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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finally going to test drive a CT Thursday afternoon. I currently drive an '03 Cooper S in need of some repairs (nothing major) that total 3K and I'd only get 6-7K if I sold it. No use throwing good money away when I can use it for a new car!!!

So it's off for a test drive tomorrow. What should I look for or be aware of when I get behind the wheel? The only hybrid I've driven was a friend's Toyota Highlander Hybrid on a road trip from Montana to Las Vegas. Not a lot of performance there.

I've read quite a bit about the CT and I am hoping it is the car for me. Wish me luck.

SMFCT
 

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Make note of the brakes and how they are unique. Let off the gas and/or apply the brakes gently, the generator us used.... Step on harder the wheel brakes engage. The transisition is something to get used to.
 

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LOL I traded in my 07 Mini Cooper S for the CT. The CT is not as fast, doesn't handle as well, much less head room and leg room, but it is better than spending thousands every year fixing the Mini. I laughed at the sales person when he proclaimed that the CT may handle as well as the Mini... I just told him that obviously you have never driven the Mini.

I now drive my CT only in Sport Mode. It is still not as fast as the Mini but I am getting used to it. The only thing I am still not getting use to is the handling. I am used to taking curves really fast without having the feeling that the car might tip over... now I just need to slow down a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
LOL I traded in my 07 Mini Cooper S for the CT. The CT is not as fast, doesn't handle as well, much less head room and leg room, but it is better than spending thousands every year fixing the Mini. I laughed at the sales person when he proclaimed that the CT may handle as well as the Mini... I just told him that obviously you have never driven the Mini.

I now drive my CT only in Sport Mode. It is still not as fast as the Mini but I am getting used to it. The only thing I am still not getting use to is the handling. I am used to taking curves really fast without having the feeling that the car might tip over... now I just need to slow down a bit.
Thanks for the insight. From what I've read here and other sites, I am ready to be underwhelmed by the handling, but with gas approaching $4 a gallon, it's time to get a hybrid and I do not want a Prius. Ugliest car ever. I do want, however, a semblance of driving fun. There are no twisty turny roads here, so I am not going to miss that.

How do you find the acceleration? I know it's nothing like the cooper, but can you zip by city traffic when needed? Any problems getting by cars on the highway?
 

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I think with Handling, it's the comparison to the previous car. So people who aren't finding the handling as good are coming from cars like the Mini Cooper which I understand is (and it should be) pretty awesome for handling.

It's different on the CT between Sport and Normal, on mine the Sport mode tautens up the dampers considerably cutting out the body roll almost entirely. The handling is far superior to the Focus ST170 I had as my last car and is on a par with the Puma I had before that. Total performance through the bends is best in the CT, because of the combination of Sport mode handling and the KERS torque boost we have from the motor. And that's in the car that's the heaviest of those 3.

But ... I sit in Normal mode, keeping Sport for fun (and sorting out muppets at traffic lights) because I have the legacy of a dislocated and torn up shoulder, which would complain at the heavier Sport mode steering.

Acceleration - 0 to 40 is pretty awesome, because of the motor+CVT gearbox. That runs out of steam a little at 40 though turning the 0 to 60 into a fairly ordinary 10 secs. But ... you'll always get 10 secs to 60, with no missed gears, abuse of clutch and cogs or over revving of the engine.

But - one person in the car, sport mode 50-70 is still pretty strong because the CVT gearbox responds eagerly with all of the power the CT has available.

Sport vs Normal - both give 650V to the motor for lots of kick-in-pants feel but Normal only gives that at almost full throttle. Sport gives the extra oomph all the way through the throttle travel, making for much better responsiveness when you're just gently leaning on the throttle.

Enjoy the test drive - hope you get a good chance to test out the different modes :)
 

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Thanks for the insight. From what I've read here and other sites, I am ready to be underwhelmed by the handling, but with gas approaching $4 a gallon, it's time to get a hybrid and I do not want a Prius. Ugliest car ever. I do want, however, a semblance of driving fun. There are no twisty turny roads here, so I am not going to miss that.

How do you find the acceleration? I know it's nothing like the cooper, but can you zip by city traffic when needed? Any problems getting by cars on the highway?
Don't know if you have kids, but my kid loves it that he could get to the back seat all by himself with the CT without having to move the front seat. The CT is fun to drive and has a more luxury feel to it.

The CT acceleration using Sport Mode is comparable to Mini's normal mode. If you drive in Normal mode, it is okay for single driver. If you have 3 or more people in the car, you will definitely feel it especially when getting on to the freeway. Try all 3 modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport on your test drive. And don't worry about the regen brake sound, you will get used to it. I do.

As for handling, I don't miss mountain driving either as I have only went on a mountain road 2 times in the 4.5 years I owned the Mini. I have a long ramp that's curve 180 degree to get on to the freeway from my house. I used to be able to get to 70 mph before I even get to the merge. Now I am more like at 55 mph and have to merge. I could get it to the same speed as the Mini, but I just don't feel safe and have the tipping over feeling.

BTW, it was $600 the last time I changed the front brakes on my Mini and now with the CT it is probably half the price and the brakes will likely last over 100,000 miles! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think with Handling, it's the comparison to the previous car. So people who aren't finding the handling as good are coming from cars like the Mini Cooper which I understand is (and it should be) pretty awesome for handling.

It's different on the CT between Sport and Normal, on mine the Sport mode tautens up the dampers considerably cutting out the body roll almost entirely. The handling is far superior to the Focus ST170 I had as my last car and is on a par with the Puma I had before that. Total performance through the bends is best in the CT, because of the combination of Sport mode handling and the KERS torque boost we have from the motor. And that's in the car that's the heaviest of those 3.

But ... I sit in Normal mode, keeping Sport for fun (and sorting out muppets at traffic lights) because I have the legacy of a dislocated and torn up shoulder, which would complain at the heavier Sport mode steering.

Acceleration - 0 to 40 is pretty awesome, because of the motor+CVT gearbox. That runs out of steam a little at 40 though turning the 0 to 60 into a fairly ordinary 10 secs. But ... you'll always get 10 secs to 60, with no missed gears, abuse of clutch and cogs or over revving of the engine.

But - one person in the car, sport mode 50-70 is still pretty strong because the CVT gearbox responds eagerly with all of the power the CT has available.

Sport vs Normal - both give 650V to the motor for lots of kick-in-pants feel but Normal only gives that at almost full throttle. Sport gives the extra oomph all the way through the throttle travel, making for much better responsiveness when you're just gently leaning on the throttle.

Enjoy the test drive - hope you get a good chance to test out the different modes :)
From reading your posts over the past few months I'm guessing you drive a bit like I do. You seem to know a lot about the performance and handling and comparisons. Thanks for your replies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't know if you have kids, but my kid loves it that he could get to the back seat all by himself with the CT without having to move the front seat. The CT is fun to drive and has a more luxury feel to it.

The CT acceleration using Sport Mode is comparable to Mini's normal mode. If you drive in Normal mode, it is okay for single driver. If you have 3 or more people in the car, you will definitely feel it especially when getting on to the freeway. Try all 3 modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport on your test drive. And don't worry about the regen brake sound, you will get used to it. I do.

As for handling, I don't miss mountain driving either as I have only went on a mountain road 2 times in the 4.5 years I owned the Mini. I have a long ramp that's curve 180 degree to get on to the freeway from my house. I used to be able to get to 70 mph before I even get to the merge. Now I am more like at 55 mph and have to merge. I could get it to the same speed as the Mini, but I just don't feel safe and have the tipping over feeling.

BTW, it was $600 the last time I changed the front brakes on my Mini and now with the CT it is probably half the price and the brakes will likely last over 100,000 miles! :D
I do not have kids and usually drive solo except when my wife and I can carpool. Thank you for your detailed answers. The on ramp description is very informative and helpful.

I am looking forward to my test drive with all this information!!!
 

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From reading your posts over the past few months I'm guessing you drive a bit like I do. You seem to know a lot about the performance and handling and comparisons. Thanks for your replies.
Aww cheers :D

I just hope it's accurate info and not something subject to rose tinted specs :cool:
 

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I came from a Camry and to me the handling on the CT is magical. LMAO. depends on what your previous car was I guess. I need to test drive the mini cooper (even though I have no intentions of buying it and spending thousands on fix ups)
 

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Let us know how you like it, I'm planning on buying or at least test driving one next week. The wife wanted a new Prius but I talked her into the lexus. I can't wait to drive it home!
 

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Get the F Sport Special Edition if you want better handling.
 

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When you are almost done with the test drive...like when you are pulling back into the Lexus dealership...push the EV mode (next to shifter..um, I mean gear selector...um, no gears to select...I mean the bright shiny silver thing) and when you are moving at 25 MPH or less which you probably will be, it's a pretty cool feeling just knowing you are running entirely on electric power...and, when you come to a stop in this mode (before you push the engine off button) just open your window or get out of the car (after you push the park button) and just listen to how you hear "nothing"...just how quiet it is...that, above all else and how it's not the fastest car, is a cool thing about this car that no Mini or most other cars in this class will give you...oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that I just filled up yesterday and got 49 1/2 MPG on the last tankful.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As it turns out, I had to postpone my test drive Thursday due to a family matter. I have rescheduled for Saturday afternoon, but the weather may not cooperate.. It's a conspiracy...
 

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As it turns out, I had to postpone my test drive Thursday due to a family matter. I have rescheduled for Saturday afternoon, but the weather may not cooperate.. It's a conspiracy...
Does this mean you plan to drive your new car only in good weather?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Does this mean you plan to drive your new car only in good weather?
No, but we get only 4 inches of rain a year on average. We got about an inch last year. So far this year we've gotten 6/100th of an inch. Might as well test drive in the conditions you usually drive in, right?

So there you go...
 

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No, but we get only 4 inches of rain a year on average. We got about an inch last year. So far this year we've gotten 6/100th of an inch. Might as well test drive in the conditions you usually drive in, right?

So there you go...
Are you in LA? It is raining right now...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I finally test drove a 2012 CT Base (which is what I've decided I'd like to have) on Saturday afternoon.

It was exactly as I expected, thanks to all my research online and readings in this forum. One thing I did find interesting was the pickup in eco mode. It was much better than anticipated. I got to drive on a highway for a few miles and got to try the sport mode pickup on two different onramps. More than adequate pickup, and passing at speed was not a problem.

The fit and finish were nice and I was impressed by the comfort of the seats, especially the side bolsters. The steering wheel felt very comfortable, however I did not get to play with the controls on the steering wheel.

I do not think I will miss my MINI as the CT is pretty fun to drive and is much more comfortable to ride in, and I'm at a point where that is more important to me (along with 40+ MPG).

I'm hoping I can swing a deal and be driving a new CT in the very near future.

Wish me luck...
 
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