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Discussion Starter #1
Just got the new issue of Consumer Reports magazine. They reviewed the CT and basically trashed it. Stiff riding, too cramped, not Lexusy enough for them, etc. They liked the handling and the mpgs.

WhatEVER. I can't disagree with some of their points (the car is a stiff ride) but I LOVE the friggin car, and so does everybody who owns one. This underscores how subjective car reviewing can be. For example CR also trashed the 2012 Civic, and I test drove the EX sedan and LOVED the car, thought it was MUCH improved over the last generation Civic that CR swooned over and recommended, I wouldn't buy one because I though it rode too rough, had too much road noise, etc. But the new one was very nice.

So go figure. Oh well. Hey, I rely on CR for all kinds of unbiased info I can't get other places. They are entitled to their opinions.
 

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Well if you really follow CR, you'll notice that they ALWAYS pick whatever they review by price first. They are good at what they do, but they really drop the ball on what is or who makes the best product. They don't base their recommends on who uses the best parts. You can see they give Hyundai some very good scores, but they don't take into consideration the fact that cheap parts are used in their vehicles.
Just always, ALWAYS remember, you get what you pay for.;)
Last but not least....give the guy in charge of CR his choice of a Hyundai or Lexus for free...........see which one he picks!:p
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
When I read some of the negative reviews of this car, I find myself wondering if they're driving the same car. I mean CR complained about road noise in the CT. Road noise? The car is as quiet as a library on the highway. I really don't get it. CR and a few other reviewers complained about the quality of the interior materials. That's a major reason I bought the friggin car, it exuded Lexus quality. That was the first thing my wife said when she got into it out of her 2011 Prius (we also bought one of those in July).

Go figure. Car reviewing is somewhat subjective I suppose. But that disconnect is hard to figure. I've owned just about every expensive car you can name from BMW to Benz to Porsche to Lexus (GS300 about ten years ago) to Saab, Volvo, etc. To me the CT feels like the luxury sporty coupe Lexus is marketing. And to most of you too I presume. Everybody that has this car seems to love the car.
 

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Agreed. I compare the interior to a $60,000 Corvette Z06 and guess which wins?

CR is just a bunch of bought off hacks.

The CT is quiet, extremely fuel efficient, the interior is fantastic, and it handles very well.

Mine is currently showing 51mpg, what more could I ask for in a car starting at $29k?

Show me *ONE* other car for $29k with a better interior, better mileage, better handling, better reliability.

One doesn't exist, or I would have bought it.

When I read some of the negative reviews of this car, I find myself wondering if they're driving the same car. I mean CR complained about road noise in the CT. Road noise? The car is as quiet as a library on the highway. I really don't get it. CR and a few other reviewers complained about the quality of the interior materials. That's a major reason I bought the friggin car, it exuded Lexus quality. That was the first thing my wife said when she got into it out of her 2011 Prius (we also bought one of those in July).

Go figure. Car reviewing is somewhat subjective I suppose. But that disconnect is hard to figure. I've owned just about every expensive car you can name from BMW to Benz to Porsche to Lexus (GS300 about ten years ago) to Saab, Volvo, etc. To me the CT feels like the luxury sporty coupe Lexus is marketing. And to most of you too I presume. Everybody that has this car seems to love the car.
 

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I will say that driving in the rain is noisy,especially water hitting the underside.
 

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CR wasn't the only review that was negative on the CT, I would say that 80% of the reviews that I read on this car were somewhat negative.
 

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Mainly the reports say it is small, not anything we didn't already know. I love the car, has enough room for what I need. If I wanted a bigger car I would have bought the Sonata Hybrid, but it was too big. So there you have it...you can please some of the people some of the time but....
 

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Most Northern American reviews would be negative, because first of all, the CT wasn't developed for the US market. It's designed to compete with luxury mid-size cars like BMW series 1 and Audi S3 in Europe. Europeans tend to buy much smaller engined cars than Americans, so the CT fits in nicely here. Secondly, the CT is marketed as sporty, which it clearly isn't. Hacks get in expecting to be able to flog it and get their adrenaline up, and they're disappointed. Most don't understand the true concept of the car.
 

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I don't think any of us bought or are buying the car based on reviews anyways. I think they're important to a certain degree, in so much as shoppers will or should always check them out.
What reviews should include are testimonials from current owners. This would then affirm or not the points brought out by the reviewer, as well as give first-hand feedback.
 

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Incorrect.

CR is the only source for unbiased product reviews on the planet. Bought off is the one thing they are not. Whether you agree with them or not is another matter.
Maybe they were 20 years ago, certainly not today. They have some pretty huge bias in many of their 'unbiased' ratings.

For example, they did a comparison between three cars. One from an American maker, 2 from foreign makers. They were very down on the American one, but not on the 2 foreign ones.

The fun part, they're all made at the same American factory by the same workers, basically with just a different label put on them.

Whoops!

Don't take my word for it, do a quick google search about Consumer Reports being unbiased, and you'll see what I mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I would say the reviews I read (and watched on You Tube) were 70% positive. What's dumb about some of the negative reviews is this stupid 'you may as well just get the Prius and get better mpgs' stuff.

I got a chance to drive my wife's 2011 Prius IV about 50 miles just now, and then hopped into my CT to drive another 30. The differences are immediately apparent, the CT is far more engaging and entertaining to drive, more luxurious, it's a Lexus and it feels like one. NO question about it. Are there aspects of the CR review I agree with? Sure: the car has a choppy ride over rough pavement and it is smaller than the Prius inside. But that latter observation is a positive for me, I LOVE how the small sports car cabin feels, love the ergonomics, love having all the controls so close at hand. The feel and handling of the CT are fantastic, and I greatly prefer it to the Prius.

But CR is not paid off, hell, they buy their cars anonymously at local dealerships. They do come to car reviews with a rather myopic 'is this good for your family' point of view that skews their judgement at times- and in the case of the CT I found some of their comments rather befuddling. Oh well. People vote with their wallets and with Lexus selling twice as many CT's as they originally projected, I'd say the vote is positive.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Maybe they were 20 years ago, certainly not today. They have some pretty huge bias in many of their 'unbiased' ratings.

For example, they did a comparison between three cars. One from an American maker, 2 from foreign makers. They were very down on the American one, but not on the 2 foreign ones.

The fun part, they're all made at the same American factory by the same workers, basically with just a different label put on them.

Whoops!

Don't take my word for it, do a quick google search about Consumer Reports being unbiased, and you'll see what I mean.
Nobody or no magazine is completely unbiased. But CR isn't influenced by advertiser dollars. Not for nothing, but American cars do tend to suck compared to Japanese and Euro cars much of the time. Particularly in reliability over the medium to long term.
 

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Well if you really follow CR, you'll notice that they ALWAYS pick whatever they review by price first. They are good at what they do, but they really drop the ball on what is or who makes the best product. They don't base their recommends on who uses the best parts. You can see they give Hyundai some very good scores, but they don't take into consideration the fact that cheap parts are used in their vehicles.
Just always, ALWAYS remember, you get what you pay for.;)
Last but not least....give the guy in charge of CR his choice of a Hyundai or Lexus for free...........see which one he picks!:p
CR's quality assessments are based on subscriber surveys done each year and included in the auto issue each April (in the reliability data for each model). A new model, like the CT, will take a couple of years to accrue that data and until they see a trend of average or better responses, they won't recommend the car. I'm sure that the Prius drive train will be "pre-weighted" somewhat, but the CT isn't a Prius (as anyone who's driven both cars can attest to!) I DO find CR to be the most reliable, untainted source of information out there, even if I sometimes don't agree with their "take" on some things. I believe that, as far as brand reputation goes, they ignore it, as they should. I've seen far too much crap in my life that has had a well respected name "slapped" on it to make a quick buck when that well known company gets lazy or in trouble. :eek:

Having said this, I have read the CR review and am a bit perplexed at their take on the CT! They do seem, like many other reviews, to "just not get" what the CT is. They, like others, want it all! They like the fuel economy and handling, but then knock it for inadequate power and stiff ride! It's very hard (and expensive!) to get BOTH handling and isolated ride, as well as fuel economy and power! They say that it isn't a Lexus; that it seems more like a Toyota inside. I've owned many Toyota's in my life, Scion xA to Supra Turbo, and the CT is the nicest "Toyota" I've ever been in! The CT200h is the BEST BUILT car that I've bought in a long time when it comes to fit and finish! Not even my Porsche Boxster can come close. Both my Supra and Boxster have slightly "skewed" frames that are the root of several other body panel fit and alignment issues! And the Paint! The CT's paint rates right up there with my Boxster's "high end" metallic paint upgrade! Probably not as many coats, but the quality of the finish is exceptional! :)

But back to the CR review! There are some things that strike me as strange. Under "major options", they say "none". They had a Premium, non-NAV for testing. They complained about the radio controls being too low and far away and that the one line display made iPod navigation difficult. They also complained about rear visibility and wish that there was a back up camera! I know that some of you think that the NAV system is a waste of money, but it solves ALL of these issues! What bothers me, however, is that CR didn't even know about the available options! :confused:

It's obvious that CR doesn't consider the CT to be "sporty" (and I can't say that I really disagree, but it does handle very well when pushed), but many of the complaints they have about the car are "features" that Lexus touted in promotional material that I read before buying one. The design of the suspension/handling, the supportive front seats, the low driving position and the close "cockpit" feel are all selling points! But since "sporty" is off the table, CR considers them liabilities! I also don't get their comments about the seats. I'm 6'2"/225 lbs., I find the drivers seat very comfortable/supportive and the head room is just fine, even with a sunroof! It took a bit of adjustment to get the driving position just right, but not too much! Just how many people out there are bigger than me? If they're overweight, then that's a different story. :rolleyes:

One final comment, on page 4 there is a "This issue by the numbers" box in the top left corner of the page. Under the heading of "What you'll save" it says "$5,262 - Buy a Toyota Prius IV instead of the Lexus CT200h and get a roomier and more efficient hybrid sedan." I guess that shows what they really think about the CT200h. Well, look at it this way, fellow CT owners, we can revel in the rarity of our cars just that much longer! Remember, the CT wasn't designed for the US market, so it's never going to be mainstream! Lucky Us!! ;)

Big Lew, one of your observations rings true; price is heavily weighted in CR's recommendations. They don't, however, recommend things that they KNOW are crap, but they also don't make assumptions! As to the "quality of parts" used to build Hyundai cars, as an example, only time will tell. If their cars fall apart and the owners let CR know about, CR will adjust their findings. I've looked over the reliability history on the Elantra and the last 3 model years reported ('08-'10) look pretty good, as reported to CR by subscribers who own the car; especially the 2010's! There do seem to be a few weak spots, but mostly the cars rate "better than average" and "much better than average" in almost every category. The low spots are rated "average"! That being said, however, I would NEVER buy a Hyundai! Are you kidding me?! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I agree with scottp - as I'm sitting in the CT last night after driving my wife's new Prius, my first thought was how I preferred the seating position, cockpit, ergonomics, etc. of the CT to the Prius, and the instant I drove the car I preferred the feel of the car too. I LIKE the radio position, and that whole 'the 90's called and they want their radio back' complaint some reviewers make about the car doesn't bother me one bit, the radio interfaces with my iPod just fine and allows me to control it the way I want to. Ditto for SAT radio and the bluetooth phone interface.
 

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Having said this, I have read the CR review and am a bit perplexed at their take on the CT!
And that, to me, is biased.

They don't seem to consider what the potential buyer would actually want.

For me, I want a car that gets 50mpg, sporty handling, looks great, will run 250,000 miles without major issues and has enough room for me to carry an entire computer store in the back (seats folded or removed).

This car does that very well.

Did they slam the Prius or praise it? They loved it, and gave it their 'green car' award.

But the CT, they didn't approach it as a 'green' car first. They didn't approach it as a Prius with Lexus styling and interior.

That's bias.
 

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I've been a CR subscriber for over 25 years. I don't always agree with how they rate things, but I feel they are still the most unbiased assessment out there. With CR I can read and evaluate how they arrived at their rating and if some of their criteria is meaningless to me I can throw it out. In the end these folks are human beings and there will no doubt be some element of subjectivity in the reviews.

A significant element of CR ratings is reliability, which they are unable to assess on a new model. As more data becomes available in the next year or two I suspect that you will see the overall rating improve on the CT. Another point that I believe someone already made is that the CT is not in a clearly defined category (sport, hybrid), so that can only complicate the comparison ratings.
 
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