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BMW 3-series vs Lexus IS

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Comments

  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Strange that you're comparing 5 year old models. Why are you comparing a 2004 325ci to an IS300?... I thought we were talking about current models. (???)

    True that most people don't do a slalom course on their way to work. However, some people like to get a little spirited and take some quick curves. It has been well established by every professional driver that when it comes to staying flat in a curve and limited body roll, BMW is the clear leader. I don't know if you can find an article that refutes that, but if you do, I can guarantee you would also find hundreds to support it.

    How this translates to every day driving, however, is best displayed in "active safety." Say you're driving down the highway at 60 mph and a deer jumps out right in front of you... or you're driving down Main St. and there's a bunch of debris in the road... or suddenly a car darts out from a side street... That is when that serious steering and handling is important to daily driving. For "weekend driving", that steering and handling is just pure fun. :)

    As far as braking and handling, I'm not sure where you're getting your info and data... Road and Track, Car and Driver, Autoweek, et al, all show results with the 330i braking and handling better than the IS350. That's pretty clear cut numerical data. {shrug}

    Practical? If you're looking to buy a sedan, you'll probably at least be somewhat interested in the rear seats. We all know that the IS350 is mighty cramped.

    And if we want to get really practical, just look at gas mileage... 20/30 for the 330i vs 18/24 for the IS350.

    Oh yeah, and BMW has free maintenance (oil changes, tune-ups, even replacing brakes/rotors) for 4yr/50k.
  • Also, the hyperbole about redlining at 9k, probably intended as a barb at Honda/Acura, is also ill-conceived. The 1991 Acura NSX was spec'ed at 270hp (actually more power than that) at 7000rpm, whereas 2006 BMW 330i makes 255 at 6600rpm. 6600/7000 * 270 = 255! In other words, the NSX was probably making more than 255hp even at 6600rpm simply because the turque curve is sloping down rapidly approaching power peak. That's 15 years of technological catching up, and still not quite making it for BMW.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "Supra Turbo, 320hp on 3L), Nissan in 1991 (300ZX, 300hp on 3L"

    Forget about the past, they couldn't build the same car today due to changed air pollution regulations. so let's compare 2003 and above. A Duesseldorf also had an incredible engine, you couldn't build the same engine today.

    "If you meant the "incredibly well" tuned description for the non-turbo engine, Acura NSX as early as 1991 had close to 300hp from 3L without turbo."

    Agreed, not saying BMW is the only one that does it. But the Acura redlined to 9K. Subaru also manages to get 300hp/300 torque out of there 2.5L engine.

    We won't know until the do it or don't.

    Wow so I guess the other hot engines BMW made in the mid-80's and above doesn't count. The Acura NSX was a $90,000 bust, and you are comparing a $90K vehicle against a $40K vehicle. Let's try this whole conversation again, on a more modern car in the same price range. I guess your point is how Acura, Honda and Lexus and finally playing catch up because other companies have been making engines with the same and better output since the 1930s.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    Have to disagree on SMG, DSG (what ever acronymns Ferrari & Toyota uses) being automatics. I'd classify them as next step in manual trasmission evolution. When I think automatics, I think torque converters.

    CVT is an interesting beast. It doesn't have a torque converter, nor does it have gears in the triditional sense. I think of them as next step in automatic transmission evolution, but I can't give you a good reason as to why I think that way.
  • The neat bifurcation is probably what people think of the various brands (not car models), people who have no first-hand experience with any of the car models being discussed. The IS350 is a much more sporting machine than any of the rest. For open roads, only the G35 comes close in terms the visceral feel of accelearation. 330i simply does not have the torque to be even in the game.
  • Then why is M3 offered as manual and SMG instead of the old manual and torque-converter automatic? SMG is clearly a form of automatic.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The IS350 is a much more sporting machine than any of the rest."

    Well there are a bunch of people who don't share that opinion. While the 330i doesn't have as much torque, the IS and G aremt that much faster and the 3 series handily outhandles both of them.
  • I have driven them all so I would say I DO have first hand experience. If you would recall my write up of the IS250 and IS350 test drive that I did the day they were made availible to drive, I also drove the competing cars in the class to compare the IS to. Look it up I'm sure it's up here still somewhere in one of the IS threads. Again no one is debating that the IS has more power than anything else in the class currently, but to try to act like the BMW is a Toyota Prius compared to the IS in terms of speed is ridiculous. The IS is marginally faster in the straights and I'm sure the BMW could keep up in the curves.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Speaking about practical...

    You'll likely pay through the nose up front to get that superior mileage (not a BMW 330i to be found at Tom Williams BMW for under $41k). Also, you mention the cramped IS350, and yes I find it too be too small also, but no worse than the 325i I sat in at the International Auto Show.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    I'd buy the Lexus before the Bimmer (for pure reasons of value), but the BMW has the edge in sportiness IMO.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Don't forget that Honda achieved 120 hp per liter in its S2000 roadster, and for less money than any of the cars you mention (in today's dollars).

    Any major car company should be able to produce at least 100 hp/L engines, but it isn't always cost effective to engineer such engines.
  • I guess your point is how Acura, Honda and Lexus and finally playing catch up because other companies have been making engines with the same and better output since the 1930s.

    What 3L engine in the 1930's made close to 300hp?

    Also there's nothing special about 3L making 255hp nowadays, Honda/Acura has a 3L making 240hp and 3.2L making 270hp since 2002; and those are $20-30k cars. Regarding NSX high revving, see my previous post; it made more than 255hp even at 6600rpm anyway; it just allows revving even higher for even more power wereas the BMW engine can't. If you want to talk about turbo engines, Saab makes a 260hp one from 2.3L!

    Like I said, there is no manifestation of "incredible engine tuning" in making 255hp 3L NA or a 302hp 3L turbo.

    Also, the 300+hp 3L turbo engines from Japan of the early 90's were phased out of the US market not because of air pollutions per se, but the cost of certification vs. produciton volume. Similar to BMW not bothering with bringing the 2.5L to the US in the R6/E90.
  • While the 330i doesn't have as much torque, the IS and G aremt that much faster and the 3 series handily outhandles both of them.

    Very questionable about "handily." The difference among the three in terms of handling are very marginal, especially considering that the IS300 outhandled the 330i "handily." It certainly takes more effort to out-handle the IS than the four-step dancing involved in disabling the VDM in IS350.
  • No one is suggesting that 330i is a Prius compared to the IS. However, it is equally ridiculous to act like the IS is like the ES when compared to the 330i. The difference in handling is very marginal, whereas the difference in power, torque, and accelearation are all close to 20%! Which is a huge difference for vehicles in the same class (more than the difference between 325i and 330i)
  • Yeah and so what, do you drive around cones? Or do you step on the gas going around a curve. In real life slalom has little to do with on-road performance, I thought you would know that.

    Doesn't that kinda fly in the face of all that has been said about BMW 330i being superior to IS350 despite 330i being much slower?
  • Very clever marketting indeed. I was just wondering how they are going to handle the extra weight of a retracting top with the 3L NA's torque deficit. Once again, the ultimate marketing machine . . . there's plenty other makers can learn from BMW's marketting department.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "In other words, the NSX was probably making more than 255hp even at 6600rpm simply because the turque curve is sloping down rapidly approaching power peak."

    In other words:

    "I'm imagining that it had more power than it did, and imagining it had a great torque curve, therefore, it was a superior engine"

    http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/Performance/measure.htm

    Here's the graph for a 215 hp 325i

    http://www.kwlt.net/dyno/dyno1.jpg

    and the "official graphs"

    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=54445&d=1122383533
  • It's called common sense and basic automotive knowledge. Given that NSX developed 270hp at 7000rpm, if you think the NSX had a piss poor torque curve then it developed even more power than 255hp at 6600rpm. In fact, the worse the torque curve the more power it had to develop at 6600rpm because 6600rpm is long past torque peak, and we know that it developd 270hp at 7000rpm.

    270hp at 7000rpm implies AT LEAST 255hp at 6600rpm, as simple as that (6600/7000 * 270 = 255). In case you did not realize, since we already know the engine peak output and it is achieved at a higher rpm, a flat-top torque curve actually makes implied output at lower rpms lower not higher because power peak is always achieved at higher rpm than torque peak.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    You might want to check your numbers and you assumptions. You're saying quite a few false things.

    An any case, i declare the NSX sucks, because a motorcycle engine blows it away in HP/L. Can we all play nice now?

    dave
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Yeah but it weighs 2800 lbs and is a two seater. Not really in the same class as these other vehicles.
  • dave330i

    okay that is quite fair enough.

    i guess what i was trying to say was regardless of what they said the fight is obviously not fair. the IS350 may not have a manual which some people prefer but it has the goods to flat out dominate the 330i. i mean, let's talk about reliability, luxury, interior finish, stereo, rims, price, speed, handling, exterior finish (the 330i is nice but it still looks a lot like the old car obviously and this lexus is a CUT OUT OF THE FUTURE NOT THE PAST.)

    this IS even has knee airbags. it has a much more athletic posture than the 330i. and the rims folks. to each his own but the rims on the bmw 325i just say i am old and i like driving this old persons car. the IS250/350 has rims that say this car is a tailback not the offensive coordinator.

    so go take a look at the IS350 dave and turn in your 225hp 330i that probably has the same sticker as this new lexus with only half the car. you might even like the A/C and stereo system better and not have to pay EXTRA FOR IT. =)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Yes the 3 series is slightly slower, but on road performance has little to do with HP. 5.3 vs 5.6 are the fastest times I've ever read about for both sedans. According to one of the mags the lowly 3 series beat the G35 on the race track due to it's superior handling.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    " i mean, let's talk about reliability, luxury, interior finish, stereo, rims, price, speed, handling, exterior finish (the 330i is nice but it still looks a lot like the old car obviously and this lexus is a CUT OUT OF THE FUTURE NOT THE PAST.) "

    Actually you make a good case for the 3 series. The upcoming new engine should put to bed any issue with the differential between HP and 0 to 60. interior finish, rims, exterior finish, handling and looks goes to the 3 series. Reliability, and hp go to the 350. Price? Rims? I dunno. You pick what you want best in the car and go for it. If ML is of interest get the "L" on the hood. If handling and road feel is important get the "propeller" on the hood.

    BMW is showing us how far the bar is actually raised.
  • You might want to check your numbers and you assumptions. You're saying quite a few false things.

    Care to elaborate?

    Do you dispute that 6600/7000 * 270 = 255 ?

    The formula uses the torque at 7000rpm to estimate the horsepower output at 6600rpm.

    Do you dispute that torque curve declines between 6600 rpm and 7000 rpm? Therefore torque value at 6600rpm must be equal or, in all probability, higher than torque value at 7000rpm, correct?
  • bdr127,

    so you are trying to say the IS350/250 with sport suspension cannot put on the moves when needed?? i highly doubt we are talking 330i compared to a toyota camry.

    rear seats?? let's not make like the 3-series is a big car. at least at lexus folks who want a big sedan can buy one for under 40K as boring as the ES is. at bmw the badge hounds have not much to choose from for under 40K. they have to buy the LITTLE car. hey a LITTLE TSX for 29K can get me to work darting in and out of traffic just as successfully as a 36K 325i. and i am sure it can't handle a turn as nicely as 3-series but let's not make like cars like the IS and TSX are gonna topple over if i whip that turn really hard.

    FREE MAINTENANCE??? tune-ups. why do new bmw's need tune-ups in the first 4 yrs??? brakes/rotors?? geez if that is needed in the first four years these cars are crappier than i thought they were. at least the warranty should cover a new engine when the original catches on fire and burns up.

    october 2005 CAR AND DRIVER ISSUE. THE BMW 330i's ABS failed during testing so they used the braking number from april. the IS350 still tops the bmw in braking. and by the way for all you ardent 330i lovers. the ACURA TL outperformed the 330i in lane change mph AND SKIDPAD.

    in the handling dept car and driver gave the 330i a 10 and the IS350 a 9. whooooopy!!!!
  • Yeah but it weighs 2800 lbs and is a two seater. Not really in the same class as these other vehicles.

    We are talking about engines, aren't we?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    And the Nissan 300ZX and Acura NSX are in the same class?

    Nooo...I just carried on the conversation I was reading, and added some information about a car that bested the 100 hp/L feat that y'all were talking about, and cost less than $35k.

    We were obviously talking about engines until someone burst someone else's bubble with other cars that did better in the past.
  • Try 5.1, not 5.3 for IS350. 5.1 vs. 5.6 is a huge difference. The official BMW number is 6.1

    As for race track performance, it depends on which race track, doesn't it? The chances of an average owner driving on that specific race track is certainly much less than driving amidst cones, which you dismissed so nonchallently ealier.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    You'll likely pay through the nose up front to get that superior mileage (not a BMW 330i to be found at Tom Williams BMW for under $41k). Also, you mention the cramped IS350, and yes I find it too be too small also, but no worse than the 325i I sat in at the International Auto Show.

    Paying through the nose? Hardly... The prices between the 330i and IS350 are virtually the same. Their base prices are $1k apart, and once you add typical equipment and luxury items, a price advantage between the two is basically negligable.

    Yes, the 330i gets better gas mileage. Yes, the 330i has $0 in maintenance costs for the first 4 years. According to Edmunds, maintenance cost for the IS350 is $1488 for the first 3 years alone. Edmunds speculates another $1200 in the 4th year.

    Whatever your option is regarding rear seat room, the dimension measurements don't lie. The IS350 is just more cramped in every dimension. And not just slightly more cramped, either. We're talking inches difference in each direction. Not only can you read any review by any car mag or online resource, but you can also just look up the dimensions here on Edmunds. (Headroom: 37.1 vs 36.7; Shoulder Room: 55.1 vs 52.7; Leg Room: 34.6 vs 30.6)
  • There is always something upcoming, from both camps. What should worry about the BMW camp is that apparently the I6 is tapped out at 3L in Normally Aspirited form. Introducing turbo and add 15% output gain is not a good sign either. Toyota/Lexus gained 40% in output the last time they used a turbo charger. Plus, Lexus has performance hybrid up its sleeves.
This discussion has been closed.