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Acura TSX vs Lexus IS250 vs BMW 325xi vs Honda Accord

moosey2010moosey2010 Posts: 1
edited May 2010 in Acura
I am a 24 yr old female graduating college in one week. Currently, I'm in the market to buy my first car. For the past 6 years, I've been driving a 2003 VW Passat which is owned by my parents. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a 3-series BMW. Every time I see one on the road, my palms get sweaty and my heart starts to race - weird, but true. So what's the problem? Well I got a job in a small town in OH - the nearest city is an hour drive, so I need something extremely reliable that I don't have to take to the dealer every other week. In addition, I'll be driving about 80 miles/day (highway) about 5 days a week. After doing some research, BMW didn't seem like the best choice for my situation.

I then looked at Honda Accord - probably the most reliable car out there based on what I've read/heard. I drove it and really liked it... but I'm just not very excited about it. Then I drove the Acura TSX with tech package... I really liked it and it's probably my top choice right now, but it's not the cutest car I've ever seen... and let's face it, I'm looking for cute and reliable. Is this a good way to shop for a car? Maybe, maybe not, but it's what I want. So now the Lexus IS250 caught my eye... it's very cute and I am assuming reliable because it's owned by Toyota. I also like the AWD option, which might come in handy for my commute.

So I guess my question is, is the Lexus THAT much more reliable than a BMW? Should I just buy the BMW if I'm gonna spend that much money? Or should I just go with the Acura since that may be the most reliable of the 3? Or should I just suck it up for the next 2 years and get the Accord until I move and don't drive so much? Any input would be great? Can someone rank these 4 cars in order of reliability? Thanks SO much!

PS I'm looking at 2010 Accord EX-L, 2010 TSX w/tech, 2009 CPO Lexus IS250 AWD and 2007 CPO BMW 325xi


  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    From personal experience I own a 06 6MT/wnav tsx, bought new 11/06 and my mom owns a 08 Honda Accord EX-V-6, bought new 3/08 (I drive it when I visit her-which is often). Lets just say I enjoy my tsx more-so much more standard goodies. My car now has 104,000+miles. I still have the original brake pads and rotors and it runs excellent. Love it. I do not have any problems using regular gas-no loss of power or performance. I get lots of compliments of how well maintained it is. Good luckto you. Actually if the bmw is properly maintained get it since you always wanted it. (service is not cheap but hopefully you will not run into any problems-you could have problems with any car-does not mean they are all bad. How you drive and maintain it is the key to a good car.
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    You should not own a German car out of warranty unless you are a mechanic or can afford possible huge expenses. (e.g. $1700 to replace the AC unit.) So if it is a 2007, it may have high mileage and if you put 120 miles a day, your warranty could end in 18 months.

    TSX's are fun cars to drive, pretty reliable and I think they are cute. I think the IS, though, is the best looking of the bunch. It is probably the least fun to drive but if you are mainly doing highway, then the IS would be fine. Also the Lexus clearly does reliability the best and for me, is the best looking and ties the TSX for best gas mileage. Good luck!
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,238
    edited May 2010
    on 3 of the 4 you're considering (no Accord for me), here are my observations:

    1) The BMW 3 series was my choice, hands-down, until about three years ago. Run-flat tires became standard (rougher ride, worse handling, very expensive to replace, no one will repair them, can't get replacements in the remote areas of the West where I live), the cars began to stress technology rather than driver involvement (the ability to check/change one's own oil, etc.) and the "free" maintenance schedule increased service intervals and vastly decreased the number of fluids that needed to be replaced at regular intervals. Then, to top it off, the very attractive lease deals that were in place for many years were eliminated. These cars are great fun to drive, in spite of the above, but need much more careful maintenance than what is currently "recommended" by BMW to last the kind of mileage you're contemplating, without costing a fortune.

    2) The Lexus IS has a relatively numb feel, compared to the BMW, in terms of handling -- nowhere near as much fun to drive. The back seat is a joke for anyone over 6 years old and/or 60" tall. I don't like the slab sides & fold-down rear seatbacks aren't available -- I need that for my bicycle. No doubt it'll run for 150K miles, but you won't have very much fun covering the distance.

    3) The TSX ended up being my choice & I've driven mine ~35K miles in the past two years or so -- totally dependable & okay to drive, but not like a RWD sedan with decent suspension (a la BMW). The TSX is the Accord for the rest of the world, so it's smaller than the Accord that's sold in the U.S., especially for the last few years. It has a great suspension for an FWD car and generally I'm quite pleased -- I'm sure it'll run beyond a quarter million miles with minimal drama. It has fold-down rear seats, a real spare tire and a dipstick. The only thing is doesn't have is the correct pair of wheels driving it. It's available with a manual transmission, which is also a requirement for me, but then so does the small IS and the BMW. The Accord. . .

    4) Well, then there's the Accord. It's big and dependable. So is a Buick.
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    The last thing you want when fresh out of college is spending large amounts of money on a depreciating asset. You'll take a huge depreciation hit with the high miles. Get a used reliable commuter car that gets good mileage - like a Civic or a Corolla. If you really want to get something new get a new Fiesta.
  • cnybrocnybro Posts: 29
    I was browsing used BMW's tonight and found this sweetheart of a deal in Dallas. No, I don't work for them. I live in Austin and bought a new 328i a few months ago. This seems like it would meet your requirements and budget. Best of luck to ya.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    more cars for that list:
    Hyundai elantra
    Mazda 3
    Ford focus
  • nothing like just graduating out of college and screaming to the world "I HAVE ARRIVED" by purchasing a base 328. smh
  • kenu1kenu1 Posts: 5
    Your comments on the 4 cars is very similar to mine. I'm a 46 year old male; apparently there's isn't a generation gap here as far as cars go. I'm seriously considering getting a 2008 Lexus IS250. Not as reliable as I expect for a Toyota according to Consumer Reports, but it's sure looks very nice!
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    BMW has come a long way with reliability issues, and the smaller 6 cyl in the 3 and 5 series I believe are the most reliable BMW models so I don't think you should worry about reliablity with the 328i ! I wouldn't recommend though getting expensive technology and electronics stuff (like nav system, etc) added to the car since the Germans aren't exactly known for their electronics not having problems.

    I like the IS a little bit more than the TSX a little more in body style and ride quality, but as others have pointed out, the IS back seat is completely worthless for any kind of passengers! It really can only be use as an extension of the trunk to put crap back there!
  • j1huynhj1huynh Posts: 28
    What I still don't understand is .. why a $30k luxury car doesn't have the start/stop engine button and the keyless entry? Even Nissan cars have them..
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    What does a start button have to do with luxury? My lawnmower has one...
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    With a key fob that transmits a radio signal, you walk up to the car, touch a button on the side of the car or door handle and the driver's door unlocks. After seating, the driver pushes a button and the car starts. The driver then drives away, all without touching the key in the pocket or purse.

    That is luxury in an Infiniti G37.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Wow, that is luxurious!

    I have to push a button on my key to unlock the door. After seating, I have to put the key in a slot and turn it to start the car. It's a soul crushing routine :cry:
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    edited May 2010
    Actually, it is very convenient to not have to pause to dig out & manipulate one's key & stick it in the ignition. This is especially true if there is a concern about safety, such as a vulnerable woman or elderly person on a dark street at night, etc.

    You may not care about this, but there are others who do.
  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,721
    I have to admit, and now that I think about it. It would totally help when I have a baby in my arm and a bag, and I need to dig the keys out of my pocket. That would be so nice to just push the button. Not a huge deal, no deal breaker for me. But, it would be nice.
  • j1huynhj1huynh Posts: 28
    Well, I think you actually enjoy pressing the start button on your lawnmower rather than giving it a pull to start your lawnmower..
    For Honda, it's the fact that they brand acura as their luxury cars yet they don't have the necessary features to be considered as one. Actually, I do like acura cars but it's just fact that their luxury brand cars (txs, rdx, mdx, and even rl) do not even offer something that's soon to be standard.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    I had use of a TL while my tsx was being serviced. It has the push-start button.
  • billpaulbillpaul Posts: 103
    Interestingly, in some German cars you insert the key into the ignition and then push a button to start the car. I guess the idea is to turn starting the car into some kind of ritual.
  • j1huynhj1huynh Posts: 28
    yes. Only TL and ZDX have the start button. Their other 4 models (tsx, rl, rdx, mdx) don't have that feature.
  • j1huynhj1huynh Posts: 28
    I have driven that many newer german cars but I test drive a mini recently and it does what you've mentioned. However, it also has an option without inserting the key.
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