newtolexus2017

A novice's master plan to caring for the IS300H...

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Hello everyone,

 

This forum has been an absolute god-send so far so thanks for all the advice everyone's been putting in. I'm picking up my IS300h F-sport in F-sport white this weekend and want to start thinking about all the kit I will need to care for it properly. I've read around a bit but I'm really a complete novice when it comes to maintaining a car, so want to get your thoughts around my "master plan" for trying to keep the car in mint condition...

 

Exterior :

1. Body: Get 2 buckets and wash with soapy water using a sponge, then wipe clean with micro-fibre cloth. Every 6 months, apply generic car wax (ebay/amazon?) and buff off using micro fibre cloth. Do I even need things like Meguiar (never used anything like that before).

2. Wheels: Again, use bucket/soapy water/sponge to clean the break dust / other dirt off the rims. Is that sufficient? 

3. Windows: We live in a car water area so it's a bit annoying but I'm assuming nothing more than soapy water and sponge.

Interior:

1. F-sport seats: hoover and micro fibre

2. Carpets: hoover

3. Plastics/leather: micro fibre, and leather wipes?

 

Please now rip it apart...

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1. Wash with a lambs wool mitt rather than a sponge. Rinse well and dry with one or two large drying towels. If you use a good quality wax such as Collinite 915 you should be able to go a good 3months between waxing. Just check how the water beads to see when it needs doing again.

2. Use Wheel Woolies to get into the barrel of the wheels and keep the insides clean. Again a good quality wax will help make cleaning easier.

3. I usually finish the windows with a proprietary glass cleaner, get rid of those annoying smears and water spots.

Inside

1. Vacuum seats carefully then wipe down with a damp microfibre cloth, dry with another clean cloth. Every 2-3 months a good clean with a cloth dampened with 5% wool detergent in water. Wipe over with clean cloth dampened with clean water. Dry.

2. Vacuum carpets after removing the over mats. Give the mats a good beating!

3. wipe trim with an interior quick detailer spray applied with a microfibre cloth.

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13 minutes ago, NemesisUK said:

1. Wash with a lambs wool mitt rather than a sponge. Rinse well and dry with one or two large drying towels. If you use a good quality wax such as Collinite 915 you should be able to go a good 3months between waxing. Just check how the water beads to see when it needs doing again.

2. Use Wheel Woolies to get into the barrel of the wheels and keep the insides clean. Again a good quality wax will help make cleaning easier.

3. I usually finish the windows with a proprietary glass cleaner, get rid of those annoying smears and water spots.

Inside

1. Vacuum seats carefully then wipe down with a damp microfibre cloth, dry with another clean cloth. Every 2-3 months a good clean with a cloth dampened with 5% wool detergent in water. Wipe over with clean cloth dampened with clean water. Dry.

2. Vacuum carpets after removing the over mats. Give the mats a good beating!

3. wipe trim with an interior quick detailer spray applied with a microfibre cloth.

Thanks! It sounds like all I will need is to check out some lambs wool mitt, collinite 915 wax, some wheel woollies and glass cleaner.

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To add to NemesisUK's very good advice. I'd recommend getting into the habit of doing a "pre-wash" instead of going straight to the bucket & mitt. That way you can remove or loosen most of the dirt without even touching the bodywork directly, which'll minimize the risk of scratches and swirls.

I used to enjoy using snow foam for this purpose, and I might start doing so again when the better weather arrives...but lately, I've been soaking the car with PowerMaxed TFR diluted to around 1:10 ratio with a cheap ASDA Pump Sprayer. Whilst it dwells on the bodywork for around 10mins, I then work the product into the badges, wheels, nooks & crannies etc with some cheap soft detailing brushes and then thoroughly rinse off with a pressure washer.

 

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1 hour ago, J Henderson said:

To add to NemesisUK's very good advice. I'd recommend getting into the habit of doing a "pre-wash" instead of going straight to the bucket & mitt. That way you can remove or loosen most of the dirt without even touching the bodywork directly, which'll minimize the risk of scratches and swirls.

I used to enjoy using snow foam for this purpose, and I might start doing so again when the better weather arrives...but lately, I've been soaking the car with PowerMaxed TFR diluted to around 1:10 ratio with a cheap ASDA Pump Sprayer. Whilst it dwells on the bodywork for around 10mins, I then work the product into the badges, wheels, nooks & crannies etc with some cheap soft detailing brushes and then thoroughly rinse off with a pressure washer.

 

Thanks very much!

 

But after using this Asda product (thanks for this as I live just 15 mins drive to a massive one), and then using a pressure washer, is there any need to use a bucket / wool mitts at all...?

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There is if you want your car spotlessly clean, but I sometimes just perform the above "touchless wash" and leave as is if I'm pushed for time.

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On 3/15/2017 at 2:01 PM, newtolexus2017 said:

Hello everyone,

 

This forum has been an absolute god-send so far so thanks for all the advice everyone's been putting in. I'm picking up my IS300h F-sport in F-sport white this weekend and want to start thinking about all the kit I will need to care for it properly. I've read around a bit but I'm really a complete novice when it comes to maintaining a car, so want to get your thoughts around my "master plan" for trying to keep the car in mint condition...

 

Exterior :

1. Body: Get 2 buckets and wash with soapy water using a sponge, then wipe clean with micro-fibre cloth. Every 6 months, apply generic car wax (ebay/amazon?) and buff off using micro fibre cloth. Do I even need things like Meguiar (never used anything like that before).

2. Wheels: Again, use bucket/soapy water/sponge to clean the break dust / other dirt off the rims. Is that sufficient? 

3. Windows: We live in a car water area so it's a bit annoying but I'm assuming nothing more than soapy water and sponge.

Interior:

1. F-sport seats: hoover and micro fibre

2. Carpets: hoover

3. Plastics/leather: micro fibre, and leather wipes?

 

Please now rip it apart...

You may find the following thread useful. 

I have a complete detailing guide available to download in there. 

Additionally, I wouldn't advise using TFR unless doing a full detail. It degrades any protection on the car, especially the PowerMaxed TFR (ask me how I know)

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Thanks, I did wonder if the TFR was aggressive to any protection. No doubt it gets the car clean tho!

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52 minutes ago, Farqui said:

Thanks, I did wonder if the TFR was aggressive to any protection. No doubt it gets the car clean tho!

Its actually pretty potent stuff. 

From my experience, it can stain the plastics and paint. Quite a few of my friends (who dont know better and use hand/automatic car washes) have had issues with it. 

Its a hit with the car wash guys though, gets the car clean without having to do much!

Top tip right here - when buying a relatively young second hand car, check the sills under the doors. If they're bubbling/rusted 90% of the time its had TFR around the bottom.

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On ‎16‎/‎03‎/‎2017 at 9:02 PM, rayaans said:

Its actually pretty potent stuff. 

From my experience, it can stain the plastics and paint. Quite a few of my friends (who dont know better and use hand/automatic car washes) have had issues with it. 

Its a hit with the car wash guys though, gets the car clean without having to do much!

Top tip right here - when buying a relatively young second hand car, check the sills under the doors. If they're bubbling/rusted 90% of the time its had TFR around the bottom.

I don't know how I missed this before but just opened up your PDF guide on how to detail the lexus.

So far I've washed the car using a mild soapy solution and will check out your guide on how to wax etc this weekend... will let you know how it goes.

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Someone wanna do mine? :rolleyes:

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Cleanyourcar is a great website - super customer service and the loyalty cash back really adds up :-)

I recommend the carlacl car shampoo as it's wax friendly and helps re-grease the surface.

I've previously been a fan of Collinite 576s for a black Civic that I had between 2007-2010, superb beading and longevity, better than the 915 I used on subsequent Red Golf GTD. But then I found Bilt Hamber - and their products are really excellent, the beading doesn't quite top the 576s but it's much easier to use and lasts 5-6 months before I need to redo it. Their clay bars are excellent as well!

 

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OK, if TFR is a no-no, and I don't have a snowfoam lance, what should I use for, and how do I apply it, as a pre wash?  Usually I give the car a good hose down with a spray attachment, I don't like the thought of a power washer.  

The car has Poorboys Black Hole, AG SRP, followed by AG UGP.   I used to use BH Autobalm, but found it harder to work with, so reverted to AG.

I use Megs Last Touch as a drying aid, (and watermark remover if necessary as I live in a very hard water area) after each wash.

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Well you could still use a PH-neutral snowfoam, but through a pump sprayer instead of a pressure washer and lance.

 

FWIW, I've not had any issues using the TFR mentioned earlier. The manufacturer claims its "LSP safe" when diluted to approx 1:10 ratio and that's how I've been using it.

It will no doubt erode any protection on the car faster than the aforementioned snowfoam but that's of no concern to me personally as I enjoy detailing my car and will apply umpteen coats of wax/sealant over the course of a year.

 

I would definitely think twice about using a TFR if I had shelled out big bucks for a professionally-applied ceramic coating though! ☺

 

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

 

 

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It's the interior cleaning that concerns me, I got just the smallest drop of Auto Glym Plastic and rubber cleaner on the sat nav screen and it left a mark when I tried to remove it, luckily at the bottom of the screen so not that visible. The screens are so delicate that anything marks it. I think I'll going to make a little cut out template to cover the screen when I'm cleaning it. 

The AutoGlym certainly hide some of marks I had above the glove box near the passenger airbag.

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Hello,

I've just finished my first ever "detailing" of the car. So:

1. Washed - used Autglym Shampoo Conditioner. This felt almost like water because it's not very concentrated after mixing in accordance with instructions, however it does remove all the dirt and the water that comes back is pretty much black...

2. Polished - used Autoglym Super Resin Polish. I was so wary of using this after reading the comments about how it's removing a layer of paint, so I was pretty gentle and initially I was quite dubious as to whether it was doing anything at all. But after buffing it off, I could see that there were no swirls anymore which really made quite a massive difference to how the car looked.

3. Glazed - used Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection. This was wonderful - it was a liquid so had to be pretty careful not to get it everywhere, took 30 minutes to dry before buffing off but then the car just felt so much more protected, very reflective and clean.

The proof will be in the pudding however so will see how it feels like to wash with shampoo next week and how long the protective gloss protection actually lasts!

 

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9 hours ago, baxlin said:

OK, if TFR is a no-no, and I don't have a snowfoam lance, what should I use for, and how do I apply it, as a pre wash?  Usually I give the car a good hose down with a spray attachment, I don't like the thought of a power washer.  

The car has Poorboys Black Hole, AG SRP, followed by AG UGP.   I used to use BH Autobalm, but found it harder to work with, so reverted to AG.

I use Megs Last Touch as a drying aid, (and watermark remover if necessary as I live in a very hard water area) after each wash.

Snowfoam in one of those cheap pressurized sprayers works fairly well. 

Ive never needed to use TFR to be honest - (and I managed to get concrete on my car once) 

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1 hour ago, newtolexus2017 said:

Hello,

I've just finished my first ever "detailing" of the car. So:

1. Washed - used Autglym Shampoo Conditioner. This felt almost like water because it's not very concentrated after mixing in accordance with instructions, however it does remove all the dirt and the water that comes back is pretty much black...

Yes, I've been using this for a few years and even if you put in double or triple the recommended dosage, it will never be mega soapy with loads of suds. Half-way through a car and I will sometimes have to double-check which is the wash bucket and which is the rinse. It is good stuff though and just a basic wash with it and nothing else will leave a car nice and shiny since it has some gloss-enhancers and leaves a wax-like finish. Their new Ultra High Definition shampoo is the one to go for if you want rich and long-lasting soapy suds.

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7 hours ago, newtolexus2017 said:

Hello,

I've just finished my first ever "detailing" of the car. So:

1. Washed - used Autglym Shampoo Conditioner. This felt almost like water because it's not very concentrated after mixing in accordance with instructions, however it does remove all the dirt and the water that comes back is pretty much black...

2. Polished - used Autoglym Super Resin Polish. I was so wary of using this after reading the comments about how it's removing a layer of paint, so I was pretty gentle and initially I was quite dubious as to whether it was doing anything at all. But after buffing it off, I could see that there were no swirls anymore which really made quite a massive difference to how the car looked.

3. Glazed - used Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection. This was wonderful - it was a liquid so had to be pretty careful not to get it everywhere, took 30 minutes to dry before buffing off but then the car just felt so much more protected, very reflective and clean.

The proof will be in the pudding however so will see how it feels like to wash with shampoo next week and how long the protective gloss protection actually lasts!

 

Dont worry about bubbles

Lubricity makes the difference - suds just look pretty

The only problem with the AG Shampoo Conditioner is that it has lots of "extra" bits in it. PITA if you have a sealant/wax other than AG on the car as it interferes with the beading of the original product by layering itself on top of it. 

I personally prefer Carchem 1900:1. Hands down best shampoo ive used.  I think I bought it in 5l of Leather Oak scent - gives a nice woody smell

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On 11/04/2017 at 4:03 PM, newtolexus2017 said:

Hello,

I've just finished my first ever "detailing" of the car. So:

1. Washed - used Autglym Shampoo Conditioner. This felt almost like water because it's not very concentrated after mixing in accordance with instructions, however it does remove all the dirt and the water that comes back is pretty much black...

2. Polished - used Autoglym Super Resin Polish. I was so wary of using this after reading the comments about how it's removing a layer of paint, so I was pretty gentle and initially I was quite dubious as to whether it was doing anything at all. But after buffing it off, I could see that there were no swirls anymore which really made quite a massive difference to how the car looked.

3. Glazed - used Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection. This was wonderful - it was a liquid so had to be pretty careful not to get it everywhere, took 30 minutes to dry before buffing off but then the car just felt so much more protected, very reflective and clean.

The proof will be in the pudding however so will see how it feels like to wash with shampoo next week and how long the protective gloss protection actually lasts!

 

This is exactly what Did on a Civc I had in Nighthawk black! It looked ace and you'll find a quick wash once a week is all you need now! If it were me id also top the EGP with some collinite 576s

rhe tricky thing now is the water marks and drying - I've just washed my IS (it's in Velvet black and 2.5 weeks old!) and I already have swirl marks which is so annoying on black cars they really stick out!

Need to get myself a decent silicon blade and plan in some SPR to fill those swirls myself!

 

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I never dry my cars..  I always rinse with a twin DI vessel setup I have and never have water spots .. Worth a go :thumbsup:

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3 hours ago, TechyD said:

This is exactly what Did on a Civc I had in Nighthawk black! It looked ace and you'll find a quick wash once a week is all you need now! If it were me id also top the EGP with some collinite 576s

rhe tricky thing now is the water marks and drying - I've just washed my IS (it's in Velvet black and 2.5 weeks old!) and I already have swirl marks which is so annoying on black cars they really stick out!

Need to get myself a decent silicon blade and plan in some SPR to fill those swirls myself!

 

Why would you put 476s on it?

Its a pure wax with nothing else in it so actually won't change the appearance - only the beading and longevity.

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4 hours ago, TechyD said:

rhe tricky thing now is the water marks and drying - I've just washed my IS (it's in Velvet black and 2.5 weeks old!) and I already have swirl marks which is so annoying on black cars they really stick out!

Need to get myself a decent silicon blade and plan in some SPR to fill those swirls myself!

 

DI water rinse is the way forward. No water marks and no need to dry...

http://www.theultimatefinish.co.uk/aqua-gleam/0ppm-de-ionising-water-filter-12.aspx

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1 hour ago, rayaans said:

Why would you put 476s on it?

Its a pure wax with nothing else in it so actually won't change the appearance - only the beading and longevity.

Ummm...exactly those reasons! Plus it's detergent proof, or at least pretty good at it as long as you don't use the wash and wax all in products or very strong shampoos.

I found adding it as a top layer really finished it off - super smooth paint work, easy to clean and long lasting, 6 months in my experience :-)

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      There has been mixed reports on the use of the CVT gearbox in Toyota and Lexus hybrid models over the last few years so it was interesting to see how the gearbox suited the F Sport model in particular. Can a car with a CVT gearbox really be sporty? The CVT haters out there would tell you no and constantly make references to the DAF 600 of the late 50’s, but I’m pleased to report that as any sensible person would expect, things have moved on a long way since the days of the DAF 600. Indeed, under normal driving conditions, I would actually go so far as saying that the CVT gearbox in the IS300h presents a smoother and more relaxed drive than even the most silky smooth conventional automatic. This of course is due to the lack of gear changes.  It’s only when you push on harder that you’ll notice the slightly slow throttle response. Sport mode does counteract this somewhat but it’s still by no means instant. Ninety percent of the time you won’t notice it but try it out for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
      Lexus are now offering you the chance to book a 24 hour test drive in the Lexus IS, CT, or NX – click here for more details.

      Lexus have also done their best to counteract some of the complaints regarding strange engine noise in earlier hybrid models equipped with the CVT gearbox. This is not so bad in the IS300h model anyway thanks to its slightly larger capacity engine and improved sound deadening. To counteract this further still, Lexus have employed something called ASC or Active Sound Control. It’s a similar system to one that has been used in quite a few cars before – often due to newer models losing cylinders for a decrease in CO2 emissions. Basically, the system works by pumping a more “sporty” artificial engine sound through the car’s speakers to give the driver a greater sense of occasion when pushing the car harder. This is particularly prevalent when selecting sport mode on the rotary controller and even more so when manual gear change is in use. I actually quite liked it when driving the car more enthusiastically. Having said that, it may be something you want to turn off when on a long motorway trip as in certain modes it actually creates a kind of synthetic exhaust drone. It’s nice to have the option to turn it on and off though and it’s sure to be a case of personal preference.
      Manual mode on the gearbox can either make use of the steering wheel mounted paddles or the gear lever when shifted across into sport. It would have been nice if the paddles were metal rather than plastic (a la RCF), but never the less they feel good to use. Speaking of manual mode, I was curious as to how this was going to work when the CVT really doesn’t have individual gears. It turns out that it effectively creates six artificial “gears” by changing the revs and also the noise (presumably using the ASC). It works well enough although there’s not really any point to it in my opinion, other than for a bit of fun. You can actually use the down changes for engine braking though should you so desire. The ASC also appeared to add in the occasional “pop” sound on the gear change while using manual mode which was interesting.

      Running Costs
      Running costs are clearly an important factor when it comes to this car and its hybrid drive train. If it wasn’t an important factor then you’d probably be looking at the IS200t right? Well, Lexus claim the IS300h can achieve 61.4 mpg on the combined cycle. Of course, as with all manufacturer figures these were achieved under laboratory conditions so we’re not actually expecting to achieve these figures in real life. We tested the car in mixed used conditions with motorway use as well as town driving in the same journey, achieving an average of 47.6 mpg. It’s somewhat shy of the official figures yes, but this car did only have a few hundred miles on the clock so hopefully the petrol engine will loosen up a bit a time goes on. Also, if you consider that this car still has a 2.5 litre petrol engine under the bonnet then knocking on the door of 50 mpg is pretty good going. I can’t see why 50 + mpg wouldn’t be attainable once the car has loosened up a bit with some careful driving. With a full tank on board the car was suggesting a 600 mile plus range was attainable from its 66 litre tank. I didn’t get a chance to confirm this but that’s on a par with many diesels if achievable. The car also emits just 107 g/km of CO2 putting it currently in the £10 per year VED band. Again this is incredibly cheap considering the car and engine size plus the reasonably good performance on offer. If the cheap tax interests you (and why wouldn’t it) I’d advise getting your order in soon before the tax system changes in 2017, when the CO2 emissions will no longer offer any benefit on a year by year basis.
      Conclusion
      If you’re looking for a compact executive saloon that’s enjoyable and comfortable to drive whilst maintaining excellent fuel economy then the Lexus IS300h could be for you, especially if you’re already a fan of the brand. Lexus continues to build a very loyal following, largely helped by its reputation for build quality, reliability and customer service, and the IS300h certainly stays true to the Lexus brand in my opinion. If you’re considering a compact executive then the Lexus IS300h is well worth a test drive and it makes a tempting proposition for those looking to stand out from the crowd.
      View 50+ more photos in our Lexus IS300h F Sport Gallery

       
      Lexus Hedge End
      A special thanks to the lovely people at Snows Lexus Hedge End for the loan of our IS300h F Sport featured in this review.
    • By Lexus Owners Club

      Introduction & Styling
      Thankfully the weather Gods were on my side as I went to collect our CT200h F Sport for this review – a stark contrast from the torrential downpours I battled whilst reviewing IS300h F Sport recently. The autumnal sun proved to be just what we needed to make the most of our test car’s glistening “F Sport White” metallic paint (£610). I’m personally a big fan of metallic/pearl white finishes on cars but if it were my choice it would be a pretty close call with the also rather nice “Ultra Blue” finish.
      Lexus F Sport models are traditionally the most aesthetically pleasing models in their respective ranges and the CT200h F Sport is no exception. The car gets a unique and more aggressive version of the company’s signature honeycomb spindle grill – something that graces even the flagship RC F. There’s also other enhancements to the front bumper, flared side skirts, unique wheels and a rear diffuser. In the right colour combination there’s no questioning that the CT200h F Sport is a good looking car. As with other models in the Lexus range, the car certainly stands out against the competition and is sure to attract some head turning in the company car park, thanks to its unique styling and hybrid drive train.

       
      Interior
      In typical Lexus fashion, the CT200h interior is a nice place to be. The seats are comfortable and supportive (with plenty of electric adjustment in the F Sport model), plus there’s a nice selection of gadgetry and F Sport touches. There’s a rather nice F Sport badged steering wheel, which feels nice to use – if not quite as chunky to grip as some others. You also get aluminium pedals which adds a little extra quality and helps to set this model apart from others. I can’t help but thinking that Lexus should have extended the silver/carbon inlay that sits above the glove box to also feature on the surrounds that house the window switches. Currently they use some slightly cheaper looking black plastic which spoils things a little if I’m being fussy.
      Overall cabin quality is good though with quality materials used in most places. The Lexus connoisseurs out there will be quick to point out that some cabin materials are not quite as good as other models in the Lexus range, and while they are correct to an extent I’d say the CT200h still holds its own compared to rivals in its class. Yes, the CT200h is the cheapest way into new Lexus ownership, but that doesn’t mean it steers wildly away from the brand ethos. Apart from some of the lower rent plastics that sit lower down in the cabin, there are also plenty of nice touches too. The contrasting stitching looks smart and the extra bits of leather material that feature on the centre console and on top of the dash give a real feeling that this a compact luxury car – something that Lexus are very keen to point out.

      For a car in this class, the CT200h provides a reasonable amount of cabin space considering its hybrid drive train and the space lost to batteries. Rear leg room is OK if not spectacular. You could happily take 4 adults around town but it would start to feel a little cramped in the back on a longer journey, although to be fair this car really isn’t built to be a long distance cruiser. When you take a closer look at the boot space this is really the only obvious pointer that the car is a hybrid. At first glance it is fairly shallow but there is more to the car’s boot space than first meets the eye. Firstly, in what appears to be a rather rare move these days, the CT200h actually comes with a space saver spare wheel – a welcome change from the all too common air compressor and foam. Secondly, if you remove the various storage trays from under the carpet in the boot, it appears that Lexus could have actually given owners a deeper boot, albeit not a flat one. If you combine some of this additional space/trays there’s actually quite a bit of space – especially when you remember that being a hatchback you can still fold the seats down and remove the parcel shelf/divider. Practical if not class leading then, but probably sufficient for most people in the market for a car of this size.

      Equipment
      One thing that many of you will already know if you’re familiar with the brand is that you’re never left wanting for kit in a Lexus, and the company tends to be a bit more fair when it comes to options than rivals. Where other manufacturers models can easily see their list prices increase substantially with a few tick boxes on the options list, Lexus generally prefer to include far more as standard, therefore significantly undercutting other similarly specified cars. The problem with Lexus tends to come when you’re used to driving a top of the range model (SE-L or now Premier) and then you have a go in lower spec or mid range model. Even in a “lower spec” Lexus, all the basics and more are usually there, but you know you’ve been spoiled when you miss things such as ventilated seats and an electric rear blind. Most people would just be happy with heated seats and window tints!
      The CT200h F Sport sits one tier below the top of the range Premier model in terms of standard kit, but as the F Sport is the better looking of the two, it’s not unusual for F Sport owners to spec their cars up a little bit to almost Premier levels of kit – should the options list allow.

      This particular car only had a few options added to it though. It had the Lexus “Premium Navigation” system (£1,995) that includes a DVD player, 10 speakers, reversing camera and connected services. Although a little pricey it’s probably the most worthwhile option offered on this car. It was also fitted with the protection pack (£350) consisting of rubber boot mat, cargo net, rubber floor mats and bumper protection plate. The car’s F Sport White paintwork (£610) brings the total as tested of this particular car to £29,950, up from a list price for the F Sport of £26,995. The CT200h range currently starts from £21,245 for the entry level “S” model, increasing to £29,745 for a Premier.
      The premium navigation works well enough and if you have tried the system in other Lexus models its a familiar affair. If you’ve never used a Lexus remote touch system before then it takes a bit of getting used and it can be fiddly particularly when entering in individual characters. Having said that, it’s intuitive enough to use, and I actually find the system far easier to use than the standard Lexus navigation with the rotary controller, in terms of menu navigation anyway.
      With the Premium Navigation package, you get the upgraded sound system with 10 speakers, which while not quite up to the standard of the Mark Levinson system found in the Premier model, it’s not all that far off. It still includes a sub woofer in the boot so bass is nice and punchy too. I’m not too sure what Lexus were thinking in putting the USB ports under a flap in the centre console though rather than in the arm rest as in other models. This makes it for more difficult to leave a device permanently and discreetly hidden away.

      Other standard features include heated leather electric seats with driver’s side memory, keyless start and entry, LED running lights, dual zone climate control, Bluetooth, USB and DAB radio. In fact, the only notable omissions from the Premier model are the LED headlights (the F Sport sticks to standard halogens) and the Mark Levinson sounds system. I must say I think the LED headlights would have looked great on this car considering it’s the F Sport. Put it this way though, you’re unlikely to be disappointed with the specification levels found on this car. As standard, it’s far more generously equipped than most rivals at this price.
      Handling and Ride
      The pre-facelift version of the CT200h was well known for being a little on the firm side, and Lexus has worked hard on the facelift model to counter some of these criticisms. By increasing structural rigidity with 20 additional spot welds, Lexus were then able to work on the car’s spring rates to help deliver a more compliant ride. Not only this, but the company have also added increased sound deadening to give occupants an experience far more akin to the rest of the Lexus range.
      So has it transformed the car? Well, yes pretty much. For those of you who have driven the pre-facelift model, the first thing you will notice is definitely the change in ride quality. The car is still firm yes, but the extra suppleness that Lexus have now managed to fettle in means that the car is much more competent at soaking up broken surfaces on all but the most pot hole ridden roads. This being the F Sport model of course featuring firmer sports suspension anyway, I’d expect the standard suspension bearing models to be even more compliant. However, if you’re worried about firm suspension but still fancy the looks of the F Sport, I’d suggest taking it for a 24 hour test drive and testing it over a decent selection of road surfaces anyway.

      In all honesty though, I think Lexus have done a pretty good job on the chassis of this car. It’s got plenty of grip and the body roll is kept fairly well in check at least with the sports suspension anyway. It certainly gives you plenty of confidence through tight and twisty bits that the car will hold on and go where you want it to. If I were to be a bit fussy I’d say that the steering is a little too light for my taste, something that is particularly evident when pushing on a bit.
      Performance
      Let’s get one thing straight here – this model may be called an F Sport, but a hot hatch it certainly is not, and that’s not the point of this car. The F Sport philosophy to Lexus is all about styling and handling. The proper “F” models are the fast ones in the Lexus range (think RC F, IS F, GS F), so the CT200h F Sport is about taking a luxury compact hybrid and making it look a bit sportier and handle better.

       
      In terms of straight line performance then the figures are the same as the rest of the CT200h range, giving the car a 0-62 mph time of 10.3 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph. It’s not exactly a rocket ship then, but I’d describe performance as absolutely adequate for the car it is. It has enough power for most situations (track days aside) and can happily keep pace with traffic where needed. The car does sometimes feel a little quicker than the figures would suggest too, thanks to the extra 153 Ib ft of torque provided from the electric motor that gives the engine and its 105 Ib ft of torque a bit of a lift. The car also produces 136 bhp as a combined output.
      To be quite honest though, the CT200h is far more suited to a more gentle and controlled style of driving, and that way you’re also able to extract the best economy and also refinement from the hybrid system and its automatic CVT gearbox. The EV mode is usually happy to cut in as soon as you hit traffic, and if you’re careful you can also use the electric motor to maintain speeds of up to around 40 mph, depending on the road gradient.

      The car has three modes in which you can drive; Normal (default), Eco and Sport that can be accessed by a rotary control on the centre console. As the car defaults to normal, this tends to be the place it will spend most of its time and gives a decent balance of responsiveness and fuel economy. Eco mode dulls the throttle response down far too much for my liking, presumably to maximise the amount of time you spend in EV mode where possible. Sport mode is the most responsive and this does go some way to eliminate the delay in throttle response caused by the CVT transmission but it’s still not instantaneous. Sport mode does give you a rather cool digital rev counter in place of the power/eco/charge gauge that you get on normal and Eco though.
      Braking performance is strong on this car although you may find they are a little bit snatchy until you get used to it thanks to the way the car regenerates energy to charge the batteries while braking.
      Running Costs
      Being the type of car that it is, the running costs are clearly a significant area of interest when it comes to this car. On the combined cycle, the CT200h claims a frugal 68.9 mpg, and with a CO2 output of 94 g/km, the car is currently VED band A so no road tax to pay. This will of course be different for new cars purchased after March 2017 when the new rules come into force. Interestingly, other versions of the CT200h do also boast slightly higher mpg figures and slightly lower CO2 outputs, though this can be attributed to the F Sport’s larger wheels.

      As you would expect from lab tested economy figures, these do tend to be slightly optimistic, though the same can be said for many cars these days. It really does depend on how you drive it, which seems obvious but being a hybrid it really does count here. Economy is largely based on the amount of mileage you can extract from the EV mode. From experience, if you drive it like you drive any other car, you are likely to achieve mid 40’s to low 50’s mpg. If you learn how to drive the hybrid system properly though, high 50’s to low 60’s and beyond are definitely achievable. It’s all about practice and learning how to extract the best from the system. Of course, there are other factors to be taken into account such as temperature and air conditioning use, but it’s more down to driver input than anything else.
      The other thing that’s worth taking into account is that the CT200h and indeed any hybrid system will not necessarily give you the best fuel economy from long motorway runs, unlike conventional engined cars. This is because the higher speeds you (normally) achieve on motorways do not give the hybrid system a chance to do its thing and you are permanently relying on the petrol engine rather than the electric motor. The best place to extract better economy from the CT200h is on longer journeys that involve slower to medium speed roads with moderate traffic. This lets everything warm up nicely whilst still allowing the electric motor to cut in and out where appropriate. Having said that, thanks to its reasonably frugal 1.8 litre petrol engine, the CT200h will still achieve decent fuel economy on motorways, if not up there with the best small diesels. Probably best not to get started on diesel emissions and certain German manufacturers though. Needless to say the current scandal will likely only help out Lexus and other manufacturers who are experts at utilising hybrid and other alternative technologies rather than just sticking with traditional diesels. The low CO2 ratings really help to make this car an attractive proposition for company car drivers too, with a lower BIK than many diesel rivals.

      Conclusion
      Whilst the Lexus CT200h F Sport is not without its faults in places, if you’re looking for a small premium car with great build quality, bags of kit and low running costs, then this car could certainly be the one for you. The interior is nice place to spend time, plus lets not forget that Lexus have a great name when it comes to reliability and customer service. Some even say that once you’ve bought into the whole Lexus ethos, it’s hard to drive anything else. The Lexus CT200h certainly provides a stylish and affordable way into Lexus ownership that’s sure to turn heads when you creep silently through a car park.
      If you’ve not driven the latest model, it’s certainly worth taking advantage of our 24 hour test drive offer by clicking the button below.

    • By Crowe
      Hi,might be a long shot but has anyone seen or themselves had a different touchscreen system fitted to their is300h (2013),I want to have a system installed that links up my phone and mirrors the phone on the display to play YouTube etc... due to the climate control taken up a large area not sure if it's possible.any help would be appreciated or if anyone knows a London based shop that a expert can install such a thing???