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Acura TL vs Lexus IS 350



  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I don't care much about the slalom or skid pad numbers from C&D - or any magazine - I base my opinion on actually driving the cars. But they are more objective measures than my seat of the pants tests. I guess to be more acurate maybe I should say the steering is better in the IS (rather than the handling). I think the IS would be much easier to buzz through heavy traffic in - weaving through the cars - changing lanes - at 50+ MPH. Like the every day drive to work in most larger cities. Think its a combo of the sharper steering and smaller size give the IS the edge.

    I bought the TL and think it handles fine - but my Tahoe has a sharper turning circle than the TL (38.3 feet for the Tahoe, 39.7 for the TL). Not sure why the TL needs so much space to turn around - but I really noticed this at during my test drives. I just figured that after a few weeks of driving it I would adjust to the steering - which I have.
  • ew3074ew3074 Posts: 20
    Every manufacturer has some issues on their cars. The main point is whether they are willing to solve it or not. As I know,Acura TL has some issues before. So nothing is perfect. However, Lexus set the bar higher than most of the car companies.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "I think the IS would be much easier to buzz through heavy traffic in - weaving through the cars - changing lanes - at 50+ MPH."

    Again, the TL out-performed the IS on changing lanes according to C & D :P :P But, you probably don't care about where that conclusion came from. If that is your opinion then I am cool with that because you spent your dollars on what was best for you. I am merely pointing out what a car mag has said when comparing these vehicles.

    I definately agree with about the horrendous turning circle of the TL.

    "Not sure why the TL needs so much space to turn around - but I really noticed this at during my test drives."

    Probably because of its FWD platform.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701

    Lexus/Toyota owners also have problems with corporate when dealing with quality control issues. Just browse the forums and confirm that for yourself---if you care.

    "So nothing is perfect."


    "The main point is whether they are willing to solve it or not."
    Correct me if I am wrong but didn't Acura replace transmissions on problem 3rd generation TL's?

    In all fairness, Lexus/Toyota has replaced transmissions in their own problem vehicles.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    "When's the last time you where driving around little cones in a line?"

    Honestly- never. This subject came up because of the debate. Read the preceding posts and you can see how it developed.

    "I Agree, Honda/Toyota does make some of the most reliable car on the road, but i don't see a point in this comparison, they are in no way alike. The IS is more TSX size."

    100% agree with you.
  • bearvpbearvp Posts: 10
    I still contend that the IS350 is out of the TL's league in every category to be compared with. The TL is a fine car, but aside from the crappy VDIM, the 350 beats out the TL in every way...but for thousands more for similar features. You get what you pay for. Maybe we should be comparing the IS250 with the TL instead...which in my opinion the TL would come out ontop.

    Does anyone here lease cars and then wait to decide on buying them after the lease is up? I was thinking about doing that for the 350.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    "Not sure why the TL needs so much space to turn around - but I really noticed this at during my test drives."

    Probably because of its FWD platform.

    It’s probably the transverse engine layout…which leaves little room in the engine compartment compared to a longitudinal layout.

    …which is why the TL, as well as the S60, have a turning radius 3-4 feet larger their competition; the IS actually has a really tight turning radius…33 feet or so.

    Though the Passat is a transverse layout and has a turning radius similar to a 3 series ,CTS etc…so I suppose it is possible to engineer a tighter radius.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    This came up before. I do not think a small or large turning radius has anything to do with handling performance or feel.

    Unless your driving habits include a lot of U-turns and "lock to lock" steering maneuvers, the fact that the TL has a large truning radius vs. a G35 or IS350 is meaningless for how it feels and handles on the twisties. That is dictated by steering ratio (quickness), precision (tight vs. loose) and the ever ellusive steering "feel" which BMW still seems to have a monopoly on.

    So the fact that I can't do a complete U-turn on my street with our TL when I have room to spare with our 911 is a pain in the butt, but did not change my favorable impression of the TL (6-speed) in my Rock Creek Parkway slalom test. No cones, but more relevant.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    Actually, I'm on the fence for an IS350 with the Luxury package:
    Luxury Package with 18-in wheels includes:
    - Auburn bird's-eye maple interior trim
    - Perforated leather-trimmed interior
    - Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column
    - Lexus Memory System for power driver's seat (except lumbar) outside mirrors and steering wheel
    - Heated and ventilated front seats
    - Illuminated doorsill scuff plates
    - Power rear-window sunshade
    - Rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers with mist cycle
    - Electrochromic (auto-dimming) outside mirrors with auto tilt-down in reverse
    - Bi-xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps
    - Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS)
    - 18-in alloy wheels

    Additional Options:
    - Lexus voice-activated DVD Navigation System
    - Intuitive Parking Assist
    - Headlamp washers

    Totals out to = $43,069.00

    The GS300 with similar options is $50,684.00

    But remember... it's not the same car.
    One is a Luxury Sports Sedan, the other lacks in the "sports" arena.
    For that, you'd want to GS430... with similar options, you're now at $59,109.00
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I've driven the IS250, IS350 and TL

    I like the stick in the TL, and I am happy with the layout of the interior as well as the xtra 3" of backseat legroom.

    As for the IS.. I love the idea of AWD in the 250, but hate the idea of being smoked by some punk in a '98 Mustang GT.

    I absolutely love the IS350 in every way, shape and form except for the RWD. I'm in MA and I know about bad winters... RWD would not be the most responsible decision I've made.

    It's currently between the TL and the IS250.
    If I decide on power alone, the TL would win hands down.

    But I care more about quality, comfort and handling.
    Personally, (and I did say "personally")
    I think the IS wins in this arena.

    The sport shifts are a fun feature, I absolutely love the vented seats and wish the TL had them, and I like the keyless ignition as well. The seats are also MUCH more comfortable than the Acura's.
    I also get the sense of a higher quality, smoother ride, and better handling as well.

    I just like the pricetag on the TL a whole lot more.
    I'll be paying cash when I buy.

    To drop $35,000 and get rattles, fading dashes and spotted paint, let's just say that I wouldn't be happy.
    I know that any car can and will have issues... but the TL seems to see these issues a lot, so naturally, I'm concerned.

    Waiting for the '07 TL Type-S before I decide.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    You'll be happy with either car I am sure. Neither one will give you problems like fading dashes and spotted paint. If you are unlucky and got rattles problem just make sure your dealer find out where the problem is and solve it.

    Since you've mentioned Type-S, I personally don't think that's gonna happen. I know there are rumors from the dealers that a Type-S is coming but I just don't believe it. Acura's been trying to get rid of its boy-racer image to become a truly luxury brand and introducing a Type-S just contradict that. However, I am staying tuned for the unveil of the 07' TL.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Out of curiosity, why wait for the 07 TL since the 06 TL already wins hands down in regards to power?

    What differences in the 07 are you looking for? According to you, it might still be prone to rattles, faded dash and spotted pain since the 07 is a MMC and not a redesign.

    The major redesign will only come sometime in 08.
  • As long as you have a second vehicle to drive in winter, you can get the 350. That's what I got and I live in Connecticut because I'll drive my Toyota when we get snow.
  • Rattles are annoying but the dealers fix them.. Also with faded dash some treatments mentioned on these forums work. TL is a great car and IMO has enough power for day to day driving.. I absolutely love it
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    "why wait for the 07 TL since the 06 TL already wins hands down in regards to power?"

    Because power alone cannot make my decision, but the minor changes due in '07 are enough to make me wait.
    In my 45 minute commute each day, I could probably count 100 TLs on my drive. I'd like something slightly different.

    Also, the TL misses a few points that I personally found attractive in the IS.
    Like the vented seats.
    It's like sitting on an angel's face while she blows sweet cool air on my undercarriage. :blush:

    So far, the IS has the edge.... but I'll give the '07 TL a fair chance before deciding.
    I'm already thinking of ways to spend the $10,000 I'd save! :shades:
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    "In my 45 minute commute each day, I could probably count 100 TLs on my drive..."

    So, every day you see 100 paint-spotted with faded dashboards TLs. And, of course, you can see the pained look on the driver's faces as the hundreds of interior rattles are driving them to drink. I can't believe that so many people keep buying the TL with these prevalant, unaddressed by Honda, problems! Not to mention all that "harmonic vibrating" that no doubt has the TLs all bouncing around the highway...

    Why are you even considering the TL? ;)

    I'm probably one of those TLs, if you're south of Boston. So far, shiny Abyss Blue Zaino'd paint with no "spots?", "faded" dash cleaned up by the dealer and one unique rattle fixed by the dealer (only when sunroof was in "vent" position. Replacecd sunroof wind deflector, problem solved). Other rattles are all the detritus I've stuffed in all the cubby holes!

    And, re: snow, in a long series of FWD cars ('78 VW Scirocco through my '05 TL), the TL is the worst snow performer I've driven. It's the tires... So even if you choose the TL for its FWD/snow performance, like a RWD you may want snow tires.

    I dig my TL, imperfections and all... :shades:

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    ~Sigh~... I knew that sooner or later, laurasdada would come along. ;)

    I never said that the TL was a POS. If it was, It wouldn't be on my consideration list.
    I know you love your TL and you've had great luck, and I am very glad for you.
    In fact, most are very happy with their TLs.
    That wasn't what I said, meant, or in any way implied.
    BTW, if I thought Acura was in the habit of building junk, I certainly wouldn't have dropped so much coin on my new '06 MDX Touring w/ Nav and RES.

    I said that I'm on the IS/TL fence, which is what this particular forum is for.

    As for how it performs in the snow... any car with Torque and HP to spare, paired with performance tires, will suck in the snow.

    IS or TL... Snows on a set of wheels (Along with clear bra) are already in the plans.

    The TL will be better in the snow than the IS350.
    The IS250 will be better than the TL.
    The IS250 is a little underpowered for my tastes.
    The TL offers a little more room in the back for my daughter.
    The IS is an amazing car to drive and I personaly like the exterior look much better than that of the TL.

    If I was to just throw caution to the wind and follow my heart, it would be the IS350... but I'm well aware of what the TL can offer me and for the price, it's still a contender.

    Ugh... I just don't know yet. :confuse:
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    FWIW, I have a 2004 TL 6-speed. I have not had any of the issues you expressed concern with, nor have at least 4-5 frinds and neighbors who bought after me. No rattles, the dash looks fine if I use Maguires wipes every 3-4 months and the piant (anthracite) is fine.

    As far as bad winters favoring FWD, I would caution you that even the FWD TL, with high performance low profile tires (I got the "HPT" package), can be a handful in the snow. If you are going to drive in snow for 3-4 months of the year, I'd invest in an extra set of wheels and snow tires. A RWD with the proper tires is better than FWD with improper ones.

    Finally, as for waiting for the TL-S, in my opinion, more power to the front wheels of a TL is of limited value. My 6-speed is plenty quick enough for a "sporty" sedan. We have a 2005 911S if we want to play Mario Andretti and go 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. But if I had instead decided to go with a performance sport sedan, the choice would have likely been a 550i 6-speed. It has the chassis, steering, proper drivetrain, etc. to handle the power. The TL is FWD, the IS is too small and the GS has a sloppy suspension.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    habitat1, I am going to sound a bit like an a$$ and I'll apologize here first.

    I am just sick and tired that everytime we are discussing the performance of these sports sedans, you brought up your beloved Porsche 911S. It's great that you can afford such awesome car and get to play Mario Andretti but some of us can only afford 1 car and we would like that car to the be best that we can afford. The reason I went with the IS350 is because I want the best performance for my money and I got that in the IS. I believe that there are many people out there waiting for the TL-S because they also want the best performance for their money.

    Yes, it might be like what you said, more power to the TL has limited value but one can't deny that more is better. It also gives the bragging rights to us whom don't have the luxury to own a 911 (maybe one day but not now).

    Just a little rant and if I offended anyone, I am sorry.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    Hi, Scott:

    I was just funnin' ya, hard to tell from my post I guess. I was smiling as I typed. And I didn't think you considered the TL to be a POS...

    To me, it's just that your posts sounded like you give more credibility to the few that have posted (and don't believe everything you read...!) of problems as opposed to the majority of TLers who post favorable reviews. And again, my TL hasn't been perfect. I've posted re: the dash and a rattle. But to me, very, very minor issues. But I guess with Acura/Honda's rep for quality (a la Lexus/Toyota) any imperfection is magnified...

    Anyway, what a lovely dilemma you have! This is the joy of shopping for a new car. Whatever car ends up in your garage will be the best car for you! Both winners.

    For symmetry in the Universe, you should probably get the IS as my wife drives a Lexus RX. That way, we'll each be Acura/Lexus families...

    Keep us posted of your continued struggles and ultimate decision.

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • boikoboiko Posts: 82
    Acura describes its 2007 TL Type-S as ``sinister," a word I've never associated with Honda's upscale division.

    But the hot Type-S is surprisingly frisky, something I discovered during a day of driving it out of the woods of Pennsylvania and through the twisting back roads of neighboring Maryland.

    I also found the base TL version to have the kind of oomph that not long ago would have been labeled high performance. Maybe that's because the new TL has the same horsepower as the old Type-S. In fact, it was powerful enough to make me wonder if the extra few thousand for the Type-S is necessary, except for those who want crazy power instead of just superb performance.

    The TL in base form has a 3.2-liter V-6 engine that produces a hefty 258 horsepower and 233 lb.-ft. of torque. Upgrade to the Type-S and you get a 3.5-liter V-6 with 286 horsepower and 256 lb.-ft. of torque.

    Expect around 23 miles per gallon from the smaller engine and about 21 from the more powerful option.

    The standard transmission in each model is a five-speed automatic with a manual option that can be shifted with paddles on the steering wheel. In the Type-S, the engine is revved on downshifts (called ``blipping" in a race car) for smoother transitions while maintaining speed.

    It is a transmission that truly let's you be in charge when you opt to go manual -- something many automatics with manual option do not allow.

    As you might guess, Acura's target TL customer -- particularly for the Type-S -- is a male in his 40s with an income of $100,000 or more. That's not to say that other people won't be able to afford the car when it goes on sale in the fall. Acura is pricing its TL models at between $34,000 and $39,000.

    The company calls the TL an ``entry premium" vehicle, something of an oxymoronic phrase. But I guess it somehow makes sense, since in recent years Acura has been selling more than 70,000 of the cars annually in the United States, making it the financial backbone of the company.

    And though Acura officials at the press launch for the TL repeatedly referred to the ``sinister styling" of the Type-S, it is also subtle and elegant, with its broad slits of headlights, fog lights dropped into the lower fascia, a mesh grille bisected by a chrome crossbar, and a pronounced hipline running front to rear.

    Actually, Acura has always been subtle. For example, only the rear ward flip of a spoiler, hot-looking wheels, and awesome-sounding quad tailpipes give any outer hint of what lurks beneath and inside the Type-S.

    Inside, stainless steel pedals in the Type-S differentiate it from the base model, as do firmly bolstered, multi seamed bucket seats and carbon fiber treatments.

    But safety is what Honda/Acura has been about (and look for the Koreans to push them into making stability control systems standard in even lesser models). The TL comes with antilock brake system, brake assist, stability control, air bags for front and side, and front and rear curtain air bags, as well as a front-end crash system that sends the force of an impact below and over the cockpit .

    You also get an array of standard comfort features that include a moonroof, 17-inch wheels, speed-sensitive wipers, heated power front seats , a pass-through rear center armrest, and an advanced audio system.

    The Type-S comes with better wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, carbon-fiber interior trim, noise cancellation, and other goodies.

    The TL, in both forms, is meant to compete with the BMW 3 Series, Infiniti G35 cars, Mercedes C-Class, and Lexus ES 330. In both performance and interior quality it achieves that goal.

  • I have read the string of discussion and must play devil's advocate. If one is to compare the IS250, it should be compared to its dimension and power Acura counterpart, the TSX. I had driven both the IS and TL. The power issue was not as pertinent to me because although the IS250 was significantly less powerful, the engine sounds sportier at all RPMs. The illusion of performance in the IS250 is pretty good.

    I too was on the fence between the TL and IS. If you are still looking at the IS350, try sitting in all the seats. Trying to figure out where my legs go in the IS350 was the deal-breaker. Being 6'+ tall, I had a hard time finding where my legs go with the goofy hump along the right side of the driver's side foot compartment. This is where the AWD differential is housed in the IS250(also present with the auto tranny). Furthermore, putting a male adult of average stature in the back seat of the IS is simply comical. Sitting in the back seat with the front seatback in a normal position, I could not close the door as my knee was in the way.

    If the only persons to use the back seats are children, the IS350 was a strong contender. BUT if you ever want to cart your buddies around town in the back seat, I would consider the TL as the more practical option. FWD vs. RWD, close call. Can you handle torque steer? All things considered, these are two beautiful machines.
    Good luck!

    Side note: The Acura TL had an optional A-spec performance package that tightened up the suspension tuning, brake upgrade, wheel upgrade, and body kit. If you find one of these, it gives the TL a slight edge on the IS regarding handling and aggressive appearance.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Good post - right on the mark.

    I would have bought the IS 350 - but I value service - a big part of service is actually having the darn cars in stock so you can buy one. The - they are selling faster than we can make them just does not hold up IMO. I spent close to 20 years running a manufacturing company - never had a customer say - glad you products are selling I will just wait a few months to get mine - OH - and BTW I have no problem paying more because YOU can't keep up with demand.

    The reason Lexus is short of cars is because the want to be short of cars - its part of the business plan. Not a bad plan - it makes Toyota a pile of cash -

    I still think the IS 350 is a better car than the TL - but it is thousands more & I would have had to wait MONTHS to get the car I wanted - just not worth it this time.
  • lexus_jnlexus_jn Posts: 102
    " although the IS250 was significantly less powerful, the engine sounds sportier at all RPMs. The illusion of performance in the IS250 is pretty good"

    Agreed. I also had the same thoughts when trying both TL and IS250. I bought the IS since I prefer the sporty look of the IS as versus TL's roomy cabin (front seats are good enough for me and my fiancee'). Acura has comfortable back seats but its body is little bit long and I don't think it looks sexy to me as compared to the IS.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    2007 Acura TL-S - I moved a recent post there.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I have been in all of the seats in the IS and I agree that the rear seats are small.. very small, but I don't drive while sitting back there.

    As for toting around full grown men.... Um... not that I do that.... but I do have the 7 passenger MDX in the garage if I ever decide to take that hobby up. :blush:

    The back seats are plenty big enough for the little one.
    As for the front seats, I'm 6' tall and I fit in the IS like it was built around me.... I absolutely love the fit and have found nothing that compares to it yet.
    I'm more comfortable in the IS than I am in the MDX, which offers nothing in the realm of legroom.

    I want a car that's a ton of fun to drive.
    I want something that bums me out when I get to work and have to get out.
    I believe that the IS is my car... but the TL is a very nice ride and I know that the $10,000 saved could be very well spent on other things, and I could still be happy.

    I have a few more months to decide.
    After seeing my friends new BMW M3... I gave those another look.
    Why do they insist on nickle and diming us for things like leather and paint??? Oh well...
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    BMW M3? If you're considering TL vs. M3, if you buy the TL then you could probably by a new Miata for fun with the money you save over the M3!!!

    Ain't car shopping fun!!!

    I'm waiting for the IS convertible myself...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I'm waiting for the IS convertible myself...

    I got a feeling that the IS convertible is going to be ugly. That's given if Lexus really decides to produce them.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    "BMW M3? If you're considering TL vs. M3, if you buy the TL then you could probably by a new Miata for fun with the money you save over the M3!!!"

    Sorry, I didn't make that too clear...

    What I was trying to say is...

    After seeing the friend's M3, I'm starting to look at the 330xi again.
    No M3 for me... I need something that will drive through snow, not just look pretty in the garage 4 months a year.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    If you want 60 extra HP you should hold off until the 07' 335i gets here. However if extra horses aren't your cup of tea and are satisfied with the 330i I'd say now is a good time to get it.
This discussion has been closed.