Basil

CT200h - should we get one?

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We live in a city centre and do generally low mileage in our car, which we run alongside our family van.  We cycle / walk to work, but use the car where the van is too cumbersome around town - usually with the kids at weekends - on short journeys, with an occasional parental visit (100-mile) or long (500-mile!) business trip thrown in.  Probably 3-4k miles a year.

Currently, our runabout is a 12-year-old but nicely spec'd Audi A3 2.0T.  This is a solid car offering easy performance, but I'd like to replace it with a 0-3 year old hybrid of a similar quality and compact size.  (We can't have an EV or plug-in hybrid, as we don't have off-street parking for charging).  There really isn't much out there that fits the bill apart from a Prius, which is 20cm longer than a CT200h and therefore getting a bit too big for parking on our street.  

The Prius gets better reviews, but it seems that the CT200h can be had for about £2k less if bought new.  At the moment I can get a base model with a pretty good spec for just over £21k via Carwow, with low rate finance - all via a main dealer.  That compares favourably with used models, making them almost not worth the small saving of a 1-2 year old.  

I just have some quick questions: 

- how much of a pain / learning curve is the footbrake?

- the reviews are really mixed for the CT200h; it would be great to hear some opinions from long-term owners 

- I used to have performance cars, but am over it now.  However, it would be good to hear that the CT200h is smooth around town on Battery power...

- would you bother getting a new car this late in the model cycle, or look elsewhere?

Thanks in advance. 🙂 

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Right I’m on my second CT200h after I liked the first so that should tell you something 😀

Footbrake - you get used to that after the first 10 minutes driving. Jumping from a manual to it means being careful not to put the “clutch” down the first time you pull up but your brain very quickly relearns!

Very smooth around town. Suspension a little firm if you live in an area with bad roads but the 2014 onwards cars have slightly softer suspension than earlier examples.

For your low mileage I’d suggest looking at second hand/preregistered at least. Not sure where you have looked but I’d go for a mid spec car that is a few months old over a base model. This will also help when you come to trade it in unless you are planning on keeping it a really long time. They are pretty bullet proof so you could get a high mileage example and with your low mileage it would even out and you would save quite a bit. 

It is a much nicer place to sit than a Prius imo but be aware the CT is based on the slightly older Prius running gear and won’t get the same mpg as a new Prius. That said on 4K miles a year it won’t make a big difference. The CT is a bit dated ICE wise but it works fine once you learn the menus, just don’t expect apple CarPlay or Android Auto. 

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Hi Basil,

I've had my (2014 Advance) CT for nearly three years - my first hybrid. I love it, and when I come to change it, perhaps later this year, I wouldn't have anything other than another hybrid Lexus. It is FAULTLESSLY reliable - not even a light-bulb has gone. The dealership is so civilised compared with others (and I have had just about everything over the years), and customers are treated with great courtesy. It really is quite a different experience from any other make. 

To answer your questions:

* The footbrake takes approximately one minute to get used to - perhaps two at the outside. To me, it immediately seemed logical. 

* Look at owner / customer satisfaction reviews, compared with motoring journalists: the people who know what they're talking about and actually own one, love it. Does it behave /look /get driven like the average BMW? No. That's certainly a plus as far as I'm concerned... 

* As a town car, it is SO relaxed - it's the most 'zen' car I've ever driven. It puts the driver into a world where peace, calm, civility and concern for the planet quickly matter rather more than racing an idiot with a comedy exhaust away from the lights. I think it would be impossible NOT to like this car in an urban environment. 

* I'm no expert on the car market, so couldn't advise you on buying new or nearly new. I would point out how durable they are, though, so I wouldn't necessarily focus getting one with 'delivery' miles. What I WOULD do next time around is focus on spec: in my opinion, the Premier is worth having if you can find one.

Is it perfect? 80% of the time, yes, but of course there are negatives: the ride on rough roads can be harsh, road noise at speed on poor surfaces can intrude (tyre choices are critical - mine is now on Crossclimates, which are very good), and it took me quite a long time to learn how to use the 'Sport' setting in order to maximise overtaking power.  (Until you do, it is easy to make the revs flare with little impact on progress, as the journalists do...)

Talk to other owners - I've never spoken to one who didn't love it. 

 

 

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You both mention the ride. I've only ever had the CT as a courtesy car and agree that it does seem a little firm but the ones they have on the fleet at Lexus Sheffield always seem to be higher spec models with bigger wheels. Could this be the issue? And if the OP is buying the base model he might avoid this?

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I've had mine a few months now and love it.  My only minor gripe is the small boot size.

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8 hours ago, rich1068 said:

You both mention the ride. I've only ever had the CT as a courtesy car and agree that it does seem a little firm but the ones they have on the fleet at Lexus Sheffield always seem to be higher spec models with bigger wheels. Could this be the issue? And if the OP is buying the base model he might avoid this?

I’ve only ever driven them with 17” alloys but from what I’ve read the smaller wheels make a small improvement. 

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i really enjoyed owning a CT i bought mine in Oct 2013 and had it for 20 months

it was on 17" wheels with cross climates it was a comfortable quiet & an economical car to own,

i then moved to the Is300h in Aug 2015 and again changed my car in April 2018 for another Is300h.

my partner has an Auris hybrid and she loves it to the point she doesnt want to sell it.

you wont go wrong with a lexus hybrid just make sure it has full lexus service history

so you know its been cared for by a garage that knows the car inside out.

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Have to agree with the others. Had mine for over a year and love it, so much so we also bought an IS300H F sport as well. Great dealership service compared to others.

Highly recommend it.

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For the kind of money you are looking to shell out, you could also look at an 18 month to 3 years IS300h. I had a Prius for 10 years before I got the IS and it was a good transition, very very quiet, smooth to drive and relaxing. 

I loved the Prius too, but wanted a change after so long, but the 4th generation version also looks very smart.

Lexus or Prius, you won’t go wrong. Test drive the CT, the IS and a Prius and see what you think

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I wouldn't buy a base CT. 

The ride on the CT is awful even on the base models without F-Sport suspension. 

Footbrakes are fairly simple to operate to be honest and I doubt youd have an issue with it but make sure the ride is OK. Personally I found it stiffer than both my RX and IS on sport suspension

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Interesting - thanks for all the replies so far.

The range is now base, F-Sport and Takumi.  I'm no expert on the specs of the CT200h over time, but I can see that the range is simplified and that the base model now has more equipment than it used to... everything I'd want, in fact.      

I'm pretty sold on a Toyota / Lexus hybrid and it looks like the CT200h is the joint cheapest, highest quality package.  My current thinking is; 

- CT 200h: £21k new (3.9% finance), good spec, compact size, but about to be replaced.  12-month old models save £1.5k with glacial depreciation thereafter; used doesn't seem worth it.  

- Corolla: £23k new (0% finance - i.e. same cost as the CT with interest) for equivalent 1.8 hybrid drivetrain, with similar spec.  New model, compact size, but more expensive for a "less premium" car, none second hand.  Don't fancy the Auris hybrid.  

- Prius: £23k new (4.9% finance), newest tech, distinctive style.  Might be too big, very hard to find used for any notable saving.  

Obviously the next step is that I should try all three!  

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I have driven a few CT200s. The last one I drove from New and covered around 1000 miles in 2 weeks. That car was registered in July 2018 and rode better than a2016 model l had driven previously. Very economical and quite lively. Personally would prefer a low spec IS300h. Had onwon loan a couple of weeks ago and was getting low 50s mpg. 

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I've had my 2012 F-Sport CT200h for 2 years now. Absolutely love it. Have you considered a C-HR?

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Not sure why you'd get a relatively old design CT instead of the brand new Corolla...which looks great to me!

Corolla CarWow review

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To the question should I get a CT? I would answer NO. The CT, as has been pointed out in other posts , is getting long in the tooth. It is still essentially the same as when it was introduced. Competition have caught and passed it. I understand that the Prius is too big but there are alternatives such as the equally long in the tooth Auris ( which the CT is based on) or there's the Korean offerings which are more up to date and cheaper to buy. About the only advantage to a CT which remains is some value for money kudos. "I drive a Lexus  actually" if that's what is important to you.

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i looked at an Hyundai ioniq a year ago and there was nothing nice about it

there was a strong plastic smell in the car due to there being sooo much cheap plastic in there

and to top it off they wouldnt even let me test drive the car until i came back with a settlement figure

i would still go for the CT over the korean offerings its just a nicer place to be.

 

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On 3/15/2019 at 7:23 PM, 200h said:

i looked at an Hyundai ioniq a year ago and there was nothing nice about it

there was a strong plastic smell in the car due to there being sooo much cheap plastic in there

and to top it off they wouldnt even let me test drive the car until i came back with a settlement figure

i would still go for the CT over the korean offerings its just a nicer place to be.

 

Nothing nice except the same fuel consumption and a cheaper price.As far as nicer place to be, I'm not so sure.. the Koreans are getting better all the time.The Toyota Auris is an equally nice place to be at a better price.Look around, you are comparing what is fast approaching a 10 year old concept against modern alternatives.

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Carolla is on a better platform. Should ride better than ct.

Sent from my BV5800 using Tapatalk

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Loving my 2014 facelifted CT200h Advance Sport which I bought used with 50k miles back in October. I'll be sticking up a mini review soon but in meantime I'd thoroughly recommend a CT. The professional reviews, as has been pointed out, are so scathing yet most owner reviews are to the contrary. Great car. 

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Ah, I discern the wise words of a sensible man based upon his personal experience. I look forward to reading the review.

Who needs Sports Suspension, Large wheels and Low Profile Tyres......other than the manufacturers ?

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2 hours ago, royoftherovers said:

Ah, I discern the wise words of a sensible man based upon his personal experience. I look forward to reading the review.

Who needs Sports Suspension, Large wheels and Low Profile Tyres......other than the manufacturers ?

Funnily enough mine feels and looks like it has all of those but and returns great mpg. Road holding is amazing and at times it almost feels like it's RWD. 

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4 minutes ago, MadJam250 said:

Funnily enough mine feels and looks like it has all of those but and returns great mpg. Road holding is amazing and at times it almost feels like it's RWD. 

My experience tells me that I prefer 16 inch wheels and a tyre profile of not less than 50.

 

I once got 100,000 miles from a set of Michelin Cross Plies !!

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On 3/11/2019 at 8:15 PM, Basil said:

I just have some quick questions: 

- how much of a pain / learning curve is the footbrake?

When you say the footbrake, I expect you mean the foot-operated parking brake. I have an IS300h and I'm guessing that it works pretty much the same as the CT200h.

Most of the time I don't use the parking brake. There's are two reasons why there's often no need to use it.

  1. Like all automatics, when you put the gear selector in Park, the transmission is locked. So if the car is not on a hill, this is enough to stop the car rolling forward. The user guide even recommends you do this in icy weather, so that the brake pads don't freeze to the discs.
  2. It has a "hill-start" feature, which stops you rolling back when you've stopped on a hill, you have your foot on the brake (the normal pedal not the parking brake) and are about to move off again. The hill-start function holds the car stationary for about 2-3 seconds when you take your foot off the brake - enough time to move your foot to the accelerator and move off.

So you only really need to use the parking brake when you're actually parking to leave the car on a hill. Then you can apply the parking brake, which is easy to do. But you don't use if for hill starts.

Here's a video which shows how it works on a CT200h. The IS300h is slightly different as it doesn't have a flashing light and it just works when you need it.

 

 

 

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I tested one CT200h for 3 days. During that time I found that this car can drive but can not provide right level of enjoyment.

The chassis is far too stiff and the ride far too harsh as a package with the CVT gearbox and provided engine. 

When you need the power it is like a old hoover. 

The road noise is worst than in similar hatchbacks but this can be related to the tyres.

I cannot see the point of ML in this car unless you like to listen to the music when the car is stationary but I would prefer sit in my sofa than inside the car.

My car was 66 plate and I belive new CT are a lot better.

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3 hours ago, Thackeray said:

Here's a video which shows how it works on a CT200h. The IS300h is slightly different as it doesn't have a flashing light and it just works when you need it.

Older cars worked like this but they changed it and now it is automatic (you don’t have the push the foot rake harder to engage it). Not sure when it changed exactly and my 2014 was the former but my 2018 is completely automatic. 

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