Looking to purchase the CT200H...
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Thread: Looking to purchase the CT200H...

  1. #1
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    Looking to purchase the CT200H...

    Hey there, this will be my first post on this forum. As the title states, I have recently started looking at the CT as an alternative option to the car that I have been looking to purchase originally. Currently, I own a Nisan Murano and was looking to upgrade to the Infiniti 2012-213 FX35 or FX37... which is a sister vehicle to the Murano. I have placed that search on a hold after the CT caught my eye during my searches.

    Anyways, I have done a few days of researching the CT and would like to know what some owners have to say. I am looking to see if everyone is happy with them, if they are worth the money for a used one and if there is anything I should look out for when checking them out in person...any known or common issues and what I should stay away from.

    Based on on my research, I have found people complaining about them being "slow" (I guess that's common sense considering this is a hybrid?). To be honest, that is not a concern to me. I currently commute close to 90 miles a day round trip to work and would prefer something better on gas (and not having to pour in premium).. That being said, how do the CTs hold up with higher mileage? What do I need to look for and stay away from when searching? Would you suggest this vehicle which is cheaper which less power/room over what I have been looking into?...or does anyone have regrets if they were looking into something different before their pirchase? How does the 1.8L hold up with overall mileage and needed maintenance?

    In addition, I did test drive a 2013 F-sport this past Saturday w/ about 32k miles and did like the overall handling. The car does have a lot less space than what I'm currently driving and I would have to get used to the hybrid...especially during deceleration and coming to a complete stop. I noticed the car acting a lot differently than your regular gasoline engine. Felt as if the car cuts off all power right before the dead stop, as if it was stopping itself, although I didn't feel that I fully depressed the brake pedal. I guess that's something new to me with a hybrid. So, please give me some type of feedback and info if possible. The price point is more attractive and DEFINETLY the 43/40 mpg over the 16/23 on the FX. Thanks!


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  3. #2
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    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  4. #3
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    Hello, the car is incredible. I own a 2014 base and just changed out the Michelin tires which makes the car 10x better. Anyway, the ride is nice and quite, the quality is great, and the seating position is excellent, I am 6.0 tall. I also own other cars, fast cars, so I am not worried about the power, seems fine to me. I still very much enjoy the CT as my daily and car to take on trips. I looked and looked and looked, drove everything out there, the CT is by far the best car. I do recommend buying a CPO rather than new, so you don't take the depreciation. Not sure where you live, but here in CA, you can buy a 2016 with 5-7k miles CPO for $23k from Lexus, about $10k less than new. I do recommend buying the 2014 and up which is the year the model change, slight improvements were done to the car. The F Sport is very nice but not sure necessary, at least not for me since I have multiple cars, maybe it would be for someone whose only car is the CT. You will love the looks, the handling, and how great it feels.

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    Great, thanks for the feedback. So, I should stick to the 2014+ possibly? Anyways, I do believe that I'd like the f-sport as the final option. I also currently live in CA (socal) and have been looking around. The prices are kind of all over the place. I guess it just depends on the features and the overall trim/mileage. Oh and yes, I am looking to buy used but preferably from a larger dealer. I've seen too much junk from the smaller dealers when we were out buying my fiancées used Accord last year, and I decided that I will probably just skip looking past any cars selling from smaller dealers when I'm ready to purchase in the future.

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    Just to add, I would prefer the f-sport with the navi and a sunroof. My current 2004 Murano has all (if not more) bells and whistles than the CT, so I'd probably want to make sure that I pick something that compares really closely to it. I guess it's just something that you need after you get used to it...having all of these features for such a long time.

  8. #6
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    ANy additional info from others would work. Maybe those that were undecided with it at first but decided to get it after all?... I just want to convince myself that this is what I want but I'm leaning it more towards it than the FX.

  9. #7
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    Hi KAMP,

    I wanted to add my opinion by first stating that I bought a new 2014 F Sport myself for work as a courier, and currently have 295k miles on it. I also used to own both the FX and EX which I also used for the same type of work.

    With that said, the FX will probably be more comfortable and luxurious for your round trip, but you will spend more on gas since you'll be getting around 20-22 on highway driving around 70 MPH or more, and using premium as you mentioned. I tend to leave my cruise control on 65 MPH and get around 47-49 MPG with my CT on regular gas.

    While the CT rides firm, especially in F Sport trim, it's one of the best firm rides you'll get, as Lexus has really mastered comfortable firm suspension for their sportier cars. The seats are excellent (although some hate them) for long drives. Hopefully since you're in SoCal, you will not have to deal with too many badly paved roads, so the ride should be even better for you than it is for me.

    As a hybrid, you will have to get used to the engine shutting off at different points, and the regen brakes. I want to point out that using the regen brakes as much as you can will save you from wearing out your brake pads. My mechanic checked on the cost of doing a brake job for me and told me it's about $200 per axle, or $400 for the whole car. With 295k miles, I'm still on the original brakes and still have 60% left on the front, 50% on the rear.

    The drivetrain in the CT is the 3rd generation Prius one, so it's dependable and proven. With all my miles, I have not had one issue. I only use name-brand (top tier) gas so my engine stays clean, and I also change my oil, both coolants, and spark plugs on time. I also change the transmission fluid, despite Toyota/Lexus stating you never need to change them (but of course I drive a hell of a lot more than the average driver so I don't want to take a chance).

    Maintenance cost is low. About $70 for an oil change (make it $100 if you plan to change both air filters annually), $100 per coolant service, and less than $100 for the spark plugs (mostly labor). You will change your oil once a year, but the rest you will get to once you've hit 100k miles or 5 to 10 years or so, so it's no big deal. Keep in mind that these prices are from a local mechanic, not the dealer. The dealer should not charge too much more as long as you ask for what you specifically need, that way they don't throw in a package deal with a $100 check up and stuff like "throttle body cleaning."

    To elaborate on the model years, the CT came out in 2011, and only received one major update, which was in 2014, which refined the ride and quieted the cabin a bit. So, I also recommend you try to stick to a 2014 or higher, unless you test drive a 2013 or older and like it. Also, up to the 2016 model I believe, the moonroof is standard across all CTs.
    Last edited by Raidin; 04-14-2017 at 06:49 PM.

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    That is a TON of miles and I am amazed by that on a little 1.8L. I appreciate the maintenance info. Personally, I do a lot of maintenance on my own but would consider options considering that I don't have a garage at the moment. The interior space is a bit more limited than that of an FX, but I guess I wouldn't be too worried at this point. The sportier and firmer suspension I believe I would like and nothing would be as firm as one of my previous cars when I added an aftermarket BC coilover kit, so I don't think I'd complain but maybe cherish the great handling. It appears like a very reliable car from everything that I've been researching. I am more and more leaning towards the CT at this point, even if I spent a little more on it than the FX. The gas mileage and ability to pour in regular gas would save me a ton on my regular annual driving and overall money spent.

    As far as oil, I'm guessing it is recommended to use fully synthetic 0w20?...at 10k miles intervals? Or different?
    which two filters were you talking about?...oil and air filter?..or maybe the air cabin filter. I figure all three would be good to replace regularly....actually, I believe you mentioned "both coolants"... which two coolants are you referring to exactly?

    I am guessing that the coolant flush would be that like any other vehicle's maintence interval?

    How about the spark plugs? What's the interval on that?

    Also, I guess I wouldn't have to worry about a cvt flush, unless that "should" be done? The CVT was something I wanted to stay away from in the past, but it seems like most cars now last much longer and from what you said, the CVT is out of a proven a reliable vehicle used in a Prius. My Nissan was HORRIBLE when it came to the CVT. Mine was replaced under warranty, but I have heard horrific stories and their replacement costs if not covered under warranty. I guess the CT has a better proven transmission?
    Last edited by KAMP; 04-14-2017 at 08:03 PM.

  11. #9
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    The 1.8L engine is running on the atkinson cycle, which is all about efficiency, so I would wager that it helps in long-term durability. Mostly though, the engine spends a small amount of time not being on thanks to the hybrid powertrain, and when it is on, it's normally running on a steady low RPM thanks to the eCVT transmission (which I will get to in a moment). All of this helps the engine run optimally and less often, meaning it will last a long time with regular maintenance. There are many Prii taxis, especially in CA, running well beyond 300k miles without issues.

    From what you said about the suspension, I think you'll be just fine. I have 2 sports cars with firmer rides than my Lexus, and I appreciate the CT's ride quality so much when I'm in it. It may be firm, but it's not only comfortably so, but the chassis poise and control, along with the excellent steering, is one of the best out there. Even Matt Farah was shocked how good the CT drives when he test drove a fan's modified CT (see link in my next post, because you're only allowed one video link per post).

    Ok, so maintenance: Oil has to be 0w-20 full synthetic because of the efficiency and low-tolerances of the engine. I'm sure under some circumstances, you can use a different viscosity, but that's all I use. Actually, I run Mobil 1's Extended Performance oil, with has a lot of additives. I do this because, after sending in several samples to Blackstone Labs for testing, I found I can run my oil beyond 25,000 miles before changes, because I drive so calmly and consistently on the highway. This saves me a ton of money. I just have to make sure to use an oil filter than can withstand that kind of interval. The standard interval from Lexus and Toyota for this engine is 1 year or 10,000 miles. You should easily be able to go beyond that if you drive moderately, and use a high-additive oil. Just make sure to test your oil before you just start doing that.

    The two filters I talked about were the engine air filter and the cabin air filter, which I only change when they are dirty (they last me well beyond the interval Lexus says to change them at). The oil filter is moot because you should always change that when you change the oil, and its price is included in the $70 figure I gave you.

    Both coolants refers to something unique to hybrids. This car has two separate coolants. One for the engine like all cars, and for the inverter for the hybrid powertrain, which gets very hot and needs its own. This is the one area where this car costs a little more to maintain than most other cars. One coolant is flushed first at 100k miles, then every 50k afterwards, and the other is first at 150k miles, then again at every 50k miles afterwards.

    Spark plugs are at every 120k miles, and should cost you about $5 to $10 per plug, depending on brand and type (though you want to stick to the type Lexus recommends or better, like iridium or laser iridium). Best to just stick to the OEM Densos. My mechanic wanted to see how easy it was to do it due to the engine bay shape of the CT, and was able to do it easily in about 5 to 10 minutes.

    And now for the transmission. The eCVT this car uses is Toyota's 3rd or 4th generation eCVT I believe, which is not a traditional CVT. It doesn't have 2 pulleys and a steel belt that changes width to act as various gears. Instead it's just a set of planetary gears, along with the 2 electric motors (yes, both electric motors on the CT and all Prii are housed inside the transmission for efficiency). The motor and gears move at different speeds, each set connecting and disconnecting from each other and running at different speeds, to accommodate any speed from 0 to 115 MPH, or whatever the top speed is for the CT. The reason for that top speed is because the way this eCVT works limits any higher speed than that. This video shows you how the gears, along with the RPM of the engine (listed as ICE in the video), and the RPMs of the electric motors (listed as MG1 and MG2 (MG standing for Motor Generator because they are motors for driving and generators for charging the battery)), allow for any speed in the CT's range:

    This CVT is very low maintenance as a result. Again, Lexus does not recommend you ever service it. It's sealed for life, but it does have drain and refill ports. It's designed to be drained and refilled like your engine oil, NOT flushed. It costs about $100-$200 to change the fluid. I do it because I want it to last me hundreds of thousands of miles, but for most people you probably don't need to do anything. Many users at Prii forums have tested the fluid and claim it in fact should be changed for long-term durability. I leave it up to you to decide for yourself.
    Last edited by Raidin; 04-15-2017 at 01:46 PM.

  12. #10
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    Matt Farah's one take on a modded CT:


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