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CT200h Buying advice please


Howplum
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I am investigating changing my BMW 120d for a hybrid and quite fancy the CT200h, which I think is better looking and apparently has more equipment than the Prius, with which it seems to share the engine and transmission. Having done a bit of research it seems some reviewers have commented adversely on the harsh ride quality and lacklustre driving experience, although according to comments on this forum the post 2014 models have a better ride, but nevertheless I suspect I will need to lower my expectations accordingly. 

My current BMW has run flat tyres, so at worst I would expect the ride to be the same, although I appreciate no ride quality will match my LS400!

I'm also curious about the benefits, drawbacks and real world range of the hybrid Battery. A lot of our journeys are of less than 5 miles, with the occasional foray further afield. Given half a chance though I will find an excuse to use the LS400 for longer journeys.

I've read that having the hybrid system checked annually by Lexus is a good idea, or is it part of a service anyway?

My budget is between £11,000 and £12,000, so I appreciate I might struggle to get a wide choice of post 2014 cars in that price range.

There don't seem to be any major issues to worry about, although obviously individual cars can suffer from gremlins occasionally.

Any comments and experiences would be appreciated.

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12 minutes ago, Howplum said:

I've read that having the hybrid system checked annually by Lexus is a good idea, or is it part of a service anyway?

If you have your car serviced by Lexus then the Hybrid Health Check is part of that service. If you have the car serviced elsewhere you can get the Hybrid Health Check as a 'stand-alone' service from Lexus for £59.

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Ride quality is harsher than a Citroën DS, but hardly harsher than a car with run-flat tyres. Wife has not mentioned poor ride quality and she has been used to MB350SE and Honda Accord Coupé.

Driving experience is something that can be discussed seen from different points of view: Steering is excellent (probably better than the old LS) but if driving experience is based on raw engine power you will find many cars with more powerful engines which can give you speeding tickets in first gear (had a MB350SEL 6.3 – company car). I find the driving experience in the CT just sufficient and am eagerly waiting the stupid virus situation to become so unimportant that we can drive from Cadiz to visit family in Denmark in the CT.

If you love music get one with ML audio, cars costing 3 times more have inferior audio from factory.

We drive very little, shopping etc. and have the car serviced yearly and the Battery is then warranted another year. Some get service made other places or do it themselves and pay 65€ yearly to have the hybrid Battery warranted. In UK I have read it is 15 years. Lexus here tell me only 10.

So far no problems with the car and only expenses are gasoline, service and tyres (where we live mineral water is sufficient and we do not need chemical sprinkler liquid).

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I had made some comments in an earlier post when I owned my CT200H

See below

When first moving across from a VAG 2.0 turbo diesel ,I missed the torque and response, you may also.

I kept the CT for 2 years before moving to an IS300, I feel the 2.5 is much better suited to the petrol hybrid combination for an all round package

Would I have another diesel? Yes I think I would, but with all the general issues you can get (dpf,clutch,flywheel) I don't miss not having to think about those

 

 

 

 

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Thank you all for your informative replies. 

As far as Battery propulsion is concerned, what are the time and/or distance and/or speed parameters under which it operates, or not, as the case may be?

How does the heating work on a frosty morning if running on Battery only for the first part of the journey?

So far the impression I'm getting is that it is comfortable (road surface permitting), reliable, well built and economical to run but that it is best not to expect too much in the way of performance. A cruiser rather than a bruiser, perhaps.

As always it's best to get one with as many extras as possible, because I have found it doesn't usually make a significant difference to the used price.

 

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Good luck in your search...with the used market being so buoyant the cheapest private facelifted 2014 (sensible 50k miles) on the autotrader is 13250, main lexus dealer about 14950 (which is warranted / approved)

To stick with your budget you may need to go for an above average mileage example..keep us posted

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55 minutes ago, Howplum said:

Thank you all for your informative replies. 

As far as battery propulsion is concerned, what are the time and/or distance and/or speed parameters under which it operates, or not, as the case may be?

How does the heating work on a frosty morning if running on battery only for the first part of the journey?

So far the impression I'm getting is that it is comfortable (road surface permitting), reliable, well built and economical to run but that it is best not to expect too much in the way of performance. A cruiser rather than a bruiser, perhaps.

As always it's best to get one with as many extras as possible, because I have found it doesn't usually make a significant difference to the used price.

 

Heating first thing after starting the car on a cold morning will always keep the engine running until it is fully warmed up, to give you the desired heat selected (dialling down the temp indicated on the AC system will allow the engine to turn off quicker). Seat heaters are a lifesaver IMO, they do warm up quite fast and actually stay on - have seen other cars where they automatically switch off and is a pain to constantly switch it back on!

If you do short journeys (5-15 minutes) and have the heating on, it will have a drastic impact on the MPG. 

Personally I do a lot of short journeys (2-4 miles) and my average MPG is around 45, when on a longer run and on A-roads can easily get 60+ miles to the gallon.

 

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When driving faster than 50km/h engine is working most of the time. When temperature seldom is below 20 degrees Celsius, heating is no problem here, AC is running permanent.

There is no driving on hybrid Battery alone more than around 100m. EV light up when on Battery and we usually see it when driving around in parking lots in commercial centres looking for a space to park; easy to find parking space for small cars. Very fine not to pollute inside these garages.

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So, if I understand correctly, the main advantage of using a hybrid, which is running on electricity for the initial part of a journey, is not really an option in cold weather with the heating on, or am I missing the point?

I found this article which helps explain some of the technology:

https://mag.lexus.co.uk/how-the-lexus-ct-200h-defends-you-against-the-cold/

It looks as though a heated windscreen and heated seats could be desirable options then!

Perhaps I need to pay more attention to the mpg data on my BMW diesel before making a decision and see  if there would be any real advantage in changing to a hybrid.

I suppose another option is pure electric, but that route is really a whole different ball game.

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I just went to the same fuss like you in October last year.

Managed to pick a facelift 30k miles '14 Luxury for 11.5k from the IoM.

Done a huge lot of research beforehand and I could give you some advise:

- heated windscreen is not present at all in any UK specced cars

- if you are fairly confident, you can buy an obd reader and run Dr.Prius to check the life of your ct Battery before you buy it

-make sure you the car didnt stay parked at all for longer than 1 month, this will affect the overall lifespan of the batteries

-service your lexus yourself, do a hybrid check with dr prius yourself once in a while and the money you saved are way over compared to what you get in comparison with the car's loss of value due to not servicing at dealer

-on 100k+ CTs, the possible danger of a blown head gasket is steadly increasing but I am yet to see any CT (although I seen gen 3 Priuses) with this issue

-clean your egr valve/pipe and intake manifold every 50k miles or 5y to postpone the head gasket issue

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Howplum said:

It looks as though a heated windscreen and heated seats could be desirable options then!

Perhaps I need to pay more attention to the mpg data on my BMW diesel before making a decision and see  if there would be any real advantage in changing to a hybrid.

I suppose another option is pure electric, but that route is really a whole different ball game.

Have both heated seats and windscreen, not needed here, but seat heater does function. Turned it on to try it and really not needed here.

MPG on the old VW golf 2.0tdi DSG were not much worse than on the CT. We drive short tours. But the diesel engine when never really get the exhaust cleaned in daily driving, so I needed 20 minutes full power to clean the exhaust before passing MOT. Diesel engines are not for shorter tours.

Pure EV is for those having charging station home and not for those who should charge outside. I believe that price for electricity will go so much up that it could be expensive to fill the batteries if not having solar powered supply home. Plug-in hybrids are carrying both a heavy Battery and an engine so on longer tours MPG will suffer. I am waiting for hydrogen filling network as batteries are no good in cold climate and efficiency go downhill with years passing.

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23 hours ago, Howplum said:

fancy the CT200h, which I think is better looking and apparently has more equipment than the Prius

If the design of your product is often copied you can take it as compliment / recommendation of your design.

The design of the CT has since 2010 been replicated by so many car factories that it must be one of the best designs. Latest is the A type from Mercedes hard to distinguish from a CT and nor many major companies are without a model that come close to the shape of the CT.

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Still think my 2012 CT200h F-Sport looks special, even at almost 10 years old.

Although the design was much criticised at the time of introduction, it has definitely stood the test of time.

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I had a 2006 gen 2 Prius T-Spirit before my CT200h, and I miss it!

The CT200h is a bit smaller inside, closer to the ground and doesn't have such a smooth ride. The SatNav has barely changed. Still doesn't take the full postcode when entering a destination. The infotainment system, controlled by a knob in the centre console, rather than a touch screen, is incredibly unintuitive. Nothing is where you might expect to find it. For example, you want to zoom in on the map, so insinctively rotate the knob clockwise, and it zooms out! Counterclockwise to zoom in. You want to update the map, but sorry it's HDD based so Lexus will do it for the best part of £200, and the update you'll get will be at least 12 months out of date. Could buy a DVD for the Prius on a well known auction site for much less.

Fuel economy, with mostly short local runs, is in the low 40's. Used to get around 50 in the Prius, but of course we've got E10 fuel now, which may not help.

Hard to believe it is 11 years younger than the Prius it replaced. They've put a Lexus body on the Prius and charged more for it, but seem to have made few technical steps forward in over a decade.

On a more positive note, the automatic lights are nice, and it's relatively pleasant to drive.

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6 minutes ago, SB3 said:

The SatNav has barely changed. Still doesn't take the full postcode when entering a destination. 

Fuel economy, with mostly short local runs, is in the low 40's. Used to get around 50 in the Prius, but of course we've got E10 fuel now, which may not help.

 

Are you sure about the Sat Nav? Mine takes full post code!

Currently getting 55+ to the gallon (usual for winter), see 60+ over the summer. We have very different experiences of the same car.

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1 minute ago, Moleman said:

Are you sure about the Sat Nav? Mine takes full post code!

Currently getting 55+ to the gallon (usual for winter), see 60+ over the summer. We have very different experiences of the same car.

Absolutely on the SatNav. Was the first thing I checked when looking at the car, but sadly didn't let it put me off. Yours is two years younger than mine, so maybe they finally updated it.

On short runs, the engine has to warm up before it starts switching off, which in short winter trips (typically only a few miles or less) means it is running most of the time. On longer trips of 10 miles or more, it will return better economy.

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16 minutes ago, SB3 said:

Hard to believe it is 11 years younger than the Prius it replaced. They've put a Lexus body on the Prius and charged more for it, but seem to have made few technical steps forward in over a decade.

They put a Lexus body on an Auris, neither of which get the economy of the Prius mainly due to aerodynamics.

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On 1/17/2022 at 2:59 PM, Howplum said:

As far as battery propulsion is concerned, what are the time and/or distance and/or speed parameters under which it operates, or not, as the case may be?

In the Toyota/Lexus hybrid setup the battery's primary aim is not really to propel the car. Instead, the way the car works makes more sense if you think of the Battery as a place to store the energy that's regenerated from braking via the motor-generators. This is why the car aims to keep the Battery about half-full, so that it generally has enough capacity to store any regenerated electricity.

But of course, having stored this recaptured energy, (rather than it being lost as heat from conventional brakes) the car then aims to make use of it in the moments when it can. So it will use it to briefly help acceleration. Or it will use it to run the air conditioning when the car is stationary, rather than running the petrol engine. And of course, sometimes it will be able to propel the car without help from the petrol engine on flat surfaces for short distances when the driver isn't pressing the accelerator too hard. But as it's a hybrid car rather than fully electric, the primary aim isn't to travel long distances on Battery alone. So it's a relatively small Battery, just big enough to capture as much regenerated electricity as is practical in average situations.

 

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16 minutes ago, SB3 said:

Absolutely on the SatNav. Was the first thing I checked when looking at the car, but sadly didn't let it put me off. Yours is two years younger than mine, so maybe they finally updated it.

Just in case!!! Does your destination page when setting a destination offer two pages? Full post code option is on the second page. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Moleman said:

Just in case!!! Does your destination page when setting a destination offer two pages? Full post code option is on the second page. 🙂

Well that made me go and double check! But no, you can't select the last two characters of the postcode, but must enter the street name from the valid ones within the postal area you have given so far.

 

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Thanks William, that explains it beautifully. This is Toyota's explanation of how a hybrid electric vehicle works, although being of a promotional nature it doesn't dwell on any limitations, naturally. Still, it's very useful for HEV "virgins".

 https://www.toyota.co.uk/hybrid/

Interestingly they mention electricity, as motive power, is used "Typically, up to 15mph and in reverse". No mention of possible range, but how far would one want to drive at 15mph!

As to my question about heating first thing, both my BMW and LS400 don't do anything until (presumably) a certain water temperature is reached, which is probably true of any petrol or diesel car nowadays, including HEVs. 

In the past week my BMW diesel has averaged 52 mpg on a mixture of local trips and a couple of longer runs, although I need to monitor it for a longer period to get a better picture. For local trips, from a cold start, the mpg is in the 30s.

One question I forgot to ask, of anyone who is willing to respond, is "what prompted a change to a hybrid in the first place?"

As you can possibly tell I am a bit of a sceptic about the advantages of switching to a hybrid, hence all the questions!

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For me it was initially the better spec of the newer/hybrid version over the previous models, I had no real preference either way. That and I wanted an SUV in my price range that was cheap on road tax and ULEZ compliant. I did have concerns about hybrids, but the availabiility of a 15 year warranty on the Battery, and the option of an extended warranty to 15 years for the car, put my mind at rest. Things like no starter motor, alternator, fewer belts etc were bonuses too.

I guess there are pros and cons to both, as well as personal preferences, but in the end I'm happy with my switch to a hybrid.

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5 hours ago, Howplum said:

As you can possibly tell I am a bit of a sceptic about the advantages of switching to a hybrid, hence all the questions!

If main concern was economy, there were no reason for us to go from VW Golf 2.0tdi DSG.

The CT is not cheaper in fuel as the old 2005 diesel was. Comfort, more comfort is something else. Not that the VW was not OK, but seats with electric adjustment and memory for 3 drivers (we only are 2), fantastic audio (ML) built-in navigation (found out later it sucks) sun-roof, folding mirrors, rear-camera, cruise-control, automatic control of vehicle in front with brake assists when needed plus something I probably forget to mention is more than reason enough to justify going from VW Golf to Lexus CT. For us at least. We are all different.

The CT has had nothing failing on us and only need visit Lexus to get service to keep hybrid warranty.

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