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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans

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Comments

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Audi A4 2.0T Quattro has similar HP as the IS250 AWD, has smaller engine. Don't know which one weighs more though. 328xi will no doubt be the performance king by a mile out of the 3.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    A4 has torque in ample quantities compared to the 2.5 in the IS and with a $600 mod you can give the car 250 hp/280 ft-lbs of torque. On the AWD that'd get that car moving.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    My vote is for a 328i RWD.

    Unless you really need AWD (i.e. anticipate driving in snow on more than an occasional basis), you are paying a lot for AWD. It is heavier, less fuel efficient and, depending upon how long you keep the car, prone to more expensive maintenance and repairs down the road.

    The A4 Quatro is a heavy pig, IMO. I've been given one a couple of times as a loaner and was anxious to give it back. For all of the drooling others do over Audi's interiors, I just don't get it. I like the interior and ergonomics of my 2004 TL better. On the other end, I am spoiled by my 911, which has best "German" style interior and seats of any car, IMO.

    I have not driven the IS250 AWD but, as has been pointed out, it would likely be highest in reliabiity, but lowest in performance and driving dynamics, if that is of any importance. Plus, the rear seat is almost worth a 2+2 designation (closer to my 911 than TL in leg room)

    If I were in the market for a new sedan today, the 328/335 would likely be at the top of my short list.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    My vote is for a previous generation 3 series, factory certified.

    *edit* Or two generations :)

    The new ones are like the new IS350 - bloated and heavy things with no soul anymore. Or wait and get the 3 series of old(idea-wise) in a new package when the 1 series comes out.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Well, I think you might have to go back a couple generations, not just one, to get a 3 series that has the "soul" you are looking for.

    I agree that the 3 series has grown practically to the size of the 5 series of 10 years ago. But of the cars under consideration, it still handles that size and weight the best, IMO.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Doesn't matter who comes here to ask for suggestions or whatever his/her criteria is the standard answer is always...

    BMW 3er RWD with manual tranny and oh, yeah, add the sport package.

    Cracks me up. :P
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I don't remember suggesting anything other than RWD to him. The roads and the weather in Chicago certainly don't warrant AWD, especially so for an in-town commute. Geez, when it snows, take the train or the bus or the El.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • jamesspotjamesspot Posts: 57
    Used takeoff wheels -----------------> $500
    New high performance snow tires -------> $500

    The look on your mechanic's face when you thank him for mounting your 155 mph Z-rated snow tires -------------------------> PRICELESS!
  • dan12dan12 Posts: 114
    "Agree about the interior. I didn't notice how "lousy" the cupholders are during my test drive since I don't use it much anyway. However, 3er's interior is the worst out of the 3 IMO. It's just...too plain. I know simplicity is good but there is a difference between simplicity and plain. Interior wise, all 3 have similar quality and fit-n'-finish, it's up to each person to decide which style suits him/her the best. "

    I tend to agree. The interior in Japanese cars looks much more high tech and modern. But it's a toss up between the 3-series and the Audi for worst interior out of the three cars mentioned. Unfortunately there is not much headroom in the IS. The BMW feels a bit cramped, but at least my head doesn't touch the roof.

    I would say, get the RWD with manual. Oh, and throw in the sports package. :)
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Actually I loathe the new 3.

    It's almost 3700 pounds! My father's 1997 Park Ave Ultra is the exact same weight. And it's not a small or unsafe car, either. It's the biggest Buick they made. Ever.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "It's almost 3700 pounds! My father's 1997 Park Ave Ultra is the exact same weight."

    While it is true that you can option up a 3-Series to that weight, the entry level weight of the 328i is 3,340 pounds. To put that into perspective, my 1999 328i was smaller than the current E90 and only 143 pounds lighter (3,197 pounds).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    And the new G37 is even porkier.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It's almost 3700 pounds! My father's 1997 Park Ave Ultra is the exact same weight.

    Hence my recommendation to get the 3,340 lb 328i RWD in lieu of the nearly 250 lb heavier 3,582 lb 328ix.

    The 328i RWD also comes in at 210 lbs lighter than the A4 2.0 Quatro and a whopping 311 lbs lighter than the dimunitive IS250 AWD. If you are in a "loathing" mood over weight, you might want to redirect you attention to Lexus relative to the 3 cars under consideration.

    And, just for the record, a 2007 Buick Lucerne weighs in at 4,018 lbs. The days of my 1995 Maxima SE at 3,001 lbs and with more interior room than the current 3 series and A4 - and way, way more than the Bob Costas sized IS - are, regrettibly, gone. Between techno do-dads, more safety equipment, 17/18/19 inch wheels, etc. etc., the manufacturers have put the pounds on all of the ELLPS's.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Doesn't matter who comes here to ask for suggestions or whatever his/her criteria is the standard answer is always... BMW 3er RWD with manual tranny and oh, yeah, add the sport package.

    Cracks me up. :P


    I was thinking of suggested a 911 coupe, since it has nearly as functional a back seat as the IS.

    But I knew that would split you right in half. :P
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    At least the IS has 2 extra doors...

    Ask my friend who drives a G35 coupe, when it's time to put 4 people into a car, the 2 extra doors are very helpful. For some of us who don't have the luxury to own more than 1 car, the functionality of the sedan still outweighs the lust for a couple.

    I don't want to get technical with you habitat1 but I'll bet my car key to say that the backseat of the IS can handle 2 adults way more comfortably than your 911 coupe. ;)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I don't want to get technical with you habitat1 but I'll bet my car key to say that the backseat of the IS can handle 2 adults way more comfortably than your 911 coupe.

    You'd win that bet. But if you changed "comfortable" to "enjoyable", and "adults" to "kids", my daughters would take my side, especially with the top down. Of course, they'd say that compared not just to the IS, but my TL and a friend's 750il as well. ;)

    According to a friend who is currently in the market, the 3 series and TL compare more closely in size and rear seat functionality to the Lexus GS than they do to the IS. Haven't checked dimensions myself, but he claims the IS is uninhabitable by an average adult in the rear seat behind his driver's seat (he's 6'2").
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I am not gonna argue with your friend. I am 6'1" with super long thighs...

    However, a below average adult will fit just fine though. ;)
  • jzalkinjzalkin Posts: 56
    Here is my take with the following disclamer: I own a 2006 IS250 RWD and had a 2004 A4 Cab 1.8t before it.

    I chose the Lexus over the BMW because of value and comfort. I am in South FL and the roads are a grid system. Only handling I get to experience is 90 degree turns so the BMW handeling factor was out. The BMW was more and did not include a power seat and leather on the car I test drove. The Lexus luxury is the best quality wise and I continue to marvel at the leather (12 months and 23,000 miles later) - so smooth and soft. Lexus does luxury the best and will appeal to you if you value that.

    The Audi was great fun and I like the interior the best (the cab is better than the sedan), but quality was an issue. It maybe cliche to say about the German cars, but I always had a list of things that needed to be fixed under warr in the Audi from the start and even had to get them to cover the top when it was 1,500 miles out of warr and seperated from the rear window (2 years into ownership) Top would have been $6,000 to replace and I figured the car would be expensive to keep. The Lexus is much better than my Audi for the little things that go wrong and are annoying.

    The Lexus back seat is tight, but I have had adults in it every so often. Since it is not a weekly thing - not a major factor for me.

    I'll wrap it up by saying this:
    - Lexus for Luxury and peace of mind quality
    - BMW for logo and the privilage for paying a premium for it
    - Audi is about to be replaced, but maybe the best price

    PS - My IS was $32,500+TTL including Premium, NAV, 18" wheels, minor others. 75% Highway and have averaged 28.4mpg since new which is why the 250 and not the 350.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    'll wrap it up by saying this:
    - Lexus for Luxury and peace of mind quality
    - BMW for logo and the privilage for paying a premium for it
    - Audi is about to be replaced, but maybe the best price


    So basically, if you want a Toyota with a nicer badge and no back seat, get the IS.

    Of course a TSX or Camry V6 would offer all the same for a much lower price and give you a backseat. So really, if driving performance isn't important, why bother with an IS250?
  • jzalkinjzalkin Posts: 56
    I hope to not get into a pissing match so let me clarify.

    "if you want a Toyota with a nicer badge and no back seat, get the IS" Please share the Toyota that Lexus just put the IS badge on to make a Lexus? The Lexus IS is based on the Lexus GS platform so it is not a glorified Toyota as you implied.

    The Lexus is more Luxurouis IMO (and most other including car mags) than the BMW. Just touch the inside of the A pillar to see what I mean. The BMW is better at handling which does me little good in South Florida since there are no winding roads (grid system)or even any hills. A perfect place for raw, straight line performance (my old Ford Cobra was a lot of fun).

    The BMW costs more for similar equipment and has a worse reliability record. Thus, there is a premium price to be paid for the logo compared to Lexus,Infiniti, Audi for similar equipment. I would say the same for Mercedes as well.

    If he had mentioned the TSX, I would summed it up as the best value, but without the style or Luxury as some of the others.

    For me the IS250 is perfect since it offers Luxury, quality, reliability, style (subjective), and gas efficiency. For me the BMW offored less luxury, less reliability, better handling, so-so styling (sedan - subjective), run-flats (I consider a negative) and increased cost.

    BTW - The 3 series back seat is small (slightly larger than the IS) and not ideal for frequent adult use either. For that the 5, CTS, GS is ideal.

    PS - Equipping the 328 as my Lexus Edmunds shows MSRP to be $40,300 with invoice of $37,120. I paid $500 over invoice (+TTL) for my Lexus at $32,500. Is the BMW worth $5,000 more - that is question only the person buying can answer.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Pss...

    Don't know if you are new or what but I'll let you into a little secret...

    This board is anti-Lexus.

    Don't share this with other people okay?

    :P

    PS. it's a joke (well...sort of) ;)
  • I do agree that there are people who put a logo factor on the BMW, which is weird to me, but I would hardly say that the Lexus offers peace of mind. I have had nothing but problems with mine. Things were much better with my 330i. It had the same performance but it was totally better quality. For the entire 3 years I had the 330i, I only had the sunroof stick, they regreased it and it was fine. for the 18 months I have had my IS250, there have been countles problems, and they fight me on them. BMW always said "i'll be right back" and then it was fixed. Lexus finds a way to try to blame me for it. The Audi, I no noting about.

    My friend put it to me this way, cars are mostly computerized now a days, so would I want a computer made in Germany or made in Japan. I chose the latter but what I didn't account for is that all the mechanical items on the IS250 are cheap and made to be replaced frequently. Lexus sees that as big $$$$ for the American market. BMW still believes in making a quality product out of pride which will last. and they make a decent amount (enough and to not gouge) for it.
  • Sorry to ruffle your feathers, but it's not a war buddy. It is a disussion. You actually came into a curent Lexus discussion to try to smear me because I don't like my lexus experience and was helping a person who was asking for help.

    Geez it's like those old movies with high school gangs (ie the jets and something else).

    Louis, Its ok, no one is attacking you personally. Why are you so scared that people will say bad things about your IS250 that you have to send "secret" messages and crash an ongoing discussion about the cost of owning an IS250 to a new buyer?

    Relax, no one is here to hurt you. But on the same note I would say if you don't like the bad with the good statments, then why are you here?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
  • I would've gladly paid addl $5000 just to get the service and corporate responsibility that BMW offers that Lexus does not.

    You get what you pay for. mostly. I would've been better off getting the Accord than the IS250. Maybe it goes a little slower and doesn't have those neet little buttons that open my garage, but at least I would know that I would be taken care of by Honda Corporate attitude.

    BTW, everyone knows that the rags are rigged to say what the auto makers want them to. Only the internet is true when it comes to facts. (ie asking actual owners).
  • Do I care about your overly dramatic comments?
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    You actually came into a curent Lexus discussion to try to smear me

    I came to the Lexus discussion not because of you it's because I tracked all IS related discussions. Don't be too full of yourself.

    helping a person who was asking for help.

    Honestly, the reason I reply is because I don't think your posts are so helpful but rather than you are using them for your own agenda. As a current IS owner and many others, we have different dealership experience than you do.

    Why are you so scared that people will say bad things about your IS250 that you have to send "secret" messages and crash an ongoing discussion about the cost of owning an IS250 to a new buyer?

    First of all, I am not scared. Second, I don't have an IS250 and last but not least, if you can't take the previous "secret" post as a joke then I have nothing to add here. Dude, I have been here (ELLPS board) way longer than you do and there is a reason for my previous joke. I am pretty sure habitat1 gets it... :P

    Oh, by the way, the previous discussion wasn't about "the cost of owning an IS250" like you stated. It's about a comparison between the IS, 3er and A4. You, my friend, made it a cost discussion in order to pursuit your own agenda.

    Relax, no one is here to hurt you. But on the same note I would say if you don't like the bad with the good statments, then why are you here?

    LOL, like you are capable of hurting me. Dude, you are way too full of yourself. As for bad and good statements...my philosophy is always: Give credit when credit is due.
  • jzalkinjzalkin Posts: 56
    Every car maker has it's bad examples. dontbuylexus has one.

    It comes down to Odds. Odds are that Lexus will build a better car and JD Power proves it as well as CR. There are good dealers and bad as well for all makers.

    According to Edmunds:
    Lexus IS250 5 year maintenance cost: $4,305
    1$364 2$839 3$554 4$1,527 5$1,021 Total:$4,305
    BMW 328 5 year maintenance cost: $3,098
    1$0 2$0 3$0 4$1,009 5$2,089 Total$3,098

    So that means that BMW costs more to maintain (compare year 4 & 5), but gives you some freebees. Savings will vary on miles driven and length of ownership. I drive 24,000 miles/year so I take the longer view. Drove out of my free Audi service in less than 2 years.

    If I could get the BMW at $500 over invoice like my Lexus; I would still be ahead $4,000 +/- over 5 years (less for me due to mileage) with the Lexus. The BMW would also have a bigger chance of failing.

    Not all Lexus are perfect and not all BMW will fall apart. It is just the odds that the Lexus will be more reliable (and cost less) than BMW.

    Sorry for your bad experience, but it does mean that I now have a mathematically better chance that mine is perfect since yours is not. A weird way to look at it, but mathematically true.
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