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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I keep reading reviews of the CT200h on how the quality and craftsmanship is not near the other cars in the Lexus lineup. I've owned three IS models prior to owning the CT and I can tell you that this certainly is the case when comparing it to an IS. The quality and craftsmanship in the IS is top notch, hands down one of the best cars I ever owned.

Now I thought that quality was shared with other Lexus vehicles until yesterday. I dropped my car off at the dealership to get a door rattle fixed and they gave me a 2012 GS350 awd which is the last model year before the new redesign we saw for 2013. I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago and average temps around here are in the mid 20's. My overall impression of this car makes me wonder if Lexus is cutting down on there quality with the newer models. I owned two IS350's one was a 2006 and the other a 2008. I also owned an IS250 awd which was also a 2008. The quality, fit and finish in all three IS's I've owned was far superior than the 2012 GS I'm currently driving. My IS's had zero creaks and rattles. My CT has some, mainly coming from the glove box and drivers side door weather stripping. However the GS is full of them! It's just plain noisy!

I drove over a cobblestone road today, same road I've driven over in my IS and CT but the GS didn't handle it graciously at all. The dashboard in the GS was popping and creaking all over the dashboard where it meets the windshield. I was astonished! The other thing I noticed is how much hard plastic is in the car. The hard plastic used in the GS dashboard is harder than the CT's and no where near the quality of the IS dash which is very soft, which also helped reduce noise from body movements. The only plus sides I found on the GS were the leather seats. It's obvious the leather used in the IS and GS is far superior than what's used in the CT. The other plus is the power. The engine is the same 306hp engine used in my IS350 but after owning a CT for 6 months it feels like a rocketship!

After driving this GS it really made me wonder if the 2012 IS's also saw a decrease in quality materials? I would only rate the GS one step ahead of the CT but the IS I would rate several steps ahead based on my experience driving older models. Just wanted to share this information with all of you as I will now appreciate my CT much more and can't wait to get it back!


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I have a 2011 CT w/ ~20k miles and other than the rare case of the passenger side belt flipped over vibrating against the pillar, I've had zero issues with rattles. I have seen the issue with the passenger side inner-door handle falling off on a dealer demo car, but fortunately mine has been solid since the beginning. The only problem I've had with my car is the sticking button for the center storage lid. Other than that, I've been pretty pleased with the overall fit & finish.

I have been given 2012 IS 250 AWD's as loaners when I take my CT in for oil changes/maintenance and have been less than impressed by the overall quality you're paying for. Of the 3 loaners I've driven, all had center consoles that didn't quite line up with the center dash, one had squeaks and rattles, and I was also surprised by how little they block road noise from reaching the cabin.
 

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Euro sport are you saying Lexus quality is slipping in the three IS models you drove? Seems like my95tsi is having issues with quality with newer GS350s and some issues with the CT and has questions about Lexus build quality in other models. Before I owned a Lexus, I was always under the impression that Lexus quality was supreme and was a leader of innovation and are well built cars with great attention to fit and finish. I am not under that impression anymore. Lexus is resting on their laurels.
 

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Were you able to get the center console button fixed? I have the same problem.

I have a 2011 CT w/ ~20k miles and other than the rare case of the passenger side belt flipped over vibrating against the pillar, I've had zero issues with rattles. I have seen the issue with the passenger side inner-door handle falling off on a dealer demo car, but fortunately mine has been solid since the beginning. The only problem I've had with my car is the sticking button for the center storage lid. Other than that, I've been pretty pleased with the overall fit & finish.

I have been given 2012 IS 250 AWD's as loaners when I take my CT in for oil changes/maintenance and have been less than impressed by the overall quality you're paying for. Of the 3 loaners I've driven, all had center consoles that didn't quite line up with the center dash, one had squeaks and rattles, and I was also surprised by how little they block road noise from reaching the cabin.
 

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I think you will see all manufacturers quality slipping as they struggle to continue to try to meet the fereal goverment regulations (CAFE) and still have innovative, appealing cars to offer the public. Also, let's not forget that the economy is not that great at this time either - they see the crunch just like everyone else and are struggling to find ways to bring costs down within their own companies.

The CT is not without fault, but is still a very nice vehicle. Compare it to other hybrids and you've got a really, really sweet ride at a great value. I was so impressed that after we test drove it, we bought it - our search was over, we had found our new car. Is it perfect? No. But, it is the nicest hybrid I've seen with all things considered.

Is it fair to compare the CT with the GS? Does the Corolla and Avalon have the same fit and finish? I think everyone just wants to beat up on the top dog - Lexus has been there for some time now. You know when I am looking to make a purchase and I find myself comparing everything to one particular thing that is when I know that i should be buying the thing I am comparing everything else to.
 

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I agree with you BIG E, the CT is not without fault but you are so right, it is a very nice vehicle. Every vehicle has good and bad features about them. Knowing what I know now after owning one of the first cars available after the tsunami and with no customer reviews to go by, I don't think I would have purchased a CT or any Lexus for that matter. I'm not a CT or a hybrid hater; I'm not wild about Lexus as a company. I question their “Pursuit of Excellence” mantra with an outdated navigation system (lockout) and a low quality “premium” audio system with hard to access radio stations/song titles to name a few of my pet peeves. Sorry, but that’s my honest opinion and my opinion only.
 
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