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Acura TL vs Lexus IS 350

spinakerspinaker Posts: 24
edited March 6 in Acura
I have been looking for a premium sports sedan and have always liked the TL ever since my cousin bought the 2004 model. However I have recently learned about the new Lexus IS and think it is going to pose a serious threat to the TL. Also I feel it has some the luxury features missing in the TL. Here is a comparison:

1) Displacement - TL=3.2l IS350=3.5l
2) HP - TL=270 IS350=300+
3) Torque - TL=238 IS350=275+
4) Acceleration - TL=6.5secs IS350=5.5-5.9secs
5) Weight - TL=3570 IS350=3525
6) Transmission - TL=5AT IS350=6AT
7) Transmission with sport mode (that is still automatic but upshifting in much higer revs - similar to BMW) - TL-No IS350=Looks like yes
8) Drivetrain - TL=FWD IS350=RWD
9) Plays MP3 - TL=no IS350=Yes
10) Keyless start standard eqpt- TL=No IS350=Yes
11) Rear backup camera with Nav - TL=No IS350=Yes
12) Ventilated Front Seats - TL=No IS350=Yes with heated seats
13) Paddle gear shift on steering wheel (F1 style) - TL=No IS350=Yes

OK before you bite my head off here are some other observations:

1) Features - are items 9-13 listed above that important to decide a car upon - No. But they are nice to have.
2) Price - I like the fact that the TL has everything as standard yet you still have to add options to the Lexus.
3) Size - The TL is a longer car, though it seems that the wheelbase is now going to be almost the same. I am waiting to see how the legroom is going to compare - (I am tall)
4) Drivetrain - If Acura launches an AWD model that will really be something. AWD is being offered by Lexus on the lower powered IS250.
5) Styling - This is very personal but I like both cars a lot.
6) Power - If Acura can't up the power to 300+ to match because of the RL isn't that a problem? The IS350 has more torque than the RL.

Opinions?

- spinaker
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Comments

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Yes, I agree the IS should be an interesting competitor. I would only be interested in the AWD version. What's the power/torque of the IS250? What are the expected MSRPs? And published reports on the IS yet?
  • ed31cincyed31cincy Posts: 56
    On paper the IS 350 looks great, those are some awesome performance numbers. I looked at the pictures on Edmunds, and it looks like a pretty sweet ride. That is a lot of equipment and power, so price will be the big factor. I wouldn't mind taking it for a test drive!
  • jpennjpenn Posts: 68
    I understand that the IS350/250 will be offered in a coupe format later. Does this signal that Acura should dust off the CL for rerelease?

    Will the IS coupe be a retractable hardtop similar to the SC?

    Acura needs to up its HP and Torque to stay competitive, but are they that concerned with being competitive with Lexus, Infinity, MB, Audi and Cadillac?

    FWD must be either trashed in favor of RWD or replaced with SH-AWD
  • dlin71dlin71 Posts: 1
    I like the look of TL, interior/ exterior wise. But it seems you are comparing 2 cars that are very different in some aspects. 99 cu ft vs 91, RWD vs AWD, price: 40K vs 32K.
    Personally I drive a G35 which is very close to TL in terms of size and price and features. I did consider TL before, but once I test drove them I decide to take G35 because of the RWD. It's rarely to find a car tuned so comfortable on LA road surface but still provide a lot of fun/thrill when you push it to the limit. I'm not saying it matches BMW, but it's a lot closer compared to TL.
    Give G35 a try!
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I have test drove a G35 coupe and loved it, test drove the sedan didn't like it much.
  • Just thought the board might be pleased with the following info:
    i just received an email back from a lexus dealer in SO CAL stating that the IS350 will be bringing in 320 horsepower; it read,"The BMW will hav 65 LESS horse power "....if that is correct, and the estimated price being 5-7 k less as was also stated...im sooooo leaning towards the IS. As much as i have been looking forward to purchasing the 330i, it appears as though the IS ahs so much going for it.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    If the IS has over 300 hp+, and handles great, the Japanese have out Germaned the the Germans!!!
  • mtl1978mtl1978 Posts: 3
    I am going to be getting a new car in the first three months of next year and the TL and IS 350 are also at the top of my list. So far, I have driven the TL as well as the 330i, G35, A4, and even the RX-8. I can't wait to test-drive the new IS to see how it compares to the TL. Here's my take on what I do know about the TL and IS:

    TL advantages:
    1) Assuming the IS tops out around $42k, the Acura is $6,500 cheaper with a premium level of equipment. (nav, bluetooth, etc.)
    2) The Acura is arguably better looking. This is in the eye of the beholder.
    3) The TL probably will be cheaper to insure.

    IS advantages:
    1) The IS is RWD and won't have the Acura's torque steer issues.
    2) The IS has more horsepower and significantly more torque.
    3) Lexus is the most reliable car on the market, and has better customer service than Acura.
    4) The pictures of the IS interior look great. Acura's interior, while certainly better than Infiniti, is not up to par with Lexus or Audi (or even the new 3-series).
    5) The Lexus has several optional features not available on the Acura, such as those you mentioned.
    6) Some TL owners have been complaining about reliability issues. Check out Acura message boards and read for yourself. You do not see similar problems reported by owners on the Lexus message boards.
    7) If you're trying to impress people, Lexus obviously has more prestige than Acura.

    All that said, I think the Lexus is worth the extra $6,500 if you've got it to spend. If nothing else, I would not buy a TL until you've at least driven the new IS. Also, if you aren't looking to keep the car much longer than a couple of years, you have to consider the Germans, especially the BMW and its free maintenance.
  • jbdriverjbdriver Posts: 29
    Also, if you aren't looking to keep the car much longer than a couple of years, you have to consider the Germans, especially the BMW and its free maintenance.

    Good assessment of the advantages of each, but looking to the germans if you're only going to own the car for a couple of years makes no sense. Toyota (Lexus) is generally known for their reliability, so the chances of actually needing repairs in the first couple of years are slim. To pay a few thousand more for a car (BMW 330i) when all you really get from it is a few free oil changes doesn't make sense. Plus with Lexus, you don't have to deal with iDrive! :P

    Anyone know if the IS will come with bluetooth or ability to plug in your ipod/Mp3 player. I have not seen anything to that effect. Little things...but it may come down to some of the little things that would help me decide between these two cars.

    Also, I am 6'3. I have sat in the TL in both the front and back seats and was surprised to see how much room there was in the back. It's hard to tell from looking at the pictures if someone my size could fit in both the front and back of the IS. Anyone have any insight into that? Maybe it's just a pipe dream of mine to find a compact sport sedan that can fit someone my size in both front and back at under 40k....besides the G35...but who wants that with those touchy brakes...my wife already complains that I brake too hard, the last thing I need to do is give her another excuse to side-seat drive. :P
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "Maybe it's just a pipe dream of mine to find a compact sport sedan that can fit someone my size in both front and back at under 40k...."

    Lucky thing is that you will rarely have to sit in both the front and back at the same time! ;) :P

    I find the width is a more important factor, because sometimes I'm "beside myself" :P :P
  • mtl1978mtl1978 Posts: 3
    The new IS will come with audio input for an iPod or other portable music device, similar to the one in the new 3-series. It's in the center console.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    The price differential will be wider than pointed out by mtl1978....

    mtl1978 wrote:
    TL advantages:
    1) Assuming the IS tops out around $42k, the Acura is $6,500 cheaper with a premium level of equipment. (nav, bluetooth, etc.)


    The $6,500 differential indicated assumes a comparison to MSRP. However...the real world pricing is $32k for a 2005 TL with nav. And I highly doubt that the IS 350 will be sold at any meaningful discount.

    Therefore...the price spread is $10,000. :surprise: This only furthers support how much bang for the buck is available through the purchase of a TL.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    The TL is the best value on the market, no doubt, and it looks great too! :shades:
  • mtl1978mtl1978 Posts: 3
    OK...I'll bite. Where are you planning to get a TL with nav for $32k? All the dealers I've called in Southern California are charging at or near MSRP. I stick by what I said before, that there will be about a $6,500 price differential assuming the the TL is $35,500 and the IS 350 is $42,000. Regardless, I agree that the TL is a super value. I worry about 1) its reliability and build quality compared to the Lexus; 2) having owned an Acura in the past, the quality of dealer service; 3) that Acura will introduce an AWD model in '07, which will really make me wish I hadn't purchased an '06.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    A TL for MSRP???? Out here, they sell TL's for about a grand over invoice!
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    Mtl1978...wow....you really need to alter how you are contacting the dealers for a quote. Yes....TL with nav for $32k.

    Appears you are calling the dealers and getting whoever answers the phone. I suggest you read through the posts in the site listing prices paid and experiences.

    You should be contacting the so called 'internet managers'. You can contact some that I recommended. The DCH Group dealerships in Tustin, Temecula, Mission Viejo. Keys or Glendale in northern LA. As I mentioned....the San Diego dealers are WAY off and want something like $1,500 above the others.

    As for your three worries...well...I will let others on this board respond.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    In Northern CA, people are getting cars for invoice, and even below.
  • chinelochinelo Posts: 1
    For one, the price of the new IS350 will keep most of those who wish to own one at bay. Lexus don't make cheap cars, so we can expect to pay upwards of 40K for stuff like Navi and premium sound, items that are both standard on the TL. Also, the RWD platform is another prohibitive factor for those who do not live in the sunbelt states. This is where the premium value of the TL will continue to stand tall. For about 35K you get it all: navi, electo-luminiscent analog gauges, torque-sense in steering wheel (a great feature of the TL and its predecessor TL-S), drive-by-wire throttle and a really quite and sikly smooth drive-train in FWD to booth. For those of you willing to pay 45-47K for a fully loaded IS350, then go ahead. You can be sure of this though, Acura will answer soon to all all of this with a factory built TL- Sport with SH-AWD and 300+ HP for less than 40K. Of course, this is all intelligent supposition. :D
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "torque-sense in steering wheel "

    What the h*** is this? First time in my life I have heard of *torque-sense* steering.

    45K-47K?? Where do you come up with this price from? The GS300 is about that price. I really doubt the IS350 will push up against the GS300 in price.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I have no idea how much$$ the new IS will be, but since it is a Toyota/Lexus product, it will no doubt be expensive, once optioned out.

    I've bashed Toyota styling in the past, but I have to admit that the new IS appears to be a looker. I would probably be more interested if the AWD is available on the 350.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    The standard equiped TL can't be beat for the price. It's a remarkable value. :shades:
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    maxhonda99....I believe that chinelo meant 'torque sensitive steering'. What that is an Acura feature to make the car more responsive and sporty feeling. When you are powering through curves....less power assist. When you are parking between cars...more power assist.

    So you don't think that the IS350 will not push up against the GS300? Perhaps the fully loaded premium packaged IS350 compared to the stripped down base version of the GS300.

    Either way...the point is that the TL is a great value for what is within the package and in comparison to others vehicles.

    btw...the 'drive by wire' throttle is something else...got to experience that especially once the car is 'broken-in'.
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    It'd be smart for the top-of-the-line IS to be similar in price to the bottom-of-the-line GS. That way, people w/ the right amount of dough can choose between a more sports-oriented entry-level car v. the more luxury-oriented mid-level car.

    It's tough to compare the IS and the TL since we don't yet know whether it'd be apples to apples. I saw a review from a link posted somewhere in these forums. The review was very recent, and the author still didn't know what the pricing or actual hp of th 250/350 would be. What kind of reviewer could review a car without knowing its pricepoint and hp #s??? :confuse: Obviously, it must've been based on what Lexus told him - probably more advertising than informing.

    Unfortuantely for the TL, I think they've maxed out the hp and torgue they can give to afwd car. Hopefully they'll develop a rwd TL based on the S2000. As it is, the Acura is a well-balanced car, balancing between luxury and sportiness. If they went rwd, they could maintain that balance while blowing the doors off the competition!!!! :P Right now, the Infiniti G can blow the doors off a TL, but I like the TL's balance better.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    the Infiniti G can blow the doors off a TL

    not the 280 hp sedan. :P
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    280 hp & 270 torque v 270/238?!? "Blow-the-doors-off" might be an exageration, but with a rwd platform, I think it's the quicker car.

    I know there's a lot more too it than hp & torque, but that's all my little mind can grasp!!! :cry:
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    Consumer Reports test drives had the TL as slightly faster than the G sedan. Yes on paper the TL should be slower but it's not. Car and Driver also had the TL as faster than the G.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "So you don't think that the IS350 will not push up against the GS300? Perhaps the fully loaded premium packaged IS350 compared to the stripped down base version of the GS300. "

    Nah...I don't see a IS350 factory loaded costing $47K. I see in perhaps the low $40K range, about $42K-$43K factory loaded.

    "I believe that chinelo meant 'torque sensitive steering'. What that is an Acura feature to make the car more responsive and sporty feeling. When you are powering through curves....less power assist."

    Basically, variable power assist. nothing new.
  • delmar1delmar1 Posts: 744
    We'll wait to see the MSRP pricing when it is announced. But the spirit of the original post is that the possibility of Lexus dealers providing a meaningful discount off of MSRP is remote.

    As for torque sensitive steering....not new. However...ever tried a different maker's variable power assist? Spongy. Acura...well done.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "However...ever tried a different maker's variable power assist? Spongy. Acura...well done. "

    Sorry, but a FWD car's steering is rarely better feeling than a RWD cars.
    You know these 2 cars that we are trying to compare are 2 very different cars. And as far as sport goes, I would bet that the IS350 will make the TL feel like a Buick(maybe not that extreme, but you get the picture).

    WHat prices the dealer charges ultimately depends on supply & demand. It's kinda pointless to discuss that at this point in time.
  • frisconickfrisconick Posts: 1,275
    I would bet that the IS350 will make the TL feel like a Buick

    LOL, not even a BMW makes the TL feel like a buick. The TL handles great! :P
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