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BMW 3-series vs Lexus IS



  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    Other than bragging rights at the local watering hole, how many IS or 3 series owners would actually drive their cars to the limit? As a fan and former owner of an e46, I never took my car to Willowsprings or raced any Civics down our busy L.A. streets.

    Ultimately, the choice between these two fine cars come down to luxury vs. panache. Lexus is luxury, and BMW has more panache.

    I wonder who in the forum are shopping e90 vs a4 or c350? Why not compare is350 to g35? I think the European cars compare better than Europe vs Japanese.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Feel free to start up a comparo that strikes you of interest. We'll be happy to meet you there. :)
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,663
    When I had a G35 I routinely pushed it to the limits…everyday. Limits meaning breaking the back end loose…only a foot or so (you could turn off the electric-nanny).

    Never a race track…would void insurance.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    The IS300 was splendid. Especially with LSD,i6, manual and withoutthat oppressive electronic nanny called VDIM.

    Those were the glorious historic days when I even pondered buying an IS300 versus a BMW 3.

    Unfortunately today is not yesterday and we are left with the current IS350. Shame, shame Toyota :(

    most people in japan ride trains and bicycles to work. it is no secret that the rich japanese people who can afford cars (not many) like foreign cars better.

    Historically you are correct, Japan had few wealthy people during the post-war era fifty years ago. Today is a different story just like today the glorious IS300 is a distant memory of the past.

    The bottom line is that the IS350 is able to compete with the likes of Acura TL, Infiniti G35 and maybe even the MB C350.

    But the BMW 3 series remains the inspiration for all auto marques . Who knows maybe in our lifetime or our grandchildrens' lifetime Toyota will get it right.

    Patience is a virtue, but I wont wait! I will just buy the 3 series instead.
  • "Today is a different story just like today the glorious IS300 is a distant memory of the past."

    dewey, it is not too late to buy an IS 300; it's not like all the 2005 models are being crushed by a wrecker!

    You can still buy one of these glorious automobiles!

    I think the problem with society today is that everyone who has an opinion believes that their preference suits the lifestyle of everybody elses'.

    Let's keep a little variety in our car selections, shall we?

    I don't think we need 12 BMW modeled companies out there; the IS 350 minus lack of a simple VDIM off-switch would be great. For all those who like occasional drives where you rip the shreds out of your wheels and push your car to the max, the complicated, albeit seemingly worthwhile VDIM shut off procedure is a great option to let all that stress out!

    I hear Lexus is adding a switch to the next MY. :surprise:

    Just in time for my plans to buy myself one for my 21st birthday next summer. Splendid.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I also highly doubt that people most people post on this forum. I also more then sure that most people in this forum own manual or did at some point.

    I'm sure it came up before, but the reason many magazines compare manual 3 with automatic IS is very simple. They want to compare the sportiest car of each kind, for that reason they always pick manual 330. Actually for the compro Audi vs. BMW, Audi basically offered A4 2.0T with manual as the sportiest entry sedan not 3.2 automatic. I guess 0-60 is not everything when it comes to performance at least for BMW and Audi, maybe for Lexus it is. Every stat is important when comparing performance.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I owed a 325 MT ofcourse, and took it to the limit many times, not on the race track. If you know how to drive and love doing it there is no substitute for BMW, I have not driven any Porsches lately:) Even in a daily compute one can appreciate driving dynamics of BMW, I know I do.
  • Im surprised the brakes on the IS350 (60-0 120') are inferior to the previous model, 60-0 was around 115ft. I understand the brakes come from the current GS which does it in 129' (that sucks) and the previous GS also did it in 115'. Im curious...I though the next generation should be better in every aspect...Lexus what happened?
    I know some may say its only 5' but thats a big difference to me and if im deciding between the BMW 330 and the IS350 or any other car I will likely go with the former.

    I just dont get how the brake performace decreases, the previous 330 had a greater stopping distance than its current model (I believe > 120')and they improved it, just seems like common sense or at least keep it the same.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    Actually TL will do quite well in the exercise, it does handle well on high speeds. Acceleration and turning at around 20-30 can be a problem. Torque steer is not noticeable at 90 MPH. To get BMW one need to drive it on the curvy roads, I was very surprised that TL got better numbers that 3, it does have wider tires up front, might not feel as good as 3 but I guess grips fine.
  • I understand you aren't splitting hairs about 0-60 times but honestly if the 0-60 specs were swapped with the bmw and IS350 would you try to reverse the argument and add one more justification the the BMW..."wow this thing is really fast, much faster than the lexus" I think many people would including the editors.

    Im glad to see you make real world statements about the noise between the two; even though that is surprising since lexus cars are usually much quieter and about body sway (I remember reading a review between bmw and the G35 and it mentioned the bmw had more body sway than the G35, pics proved this, and editors still justified the "BMW's experience"); these are the real world things I want to here. I keep hearing the ultimate driving experience that BMW gives and they are fun to drive. Is the lexus not fun or is the BMW just that much more fun? Secondly, at what cost does the ultimate driving experience come...I feel much more comfortable buying a used lexus vs buying a used BMW because I read so many horror stories about the previous generation 3 series.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,663
    I think the new IS is about 250lbs heavier so that may have something to do with it..

    I’d rather have brakes that have better feel than ones that stop quicker; although I suppose if I were going 60mph and 116’ from a wall I’d rather have the old brakes.
  • rats13rats13 Posts: 42
    Honetly I'm coming out of a 1996 Accord so either car would be plenty fast and fun for me.

    Trust me I am in your boat in that I was waaayyyy more comfortable buy a Lexus vs BMW but I am taking the plunge on the BMW mostly due to tight interior space.

    BTW the previous 3-series get pretty dang good reliability ratings from consumer reports.
  • best4best4 Posts: 26
    When I drove the TL, the car changed lanes on the interstate at 70 MPH when I floored it and let go of the wheel. That is torque steer! Neither the BMW or the Lexus had that problem. The sales guy told me "that is front wheel drive for you". We left the dealer.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Remind me not to ride beside you on the interstate. I'd rather people hold on to the wheel! ;)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Actually TL will do quite well in the exercise, it does handle well on high speeds. Acceleration and turning at around 20-30 can be a problem. Torque steer is not noticeable at 90 MPH. To get BMW one need to drive it on the curvy roads, I was very surprised that TL got better numbers that 3, it does have wider tires up front, might not feel as good as 3 but I guess grips fine.

    A friend of mine who is currently at Alabama (Roll Tide) has a TL. I drove it one night when he decided he didn't want to drive, and my car was too small for all of us (5 people). I have a 1996 Accord, and mus say that I like the heavier steering of my old Honda (and now, my new Honda) compared to the finger-light feeling of his TL. It has a more germanic (read Audi/Bimmer/Porsche) feel to it, and it's over ten years old!

    You may all scoff at this, but I drove an A4 Cabriolet 1.8T last Novemeber, and found that it was not as peppy as my 2006 Accord I-4, nor did it handle as well. I'm guessing this is due to a heavier feeling car, but I didn't like it.

    Honda cars have handling down-pat. I think Acura engineers need to look at their lowlier counterparts in getting a fun to drive car to market.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,663
    Your 1996 Accord has nearly the identical wheelbase and width of the new Civic, plus in the EX I4 trim it makes 5 more hp, and is within 100lbs of the Civic.

    I actually prefer the Honda’s of the late 80’s like an 89 Civic Si. Honda’s have lost a lot of feeling as of late IMO, although I have not driven the latest Si.

    A4 Cab with 1.8T is a heavy car with not enough power…for a sports car that is.
  • pg48477pg48477 Posts: 309
    I had no idea TL has so much power and torque that it torque steers at 70 MPH with 235 wide tires. Before I leased BMW I had 2002 TL-S and never noticed torque steer at such high speed.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Topic: 2006 BMW 3-Series vs. 2006 Lexus IS

    Discussion: Compares subject vehicles to each other.

    Ready, set, go!!

  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Discussion: Compares subject vehicles to each other.

    Ready, set, go!!

    And Vroooom!

    Lexus brought a knife to a gunfight and still managed to shoot itself in the foot. The 3 Series is indeed the better car

    Nope the above are not my words although the truth is captured quite well with the above quote.
    For all you well informed and conversant IS350 vs. 330 debaters here I have linked an objective IS versus E90 comparison review that just happens to be the best one I read so far in my entire life. Enjoy the riveting and tantalizing details:

    link title
  • I recall someone saying that the IS with its big engine (3.5L) and big horsepower (306 hp), it manages to have worse MPG than the 3 series'.

    Here are the stats from the review:

    330i: FUEL MILEAGE
    EPA combined: 23.52 mpg
    AW overall: 22.12 mpg

    EPA combined: 23.66 mpg
    AW overall: 28.64 mpg

    Would that person like to come from out of the woodwork now?

    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!
This discussion has been closed.