Great car, but it's not for everyone
By LeftBrain56 on Friday, July 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000
overall rating 8 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Economy, build quality, handling, styling"
Cons: "Slow, some chintzy attributes"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I traded my old ES300 for a CT because I wanted a smaller car and was looking for not good, not great, but fabulous gas mileage. The CT delivers on the gas mileage; I've owned the car for 17 months, have 22K miles and it has consistently delivered 48-49 MPG in a mix of fairly slow/congested freeway and around-town driving. I have had a few tankfuls at about 46 MPG on freeway trips and have gotten as high as 51.
I am very happy with the CT, but it does take some getting used to. It is slow off the line, but that is OK with me - it is not dangerously slow and contrary to some reviews, the Sport mode does help with low-end torque. After the first few months, I now rarely use the Sport-Norm-Eco selector, although I occasionally do use Sport around town.
It's really small and it took some getting used to after the ES. The back seat IS passable for two adults, but front-seaters must move their seats up. I rarely have people in back, so this is not an issue for me. There is no center armrest in back, nor are there cup holders, which I don't like.
I enjoy driving the car: the seat comfort & steering wheel are excellent as is the driving position (I'm 5'11"). I've read much criticism of the console & dash as looking "dated"; I personally really like these appointments and think the reviewers are full of beans. I like the instrumentation, NAV & other appointments. Use of Bluetooth & USB-connected phone is annoying; I think it should have been better-designed. Voice-operation & NAV have been excellent for me.
The stereo is Fair, in my opinion. I'm a bit of an audiophile and this stereo can't touch the Levinson or the old Nakamichi in my ES. It does deliver Good/Very Good sound at higher volumes only, IMO.
I don't have any issue with room for luggage, etc. in the rear. The hatch is convenient, the rear seat can fold down; I have no problems with this. Some do.
The car is a bit on the loud side in a few ways: the CVT-Constant Variable Transmission can whine loudly, especially on hills and during road trips with hilly terrain. Whomping on the gas, even though I don't do it often, will give a lot of trans & engine noise that subsides when you let up. I do think Lexus insulates well to the extent possible. In my experience, this is a significant difference between 'equivalent' Toyota and Lexus models, as a very general rule.
The ride can be rough on bad roads. My stock Michelin Primacy X tires optimize mileage, wear well, but are hard. The CT can be a rough ride, but 85+% of the time, is just fine.
Certain aspects of the interior seem chintzy to me, especially having owned the ES for 10 years. The door interiors are a good example. The seats & front interior are just fine, however.
If you're looking for luxury ride or appointments one would normally find in a Lexus, you won't get it. Just know that going in. I personally prefer this car over its 'counterpart', the Prius, by a wide margin. This is very much a matter of personal preference, I understand.
I'm happy with the CT, I'm glad I bought it and think it's a great car. I do miss the ES and the more luxurious attributes of Lexus sometimes, though."
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