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One that comes to my mind is the Subaru WRX hatchback.
Not really. The Subie is a full-on AWD performance car, while the Lexus CT is a fuel economy luxurious champ. Believe me, I owned a previous-gen Subaru WRX for 2 years and test-drove the Lexus CT's big brother, the HS, extensively over a couple of days at the Press Preview (see Is the Lexus HS the Sybil of the automotive world? - my.IS - Lexus IS Forum ) and comparing the two is like apples and oranges.

There's really only one direct rival to the Lexus CT in the U.S.: the Audi A3, especialy in diesel guise. If you're willing to consider 2-door hatchbacks as rivals, then base MINI Cooper and Volvo C30. Expand the comparison to Canada, and you could add the Mercedes-Benz B-Class as a competitor. Go to Europe and you could add the just-launched Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Some would add the 3 and 5-door hatchback 4-cylinder gas and diesel versions of the BMW 1-series that we don't get here in the States, but, given its RWD platform and more cramped interior (and, probably, superior dynamics), it's not really a fair comparison.

At any rate, Lexus itself has admitted that their benchmark for the CT was the Audi A3.
 

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What about the Impreza?
You mean the base, naturally-aspirated (non-Turbo) version? Maybe.

Again, though, Subaru's all-wheel-drive and boxer engine powertrain hardly produces exemplary, Lexus CT-like fuel economy, although the new optional CVT transmission reportedly improves the Impreza's fuel economy quite a bit.
 

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Or the VW Jetta.
The VW Golf/Jetta and Audi A3 are quite similar underneath, but the Audi is the more upscale luxury brand. That's why I'm still saying that the Audi A3 is the Lexus CT's most direct competitor, whereas the Golf/Jetta are aimed more against the Toyota Corolla and Matrix.
 

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How about the 2011 Mini Cooper "Countryman"

 

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I looked at the Audi A3 TDI before I bought the CT200h. The Lexus gets better fuel economy, plus uses regular gas, which is at least 10% less than diesel here in N. Calif. Today, I saw a typical station with regular at $3.82 and diesel is $4.20. The handling of the A3 seems better than the Lexus, but both are fun to drive in terms of driving dynamics except both have poor acceleration, which is OK for the fuel consumption tradeoff. My last car had a 0-60 spec of 5.4 sec and the CT200h is 9.8 sec. Since I was rarely flooring my last car to use its full power, I have not found the lackluster acceleration to be a daily issue. I have owned 1 Lexus and 3 Audi's before and a major difference is in the service department. Audi dealerships that I have dealt with come nowhere near delivering the high level of attention to customer satisfaction that Lexus dealers offer. That tipped the scale for me, but either car seems to be a pretty good bet for an upscale compact sport-hatch.
 

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I looked at the Audi A3 TDI before I bought the CT200h. The Lexus gets better fuel economy, plus uses regular gas, which is at least 10% less than diesel here in N. Calif. Today, I saw a typical station with regular at $3.82 and diesel is $4.20. The handling of the A3 seems better than the Lexus, but both are fun to drive in terms of driving dynamics except both have poor acceleration, which is OK for the fuel consumption tradeoff. My last car had a 0-60 spec of 5.4 sec and the CT200h is 9.8 sec. Since I was rarely flooring my last car to use its full power, I have not found the lackluster acceleration to be a daily issue. I have owned 1 Lexus and 3 Audi's before and a major difference is in the service department. Audi dealerships that I have dealt with come nowhere near delivering the high level of attention to customer satisfaction that Lexus dealers offer. That tipped the scale for me, but either car seems to be a pretty good bet for an upscale compact sport-hatch.
Tryed the A3TDI as well before buying the CT. I personnally wasn't very comfortable in the seats, didn't like the way the car reacted when depressing the gas pedal. This is without out saying that it was more $$$ than the Ct, worse fuel economy and below average reliability.
A no brainer purchase for me and I am VERY pleased with my car.:cool:
 

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I loved my MKV Golf GTI. It was simply ridiculously unreliable. So, that eliminates a Volkswagen product (particularly one that shares so much with the Golf).
 
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