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About Basil

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  1. I've had loads of performance cars over the years, including some on coilovers (supercharged Golf R32, Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo, Audi S3 etc etc) - so, to be honest, I really haven't had any trouble at all getting used to the ride of my admittedly post-facelift 2018 CT200h. To be honest, the ride compares pretty favourably to lots of other non-performance cars out there. I would, however, say that the standard ICE set-up is underwhelming. There's almost no bass and the maximum volumes is quite limited. Apparently, the speakers are made of bamboo or something - so at least the eco credentials underscore the rubbish sound. 😉 If you want decent sounds, then it should be worth hunting for a model with the Mark Levinson audio - because there doesn't seem to be much you can do with the standard setup. At least Bluetooth makes streaming easy!
  2. I have a possibly similar noise on my 2018 CT, currently on 8k miles. It's like a light cracking noise when braking at very low speeds. I've read some worrying stuff about similar noises being knackered driveshafts (!) on Prius Gen 3 models, but also about the brake retainer mentioned above.
  3. First impressions I've had the car for its first week. No photos yet I'm afraid, but I will be driving on a 450-mile business trip this week and will report back on that later. In the meantime, I've been getting to know the car through local inner city driving, which is going to be its main use by frequency. Positives At the speeds I do around town (lots of 20mph limits) the car is often on battery, which is definitely the unique selling point about the car. It's very quiet in this sort of driving and really quite relaxing to use. I'm especially fond of that sort-of-electric-y noise akin to a Tube or electric train that you get when braking at low speeds. I'm really happy with the choice of Sky Blue exterior colour. It's perhaps a bit loud (my wife called it a "Tory car") but I think it looks distinctive without being garish. The seats are great and the fabric is a cut above. I've had a lot of cars with leather interior over the years and this compares well, sitting somewhere closer to Alcantara than usual fabric. Lots of toys. Despite all the buttons, I'm finding everything relatively intuitive. For a modest trim level, SE Plus seems to have everything you'd want. Our kids (6 & 9) love it. Dealer experience so far has been 100%. The handling and feel are surprisingly good. Must try harder... Local driving has given overall fuel consumption of under 45mpg. At our annual mileage, fuel economy is just a number on a screen rather than a big issue - and it's still twice that of the last car in this driving - but I was expecting higher MPG considering the high battery use. Audio and DAB... my goodness the sound quality is poor! The DAB reception / tuning also isn't finding any more than 2 stations at present. Overall ease of use and visibility. Despite having had lots of different cars over the years, it feels like there's more to get used to than normal. To do Put private plates on. I like to really look after my cars, so there are some minor interior and exterior marks I'd like to have a go at with some polish and interior plastic treatments. I'm looking forward to giving the car a good long run (230 miles each way) this week. I don't think of this as a long distance car, but it'll be interesting to see how it does. I've driven a lot of cars over the years on this sort of motorway-based jaunt - often mid-size hire cars - so it's where I can compare it against the greatest number of other cars.
  4. Time to update this thread... I test drove a lightly used CT200h at the nearest Lexus dealer at the start of the week. I had been interested in a brand new car and managed to find some great deals (albeit at dealers some distance away), but the convenience of being able to look locally at several different specs and colours together seemed like a good place to start. I spent about an hour driving a 2018 Sky Blue demonstrator, which I'd picked out on the basis of colour and spec (on a sunny day, the colour looked fabulous). I concentrated on driving around town and practicing things like reverse parking, rather than a more usual dual carriageway test route. This is the sort of use our cars get the most of, although I did also take in some higher speed driving. The overall impression was one of serenity. Most of the driving was done on battery power, with the engine cutting in an out peacefully - it really was a lovely experience for the sort of driving we mostly do. I will admit that I didn't drive the car hard and therefore suspect I drove around the common reviewer comments about a thrashy engine. I also suspect that if you drove a CT like an average German hatchback on the open road - burying the throttle from low revs once on the move, expecting a wave of turbo torque to arrive - it would seem rather different. I personally found the ride really quite fine, with the route including lots of broken and undulating roads. It certainly felt taut, but I was left a bit mystified about comments about harsh ride quality... maybe that's just my back-catalogue of performance cars. The drivers seat was really quite superb and I like the large wing mirrors, which partly offset the average rear visibility. Anyway, I like it enough to buy that very car! It's a 2018 SE model with 7k on the clock and the Plus pack, which as far as I can tell is the same spec as what is currently the 2019 base model - but in turn is quite well specified compared to the pre-2018 cars. The main option I wanted was the Lexus safety system, which is either an expensive option on most other compact cars and / or not available. There are some other options on the car, which I don't have to hand. I'm hopefully picking it up this weekend. Ordering a new CT in a colour I wanted would have meant waiting another 4 months, so the small but appreciable (10%) saving of buying a lightly used model against the very lowest broker offers on a new car seems worth it. I don't expect that wait and extra outlay would be worth it several years down the line. It's far from a perfect car and arguably a bit of a niche - but it's one that fits our requirements much better than many others out there. It makes ICE-only cars seem antiquated, even when it's an old-ish model in itself!
  5. Thanks again for the opinions and experiences. On paper, a CT meets a lot of our needs for a nice town car and comes very well spec'd indeed. Most owners seem to like them, but I will be interested to test the ride and drivetrain. It's worth adding that I have a past car list littered with 300+hp models, some with coilover suspension - so I have a good sense of ride quality and whether extra power is useful! A 2.0 hybrid Corolla is £5k more expensive like-for-like, with performance that I'm not convinced we'll use. The Ioniq is barely less money and is, in my opinion, a step down. For better or worse, I've arranged a test drive in a CT200h next week. I'll report back on what I think after that.
  6. 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!
  7. 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. 🙂