A luxury four-door sedan based on the Prius, the HS250h was promoted as the world's first dedicated luxury hybrid sedan. The CT200h could claim the luxury hybrid hatchback version of that accolade.

On the inside, the CT200h is certainly upscale, but it's plainer and more functional than other Lexus products. Leather-look upholstery, called NuLuke, is offered as the eco-friendly (in terms of manufacturing emissions) choice, and it has numerous other earth-friendly components, including audio speakers made from bamboo. In fact, 30% of the interior is made with eco-friendly materials.

Up front it has a driver-focused cockpit with well-bolstered seats that are both comfortable and provide excellent lateral support. Rear passenger leg room is limited, depending on who's sitting up front, but otherwise it's a livable space for 2. Three might be a tight squeeze.

Fun to drive and competitively priced, the Lexus CT200h seems to have what it takes to appeal to a younger luxury car buyer who's concerned about the environment, yet also want to drive and enjoy a sporty car.

Lexus CT200h prices:

Base CT200h $30,950

plus Premium Package $32,900

plus Technology Package $39,350

Bob McHugh is a freelance automotive journalist, writing on behalf of BCAA. Contact him at drivingwheel@shaw.ca


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Old 04-16-11, 08:54 AM   #33
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Lexus CT200h 90sec video review by autocar.co.uk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo591...ature=youtu.be

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Old 04-28-11, 10:14 AM   #34
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Post Autoblog Review published April 28, 2011

Autoblog Road Test of the CT200h
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Old 04-28-11, 03:56 PM   #35
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Great review. Shame a lot of the positives of the car in regards to it being built environmentally friendly like the HS are rarely mentioned. Its a selling point to the eco crowd.
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Old 05-06-11, 10:18 AM   #36
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http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...-ct-200h_n.htm
Quote:
2011 Lexus CT 200h is a foxy, feisty take on the Prius

Take a Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid, shorten it for a more fetching proportion, but sacrifice rear-seat legroom. Lower the roof for sex appeal, at the expense of spaciousness. Modify the chassis to improve handling. Ta-dah, you wind up with a Lexus CT 200h.

Must be the right mix. The car went on sale in March and immediately became the third-best-selling Lexus, behind the ES 350 entry-level gasoline midsize sedan and the compact IS series.

You might have seen the CT in TV ads suggesting it's the "dark side" of hybrids, a naughty way to save fuel.

Talk about whetting the appetite. Alas, the test car lacked the edge required to live up to that image. It had an agile chassis that made it more fun than most hybrids, however.

Lexus says the CT uses Toyota's MC platform, same as Prius, but has a shorter wheelbase and "was highly modified in various areas. Engineers worked to improve driving dynamics with double-wishbone rear suspension, performance dampers and extensive use of high tensile strength sheet steel and aluminum."

A double-wishbone suspension lets the tires follow the road much better than the solid rear axle common among smaller cars. Performance dampers — shock absorbers — in this case mean stiffer. And the high-strength steel and aluminum lower the weight.

So, plenty of right thinking and right stuff.

But CT lacked a rip-snortin' factor: no push-you-back-in-the-seat acceleration, even using the sport mode that improves response at the expense of gas mileage.

On the other hand, flogged hard, the CT still managed a worthy 39.6 miles per gallon in the 'burbs.

Some of the car's fun factor comes from its ability to let you adjust the drivetrain to your mood. EV (electric vehicle) mode tries to stay on electric power as long as possible. Eco and Normal modes are fuel-mileage oriented. Sport makes the steering and throttle more responsive and backs off the intrusiveness of the stability and traction controls so you can fling the car a bit harder.

Sport also reminds you that you're having fun, in case you forget, by changing the instrument panel ligthing from restful blue to go-get-'em red. And the gauge that otherwise tracks battery charging or draining switches into a tachometer.

Using Sport mode and a heavy right foot, the CT gathered way promptly, if not urgently. But it never felt as if it were accelerating hard — undermining the concept of fun.

In Eco it was pretty sluggish, so using that as a basis, sport did seem lively.

We'd have to call Honda's CR-Z hybrid more fun, especially equipped with the manual transmission. But it's a two-seater, so is less practical than the CT, with its tight but usable back seat.

The Lexus CT 200h looks attractive, seeming almost as if it would be more at home as a premium offering within Toyota's Scion lineup. The tucked and tailored appearance oozes ready-to-rock personality.

The interior's inviting and comfortable, though the price for that styling is the cramped back seat when compared with the Toyota Prius, from which CT gets its underpinnings.

There were the requisite (for a hybrid) odd-ball controls — the computer-mouse-like joy stick for some functions, for instance — but mainly the CT scored high on the nothing-stupid index. You could hop in, head out, have fun. No deep-dive briefing necessary. No geek-like mind-set required to make all the features and functions work. No driving like a weenie in order to get good mileage.

Lots to like about the CT:

•Lets you enjoy the Lexus status and reputation for a relatively (by luxury brand standards) low price.

•Gives you something interesting to eyeball in the garage.

•Provides crisp handling.

•Does all that in a smallish, urban-size package that's easy to park and that slips through traffic easily.

But it's no pocket rocket. If that's what you expect, then CT, despite its many lures, will let you down.

2011 Lexus CT 200h hybrid

•What? Small, four-door, front-drive hatchback hybrid based on hardware in Toyota Prius.

•When? On sale since March.

•Where? Made at Kyushu, Japan.

•How much? Starts at $29,995, including $875 shipping. Well-optioned test car was $36,725.

•How powerful? Combined rating of gasoline engine, electric motor is 134 horsepower. The 1.8-liter, four-cylinder gas engine rated 98 hp at 5,200 rpm, 142 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Electric motor rated 80 hp, torque not specified.

•How frisky? Not very, at least judged by the ads calling it the "dark (i.e. fun) side" of hybrids. Toyota lists 0-60 mph at 9.3 seconds (think four-cylinder Camry), top speed of 113 mph.

•How big? Half a foot shorter, an inch wider, on 4-inch shorter wheelbase than Prius, resulting in less rear legroom. CT 200h is 170.1 inches long, 69.5 in. wide, 56.7 in. tall on a 102.4-in. wheelbase. Cargo space behind rear seats: 14.3 cubic feet. Weighs 3,130 lbs. Turning circle diameter: 34.2 ft.

•How thirsty? Rated 43 miles per gallon in town, 40 mpg highway, 42 combined. Trip computer in test car showed 39.6 mpg (2.53 gallons per 100 miles) in suburban driving. Burns regular; tank holds 11.9 gallons.

•Overall: Sexy for a Lexus; fun for a hybrid.
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Old 05-09-11, 04:57 AM   #37
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Driven: Sporty Lexus Compact Hybrid
Sharp styling and crisp drivability, plus Prius-like mileage, make CT 200h a more palatable clean machine for driving enthisiasts.

Click the image to open in full size.

The Toyota Prius hybrid has been a huge hit, not just here but worldwide, even though for car guys the Prius has a critical problem: It looks dorky.

Sure, its awkward shape has become a rather iconic symbol for low-emissions and fuel-efficient driving so that all your friends, neighbors and business associates know that you’re a good person for driving it. The highly recognizable Prius profile is one of the major reasons people are attracted to them.

But for those of us who dig cool cars, that’s a problem. For 2011, Lexus came to the rescue with a cleanly styled and highly drivable compact hybrid that removes the dork onus, although it is saddled with a clumsy name: CT 200h. That just doesn’t have the same ring as “Prius.”

CT, as I'll call it, is a good-looking 4-door hatchback that is a dedicated hybrid, i.e. there is no regular gas-powered version to cause confusion. The look may not be as unique as Prius’ but at least those who recognize it will know it is a hybrid and nothing else. Which, I suppose, is an important thing for those who want to be perceived as good people.

With fuel prices hovering around $4 per gallon on average, a cool-looking Lexus hybrid might just fill the bill. Lexus notes that CT is the only luxury-compact hybrid on the market, thus far.

CT does perform with all the tidy excellence of Prius, with a seamless interchange of gasoline and electric power and various modes of operation for either more-efficient or better-performance driving. Like the Prius, its greatest efficiency comes in urban driving where the electric motor has a greater role rather than in highway driving, when the small gas engine does most of the heavy lifting.

My only issue with CT’s drivability is the rubbery continuously variable transmission, which either has the gas engine groaning like a wounded water buffalo or, when under hard acceleration or hill climbing, wailing loudly and continuously in high rpm. Really.

I know, I know, these CVT transmissions offer the most-efficient fuel-saving technology, compared with a regular multi-gear automatic or manual, but I just get sick of driving around with all that groaning and wailing. I would think that for car geeks such as myself, Lexus would provide the option of stickshift, especially for a car with sporty pretensions.

I had the opportunity to drive CT on a long road trip into the central Arizona high country, where scrubby desert turns to tall pines, and while the Lexus performed admirably with good handling and decent power, the droning high-rpm engine noise on the many steep grades during the way up started getting to me. On the mostly downhill way back, not so bad.

Stickshift would have been so much better all the way around. CT does have a driver-adjustable setting that provides engine braking rather than its normal free-wheeling, and the Sport setting gives greater throttle response and more-aggressive transmission mapping. But a trip like this really pointed out the warts in the CVT system.

Fuel mileage was pretty great, however, even though I was pushing the car hard most of the way. I averaged in the mid 30 mpgs on the ascent into the hills and in the low 40s on the way back. For a hybrid, that’s kind of what it’s all about.

In local driving, CT got mileage in the low 40s, and here the CVT wasn’t nearly as annoying. In the most-efficient EV mode, the car felt kind of sluggish but not too bad, and I learned how to manipulate the adjustments between Sport for acceleration and EV for cruising or driving in traffic to get the most mileage with the best performance.

In EV (which stands for electric vehicle), CT will run on electric power only up to 28 mph with light throttle pressure. The other modes – Eco, Normal and Sport – provide increasing performance but correspondingly lower efficiency.

A cool feature: when you switch to Sport mode, the electronic instrument cluster replaces the hybrid-system monitor with a tachometer.

CT gets its power from a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder with “intelligent” variable valve control accompanied by a pair of electric motors that also serve as generators to return power to the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack when the engine is doing the work or while decelerating. 1 motor is up front while the other powers the rear wheels as needed.

Together they provide 134 horsepower with loads of torque from low rpm so that in the Normal or Sport modes, off-the-line acceleration can be pretty strong. Lexus says it will accelerate from 0 to 60 in 9.8 seconds.

Drivability is uncompromised by the hybrid system, with the system switching back and forth quietly and unnoticeably. Although it starts off quickly, the Lexus runs out of breath as speed climbs. CT cruises comfortably at freeway speeds.

The body design is an expressive-looking 4-door hatchback, efficient but stylish, that should pass muster for anyone who wants to save the planet but still look good.

Being a Lexus, the hybrid contains a premium interior with an upmarket collection of features. Of course, it can be loaded up with all manner of options, from navigation to rear-view camera.

The interior styling is fairly restrained but the quality of the design and materials is right up there. The seats are roomy and supportive all around, aside from the middle rear which is for wee folk only, and the wagon back provides loads of cargo space. The battery pack is hidden away under the rear deck.

There is a significant blind spot to the right rear where the rear-seat headrest totally blocks the view of the corner window.

The electronic gauges and controls and complete and easy to use, although there is that busy video interface with the audio system and climate control that requires additional steps to adjust. The console-mounted selector for the transmission is kind of trick.

The base model starts at a reasonable $29,120, considering the level of technology and upscale trim, and a more luxurious Premium model starts at $30,900. The total quickly adds up as the options are loaded on, approaching $40,000 before you know it.

Aside from that annoying CVT, the CT 200h proved to be an enjoyable and even fun driver for the back-road trip as well as around town. With its sporty style and crisp handling, it’s a good way to have your ecological cake and eat it, too.
Details

Vehicle type: 5-passenger, four-door hatchback, all-wheel drive.
Hybrid drive system: 1.8 liter inline-4, 98 horsepower at 5,200 rpm, 105 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm; 2 electric motors delivering from 500 to 650 watts, depending on driver setting.
Transmission: Continuously variable.
Wheelbase: 102.4 inches.
Overall length: 170.1 inches.
Curb weight: 3,130 pounds.
EPA mileage rating: 43 city, 40 highway.
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Old 05-10-11, 07:23 PM   #38
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F-SPORT review

http://www.caradvice.com.au/117239/l...-sport-review/

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 05-11-11, 05:20 AM   #39
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Take a Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid, shorten it for a more fetching proportion, but sacrifice rear-seat legroom. Lower the roof for sex appeal, at the expense of spaciousness. Modify the chassis to improve handling. Ta-dah, you wind up with a Lexus CT 200h.

You might have seen the CT in TV ads suggesting it's the "dark side" of hybrids, a naughty way to save fuel.

Talk about whetting the appetite. Alas, the test car lacked the edge required to live up to that image. It had an agile chassis that made it more fun than most hybrids, however.

Lexus says the CT uses Toyota's MC platform, same as Prius, but has a shorter wheelbase and "was highly modified in various areas. Engineers worked to improve driving dynamics with double-wishbone rear suspension, performance dampers and extensive use of high tensile strength sheet steel and aluminum."

A double-wishbone suspension lets the tires follow the road much better than the solid rear axle common among smaller cars. Performance dampers — shock absorbers — in this case mean stiffer. And the high-strength steel and aluminum lower the weight.

So, plenty of right thinking and right stuff.

But CT lacked a rip-snortin' factor: no push-you-back-in-the-seat acceleration, even using the sport mode that improves response at the expense of gas mileage.

On the other hand, flogged hard, the CT still managed a worthy 39.6 miles per gallon in the 'burbs.

Some of the car's fun factor comes from its ability to let you adjust the drivetrain to your mood. EV (electric vehicle) mode tries to stay on electric power as long as possible. Eco and Normal modes are fuel-mileage oriented. Sport makes the steering and throttle more responsive and backs off the intrusiveness of the stability and traction controls so you can fling the car a bit harder.

Sport also reminds you that you're having fun, in case you forget, by changing the instrument panel ligthing from restful blue to go-get-'em red. And the gauge that otherwise tracks battery charging or draining switches into a tachometer.

Using Sport mode and a heavy right foot, the CT gathered way promptly, if not urgently. But it never felt as if it were accelerating hard — undermining the concept of fun.

In Eco it was pretty sluggish, so using that as a basis, sport did seem lively.

We'd have to call Honda's CR-Z hybrid more fun, especially equipped with the manual transmission. But it's a 2-seater, so is less practical than the CT, with its tight but usable back seat.

The Lexus CT 200h looks attractive, seeming almost as if it would be more at home as a premium offering within Toyota's Scion lineup. The tucked and tailored appearance oozes ready-to-rock personality.

The interior's inviting and comfortable, though the price for that styling is the cramped back seat when compared with the Toyota Prius, from which CT gets its underpinnings.

There were the requisite (for a hybrid) odd-ball controls — the computer-mouse-like joy stick for some functions, for instance — but mainly the CT scored high on the nothing-stupid index. You could hop in, head out, have fun. No deep-dive briefing necessary. No geek-like mind-set required to make all the features and functions work. No driving like a weenie in order to get good mileage.

Lots to like about the CT:

•Lets you enjoy the Lexus status and reputation for a relatively (by luxury brand standards) low price.

•Gives you something interesting to eyeball in the garage.

•Provides crisp handling.

•Does all that in a smallish, urban-size package that's easy to park and that slips through traffic easily.

But it's no pocket rocket. If that's what you expect, then CT, despite its many lures, will let you down.
Click the image to open in full size.
2011 Lexus CT 200h hybrid

•What? Small, 4-door, front-drive hatchback hybrid based on hardware in Toyota Prius.

•When? On sale since March.

•Where? Made at Kyushu, Japan.

•How much? Starts at $29,995, including $875 shipping. Well-optioned test car was $36,725.

•How powerful? Combined rating of gasoline engine, electric motor is 134 horsepower. The 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder gas engine rated 98 hp at 5,200 rpm, 142 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Electric motor rated 80 hp, torque not specified.

•How frisky? Not very, at least judged by the ads calling it the "dark (i.e. fun) side" of hybrids. Toyota lists 0-60 mph at 9.3 seconds (think 4-cylinder Camry), top speed of 113 mph.

•How big? Half a foot shorter, an inch wider, on 4-inch shorter wheelbase than Prius, resulting in less rear legroom. CT 200h is 170.1 inches long, 69.5 in. wide, 56.7 in. tall on a 102.4-in. wheelbase. Cargo space behind rear seats: 14.3 cubic feet. Weighs 3,130 lbs. Turning circle diameter: 34.2 ft.

•How thirsty? Rated 43 miles per gallon in town, 40 mpg highway, 42 combined. Trip computer in test car showed 39.6 mpg (2.53 gallons per 100 miles) in suburban driving. Burns regular; tank holds 11.9 gallons.

•Overall:
Sexy for a Lexus; fun for a hybrid.
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Old 05-20-11, 03:05 PM   #40
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Default Fifth Gear CT200h tv review

*note* due to non piracy blah blah blah here on CL i will not post any links to torrents, you can search the bay yourself.

The latest 5th gear (S19E06) reviewed the CT, Tiff gave her a 2, Vicky 7, Jason 6 and Johnny gave her 8 for a total of 23/40.

Nothing earth shattering, but just thought i'd inform everyone.
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Old 05-20-11, 04:23 PM   #41
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Here's at least part of the review on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oMr1qQ0T1g

Edit: found the whole review. Starts at 12:40

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsL9ycBARKs
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Old 05-20-11, 04:40 PM   #42
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Tiff gave it a 2!?

I've enjoyed the "group reviews" they've been doing up until now...
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Old 05-21-11, 03:22 AM   #43
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Man... I want a CT already...

Is there any recalls/issues with the car? I'm thinking of waiting for the 2012 model so it can fix any kinks since this is the first year of production.
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Old 05-21-11, 07:17 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djyoshi626 View Post
Man... I want a CT already...

Is there any recalls/issues with the car? I'm thinking of waiting for the 2012 model so it can fix any kinks since this is the first year of production.
No Recalls and no problems. It is a fun little car. I am very pleased.
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Old 05-21-11, 10:59 PM   #45
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Thanks for sharing...interesting that the yougest guy in the group was the one who liked it most.
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Front Bumper Canards...pics? DCoolBeans IS F 13 03-24-13 09:45 PM
HELP! Wiring a 2jzgte vvti to a 2nd gen GS300 AristoGuy GS - Second Generation 18 03-09-13 05:47 PM
Anyone here have an APR wing? marshall2j SC 400/300 3 09-11-12 08:45 PM

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