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Discussion Starter #1
Seeing some of the other posts about people (including myself) getting fed up with waiting for orders when a lot of the reviews are so lackluster, I thought I’d take this opportunity to also express my thoughts/frustrations since I was really ready to have a new car a month or 2 ago. I do agree that part of the struggle with the ‘professional’ reviews is that they so often miss the point. They criticize it for compromising on power over the other premium compact hatches, but then again for giving up mileage to the Prius. They criticize it for being too firm/loud for a Lexus, but then not sporty enough compared to the Mazda3. The car is a compromise- I recognize that you can’t have V8 power with 2.0L mileage, ride/noise isolation with sports-car response and feedback. Lexus quality at Kia price? The reviews feel like the national political debate, that they expect to have to go to the extreme end of the spectrum to get something that’s the ‘best’ in something, and then act disappointed when the car refuses to go all-in. I’d rather have something that, like me, does a little bit of everything (I do HR, financial analysis, and IT support for a medium-sized company), and does it all well, if not the best.

My History: Had a sportbike and a Subaru WRX wagon. Sold sportbike around the time I got married. Didn’t trust WRX transmission, didn’t need AWD when moved to the South, so split the difference and got a compromise between those 2: a 4-wheel motorcycle AKA 1.8L Miata—was daily driver for a few years, then became 3rd car for the past couple years. SCCA prepped, a lot of fun, but sadly even less power than the CT. But with fully swapped suspension, man could she handle. Here in NC there wasn't a month out of the year I couldn't drive with the top down. But, with a 2-year old and another one arriving next week, just don't have time/energy for a 3rd car that I still don't feel safe in, and I just got bored with it. Got hit 3 times in last 4 years because “they didn’t see me.” Sold it 2 months ago.
Daily Driver-- V6 Sonata. Bought this when I stopped feeling safe driving the Miata ~70 miles/day commuting in decently heavy traffic. It is a phenomenally adequate car, and my wife doesn't understand why I'm now so impatient to get rid of it. Have had 0 issues, requires 0 maint., gets 27mpg mixed (I drive like a grandma), smooth and quiet. Got a great deal used. But it has no soul. No character. Not engaging to drive, and even though it's a handsome enough car, I hate not even giving it a second glance in the garage. I may not be an HP addict, but I still consider myself a “car guy” and I want to look forward to getting in my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So, what else have I been looking at, or at least what am I ‘supposed’ to consider?
VW/Audi- After an electrical fire in my wife’s old Jetta and subsequent dealer/manufacturer treatment, have vowed never to buy another as long as we both shall live. End of story.
BMW 1-series. Too small, too expensive, no hatch.
BMW 3-series wagon- questionable long-term reliability, $30k for a 2008? 3-series are a dime a dozen around here (and I have a biased negative opinion of their drivers). Poor MPGs.
2011 TSX wagon- Limited availability. Haven’t driven it yet, but mileage is still about the same as currently getting. Acura’s are still pretty light on soul in my eyes, like an Accord. Or a refrigerator.
CTS wagon- Expensive, especially for a GM. MPGs……
2011 Mustang- Convertible only. Love the way it looks. Has a back seat, both new motors are great and quality is respectable. MPG reasonable for 300hp. Fully thought I was going to get one, but after the Miata it just felt like a big car with the roof removed, not like the extension of myself, i.e. wasn’t fun to drive. Manual V6 convertible is nearly impossible to find. $27k for a used V6 Mustang? Ick.
Volvo C30- like the design/character, but question Volvo reliability and would rather have 4 doors to get to the (occasional) carseats. Mileage not impressive for such a small car.
Lexus IS250- sedans are uninteresting to me, power and MPG both underwhelming
Mazda3 hatch- like the profile, can't stand the stupid 2011 grin, and older models are just looking dated up front. Gas mileage same or worse for 2.5L I-4 than I'm already getting with the V6, and with much less power. Would get manual. Am curious about SkyActiv in the fall, and may consider if I still don’t have word from Lexus by August. Meh interior.
Toyota Matrix, Honda Fit, Scion xB- All feel/look even more econobox (or just ugly) than the Mazda.
2012 Focus hatch- sharp looking car, but have a hard time spending $24-$28k to get upper trim levels- It’s still just a Focus, regardless of how much progress Ford has made in quality, and I’d have to buy new. I guess I’m self-important in the sense that I want better than a Focus.
3rd Gen Prius- The 70 miles/day would enjoy the hypermiling, but even with the 25 miles stop/go interstate and 10 miles of stop-light to stop-light, I want SOME driver engagement, and I just can't get past the look. Plus it’s SO ubiquitious. I'll admit it; I want something that's NOT for everyone (like my old bugeye WRX wagon).

So, I loved the CT in the commercials, and in the test-drive it just felt ‘right.’ That seat is phenomenal, it feels like a padded version of the Lotus Elise seats I had for a while. I'm low-30s now, and this is a good bridge between my boy-racer wants and my grown-up sensibilities. Do I wish it had more power? Sure, but I find myself grannying the Sonata around town because I hate the thought of wasting gas when I know I'm just going to slam on brakes again in a few seconds. Do I wish it was a little bigger? Sometimes I’m sure I will, but then it might be somewhat less engaging to drive and MPGs would suffer- my wife has a crossover with 3-rows so I have an alternative for Lowe’s trips and road trips. Is the CT too firm/ loud/cheap to live up to "Lexus standards"? I wouldn’t consider a car that was any more expensive, and I don’t care about what Lexus purists think (think Porsche with the Cayenne?). I also think it’s those unwavering Lexus standards that are driving their average owner age up past 60. Could I save a lot of money getting a similar non-premium brand compact? Of course, yet so many of the reviews still try making the value argument about how you can get more power/fun from a loaded Mazda3 for less $$ with real leather, but that I think still misses the point. I’m fortunate enough at this point in my life that I can consider a premium brand, so it came down to deciding if I wanted to pay a premium to get a premium product-- I could get a low-mileage used Mazda3/Matrix/Fit/xB for half the price, but if it isn’t what I want, it’s not worth half the price. Am I spending far more to get this car that I'm ever going to save from the reduced fuel consumption? Yes, logically I realize that, but that’s the same argument one could make about the switch from incandescent to CFL lightbulbs a few years back too. It’s not that I can't afford the gas, I'd just rather spend my money on car than on OPEC and Exxon profits, and while I may not be doing as much as Prius/Insight owners, I can still feel like I’m doing something. And yes, even without the power I felt it was ‘fun.’

Everything is a compromise. As the saying goes in the racing world: Cheap, fast, reliable: pick two. Although in this case you rightly could substitute cheap for MPG.

So, here it is, May 13, and here I wait.
 

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Bogner47, I pretty much agree with you - particularly on the Prius and Volvo C30. I don't hate the Prius look, but my Volvo S60 was fun to drive, and I want a little of that experience in my new car. I've never seen anything about the Prius being engaging to drive. My problem with waiting is that I am borrowing a car now. If my CT200h isn't ready for delivery by tomorrow, I'll at least have a free Lexus loaner until it is. I hate waiting, but seeing as how I plan to drive the CT200h for the next 10+ years, I really didn't want to compromise.
 

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Bogner47, I couldn't agree more with your post. Which is why I'm still on the waiting list. Although I do like test driving other cars while I wait...
 

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I'm reading on some posts that the wait time is 4 to 5 months. Shouldn't the 2012 models be out by then? Are these people going to get the 2011 or 2012 models? Mid fall is usually when the new models are released. Or, is to going to be later since the 2011 ct was releases in march? Regarless I'm going to pick one of these up. Test drove one last week. Very impressed. I'm in no hurry though. Going to wait for the 2012 hoping for a f-sport addition and some more color choices. Anyone have any insight on this?
 

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I'm reading on some posts that the wait time is 4 to 5 months. Shouldn't the 2012 models be out by then? Are these people going to get the 2011 or 2012 models? Mid fall is usually when the new models are released. Or, is to going to be later since the 2011 ct was releases in march? Regarless I'm going to pick one of these up. Test drove one last week. Very impressed. I'm in no hurry though. Going to wait for the 2012 hoping for a f-sport addition and some more color choices. Anyone have any insight on this?

When I ordered mine the dealer said I would get either a 2011 or 2012 model...it just depends when it comes in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just got the call that there may be a Red w/Carmel and Nav that's mine if I want it. Going to check it out tonight. Didn't want to pay for nav, so let's see how weak/impatient 4 months of waiting has made me.......... and how bad I get hosed on trade-in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I am weak. AND HAPPY! After almost buying a Mini Countryman this past weekend, I spent more money than I planned (or wanted), but man oh man what a fun 60 mile drive home. The Lexus buying experience was fantastic, even at 9:30pm after all his own staff has locked us out of the building, he sat patiently and walked through everything I could think of to ask (and some) until he felt I couldn't take any more. Pics to come!!!!
 

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I am weak. AND HAPPY! After almost buying a Mini Countryman this past weekend, I spent more money than I planned (or wanted), but man oh man what a fun 60 mile drive home. The Lexus buying experience was fantastic, even at 9:30pm after all his own staff has locked us out of the building, he sat patiently and walked through everything I could think of to ask (and some) until he felt I couldn't take any more. Pics to come!!!!
Congratulations, I think you made the right choice. Enjoy ;)

I am in count-down mode ...mine will be here soon ..now less than 2 weeks :)
 

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w00t! congrats!
 

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I am weak. AND HAPPY! After almost buying a Mini Countryman this past weekend, I spent more money than I planned (or wanted), but man oh man what a fun 60 mile drive home. The Lexus buying experience was fantastic, even at 9:30pm after all his own staff has locked us out of the building, he sat patiently and walked through everything I could think of to ask (and some) until he felt I couldn't take any more. Pics to come!!!!
Congrats on the new ride!
 

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My Lexus dealer told me that my car should arrive sometime this week. Does anyone know if the scheduled arrival time frames are usually accurate or could it get delayed?
 
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