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I've now had the pleasure of owning the CT for 6 months. In short, I LOVE this car and would not buy any other car for the money. For those interested in the CT but haven't made the plunge yet, here is my experience to consider:

Pros:
1. Obvious, fuel economy. With minimal conscious driving and sticking to mainly city driving below 72 km/hr (45 mph), I've hit a best real-world 4.3L/100 km (55 mpg). Six month average is still an amazing 4.5L/100km (52mpg), on regular gas.

2. Styling. You won't mistaken it for any other car (though I once got "is that a Mazda 3?")

3. Quality, fit and finish, Lexus panache, return on investment. Hard to beat for the dollar.

4. Quiet at all cruising speeds, especially in EV mode.

5. Sporty handling, yet decent comfort.

6. Good base sound system and Bluetooth audio (and voice-recognition) with my two Blackberry phones works very well.

7. Excellent value. Keep in mind, you get into the Lexus family for just (in Canada) $31K, just 3.5$K more than a Prius.

8. Expect tank-like reliability. Based on the Prius that's been extremely reliable for 10+ years. Search taxi cabs in Vancouver and not one of the 40+ cabs with 400K+ kms have had any problems with the hybrid system. Just normal wear-and tear items to replace.

9. Excellent ergonomics and driving position. Every button, switch is where you expect with quality tactile feel.

10. Driving-mode selector. Can be considered gimicky, but kudos to Lexus for bringing almost 2 gauge clusters and 4 different driving modes.

11. Nuluxe interior holding up extremely well. Seems to be better than the leather as some have posted. Looks brand new exactly like on Day one. No creases or discoloration.

Cons:
1. Fuel economy at highway speeds. Gas engine takes over the majority of the thrust. Cannot optimize efficiency here like in the city. Add 15-20% more consumption. Averaged 5.6L/100km (42mpg). I'd say if your majority of driving is highway, this is where an Audi A3 TDI (although pricier) might be a better choice (more torque/power and similar fuel consumption).

2. Although it just got fixed today by Lexus and I'm very satisfied, the car had a creaking issue with the stitched trim on the left and right sides of the center console since day one. Warmer days meant more creaking. Drove me nuts for 6 months.

3. Although very seamless the majority of the time, on occasion you "feel" the startup of the gas engine manifesting itself as a smallish jolt, like a not-so-smooth tranny shifting into a gear.

4. The Atkinson gas engine gets noisy/buzzy at larger throttle input, though never feels rough or any vibrations are ever felt. However, you would buy this car to beat your previous mpgs, keeping the revs (and noise) low.

5. Electric thrust is limited to 72km/hr (45mph). Why not higher? My wife's RX400h can hit higher speeds on electricity. Maybe next gen with upgraded battery, inverter, and two electric motors?

6. Interior room smaller than the competitors (Audi A3, Golf TDI, Prius), though seating positions for front passengers extremely comfortable and sporty feeling. Rear, seat is a little too upright and does not recline further back nor slides fore/aft.

7. Power moonroof: "Closing instructions" - when fully opened, to close it, depress the close button for 1 sec, wait 4 more secs, then depress the close button again. Where's the "one-touch" operation?

8. Glove box is tiny and minimal storage cubbies in the car. Owner's manual and another similar size item in the glovebox, and it's is full.
 

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Glove box is tiny and minimal storage cubbies in the car. Owner's manual and another similar size item in the glovebox, and it's is full.
There is a dedicated recess in the storage tray (beneath the rear cargo deck) for the owner's manual "pouch". It's on the left side and they fit perfectly. Although, mine was a little "fat" and I had to remove a couple of the thinner booklets and put them in the glove box to get the deck cover closed. ;)

I think one of them was the quick reference guide!
 

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I've had my CT for a month/about 1000 miles. I don't know how anyone averages 50+ mpg with this car, but that's not why I bought it. I average 40-42 mpg without trying too hard (the car computer is generally 1-2 mpg optimistic compared to my calculations when I fill up the car), the worst mpg's I've gotten driving hard is 37.5 mpg (real, not car computer). But I LOVE this car. The sport/eco modes really work, the car is a blast to drive, the Lexus quality and luxury is for real, and it has adequate power in most situations. It starts complaining if you're trying to hammer @ highway speeds north of 80 mph, and it really pegs the little motor when you're trying to get on highway and merge not high speed traffic.

Very happy with the CT.
 

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Very nice to read your 6 months experience. Always had Volvo's, chosen for Lexus for the first time. Thread gives me confidence I made the right choice. :)
Ordered the ct 200h Luxury Line (top model) in May2011, to be delivered Feb2012. Can't wait, meanwhile googling for drivers experiences. Thanks!
 

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tbone.. you're a very patient person.. 9 months to wait for a car.. I think that may be a record here (at least in my short time here thus far)
 

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I think the base audio system in the car is fairly lame. Very subjective of course. I may try a speaker upgrade for the front speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think the base audio system in the car is fairly lame. Very subjective of course. I may try a speaker upgrade for the front speakers.
I have the Mark Levinson premium audio on the RX which is among the best car audio systems out there at any price. So with this in mind as the baseline for audio quality, I feel the CT's base sound system is pretty good. If 10 is the ML, the CT's is a 7. Now of course this depends on the audio source. Listening to AM radio on both systems will show very little difference in quality (both bad!), whereas a CD or other digital source shows a much bigger difference in quality.

But I agree, it is subjective.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Very nice to read your 6 months experience. Always had Volvo's, chosen for Lexus for the first time. Thread gives me confidence I made the right choice. :)
Ordered the ct 200h Luxury Line (top model) in May2011, to be delivered Feb2012. Can't wait, meanwhile googling for drivers experiences. Thanks!
tbone - very patient indeed! You will not regret it. In your research, you will come across articles (and some from renowned car reviewers/magazines) that may be harsh on the CT because many of their objectives have to do with acceleration/power and compare it to non-hybrid cars in its class. With a heavy foot, surely their mileage reported will not that great, claim that the engine is noisy and underpowered, etc. Take this with a grain of salt and remember that the above is very subjective. Surely you bought this car to be green and not drive with a heavy foot. I've owned almost 20 cars in my life including 3 other Lexus, and the CT is as good as it gets, especially for the money (at least here in North America).
 

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I've owned almost 20 cars in my life including 3 other Lexus, and the CT is as good as it gets, especially for the money (at least here in North America).
I'd agree with that overall assessment, I've owned every high end brand out there, including a 1999 Lexus GS300, and the CT lives up the Lexus name. I think anybody who buys a CT just wants a Prius that looks cool and offers some style and luxury, so we are not looking to race anybody. I got more than that, I also got a cool car that handles like a world class luxury sport coupe, so I'm thrilled. Most of the real world owners of the car seem just as happy, and I think the word of mouth on the street is very positive, and that's why Lexus is selling twice as many CT's as they had projected.

The car really rocks.
 

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I'd agree with that overall assessment, I've owned every high end brand out there, including a 1999 Lexus GS300, and the CT lives up the Lexus name. I think anybody who buys a CT just wants a Prius that looks cool and offers some style and luxury, so we are not looking to race anybody. I got more than that, I also got a cool car that handles like a world class luxury sport coupe, so I'm thrilled. Most of the real world owners of the car seem just as happy, and I think the word of mouth on the street is very positive, and that's why Lexus is selling twice as many CT's as they had projected.

The car really rocks.
Definitely agree to all of that. Was leaning towards the CT over Prius because the interior felt so much better. And then I test drove one ... Which got me remembering what my Puma was like to drive.

I value cornering ability over everything else in a car and the CT definitely has what it takes around the corners. That is - when you have it in Sport mode. Which is good too : Normal & Eco = softer for normal driving, Sport = fun.

Just need to show it my more favourite corners. Haven't done enough miles in it yet :D

PS Every time so far when I've bothered to go faster than people at lights, the CT has just taken off. CVT + Motor + Engine > Go Faster Stripes :cool:
 

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I drove one for a few hours yesterday. I'm on the verge of signing an order. One thing I noticed on the display. I'm in Canada and the mileage was indicated as x km/l which is weird when we usually think in terms of l/100km. Is that one of the things that can be changed in the personal settings?

ALso, I want to order the Premium Package, but I'm seeing suggestions that the leather is not wearing well. That's not good since I can't get the Premium features with the Nu Luxe seats.
Thanks
Wad.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I drove one for a few hours yesterday. I'm on the verge of signing an order. One thing I noticed on the display. I'm in Canada and the mileage was indicated as x km/l which is weird when we usually think in terms of l/100km. Is that one of the things that can be changed in the personal settings?

ALso, I want to order the Premium Package, but I'm seeing suggestions that the leather is not wearing well. That's not good since I can't get the Premium features with the Nu Luxe seats.
Thanks
Wad.

Sure thing, you can change the settings (to L/100km, and even mpg) from the Disp button on the steering wheel with the car stopped.

By the way, don't pay attention to the fuel consumption indicator on dealer demos when you go for a test drive. Trips are usually short and drivers tend to have a heavy foot. I remember my demo indicated 9L/100km.

I have the Nuluxe and indeed it is great. If you like the option package and only comes with the leather, don't worry about it, go for it. I would expect the leather to be fine, if not Lexus will fix it. I had an '08 IS 250 AWD and the stitching on the driver's headrest was slightly crooked (for Lexus' standards). I mentioned it and they ordered and replaced the entire headrest no charge, no fuss.
 

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I drove one for a few hours yesterday. I'm on the verge of signing an order. One thing I noticed on the display. I'm in Canada and the mileage was indicated as x km/l which is weird when we usually think in terms of l/100km. Is that one of the things that can be changed in the personal settings?

ALso, I want to order the Premium Package, but I'm seeing suggestions that the leather is not wearing well. That's not good since I can't get the Premium features with the Nu Luxe seats.
Thanks
Wad.
I've had no problems with the leather.
 

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Great reviews, thanks.

What RPM is the engine at when cruise is set to 120-125km/HR on the highway? Is the engine quite buzzy/loud at that speed?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Great reviews, thanks.

What RPM is the engine at when cruise is set to 120-125km/HR on the highway? Is the engine quite buzzy/loud at that speed?
I'll be honest, I never was on Sport mode at that speed with the cruise (always in Eco or Normal), but my guess is around 3000 rpm and engine noise was not that bad the rare few times I did hit that speed, but to put it into perspective, the RX400h is smoother and engine hardly noticeable at that speed.
 

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Had a look at this tonight - 75mph, Sport mode : 2500rpm. Lower by 6-700rpm than sixth gear in the Focus ST I had before :)

I suspect that rpm would also go down in a steady state, my motorway run was too short to really settle into an extended cruise plus I don't have cruise control (maybe yet!) on my UK spec SE-L Nav. The thing about the CVT gearbox is that it will choose engine revs to suit what it thinks you'll be doing. So because I didn't settle down into pure Cruise the CVT didn't go to its tallest ratio but kept the revs in a range where it could accelerate easily (like staying in fifth gear instead of going to sixth).

Road noise ? Engine much less noticeable than the Focus, although you'd notice it kicking up to higher revs when you want to pulse a bit of acceleration. You get a lot of sound insulation in the CT, at least between engine and cabin. Road noise tends to be more noticeable than engine noise at all speeds.
 

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We don't get a manual printed on dead trees with our CT's - just a USB stick with a PDF file on it.
Hi Termin8r - if you have the .pdf file on a thumb drive, can you send me the file? Someone has posted the individual sections of the manual in .pdf format, but the files are not linked. It would be great to have the manual in a searchable .pdf format.
 
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