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Lexus IS 350 and IS 250

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  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    "the Acura RL just won Car and Driver's Ten Best award"

    So it CD's 10 best award that determines a benchmark? An RL the benchmark? Wow, the car won its first "Ten Best Award" from CD and now it is a benchmark! Does this mean that all the 10 cars selected as a winner by CD are all benchmarks in their segments. Does this not dilute the definition of what a benchmark really is? Is not a benchmark defined by being the best by many sources(magazines, auto journalists) and not by only one source?

    My point is there really is no clear definite benchmark in the segment that exists for the BMW 545 or RL or the new and amazing Audi A6. The BMW545i may have been dethroned as the benchmark, but as a result there is no benchmark!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    So Lexusguy, you have answered my post, but avoided my question: What is the new benchmark? As I mention in my last post there appears to be no vehicle that is a benchmark in this class of cars that the 5 series belongs to? Please correct me if I am wrong.
  • Infiniti is hungry for blood but there is not a single infiniti vehicle that can compete with a BMW.

    Still living in fantasyland aren't we? I better go trade in the cushy, soft, poor handling Fx45 for the class recall leader X5. Yeah, I think the BMW family breadwinner 325 will surely beat out the newly tweaked 298 hp G35 coupe and lesser sedan. Maybe even the Z4 will someday outhandle the S2000 and try to look half as decent.

    Folks, BMW's days of class leader of this and that has been blown a hole as wide as Texas. The new Japan sport/luxury models are just getting better and better and BMW's use of heavy unreliable electronics and I-drive gimics are gonna haunt them. The new M35/45 Infiniti's are poised to strike them hard now that they are down in sales and questionable quality.

    Consumer Reports latest gives them bad marks for the 5 and 7. Of course the new cheesy, overdone styling and Bungle surface flaming is a big reason for the drop in sales. The 5 series is the class benchmark for oddball and gimicky, no denying that. The old 5 was the clearly better car.

    The RL is a rolling technology piece, easily the most advanced car in the class of today. C&D 10 best winner is no surprise, Honda products have made the list more than any make to date. Admire the Honda way never follow anyone, lead.

    The new IS will be bigger for sure but hope they use light alloy materials all around and carbon fiber like the new Z to shave those pounds.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Pardon me bobcatman, but I did not know the 325 was the benchmark? I thought it was the 330!

    So now let us compare a 330 vs a G35? Are they even comparable(even if you live in fantasyland, I think the answer is obvious)

    I remember all those same predictions 14 years ago.

    Remember when in 1990(assuming you are an old guy like me) they predicted Lexus , Infiniti, Acura would make mincemeat out of BMW, Audi and Mercedes! Coincidentally since that time the sales of the three German Margues grew and grew and grew.

    Remember in 1990 when they predicted the Acura NSX would drive Porsche out of business. Since that time Porsche has never looked better.

    There are as many today as in 1990 who believe in this fantasy that the German marques will passively watch their market share be eaten away by the Japanese(as the American firms did these past 30 years)

    I am willing to wager that in the next 14 years your projections will be as accurate as those 1990 projections made by similar admirers of Japanes marques.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If the new benchmark is the car to beat in the segment, then we all have to wait for every car to make its entrance and be evaluated. Two very important players are still not available yet. I dont know about BMW and Mercedes, but sales of Infiniti, Acura and Lexus are WELL above Audi sales, at least here in the US.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Re-read the voluminous E46 (current generation) 3 Series reviews. The usual tested benchmark has been the 330i with manual transmission and Sport Pkg or Perf Pkg. (The M3 is in a class by itself.) BMW has always been smart to give the car mags the performance "best" model. They make sure to bring a gun to a knife fight!

    And even when it is ATs, they still tend to have Sport Pkg. Even if 325i.

    Lexus regularly screws this up. They should always have sent MT with LSD!
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Thought it interesting that in the December 2004 issue of Roundel (BMW CCA) magazine they have a full report on the recent JD Powers APEAL survey results.

    Lexus won overall (910) beating out Porsche (903), Cadillac (902), and BMW (900). And Lexus had 5 top Three finishers.

    "Entry Luxury": Chrysler 300(2005), Acura TL, and (tie) LEXUS IS300 sedan/SportCross & Cadillac CTS.

    Lexus Top 3 "winners": IS300, LS430, RX330, GX470, & LX470.

    BMW's were 5 Series, 7 Series, X5, & Z4, plus Mini Cooper.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,830
    Folks, we're not comparing quality of different brands here. We're discussing the possibilities for the upcoming Lexus IS. There are plenty of place in the forums where you can compare the merits of various marques and models, but this ain't it. Stick to the IS, or this topic is toast.

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  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Toyota/Lexus would give some details on the next IS. About all we can do is guess and pray.
  • tsx24tsx24 Posts: 85
    Ain't that right.
    I don't think you "wait for other makes to become available". I think that you judge what is on the market right now. And when the new IS comes out, you judge the market again. Audi, BMW, Lexus, (not sure about MB-C) are all coming out with highly revised models in 06. This should make for great competition. But I do think that Lexus will take wipe the floor with these other makes. BMW will always sell the "vaunted" 3 series, but my guess is that the IS350 will be the next car to beat - over the current G35/TL/325. And I say 325 because I'm talking 35k and under.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    My point was that the new Bimmers havent won jack, let alone consecutive medals, as they did in the past. No, C/D is isnt the be all and end all, but I think it certainly says something when a mag that so clearly adores BMW fails to appoint the new models to the podium.

    I'm crossing my fingers for an IS Ten Best next year. It'd be good to have a sporting Lexus up there, and make for good ad copy as well, especially if the Banglized 3-series fails.

    ~alpha
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    "over the current G35/TL/325"

    Thats a VERY tall order. Im not really a fan of the 325i, but the TL and especially the '05 G35x is a fantastic car. I recently spent about a half hour driving the car, and its some of the most fun I've had in any sedan that I can remember. Its worlds better than any IS300. Its got so much low end grunt that it reminds me of my old XK8, add to that a lovely, throaty exhaust note, super flat cornering, a surprisingly silent interior, and greatly improved materials quality (its not just the new aluminum, or wood, it feels like a totally different car than the cheesy '03 coupe I drove) and of course, a brilliant AWD system that lets you drive either a RWD OR AWD car with the flip of a switch. (Its got perfect weight balance too, unlike the front heavy Audi.) The IS350 is going to have to be a mighty achievement to take out G35.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Using a BMW325 to compare a TL or G35 will guarantee the defeat of BMW as a comparison. In Canada a BMW325 is in the high 30k range, while the TL and G35 are in the low to mid 40k range.(I dont know the prices in the USA). So based on my perspective the comparison of a 325 is a waste of time.

    The base BMW330 is about 46k and a G35 and a TL are priced between low to mid 40k in Canada and in Canadian dollars. The price discrepency is minimial when comparing their performance/handling in itself. Therefore the BMW 330 should be used as a comparison against a G35 or a TL.

    When adding options and luxuries(IMO frivolous items), then a G35 abd TL looks like a bargain compared to the 330. It all depends on what your priorities are. My priorities are performance/Handling

    How the pricing of the IS350 will be compared to the 3 series and how it stacks up in performance/handling will be interesting
  • Well, now that anwers it the 330 does indeed compete with the lowly G35 even BMW seems to think so themselves, that's why the 330zhp was rushed to market as a repsonse. So much for no Infiniti cant compete. The same short-sighted mentality once mighty M.B. had prior to 1989..

    As for the German makes yeah they've got very tight protectionist restrictions on their home market because of what the Japanese did to the domestics in the 80-90's they would've rolled over them the same. They are losing market share every year in the world's biggest, most important market here no question about that. Every sale for a Lexi, Acura, Infiniti and even Caddy now is one less for the once cozy entrenched Germans. Now back to the topic IS..
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    http://money.cnn.com/2004/12/08/pf/autos/residual_value/index.htm- - - - ?cnn=yes

    Before reading please refer to the site above.
     
    I hope the IS350 will add more spice to the brand, since that may increase retention values for the Lexus brand itself.

    The site above provides interesting facts : BMWs' have the best retention values among expensive cars(yes, even better than Lexus). Also best individual model for retention value is a MB model, not the IS or any model with the Lexus logo

    Overall #4 company for retention value is VW, yes VW that horrific company that ranks last among the reliability stats.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    OK BObcat lets focus on the IS, BUT first get the facts straight,

    Germany never had trade restrictions towards Japanese cars because there was no need(not in the 80's or 90's or anytime. Unlike France ,Italy or the USA during the 80's and early 90's.

    "Every sale for a Lexi, Acura, Infiniti and even Caddy now is one less for the once cozy entrenched Germans."

    Your statement above contradicts the facts: German marques never grew faster as the past 14 years when Lexus, Infiniti and Acura existed!

    Any way I will say Aufwiedersehen(or should I say Sayonara) to this Forum until there are more facts about the IS. Then I will be able to justify my annoying postings on this board with IS350 facts.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    Dewey gets a bingo.

    Lexus and Infiniti sales here have consistently been mostly at US makers' expense. Acura as well, but at first also cannibalized some Honda sales!
  • tsx24tsx24 Posts: 85
    I agree it is a tall order, but Lexus can do it. They learned to get the sport part right with the first IS. This time around, they know the competition, and they know what sells. I expect the IS350 to be a mighty achievement. It will also have that low end grunt you refer to. The only reason the G35 has that is because it has the higest displacement engine of the group. Obviously the IS350 will have the same displacement, and therfore the same torque probably 260 lb/ft vs the G35 270..
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Here in the US, a 330i can cost $6-10K more than a TL or G35, depending on equipment. The 325i matches them pretty closely on pricing.

    Bobcatman, even if sales of the 3 Japanese luxury makes are hurting German car sales, its only in the US market. Acura and Infiniti dont even exist in Europe, and Lexus sales there are about 10% of what they are here. Japan needs to learn how to sell cars in Europe before BMW and Mercedes have much to worry about.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti did have a serious negative impact on the sales of Audi, BMW, MB, and even Porsche in the USA in the late 1980s and early 1990s. From about 1988-1992 were very dark days for these marques. They showed that very good cars could be built better (more reliably) and sold for a lot less. Forced the Germans to work to improve quality and control their costs.

    And, yes, there were other factors. Audi was killed by the bogus "unintended acceleration" debacle. The Germans were killed by the fall of the dollar against the very, very strong German mark (remember the stock market "crash" of 1987 and the S&L bailout?).

    Heck, I traded in my two BMWs for two Lexus IS300s! So BMW lost my two sales.
  • rwoodsrwoods Posts: 129
    Dewey,

    My recollection of 1990 is different than yours. I recall people laughing at Lexus and Infiniti for daring to compare themselves to Mercedes and BMW. Audi was all but dead from CBS's coverage which later proved wrong. It was by no means certain back then that the Japanese could ever climb into the ring with the mighty Germans. Lexus priced their flagship LS at $35,000 which only served to make the public more sceptical of the product. But alas the Japanese succeeded and we are all better for it. They forced the Germans to compete and improve while they raised the bar over and over. It seems to me that we live in a great time as automobile consumers. Things get better and better because of the competition.
  • rwoodsrwoods Posts: 129
    I'll get very excited about the Lexus IS350 if it does something to improve the winter traction of the older model. That vehicle was superb until the snow started. It's engine was perfect, it's seats excellent, its handling almost as good as a BMW 330 and it was priced well. Perhaps all wheel drive?
  • rwoodsrwoods Posts: 129
    TSX

    I'm jumping in if Lexus offers the new IS V6 with a 2.5 liter - 220 hp engine with awd! And I'd like it in the Sportcross version for the utility. Just let them take my 2002 Audi A4 Quattro in trade and it's a deal.
  • rwoodsrwoods Posts: 129
    I talked a friend into a Acura TSX at the end of her IS300 lease because she had such trouble in the snow. She is in mourning however, missing her IS. The TSX is very attractive and has all the bells and whistles such as NAV but she misses the power of the IS's six cylinder as the TSX is powered by a four.
  • tsx24tsx24 Posts: 85
    The power is not much different. It's mainly the torque that's different. 200 hp I4 vs 215 hp I6, come on the difference is negligible. It's only when you compare toruqe numbers 166 I4 vs 218 I6 do you find the big difference. But that should be known by people going in. The TSX is meant to rev high just like the S2000 and RSX. Some people like the low end power, and some like the high end horsepower, it just depends on the kind of driver. Personally I like the high end horsepower, although TSX is lacking torque somewhat. If Acura can push it to about 180 then I think it would be a much better car.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Rwoods,

     

    yes I agree. I am thankful for the competition, otherwise I would not consider buying a Lexus IS350.

     

    It is also true that people laughed at Lexus and its Japaneses Breathen. But there was another segment of the popultation that thought the Japanese would kill off all luxury German marques. In fact even the CEO of BMW in the late 80s said that the competition with the Japanese will be tough.

     

    I am not trying to bash the IS350 in anyway(although I find every other Lexus model a bore). I am just trying to correct some myths about the IS350's German competitors.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    rwoods... All ya gotta do is put decent snow tires on your RWD car. As simple as that. You DON'T need AWD/4WD. If you can afford a Lexus, you can afford a set of snow tires. [I put sets of snow tires on both my IS300 sedan and wife's SportCross.]
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Actually, the TSX with the manual transmition and IS300 would be a dead heat 0-60. That makes the TSX with its peaky 4 look good, and it also makes the IS300 and its 3.0L of displacement look poor. A simple turbo on the TSX's engine (still keeping the price under a stock IS300) will make that grin come back in a hurry, as a boosted TSX would blow an IS300s doors off.

     

    Riez, Im sorry but its just not that cut and dry. I have Bridgestone Blizzaks on my LS, and even then its barely passable in the snow. I drive my wife's AWD RX whenever conditions look bad.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    lexusguy...

     

    1. As I've pointed out before, the problem with the IS is gearing. Unlike cars like the 3 Series, she won't go 60 mph in 2nd gear. Poor decision by Lexus.

     

    2. Key to winter snow tires are getting a good snow tire and using a taller, narrower tire. Look at the 16" size recommended by Tire Rack in their IS package.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    Actually, the TSX with the manual transmition and IS300 would be a dead heat 0-60. That makes the TSX with its peaky 4 look good, and it also makes the IS300 and its 3.0L of displacement look poor. A simple turbo on the TSX's engine (still keeping the price under a stock IS300) will make that grin come back in a hurry, as a boosted TSX would blow an IS300s doors off.

     

    Sounds like you need a Mazdaspeed Mazda6. The TSX would be much cheaper and much less prestigious in the eyes of consumers if it didn't have the fancy badge and wasn't loaded with worthless options. If a boosted TSX is in the same league as an IS300 then the Mazda3, Mazda6, Focus, and other sporty cars are as well. Get a 4-cyl Mazda6, Mazda3 or Focus and boost it and it'll be cheaper than the TSX significantly. You also won't be lugging around 3300 pounds like the TSX either.
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