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BMW 3-series vs Lexus IS

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  • Wow, that's your personal experience. Oh BTW my sister's MB is an '04 and she doesn't have any problems either so I don't know what you are talking about. Oh yeah, and please don't refer to me as "son" that's a very derogarotory term. Besides I am very much a man in every sense of the word.
  • BMW CCA = BMW Car Club of America... I would assume anyway. ;)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    But it seems Lexus attempts to put out the LEAST trouble-free.

    That may be the case but that does not prove that BMWs are notoriously unreliable.
    My 7 years of owning a 99 BMW323 has been a low maintenance/repair affair.

    My anecdotal evidence will not persuade anybody and should not persuade anybody. But it has certainly persuaded me to overcome any fears of buying a future BMW!

    Will I buy a BMW(most likely the BMW e90)? Maybe? All depends on how it compares with other vehicles during my own personal test drives.

    Bottom Line: Buy the car that excites you. If you focus solely on CR/JD Power stats you may end up owning a highly competent and reliable transport appliance (YAWN!!)
  • g17g17 Posts: 45
    "That may be the case but that does not prove that BMWs are notoriously unreliable."

    Thats relative. Compared to Lexus they are. Compared to Pontiac they may fare better....There's always exceptions. All I'm saying is Lexus generally appears to be on top in this category, and everyone else is looking up. An honest BMW or MB exec would admit that Lexus is a more reliable vehicle.
  • Bottom Line: Buy the car that excites you. If you focus solely on CR/JD Power stats you may end up owning a highly competent and reliable transport appliance (YAWN!!)

    Excellent point and that brings up another thought. I personally don't trust those CR/JD Power reviews because I use to work for a company that actually use to conduct he actual marketing surveys and compile the data for those publications. Some of the shady tactics that the various companies use,and truthfully they pretty much all do them, are what turned me off to those publications as reliable sources. I was on several of the marketing teams myself when I worked there and to be nice about it- the market studies are a joke. I honestly would say the auto enthusiast magazines are far more credible when it comes to long term reviews although it's major fault is that there is only 1 long term test car so the model's reputation can rise and fall on that one tester car.

    Edmunds is the best accessible source I have personally found as you can communicate with owner's although you should take some of the thoughts with a grain of salt like on any forum.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    First and foremost this forum is not about MBs!

    Also this forum is not about the brands BMW and Lexus!

    This is about BMW e90 vs. the Lexus IS!

    Have you looked at the stats?? Can you please point out statistically where the BMW3 had a below average rating for more than two years? Is the reliability that bad? I dont think so!

    My point is reliability may be the sole criteria for you but I am not buying a Maytag dishwasher, I am buying a car that will maximize my enjoyment! And that to me is the most important criteria in choosing a car!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    I personally don't trust those CR/JD Power reviews because I use to work for a company that actually use to conduct he actual marketing surveys and compile the data for those publications.

    It ceases to amaze me how anybody could use the CR and JD Powers as their sole criteria for purchasing a car!
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    SWTF?? What sort of warranty work in "your" '03 MB added up to $9K? What model was it? I've owned 4 MB's and 2 BMW's since 1997 and have NEVER experienced anything as you infer all MB/BMW owners experience. You may have noticed that the parent of Lexus - Toyota - has had several substantial recalls of late. If what you want is no hassles, just ride the bus :)

    I'm sure your Lexus dealer will be thrilled to sell you an IS and hope you enjoy it!
  • legarlegar Posts: 71
    Expensive maintenance over first 4 years (approximately 1k).
    I Agree!

    zero roadfeel - as if floating on a cloud

    I do not think this as a bad thing. I felt that the 325i isolated you from the road very well, which I thought was great; I dont wanna feel bad roads, it gives me a headache.

    With sport package, leather, comfort access that car stickers at 41k. European Delivery price minus BMW CCA rebate = 35.5k

    Wow, sounds really good, but tell me how much would it cost to fly 2 people out to Europe and to stay there for a couple of days just to get this deal? What about shipping cost?
  • legarlegar Posts: 71
    The exterior is instantly recognizable as BMW and it is a good looking car.

    Yes, the design is not bad, but I am talking about other things.
    The 330i looks great with those 18inch wheels, but the 325i with 16inch looks boring. The 16 inch wheels are ugly. The paint job looks cheaper then on the 330i. It looks like an average car, to tell you the truth I dont even notice BMWs on the road anymore.

    It is just basic simplicity- gauges, HVAC controls, sound system,

    basic simplicity = boring. I want something flashy, I want to get into the car that looks fun inside.
  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    "That may be the case but that does not prove that BMWs are notoriously unreliable."

    Thats relative. Compared to Lexus they are.


    Wrong. The existence of Lexus does not make BMWs "unreliable". BMW's reliability rating isn't affected by Lexus' reliability rating. You can simply use the numbers to say that "on average a Lexus is more reliable than a BMW." But declaring BMWs to be "unreliable" is a statement devoid of comparison or relativity. By your logic I can declare Lexus' to be notoriously unreliable when compared to a stirling engine.

    For the record, CR gives the 2001-2003 3-series it's highest rating for reliability.
  • The exterior is instantly recognizable as BMW and it is a good looking car

    How the paint job looks any different on a 325 than a 330 I have no idea unless someone is aware if they spray an extra layer or two of clearcoat. I was under the impression that the paint jobs were the same. As for the wheels you can always get different wheels if that is that big of an issue.

    basic simplicity = boring. I want something flashy, I want to get into the car that looks fun inside.

    I agree I'm a bit of a technophile myself and like some of the features found on a Lexus but I don't find them at all necessary for me. Nothing currently says flashy like the new Civic as far as interiors go. That dashboard is like something out of Star Trek.
  • potemkinpotemkin Posts: 196
    "Wow, sounds really good, but tell me how much would it cost to fly 2 people out to Europe and to stay there for a couple of days just to get this deal?

    Air fares to Europe are reasonably priced right now and worth every penny. You get to see Europe!

    What about shipping cost?

    Shipping costs is $695.00 (exactly what you'd pay if you bought it here).
  • Yeah I see what you mean but when i was customizing my 330i it came out to

    52K which i was like "Ooh God" which someone said I should just buy the "M 3" I

    think, which i havent checked it out, i might in a liitle bit.
  • Yeah you would have to add every useless factory option to get it priced that high IMO. Most of the dealer-installed options are never really worth it IMO. Most are vastly overpriced on the account of there being an automotive emblem on it. Like the $200 car covers that cost like $10 to actually make.
  • " BWM third with 95, while the idustry average was 118. (Full story and graph: http://www.jdpa.com/news/releases/pressrelease.asp?ID=2005069) According to this, yes, the Lexus is more reliable, but the difference is small. " quote of zcar3...

    There are 2 different issues to look at when determining reliablilty.
    1) Initial Quality in which BMW is not too far behind.
    2) The more important issue is Long-Term Quality or dependablilty.

    http://www.jdpower.com/news/releases/vds2005089.asp
    Lexus wins this too but BMW is further behind. I have never owned a BMW as much as I love to drive them. I do have a mini cooper S which is one of the worst in reliability but very fun around the corners and plenty fast since its so lightweight.

    In fact, if you want more info on reliablilty i would check consumerreports.org.
  • Hi everyone:
    I own a 2004 "E46" BMW, have driven both the E90 BMW and the Lexus IS 250, and I'm throwing my 2 cents in.

    I will agree that BMW's have niggling issues from time to time. My car has been in the shop three times this year for annoying things (sunroof shade got stuck, brake light went out, check engine light came on).

    But I will also agree that this is a reliable car in the sense that it won't strand you, but it'll just embarrass you in front of your friends! I have heard anecdotal reports of similar problems from past owners.

    I'll also agree that Lexus (toyota) has one of the highest build qualities of any automaker. My gramps has a Toyota and it hasn't has the slightest problem in 8 years. If you want to count JD power (some don't), Lexus/Toyota ranks really high in that they have the fewest problems per automobile.

    Now for the cars:

    Lexus:
    I think it had a nicer interior than the E90, very quiet and dignified. Back seat is really a 5 ft leather shelf to put groceries on, nothing more. Not much bolstering in the seats, but the Sport package may be different. Even so, some people prefer a cushier seat.

    I loved the Navi and other controls, I thought the sound system was great. I also like the looks. IMO, the exterior looks are a draw between the E90 and IS 250/350 - beauty is, as they say, in the eye of the beholder.

    However, people are correct in saying you ride "on a cloud" with not much feedback in the steering wheel. Again, some people want that, some don't.

    The only thing that REALLY bothered about the car though was the transmission. I put it in "Sport" mode and tried to use the paddles. I tried to upshift, nothing happened, I gave a quizzical look at the salesman and he said "Oh, the computer decides what the best gear is", THEN the car shifts after he finishes the sentence. Oh boy.

    Further testing proved that the paddles respond to your input in an absolutely random way. Sometimes it shifts, sometimes it doesn't. So I wonder, if "the computer decides which gear to be in", why do they have paddles to begin with?

    BMW E90:
    The seats are very supportive and well bolstered compared the the seats in the IS.
    However, the standard radio really sucks and you need to get the HK to even compete with the base Lexus sound system. The interior is kind of sterile and business like. They have removed any trace of graceful curves on the dash in the E46 and replaced them with very linear designs.

    There is actually more room in the back seat than the IS, but the funny thing is, the BMW back seat is already kind of tight. I understand you have a trade off when opting for a compact sport sedan, but I don't understand why Lexus couldn't have at least matched the bimmer here in one of the bimmer's weakest areas.

    I like the acceleration and torque curve of the BMW cars. Even my E-46 325i feels "spunkier" than the Lexus IS 250. I think it is the damped suspension on the Lexus and the gearing on the BMW rather than raw power that makes the difference.

    And of course, some people like the run flats and some don't.

    The chassis is the real story here, it is amazing compared to the E46. It soaks up bumps much better than the E46 yet is even more responsive to steering inputs. It also has very little body roll compared to the Lexus. You CAN feel road imperfections, and many people detest feeling anything under their behinds in a 40K car.

    Conclusion:
    I give both cars 4 stars. They are outstanding automobiles in different ways. With the Lexus, you can bet on a mostly trouble-free car and a great dealership experience. It's also very luxurious but modern inside and bests the interior of the BMW. Also, many people may prefer the smooth as glass ride and well-boosted steering that takes only the light touch of your index finger to get you around the corner.

    The BMW is the "driving man's" car. You can feel the road and the experience is a little more visceral. The interior is so-so, and idrive has it detractors. Also, you can plan on having some annoying quirks surface from time to time that will have to be fixed. I give BMW a thumbs up on free maintenance.

    The exiting thing is that although these are very different cars, they overlap in many areas, and competition is always a great thing for the consumer in the end!

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And about Mercedes, their quality issues are hardly anecdotal. In fact last year alone "Mercedes spent some $600 million to cover warranty costs". Read below:

    Click here
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    . . . the market studies are a joke. I honestly would say the auto enthusiast magazines are far more credible when it comes to long term reviews

    This is a joke, right? Have you heard of law of large numbers? or conflict of interest?
  • Have you heard of read and comprehend the entire statement and not cut and paste the areas of my statement to try to argue your point in which I already made? I clearly stated that the flaw in the auto magazines is that they only use one test subject. Sorry but no cigar for you in trying to introduce a new fact that was already stated. OTOH is it automatically a conflict of interest when the auto magazines don't pick who you want to be the winner? Does the fact that just about every auto magazine pick BMW in most comparos not sit well with you? Where is the conflict of interest? They are all independant and I'm sure none of them are being paid off by BMW.
  • Excellent review cardriver7007.
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