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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see that McGrath is a sponsor of this forum which is great, some of our executives have leased cars with them; I myself am further out in the NW 'burbs outside of Chicago so other Lexus dealers are actually closer for sales & service for me (we have 10 Lexus dealers in IL; 2 outside of Chicago). I've owned many makes and models in the past but never a Lexus so this would be a new experience for me. We currently have 4 vehicles and 3 drivers under one roof ('99 Miata, '08 smart coupe, '06 Mazda3 GT 5-door and '09 VW Routan) so the CT would replace the Mazda3 hatch (primarily wife's car but also typically our weekend errand car when it's too hot/cold for the Miata or we're in need to pick up big stuff which is the Routan's job). Besides the CT, I'm on a waiting list for the Nissan LEAF and am awaiting the arrival of the Focus EV -- neither seem to be coming soon to our area and as my wife expressed a bit of 'range anxiety' with EV's (even though with only a 7-mile daily commute) I'm now starting to think a hybrid may be the way to go.

Had a chance to test drive a CT over this past weekend and came away fairly impressed -- even though it's a bit smaller (both inside and out) as compared to the Mazda3 hatch; it rides better, has more comfortable seats, has a few whiz-bang hybrid tech options built-in and of course there is that almost double the gas mileage! The CT I drove actually didn't have all the options my Mazda3 has (no nav, no leather, no rain sensing wipers) but appeared to have superior heated seats (how hot do these get? -- the Mazda3 is a simple on-off) and I did like the feel of the NuLuxe seats (these were in Caramel - kind of like baseball glove color -- unfortunately my wife didn't care for them -- thought they were too orange).

As this vehicle can't really be much bigger than the Mazda3 (we have an offset tandem-style garage, without switching/trading out different cars) our choices are limited and I'm sorry but I've never been impressed with the Prius (although I do know the CT has that powertrain) and much less so the new Honda Insight so a CT may be an ideal choice. I plan to peruse this forum in search of why go with a CT over another car (hybrid, EV or otherwise) but may end up waiting until 2012 when other options may come out.

Among all the cars we've owned we did have a '98 New Beetle TDI (diesel) that was a mileage champ (wife loved it) but Chicago winter's can be tough on them -- plus even now, using diesel pumps is still a messy issue but the exhaust smell has been cleaned up a lot since even our '98 -- one car that gets compared is of course Audi's A3 TDI so will be sure to test drive that as well. Again, the issue I run into is the very short runs the wife makes, I think a hybrid or EV would be ideal as it's so short she may even run mostly on electric juice but would be interesting to see how this works in real life -- I realize that the CT isn't a plug-in so perhaps its just wishful thinking and no a Chevy Volt isn't around here either; still find that one not quite worth the asking price versus a Lexus but would be curious if others who had access to a Volt cross shopped it with a CT.
 

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The electric only traction requires a fully charged battery, flat terrain and low speed. For real world practical driving the gas engine is going to be operational.

My wife has a 4 mile (each way) suburban commute - no highway.

She averages 43 mpg (US) with the CT.

She was averaging 20 mpg with her BMW.
 

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Hi Early,
You might also want to test drive the new 12' Civic hybrid, it handles better than the Prius and though it was a fairly nice ride.
 

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Have fun cross-shopping. For me the CT200h really seems like the only choice.

I'm not a fan of the split rear view seen in the Prius, Insight and CR-Z.

The Prius is a fine car but it just feels extremely boring in comparison to the CT200h. The Lexus may have the same power but the feeling when taking turns and overall feel of the car is leaps and bounds ahead.

I prefer a hatchback over a sedan so that knocks out the Volt. Also, I do not currently have the means to charge the car to take advantage of its full potential. So a pure EV is definitely out for me.

The other piece of that is that there may be better technology coming but Toyota's 3rd Gen Hybrid system has been through it all and I know I won't be a guinea pig for a brand on their first-gen system.

I know the split rear is not enough to throw out the Honda's as choices. This is purely my opinion but the IMA system used for Hondas is absolute garbage compared to Toyota's hybrid system. The Auto-Stop and the feeling of the car stalling all the time is just too much to bear. I know Honda plans to have a real Hybrid system in place in the next few years but I am not looking to wait that long or gamble on their all new Hybrid setup in its first year. The IMA system just made me not at all interested in any of the Honda hybrids.

I've never really been interested in getting a diesel vehicle over a hybrid. I like tech stuff and am interested in getting a hybrid because I like the technology behind it. Never been a big fan of VW/Audi (unless it's an R8 of course :D) so I never really looked into an A3. For the price though the CT200h will get better MPG at almost the same price and since I plan on keeping this car for a very long time the reliability of VW/Audi would have me worried.
 

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Welcome to the CT forums Early.

I've heard the Volt is a very nice car to drive, and range isn't generally a problem as the car has a small gas engine to recharge the battery when it gets low.

But ... I'm not sure it is a good car for someone living in Chicago. Electric vehicles just don't heat the cabin well in the winter.

Have fun test driving cars. :)
 

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New girl on the block....grammabirdie here. Just ordered my yellow CT200h y'day, and very excited. am concerned its too small. Not sure for what, though....
 

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New girl on the block....grammabirdie here. Just ordered my yellow CT200h y'day, and very excited. am concerned its too small. Not sure for what, though....
HAHA, congrats and enjoy the car, I hope you get it soon!!
 

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I see that McGrath is a sponsor of this forum which is great, some of our executives have leased cars with them; I myself am further out in the NW 'burbs outside of Chicago so other Lexus dealers are actually closer for sales & service for me (we have 10 Lexus dealers in IL; 2 outside of Chicago). I've owned many makes and models in the past but never a Lexus so this would be a new experience for me. We currently have 4 vehicles and 3 drivers under one roof ('99 Miata, '08 smart coupe, '06 Mazda3 GT 5-door and '09 VW Routan) so the CT would replace the Mazda3 hatch (primarily wife's car but also typically our weekend errand car when it's too hot/cold for the Miata or we're in need to pick up big stuff which is the Routan's job). Besides the CT, I'm on a waiting list for the Nissan LEAF and am awaiting the arrival of the Focus EV -- neither seem to be coming soon to our area and as my wife expressed a bit of 'range anxiety' with EV's (even though with only a 7-mile daily commute) I'm now starting to think a hybrid may be the way to go.

Had a chance to test drive a CT over this past weekend and came away fairly impressed -- even though it's a bit smaller (both inside and out) as compared to the Mazda3 hatch; it rides better, has more comfortable seats, has a few whiz-bang hybrid tech options built-in and of course there is that almost double the gas mileage! The CT I drove actually didn't have all the options my Mazda3 has (no nav, no leather, no rain sensing wipers) but appeared to have superior heated seats (how hot do these get? -- the Mazda3 is a simple on-off) and I did like the feel of the NuLuxe seats (these were in Caramel - kind of like baseball glove color -- unfortunately my wife didn't care for them -- thought they were too orange).

As this vehicle can't really be much bigger than the Mazda3 (we have an offset tandem-style garage, without switching/trading out different cars) our choices are limited and I'm sorry but I've never been impressed with the Prius (although I do know the CT has that powertrain) and much less so the new Honda Insight so a CT may be an ideal choice. I plan to peruse this forum in search of why go with a CT over another car (hybrid, EV or otherwise) but may end up waiting until 2012 when other options may come out.

Among all the cars we've owned we did have a '98 New Beetle TDI (diesel) that was a mileage champ (wife loved it) but Chicago winter's can be tough on them -- plus even now, using diesel pumps is still a messy issue but the exhaust smell has been cleaned up a lot since even our '98 -- one car that gets compared is of course Audi's A3 TDI so will be sure to test drive that as well. Again, the issue I run into is the very short runs the wife makes, I think a hybrid or EV would be ideal as it's so short she may even run mostly on electric juice but would be interesting to see how this works in real life -- I realize that the CT isn't a plug-in so perhaps its just wishful thinking and no a Chevy Volt isn't around here either; still find that one not quite worth the asking price versus a Lexus but would be curious if others who had access to a Volt cross shopped it with a CT.
I cross-shopped a Volt and was very impressed with the fit and finish (very high for Chevrolet) and the power Instant 237 ft-lbs of torque. Trunk is very small with a cheap looking cover. Nice wheels, nice look but at 42K less a possible 7.5K rebate it is still a Chevy and the litium ion battery cooling jackets is still unproven long-term. Test drive one. Also, serendipity tested the Ford Focus 2011, Motor Trend car of the year. With manual transmission ( I love manual transmissions) is was pretty peppy and rated 29/36 but even at only 22K loaded it just didn't have the prestige and luxury. But hey Ford has come a long ways.
 

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Hi Early,
You might also want to test drive the new 12' Civic hybrid, it handles better than the Prius and though it was a fairly nice ride.
In all fairness the Prius model V with advanced technology package has 17 " wheels and actually handles pretty well, much better than I,II,II and IV models.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A new CT in my future ...

With today and tomorrow being the last 'sales' days for Chicago for July (dealers here are closed on Sundays) I may see what kind of deal I can get as I see 4 CT200h's in stock -- none have exactly what I want but come close. No one is discounting out this way as they are still short in supply but perhaps I can get more for my trade --- we'll see! They could also sell out before I get there (seems to happen more often than not with just this model). Not really impressed with the other hybrids even close to this price range that are mentioned here -- if the 'deal' isn't there I can wait for a 2012 and there may be more choices by then as well.
 

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With today and tomorrow being the last 'sales' days for Chicago for July (dealers here are closed on Sundays) I may see what kind of deal I can get as I see 4 CT200h's in stock -- none have exactly what I want but come close. No one is discounting out this way as they are still short in supply but perhaps I can get more for my trade --- we'll see! They could also sell out before I get there (seems to happen more often than not with just this model). Not really impressed with the other hybrids even close to this price range that are mentioned here -- if the 'deal' isn't there I can wait for a 2012 and there may be more choices by then as well.
Good luck, let us know what happens!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good luck, let us know what happens!
As they say he who hesitates ... they sold all 4 they had in stock before I got there (looks like even including the > 1K mile one I had a chance to test drive) -- my 'rep warned me so don't blame him but now I have a chance to get a Nissan LEAF (I had put an early deposit in April '10) so am waying the pros and cons --- the CT200h is quite nice but in IL besides getting the $7,500 fed tax rebate, IL also offers a 10% on EV's (unfortunately not hybrids) so the LEAF would come in at about $8K less against a $34K CT (LEAF would be the '12 MY and be available in about 90 days).
 

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Wait for the CT -- The Leaf is and looks so Lame!
 

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The BBC's Top Gear tested the Leaf this week. Said it was a very nice car.

BUT

Could not recharge it on a long journey (due to lack of recharging points) and when they eventually found somewhere to charge it the recharge time was 13 hours!

The other point they made was that if you pay on the high side for your electricity - and they quoted a time when you could be paying £8 ($12 approx) to fully charge a Leaf battery (to give a range of 120 miles) - it can be almost as expensive per mile than a hybrid (UK petrol is about £6/gallon [UK gallon is 1.2x US gallon], that's 60+ miles in a CT).

So a Leaf has very limited use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Still thinking about a CT ...

Did a bit of off hours shopping yesterday, dealer had a Premium Pkg - Fire Agate Pearl w/Ecru interior (quite similar to the demo driven awhile back, just w/o remote start and not caramel interior which the wife vetoed anyway). They also had a Matador Red IS250 parked next to it as I know the CT also comes in that color as others have on the forum. I'll finally get a chance to drive a LEAF this weekend (Nissan Chicago Drive event down at Soldier Field) so that should be the true test -- still concerns over range limitations but really need to see if this car is any comparison to the CT. It would be nice to have something other than our VW Routan that can carry more than two people for more than 100 miles if necessary (our other cars are a Miata, smart fortwo coupe, the Routan and the car that would be traded -- an '06 Mazda3 GT 5-door). Not impressed enough with either the Prius or Insight, the CR-Z is a two seater and I actually like the overall size of my Mazda3 5-door; the CT is just a bit smaller but not so much as it's cramped; the CT is a definite step up and not so highly priced as to be out of the range I'd like to spend. We'll see after this weekend --

UPDATE: went to the Nissan LEAF drive event near Soldier Field in Chicago and finally got to drive one as well as see the tech and batteries, etc. Although could only get up to about 40 due to the course they had between the museum's, etc. this car is even more quiet than the CT (again, no engine), had more overall room and storage and had decent fit & finish -- no it's not a 'luxury' car but Nissan did a great job with it. Later I may eventually get some other hybrid to replace the Routan (would need to be at least a hybrid for range) but after really looking at how we use the Mazda3 now this is the way to go -- at least this will give a CT to those waiting for one.
 

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I don't know a ton about the tax incentives on hybrids, but I believe the rebates are different for every car that's purchased and that cars "qualify" for a rebate, but doesn't necessarily mean you'll get one, let alone the whole amount. It might have been the dealer who told me this, as apparently they only provide a certain # of tax rebates/incentives per year and the longer you wait to buy during the year, the lesser your chances are.

Does anyone else know more about this or previously owned a hybrid and obtained these incentives?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Pretty much tapped out ...

incentives for all hybrids ... focus now is on plug-in hybrids (like the Volt), pure play electric's like the LEAF and diesels. Here are URL's that discuss in general as well as the EPA 'official' site for incentives:

Hybrid Car Tax Credits (United States): Incentives Fade into Memory | Hybrid Cars

Fuel Efficient Vehicle Tax Incentives Information Center

I wasn't counting on any tax incentive for the CT but it would have been nice; no question that the LEAF has some big ones ($7,500 Fed as well as a 10% rebate up to $4K in IL as well as lower registration fees - $18/yr or $35/ 2yr versus $99/yr for ICE cars). CT is more upscale but not as expensive as say the Tesla S or Fisker (both really niche vehicles anyway); I'm hoping to see more like it in the near future but how far out is anyones guess.
 

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^ Exactly! Definitely not as useful of a hatch though, I drove one around for a weekend.
 
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