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BMW 3-series vs Lexus IS

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Comments

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The E36 M3 was rated by BMW as 5.7 sec in 0-60. However, I recall road tests of broken in models ranging from 5.2 to 5.6. Back then, BMW was pretty conservative on their ratings. As Porsche is now. They claim a 0-60 of 4.7 seconds on the 911S. Various tests by R&T, MT, C&D, Automobile, etc. have all come in at 3.9 to 4.4. None have been as "slow" as 4.7. The only reference I could find on the E36 M3 in a quick Google was:

    E36 M3 Specs

    Without a doubt, the 240 hp E36 M3 was faster than the 255 hp 330i. And at least as quick as the IS350. But I'm not a drag racer and that wasn't the main point of my "disspointment". The E36, even in 4-door form, handled, steered, braked and just "felt" like a very nimble sports coupe. Quite a bit more so than the 3,400+ lb 330i, much more so than the 3,500+ lb IS350.

    Remember, I did acknowledge that these were both very nice cars. I was just trying to give historical perspective.

    And yes, before anyone throws it back at me, I'm also a few pounds heavier than I was 10 years ago. :cry: But at least I'm not trying to justify that as a good thing. ;)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    me again ...

    We really need to try to not get into these extraneous off-topic diversions. We have several ongoing discussions where things are more free-form than they are here, but the topic needs to dictate the conversation ... and if that really can't be honored here, we're going to have to move on.

    Let me ask that those who are interested in comparing vehicles which are not in our subject line to those that are - or any other subset of interest - take a look at what's already underway on the Sedans Comparison board. If what you want to discuss is not there, feel free to fire up a new conversation.

    Meanwhile, if this discussion cannot remain focused on the defined topic, we'll need to wrap it up.
  • "The picture next to this writing should tell you everything you need to know about the new Lexus IS. In case you couldn't tell, that's roughly 28 yards worth of shredded tires laid through smoky burnouts and donuts on Downsview airstrip during the car's press introduction last week."
    image
    (Photo: Justin Couture, Canadian Auto Press)

    Let's see a 330i try to do this! You wouldn't seriously be able to say a 330i is more fun when an IS 350 is capable of doing this! And you wonder why they are afraid of letting average sport sedan-buying Joes push this puppy without some sort of nanny to slap them on their wrists!
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Let's see a 330i try to do this! You wouldn't seriously be able to say a 330i is more fun when an IS 350 is capable of doing this! And you wonder why they are afraid of letting average sport sedan-buying Joes push this puppy without some sort of nanny to slap them on their wrists!

    I have a feeling a 330i would have no problem doing this.... especially since you can get the 330i with a stick. (Ooohhh... zing!) :P
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Is this an aerial view of combines harvesting wheat?

    Look what the shredded tires of a BMW 330 did below:

    image
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Yeah, that's just what the enthusiast sports sedan buyer wants. A car that can lay rubber and do donuts on an airstrip, but requires you to put up with a overly active slushbox and annoying electronic "nanny" the rest of the 10,000 to 15,000 miles most of us drive a year. Heck, if you want to have fun at an airstrip, you can rent a Mustang GT from Hertz once a year. :confuse:

    Seriously, my test drives confirmed that, until the IS350 comes with a short throw 6 speed manual, it will NEVER compete with the 330i for a serious driving enthusiast's (NOT boy racer's) wallet. Yeah, I know that 70% of 3-series have automatics, but it's the other 30% that represent the "enthusiasts" and if not for them, this forum - and perhaps all of Edmunds - wouldn't exist.
  • hmm, did I miss something? Didn't you just described the 330i as an overweight pig? Apparenntly such a car should have no appeal to the "real enthusiasts," who should really be driving a 911S. On the other hand, if we do accept the theory that 330i manual has appeal to the "real enthusiats," and you are not one of them (as your earlier professed disappointment attested), then perhaps Edmunds is for a bigger crowd than the narrow-minded "real tnthusiasts."

    I actually agree with both points.
  • That's a foregone conclusion. 3 series is the only sedan that BMW sells in this price range, whereas Lexus/Toyota sells two other high volume sedans in the same price range, cannibalizing sales.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    The fact that I might prefer a 4 passenger (or in IS350 case 2+2 passenger) that weighed less than 3,400+ and 3,500+ pounds has nothing to do with (and does not contradict) that I consider a manual transmission a mandatory prerequisite of a "sports sedan".

    "Overweight pig" is your term, not mine. But, had I been so impolite, it wouldn't have been directed at the 330i.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but notwithstanding the attractive interior and powerful engine, are you suggesting that a 3,500+ pound curb weight, almost useless back seat and automatic only transmission are good things?
  • Look, the backseat of the IS 350 isn't exactly "almost useless". Sure, its not a living room, but with somebody my size up front, and a clone of myself sitting in the back I fit just fine, in fact, although "smallish" hell of a lot more comfortable than the 3 series' stiff bench.

    I am 5'11", 200 lbs, size 13 shoes.
  • are you suggesting that a 3,500+ pound curb weight, almost useless back seat and automatic only transmission are good things?

    I would not mind these traits in a convertible ;-) Look, everyone has different preferences and priorities. It's rather presumptious to say "real enthusiasts" this or that, or who belongs on Edmund's forum.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Crap, now you've got me planning to head back to the Lexus dealer while I'm out running errands this afternoon. I was pretty certain that I set the driver's seat to my preferred settings before hopping in the back. I only had an inch or two to spare before my knees would have been touching the seatback. And I'm only 5'7". If, in fact, the driver's seat was still at the settings that the salesman who pulled the car around had it at (est. 6'), then there may be more room than I thought. If I was mistaken, I'll admit it.

    Brightness:

    I'm not trying to claim any personal authority on who is a "real enthusiast" and who isn't. But I have to believe that most people that would catagorize themselves as driving enthusiasts would expect either a manual or, at a bare minimum, an advanced SMG to be offered in a so-called compact "sport sedan". The fact that the Lexus doesn't even offer it in the IS350 is an indication to me of their lack of seriousness in appealing to that market segment.

    If it's any consolation, I was just as critical of the AMG C32 when I was in the sport sedan market a couple of years ago.
  • I doubt very much people like kdshapiro would consider themselves anything short of being drivingenthusiats just because they opted for automatic; nor should they. The reality is that the overwhelming majority of 3 series are sold with automatic, so are the A4's, C's and AMG C's, CTS, G35, TL and just about any sport sedan, compact or otherwise. Even ultra sportscars like Corvettes are sold mostly with automatics. That's just the reality that we are living in. Theories contrary to reality are often referred to as "fantasies" ;-)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    This horse is about as dead as it's going to get. Somebody can drive a bloody Chrysler minivan and consider themselves a driving enthusaist. Good for them, I say. But the fact that Lexus doesn't EVEN OFFER a manual transmission in their MOST SERIOUS version of the IS, is IMO a laughable oversight. And an unnecessary one, given that they offer it in the IS250.

    The "reality" we are living in, I will concede, is that most people DO NOT consider themselves "driving enthusaists". (The Camry outsells the IS, GS, 3 series and 5 series combined). But for a high percentage of those that do, a manual transmission is preferred.

    I also don't accept the "majority rules" theory. My international friends are bemused by the popularity of NASCAR in this country. If this means that driving around a banked oval counterclockwise represents the ultimate test of driving skill and automotive engineering, then we really are a worldwide embarassment. I try to assure them that there is an enlightened minority in the US that doesn't think Formula One is a hair shampoo.

    Let's rest it. You think Lexus is on the right track. They may be, but they would be taken a lot more seriously had they offered a manual in the IS350.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Let's rest it. You think Lexus is on the right track. They may be, but they would be taken a lot more seriously had they offered a manual in the IS350.

    Naah, I dont think so. Even with a stick a IS is not a serious competitor to a 3 series. The IS is a far cry from the crisp handling of a 3 series.

    The folks in Tokyo or Nagoya have still some work to do in order to be taken a bit more seriously in the sport sedan segment. Currently the L logo is represented best by the majority of their autos which happens to be re-badged appliance-like Highlanders and Camrys ?

    So a IS350 is a serious VDIM slushbox sport sedan?
    Maybe if you are an Avalon driver who considers his car a performance car just because of its 0-60 stats. It is this type of driver that the IS is made for.
  • Nor sure how having a manual on offer affects the 70% landslide majority who choose to have automatic with their 3 series purchases. Can they swap out for a manual tranny on different days of the week? While the majority of the general public do not consider themselves "driving enthusiasts," I'd be hard pressed to believe that the vast majority of BMW 3 series buyers are not "driving enthusiasts"; what, are they then poseurs? ;-)
  • Naah, I dont think so. Even with a stick a IS is not a serious competitor to a 3 series. The IS is a far cry from the crisp handling of a 3 series.

    The folks in Tokyo or Nagoya have still some work to do in order to be taken a bit more seriously in the sport sedan segment.


    Not sure how you define "a far cry." As it currently stands, IS300 out-handles a E46, E90 out-handles IS350 with VDIM on by default. As we know, E90 is a softer-riding car than the E46.

    Currently the L logo is represented best by the majority of their autos which happens to be re-badged appliance-like Highlanders and Camrys ?

    The topic is "IS vs. 3 series" not "Lexus vs. BMW" There are plenty other forums on which we can rehash the debate on the latter point.

    Maybe if you are an Avalon driver who considers his car a performance car just because of its 0-60 stats. It is this type of driver that the IS is made for.

    Basic logic error: Avalons are made for Avalon drivers. IS are made for IS drivers, and 70% of would-be BMW 3 series buyers who would be buying with an automatic . . . until the manual tranny version is out, then the remaining 30%. BTW, that's not even counting the IS250, which is already available with manual.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I'd be hard pressed to believe that the vast majority of BMW 3 series buyers are not "driving enthusiasts"; what, are they then poseurs?

    Deja vu? With 20/20 vision I can predict that you will repeat the same words above over and over again even when it makes little sense.

    Not sure how you define "a far cry." As it currently stands, IS300 out-handles a E46, E90 out-handles IS350 with VDIM on by default. As we know, E90 is a softer-riding car than the E46.

    Wow now that is real convincing. If only the IS did not have VDIM. If only the IS could drive like a BMW? If only the IS could win top car prizes for being the best sport sedan? If only the world did not have poverty and ignorance? Ifs and more ifs does not change the facts. The IS VDIM is a handling-killer and no ifs and buts about that.
  • Quote: "Lexus could suddenly find itself winning some of these inevitable comparison tests if it would just reprogram a few algorithms. For whatever reason, it won’t."

    Speaks for itself, doesn't it?

    dewey, I believe your boldened text, which came after the portion I decided to quote, contradicts itself. Something is seriously wrong with your logic; it is almost robotic for you to pick the worst thing possible to trash the IS.

    The quote I selected suggests that the IS would be the victor, in more peoples' minds than now, if VDIM were shut off.

    I know that I would not have a huge problem with having the IS 350 even without the off switch, because when I want to really let the tail spin out, I have a way of shutting it off, although impractical, the procedure would take 20 seconds. I understand, "20 seconds too long", yes, but if I don't want to buy new rubber every week, then 20 seconds worth my time and money to keep me out of the red!

    Here is a situation: Drive like a sane person, although "spirited" (cus Lord knows I like to have fun behind the wheel) on your commutes, etc., but when you have those opportunities to carve up the twisties and let the tail hang loose, turn off traction control! Turning off traction control could take all but 20 seconds! And then, you have nothing to complain about!

    "You can scramble the computer and cancel VDIM completely via a complicated pedal dance that must be performed every time you start the car, but Lexus doesn’t want you to know about that. In fact, Lexus reps swear to us there is no way to circumvent the system.

    So we left VDIM on for the slalom."


    Woah, woah, woah, woah, woah! And you call this your favourite review?! Argh!!!

    You drive me nuts! Only you could be riveted by that kind of review!

    They could have turned off VDIM, but didn't. Could it be that they were afraid the IS would have edged out the 3?

    Everyone is up in a rioting fashion when the 3 is matched with an AT, when the MT is the sportier choice, but nobody says a thing when they mention an option to shutoff VDIM for a more sport oriented comparison and don't.

    Something isn't sitting right.

    Saying that VDIM should be shut-off is as official as much testing a 3 with MT; hardly anybody buys the MT, but it is offered!
  • Deja vu? With 20/20 vision I can predict that you will repeat the same words above over and over again even when it makes little sense.

    It is still a question waiting for an answer from you. If all buyers of automatics are not "driving enthusiasts," and 70% BMW's are purchased with automatics, doesn't that make most BMW buyers disqualified from being driving enthusiasts? Very simple logic indeed. You can ask kdshapiro whether he considers himself a driving enthusiast, then ask hpoweders, both seem to be very enthusiastic about their steptronic BMW's, and I'm inclined to believe them. Please answer the simple logic question or retract or your earlier assertion, instead of launching into another round of pointless personal attacks.

    Wow now that is real convincing. If only the IS did not have VDIM. If only the IS could drive like a BMW? If only the IS could win top car prizes for being the best sport sedan? If only the world did not have poverty and ignorance? Ifs and more ifs does not change the facts. The IS VDIM is a handling-killer and no ifs and buts about that.

    Notice, I never even said the current IS without VDIM would out-handle E90. IS350 with VDIM turned on is the comparison tests have covered; there is no comparison test with VDIM off yet. I'm not making up any projections here. All I said was that IS300 out-handled E46, whereas E90 out-handled IS350 with VDIM; both statements were simple recap of well-known results of past comparison tests. It is also well-known that E90 is a much softer-riding car than the E46.

    Perhaps the whole market segment is getting soft (understatement of the day, considering how far we have come from the days of E30, through E36 to E46 and then now E90, every generation softer than the generation before it; E90 today is heavier than E28 5 series).

    BTW, only if world povety and ignorance could be eliminated by two taps each on the braking pedal and foot brake . . . ;-)
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Spiritinthesky, I moved your post to a more appropriate discussion: spiritinthesky, "Entry-Level Luxury Performance Sedans" #5218, 26 Feb 2006 12:48 pm - check in over there.
  • so which lexus vehicle is a rebadged highlander? every wanna be 'enthusiast' endlessly rants about having a manual and then when its offered it doesnt sell enough to justify the expense of offering it. how many times does this scenario have to happen before the thick headed understand that is a small minority who want manual transmissions in these cars? probably the bmw has the highest percentage of manual buyers in the category but as has been said previously 70% of 3 series buyers buy automatics. of course this makes these people less than 'enthusiasts'. its the same stupid argument that ALWAYS states that unless you do something X way you cant be one of the 'chosen'. pathetic.
  • That's fine. Perhaps I should have mentioned that the IS350 and 330i were the two primary cars that my god-daughter was most interested in to begin with. It wasn't until she went out test driving those and others in the segment that the IS350 fell out of contention.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's stick to comparing the 3-Series and IS series here, please.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Your post was a great one and it deserved to be where we could pursue all of your comments! :)
  • "IS300 outslalomed and outbraked the vaunted 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 now that. BMW doesn't necessarily "win" in every category, but when it comes to piloting a car down the car road it can't be beat."

    so if i piloted a IS350 DOWN A STRAIGHT ROAD and you were chasing me with the vaunted 330i would you catch me??? i doubt it. you said down the car road the bmw's can't be beat.

    let's imagine i raced you on the INDY500 track then. man that would be something. there slalom numbers don't mean a thing. i'd pilot my IS350 so good i wouldn't be surprised if i lapped you. =)

    but i am merely a simple mind here amongst experts. maybe you can explain to me how the IS350 is so maligned because of its VDIM and its slalom and skidpad numbers from the recent car and driver comparo and then i have you telling me that who cares if the IS300 beat the 330i back in 2001 in these very same categories.

    oh i get it you guys. if the lexus beats the bmw in any category on the tracks it has nothing to do with on-road performance. if the 06 bmw beats the new IS in the slalom and skidpad it must be the ultimate driving machine.
  • seen anybody driving their bmw 3 series any differently then some old lady in her lexus ES300 or RX330. geeezz. maybe because 90% of people who buy the 3 series buy it because it is the only bmw they can afford??? i doubt they go into the showroom thinking i need a car i can dodge a dead deer with. hmmm maybe that is why so many 3 series are automatics huh??? how many times do we have to bring that up???

    like i told you all before. i have driven a 325i and folks it is nothing to get all excited about. i have no idea where all this bmw hoopla comes from. the styling on the 3 series seems so yesterday compared to the new IS. the lines folks. look at the lines on these two cars. wait, the 06 looks almost like the old version. let's just look at the new IS that is the only thing worth looking at right now. if i wanted a tweaked version of the 05 3 series i'd look at this 3 series more.
  • i doubt they go into the showroom thinking i need a car i can dodge a dead deer with.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHH Funniest thing I've heard in a while!
  • drive like a bmw. how depressing it must be to own any lexus. most bimmer lovers would have you believe any IS drives like a hyundai or yugo.

    i think the true enthusiasts here on edmunds.com have to realize that sure it is not about straight line speed but man it has got to hurt the ego that a cheaper, more luxurious, better interior for sure, better air conditioner and stereo system equipped IS can just dust the daylights out of any 330i.

    there are folks who will rationalize how the 3 series is superior until the end of time but the facts will remain the same. the lexus will definitely keep you out of the repair shop much less than a bmw 3, it will blow you away with the best air conditioner you will ever find in any car, it will blow you away with its kick a$& stereo system on your drive to work.

    like i told dave330i. man he's gotta be feeling sick that his older 330i is the same price as the IS350. trade your bimmers in folks the real bargain and real CAR is not from germany.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's not make things personal. People are entitled to their different priorities, needs and opinions and just because one person's thoughts do not jibe with yours does not mean that the other person is "rationalizing" or in any way wrong. The person is just different from you, that's all.

    Please just stick to the cars and not what you think of other people, thanks.
This discussion has been closed.