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Lexus IS 250 AWD vs. Audi A4 2.0 quattro



  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I'll appreciate a lot if Lexus stay away from Audi's styling. BMW's handling? Definitely, but not Audi's styling.
  • nyaudinyaudi Posts: 25
    I still have a hard time telling the new IS from a Mazda. That's not really a good thing for a $35K car... I actually liked the first gen better as they really tried to make it a little sportier looking and a tad more unique - wish they'd get back to that and less like every other car on the road. Would get me interested in Lexus again.
  • Anybody have any new things to add? I have a 2005.5 A4 Quattro, but am considering purchasing the IS250AWD.

    I am holding out until I drive the 2009 A4. Will the 2009 IS250AWD be any different from the 2008 model???
  • Wow - I'm in the same boat. I have a 2005.5 Quattro 2.0T also and just this past weekend test drove an AWD IS250.

    Let me tell you how looks can be deceiving! My A4 blows the IS250 outta the water in my opinion. The A4:
    -has a more suppple ride
    -feels a lot "quicker"
    -handles harsh surfaces more civily
    -has a bit less "confined" feel within the cabin
    -seems less "pressed" when stomping on the accelerator - the A4 seems to "want" to be driven - I certainly don't get that feeling with the IS250.

    The only thing I liked about the IS250 was the seating position and seats seemed to hold me a bit better. To be fair, my current A4 is loaded with the wood trim so it also appears a helluva lot more upscale than the IS250.

    After I finished my test drive, I was left feeling really disappointed in the Lexus. I had my mind made up that I was going to give up performance and driveability for reliability - but I can't do it. Why spend 36k on a car that is basically no more fun to drive than a Toyota Camry?

    To me, somebody that would opt for the IS250 over an A4 is probably somebody who's never owned a German sedan - or somebody who prefers reliability over all other things.

    I also sat inside the new A4, but didn't want to drive it for fear of makine the purchase. I will say that while everybody seems to treasure a "larger" A4, I kinda like the sleekness of the old one. However, it looks pretty nice - except the bare bones A4's interior isn't very appealing. I love the tan interiors with the birch trim - makes it look sweet.

    Anyhow, I have little experience with luxury sedans, but I don't play favorites when it comes to spending 35 thousand friggin' dollars. Personally, I think you'll be disappointed going from your A4 to an IS250 unless you had a real run-of-the-mill A4.
  • ajfinoakajfinoak Posts: 58
    I have an '08 IS 250 after having to return an '06 BMW 325i under the CA lemon Law. I was too frustrated with BMW to get another one and test drove an A4 twice while shopping. Many of the A4 auto trans have a very annoying vibration when idling in gear that you could feel in the seat and steering wheel. Consumer Reports noted the same problem- not acceptable to me. Before the BMW I had a 97 Lexus ES 300 for 10 years with minimal problems. My nephew had a TT coupe and loved it but numerous problems. The IS is more of a sporty luxury car than a luxury sports car in my opinion than BMW and Audi is a little sportier but not worth the potential reliability issues after warranty.
  • So, an "annoying vibration" and you completely black-list the A4, which is leaps and bounds a better sport/luxury sedan than the IS250? That doesn't make any sense to me because it has absolutely nothing to do with the driving dynamics and overall performance of a car.

    I mean, I have an A4, but by no means am I blindly loyal. The IS250 looks sleek from the outside, but that's where its greatness ends. The interior is far too cramped, the sound system sounds nowhere near as good, there's an annoying lump on the floorboard right behind the foot you use to press the accelerator. The engine is smooth, but lacks adequate power for that price range. The seating position is excellent, but there are more blind spots than my A4, increasing the clausterphobic feeling inside the cabin.

    Basically, I guess the IS250 offers reliabitliy and that's where it smokes the A4. However, if that is the case, then there are oodles of "reliable" sedans out yonder that perform on par with the IS250 and while maybe not as refined and sleek and appointed, are significantly less expensive. If I were an IS250 shopper, I'd opt for a loaded Ford Fusion for about 18k and laugh hall the way to the bank. :)
  • I had an '04 Audi A4 Convertible and now have an '06 Lexus IS 250 (both bought new).

    Here are some pros for the Lexus (since there are a lot of anti Lexus people (i.e. hauschild):
    - Better quality:
    Not talking about interior look (that is personal preference). Feel the interior lining of the A pillar and you will know what I mean. Lexus is about details. It has held up better in the two years that I owned each. Every oil change I had with the Audi I had a list of small niggles to be taken care of (replace this peeling switch, or this loose that...), but rarely have anything to have the Lexus dealership to deal with. I had 53,000 miles on the Audi when sold and 41,000 on the IS250.

    - Better ride:
    I live in south Florida where there are no hills and no curves. The Lexus is better suited for this type of driving and the V6 is smoother than the 1.8t was. No turbo charger will ever be better for smoothness than a naturally aspirated engine. It also gets great gas mileage.

    - Better value:
    Paid $32,500 for my car and got Navigation, Ventilated Seats, etc and the equivalent Audi was more. Audi seems to have given up on the value card and has priced to go head to head with BMW and Mercedes. Not sure that is a good move on Audi's part. Not to mention the Lexus IS250 is showing great resale value.

    Once I got out of warranty; I was on the hook to pay to keep the Audi looking/feeling new and that would be costly. After owning two years of both cars; I am more confident in owning the Lexus out of warranty than I was the Audi.

    Just my thoughts having owned both brands.
  • I guess I must have missed quite a bt during my test drive of the IS250. :confuse:

    I will agree that an Audi needs to be "coddled" a bit more than, say a Lexus, but what people forget is that a Lexus is still a piece of machinery that has parts that will need to be replaced at some point.

    Years ago, my Mom bought into the Japanese hype too and she had to get a Suburu. It had a dog of an engine, but it ran like a champ until it hit about 80k in miles and then it was ridiculously expensive to maintain.

    In my humble and limited opinion, there's still a significant difference in performance between a German and Japanese luxury sports sedan that isn't difficult to detect with an open mind.
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