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About Basil

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  1. My overall fuel economy is around 55mpg, mainly in urban driving. In the summer, I've had up to 76mpg indicated on long (200+ mile) runs and I normally get about 60-65mpg in other seasons. But - and it's a big but - you have to really change your driving style to get these sorts of figures. Accelerating briskly but not with wide open throttle followed by coasting is the essence of the "pulse and glide" technique, which is what you do for driving on anything apart from a motorway. On the motorway, I let the adaptive cruise control do its thing... set at 65mph. I've had a lot of performance cars over the years, so the CT has been quite different to drive but it's a different kind of pleasure. It's a bit of a chillout car and so there's no point making it struggle to perform like a fast car when its strong suit is something very different. (That said, it actually handles very well and, for brief bursts of acceleration, the battery-assistance in sport mode can be quite effective - especially 0-20/30!).
  2. I don't think there's an end date for the CT200h's production yet... but it has been around since 2011! An Autocar interview with a Lexus insider in 2019 said that they were working on a replacement for 2021-ish, but that it wasn't decided whether it would be another hatchback or a small crossover.
  3. I've had a whole heap of Audi A3s and Golfs of various flavours in the past (2.0T, 2.0T quattro, S3, R32, GTI etc), so I was naturally quite attracted to the Golf Mk7 GTE. I'd still look carefully at the upcoming Mk8 GTE or A3 etron. The CT200h makes a lot of sense, though, even to this VAG fanboy. It costs about 30% less than a GTE of the equivalent age and you're less likely to experience issues with a CT - the GTE arguably has the more complicated drivetrain, less proven. On top of that, it seems that many people's fuel economy is similar in a GTE to a CT, noting that you go through the hassles of a plugging in with a GTE. The GTE will inevitably be faster in a straight line. If you can get beyond that, then you might find - like me - that the CT actually steers pretty well and delivers a more nuanced performance than 0-60 can describe. It certainly benefits from an anticipative / "cool" driving style, but once you adapt you will enjoy it and find it perky when needed. Having spent a year driving my CT, I'd say that the CT seems like a higher quality car than any Golf or A3 I've driven. The VAG products have an attractive veneer of quality, but it's only skin-deep in comparison to what I'm finding in the CT. I don't think the CT can compete with the kerb appeal of GTE, but that aside it's still a very decent buy at the end of its production lifespan.
  4. Yes, I thought that would be said! Money isn't an issue... it's just a query / observation that it seems like a lot of scope of a low annual mileage. I'm used to VW Group cars!
  5. Following this thread last year, I bought a 1-year-old 2018 CT. It had its first annual service at 7,400 miles just before purchase. The CT is run alongside our family van, doing 50% of our annual mileage (about 8k miles across the van and CT). Mostly, this consists of short urban trips and some longer runs where a van would be less suitable. The CT will probably be showing 11,400 miles on the odometer by the time it's due an annual service this March. I see that the CT's 20k / 2-year service is quite steep at £400 and the scope of the "full 20" service seems a bit overkill given that the car will probably take another 2 years again before reaching 20k miles! Perhaps I'm answering my own question because I always diligently care for cars (no expense spared) and I know it's about age as much as mileage... but has anyone else taken a more flexible attitude to the Lexus service schedule?
  6. They're ok - I'm just used to a bezel-style adjuster placed on the driver's door (near electric window switches), which almost every other car I've had uses. I've booked the car in with my local dealer, to look at the low-speed creak / crack under braking. It also happens when not breaking but steering, so I suspect it's not a "feature" of the recharging or braking system.
  7. With over 4 months and many miles under its wheels, I'm beginning to get a good feel for it. It's by no means a classic petrol head's car, but it's certainly technically impressive and has a lot of interesting quirks. I thought I'd take a few pics during some idle moments, to help show what I mean. The outside doesn't take your breath away, but there are certainly some unusual exterior design details: As is the way with hybrids, total peak power is less than the sum of its parts at 134hp. Nonetheless, I think it can be impressive for short bursts in "Sport" mode as all the battery's torque is available straight away. Equally, it can feel more lethargic in eco modes. Each of the 3 modes gives quite different driving characteristics, much more distinctively so than in ICE-only cars. It feels like a car with between 75 and 200hp depending on which it's in. The front Lexus badge incorporates a Magic eye; part of the optional "Lexus Safety System+". This comprises: a pre-collision system, adaptive cruise, lane assist, auto high beam and road sign reading. The pack is only now standard on the most recent cars and is worthwhile IMO as it's rare on mid-to-compact cars: The interior is very comfy and of high quality (apologies for misaligned steering wheel!). The fabric, plastics and other materials are akin to what you'd find in much more expensive cars: ...but the mirror console is an example of some over-complicated controls: I also find the parking brake an unusual feature, but one I got used to quickly: The gear selector is more intuitive, but much less mechanical in feel to use than a conventional auto shifter. Underneath is an e-CVT gearbox, which - as we know - is different from a classic CVT but gives you an idea of how it works. The "B" refers to a more aggressive motor braking mode, simulating engine braking - and can be used to recharge the battery quickly through coasting, but I rarely use it. Two rotary dials below (in the centre console) control display and driving modes respectively. The dash display changes according to mode selected. This is in "eco", which dulls the accelerator pedal response and increases use of the battery (the EV icon denotes that only the battery is being used): The central display can be configured to show a range of different things. This one is for the hybrid system and shows what it's doing at any given time: Outside again... the rear hatch has a massive spoiler and the bumper below incorporates some aero details: Given that there's a battery under there somewhere, I think the amount of space in the rear is pretty decent: The air intake in the driver's side door aperture aids battery pack cooling - another of this car's more unusual features: The overall driving experience is wearing well, perhaps because it's so serene and different from anything else I've had before. Dropping the windows on country lanes reveals a novel range of quite pleasant battery and electric motor noises at low speeds, before the engine kicks in as needed. I'm learning how to drive most effectively, using Prius tips - which is effectively what this is. The "pulse and glide" technique involves accelerating briskly, before lifting off and letting the battery maintain momentum. With this now practised in use and some help from the adaptive cruise control on motorways, I'm getting between 55-65mpg overall. Urban mpg is generally close-to, or at, the average. On a longer 4-500-mile run that I've done over quite some years with work (mainly M'way, with some urban and country roads thrown in), I would see close to 35mpg from my old Golf R32, about 40mpg from anything VAG 2.0T and 60mpg from my old Volvo V60 D5. Hire cars with weedy petrol or diesel engines are in a similar range of 40-60mpg, showing little benefit for the drop in performance. And, so, from the CT200h? Drumroll... Ok - let's call it a real 70mpg. This was achieved with no particular efforts other than using the adaptive cruise control, which I must say is the best I've used - particularly because it senses vehicles in more than one lane and therefore doesn't speed up when a car in front moves into an outside lane. I'm happy because it means I can do the whole trip without needing to refuel...I think they call it "range anxiety" 😉. Unlike a normal ICE-only car, the CT's fuel economy doesn't drop when in stop-start traffic. The battery also assists the engine at motorway speeds, meaning that it's barely ticking over on a cruise and the OBC shows 99.9+mpg regularly. I've also made use of the boot when taking my MTB with me on said work trip: It also has some decent undercover storage: ...before revealing that Prius / Auris battery: All loaded-up: ...and out onto the trails: The only issue with the car so far is a cracking / creaking noise, made during the last moment as it comes to rest. Googling suggests it could be brake pad retainer clips, but it's also present when not braking but steering - so I'd better get back to the dealer at some point. Finally, I previously sullied the good name of this car by saying that its stereo was rubbish. I would like to retract this statement having - ahem - found that the Bluetooth volume setting on my phone was set low. :getmecoat: It's actually a pretty decent stereo and tops off the experience of this car suiting my needs pretty well. I've still much to learn about the car - and that's probably the best bit!
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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. 🙂