Hello everyone, thanks for stopping by. I recently dropped my 2008 Lexus IS250 off at the Lexus dealer for its 60k service. After practically begging for a 2013 ES loaner, I was given a choice between an RX350 or CT200h. Being bored with the RX, I decided to give the CT a go. I will start off by saying two things: I was told that the CT entered the loaner fleet simply because it sat on the lot for a full year and NEVER sold. Accordingly, I went in to my CT experience will drastically low expectations. To any current CT owner, this write up will merely restate most of your opinions as to why you bought the car in the first place. To any one curious of or looking to purchase a CT, I hope this write up provides some useful info. (2012 Lexus CT200h in Starfire Pearl and ecru Nu Luxe.. some sort of option that bundles backup cam and heated seats... two things I long for)
My first duty was to run some errands near the dealer, which called for no use of the motor. I was tickled when looking at the tach and seeing it read "zero" as I'm doing almost 20 mph. Darting in and around parking lots became effortless and pickup from the electric motor was flawless. I feel that errand running in settings such as this is one of the CT's best realms. Until I put the car in reverse and nearly died laughing from the absolutely comical reverse chime, that is!
Next was a run through the drive through for a milkshake; this time sitting in stopped traffic also open my eyes to the CT. First of all, having the engine shut off when stopped is brilliant. Next I glanced through the menu in the gauges and took not of the mere 2750 miles on a one year old car and also the 40.6 mpg the previous renter received. Additionally, I was greeted by a well executed cabin that doesn't feel like an econobox (something I associated with hybrids...) and provided a quality feel much the same as my own IS250. I don't think even the toughest critics could find a real bad interior material. Front seat space and comfort is excellent but the back seat is just for shot trips. I feel that the ergonomics are really spot on; radio controls fall easily to hand and climate controls are just where one expects. Front cupholders bests what are in the IS, yet Lexus provides NO REAR CUPHOLDERS. What the heck! My tester doesn't have navi but I think I prefer the CT without it. If I'm not mistaken, a power outlet is lost with the purchase of nav (power outlets are essential!). Not to mention the remote touch controller occupies a significant amount of storage room.
The next leg was the interstate. While there is just no getting around the fact that it hits 60 in ten seconds (the CVT wailing in the meantime), it's actually enjoyable in Sport mode. Once at cruising speed, the engine is subdued and the ride is pleasant. No harsh jolts like in the IS but its not a sleeper. Was doing 70 mph on the way home and getting 40.6 mpg. Now that I really like...
As I said, I had low expectations but the steering was decent. Not sports sedan tight but it's better than even regular cars like a Buick or something. The brakes are odd.. But it's not bad enough to ruin the experience. Cargo space is adequate; Fold those rear seats down and you've got as much space as a compact crossover.
As it is now, this is a superb and semi enjoyable commuter car. Nope it's not gonna inspire twisty roads, but for an every day drive to work, the store, or what have you, it's fine. I found myself liking this car more and more... even looked at some on the internet. I came to realize that the CT does everything I need a car to do well while getting almost double the mpgs I get. I love my IS, but this car is a no compromise make sense vehicle. And for that, kudos Lexus.
I hope you all found this write up to be useful. Feel free to comment and if you own a CT, please share your pros and also your cons. I'd like to know if there are any negatives that I haven't seen.
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Nice review, def agree with most if not all of it. I debated about a IS aswell before buying the CT but the MPG, rareness (no one around here has one or knows what it is lol) and my love for hatchbacks is what won me over. People have even asked me if its a new generation of the old IS wagon (which I'm a huge fan of aswell)
Thanks! When I purchased my IS, I was looking to stay under $20k, and at the time, CTs were still too new to be commonly used an too expensive. That said, the CT will for sure be on my test drive list next time I'm car shopping. Agreed on the IS wagon... I am REALLY hoping Lexus has a plan for another one of those!