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Acura TL vs Lexus IS 350



  • you will find that the TL is inferior period. I had mine for 6 months before I traded up to an 01 ultra lux LS430. the TL is just poor quality for a supposed luxury vehicle. and yeah I know the LS is much better than any acura but having test driven the new IS I believe it is better than the TL as well.


    this is excerpted from a reply which directed anyone who doubts what I said to a TL forum listing ridiculous problems that some owners are having. some problems such as seat leather 'butt patterns' that are not fixable and shouldnt be happening at all in a > 30 grand car. Acura is NOT luxury its value. and this is coming from a former OWNER not a test driver. the IS is more than likely to be my next car and thanks to 40 dollar fill-ups, sooner than later.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Comparing an LS 430 to a TL? :confuse: Remember, the TL is a entry level luxury performance sedan, not a luxury sedan. Your definition of luxury is obviously different than others.
    Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with YOUR TL. However, you might want to troll on over to the Lexus boards and see that the IS has its own share of problems. Maybe you got a :lemon: ??
    My 05 is great and I don't have any issues with it. Of course, there will be that small percentage of vehicles by all makes that have issues. However, for the most part Toyota and Honda do a pretty decent job at building quality products.
    The point is: don't act like Lexus is 100% free of defects, problems or issues.
    By the way, I hope you don't think your current $40.00 fill ups are going away with the way the 300hp IS drinks gas....
  • Acura/Honda and Lexus/Toyota are almost the same as far as reliable/problems goes.

    The LS430 compares more to a Acura RL. The TL isn't even in the same class as the LS430.

    The CS from Acura was excellent even if they seem a little disorganized. Still leagues above a GM dealer.
  • Also this is a MUCH better comparison.

    Lexus IS250 or Acura TSX

    Lexus IS350 or Acura TL

    IN terms of performance these are very close.
  • again, there is no comparison between the LS and the TL mentioned. the comparison is between the IS and the TL that I owned. period. the problems that TL owners are currently experiencing are documented on a TL site I cannot mention here according to the host. personally it surprises me that the problems owners talk about exist in that car.
  • the Tl is 95% Made in America, and the Is is 95% made in japen. quality wise Is350 is much better. actually not just Is350, most lexus cars have better quality than Acura,that's one of the reason why it cost more.some people might say they both have about the same quality,but the truth is, there is no comparison.
    i have 2 friends one only buy Acura, the other only buy Lexus. the Acura guy who bought 99Tl, 2003 MDX, and the new
    TL and the Lexus guy who bought 2001 GS430,2003Lx470,and a 2006 Rx400.i driven all of the cars they have, one thing i know for sure is that the Lexus guy have never go back to dealer except oil change.And the Acura guy he gets to know what TSX and RSX drives like for days when he went back for recall and other small problem.
    the other day me and the Acura guy went to test drive the Is350, make long story short, he almost bought the car, the reason why he didnt buy it is b/c the back seat is too small for his people if you have the money to spare and dont really care about the back seat space, go for the Is350, not the 250 if you drive both,the 250 is a joke for that price
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Wow, that is a pretty bold statement to make! Well, I can't speak for the hundreds of thousands of owners of Honda products, but I can speak for myself. After owning 3 Honda Accords, 1 Acura Integra and 1 Honda Civic all of which had more than 200k miles (and one actually had close to 400k), I can say that in MY experience, Honda makes some pretty solid and reliable vehicles.
    I would concur that Lexus has an edge as far as luxury is concerned over Honda but better quality??- I think that is questionable and without some statistical data and/or empirical evidence to prove the same, at this point I would respectfully disagree with you.
    Also, I was curious about the whole "95%" made in America comment so I looked at the window sticker of my 05 TL which clearly states that the engine and transmission are made and shipped from Japan. In all fairness, the final point of assembly for the vehicle was in Maryland. At this point, I guess I am seeking a little clarification as far as the 95% made in America comment is concerned in light of the aforementioned information off my TL window sticker.
    Oh, and I do agree with you about your view on the IS250 and the price point at which it is selling at. Complete joke when you can buy a TL, G35, BMW 3, etc instead! ;)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Before you mess up your keyboard (or worse) gushing about Lexus quality, you might want to take into consideration that Lexus has NEVER made a single model that caters to a serious driving enthusiast like me. Although I have not yet driven the IS350, it wouldn't qualify either, with it's slushbox only transmission choice.

    Lexus makes some fine luxury vehicles that are as reliable as the old Maytag washer and dryer. Unfortunately, they elicit the same type of excitement as a Maytag when you turn on the key and drive them. At one time or another I've riden in, and occassionally driven, just about every model, multiple times. I didn't expect much from the Camry based ES or luxury oriented LS. But I thought they could have at least put a little more excitement and a little less body roll in the GS400/430. The SC430 is a pitiful excuse for an attempt at a sports car.

    Our Acura TL 6-speed is not perfect, by any means. I would have preferred it with RWD, as Infiniti did with the G35. But overall, with it's short throw 6-speed, Brembo brakes and sport tuned suspension, it's a enjoyable car to drive on the highway or on winding roads.

    The day that Lexus makes a truly serious driver's car, I will give them fair consideration. But I'm not holding my breath.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    Just as a point of order, Lexus has never marketed the SC430 as a "sports car." Rather, a GT to which it is a very fair example (imo, of course). As for the exterior styling, well, that is in the eye...

    I don't think anyone can doubt that, until they decided to go after BMW w/ the IS, Lexus nailed their products to their target market. Especially the RX. My wife didn't know a Lexus from a Lada, a BMW from a Buick. But the RX, that she knew and had to have.

    My slush box TL is a wonderful drive, too. Even with the much maligned FWD, it handles very well for the driving that I do, is powerful and relatively thrifty with the go-juice and looks pretty darn good! I ultimately chose it over the G35/G35x for a number of reasons including a smoother, quieter ride and superior interior/exterior style and interior materials. But the G was a blast to drive, with an aggressive exhaust note!

    G, TL, IS, 3... these are all fabulous cars. The winner/best is the one in your garage!

    '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.

  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "...with an aggressive exhaust note!"

    The G, in its various guises, has never been my cup of tea, but...when you hear one zoom by at full throttle.....! :shades:
  • you dont get it. same as bmw lovers. lexus isnt chasing you. they know their customers want luxury and comfort FIRST. the styling of the IS obviously has gained new interest but the sport crowd is disappointed. lexus will sell every IS they make at least the first year anyway. the previous IS was more down market than they would admit. if the TL were made overseas like the TSX is then it would be better built with better materials. and having owned one I heard the rwd argument over and over. and you know what? they were right. 39ft turning circle is ridiculous in the TL and its because its fwd. TL wins on value but not luxury.
  • do you guys know Lexus they expect to sell the new Is 4 times more than the old Is? i dont know about 4 times more but much more i would think.i said lexus beats acura does not mean that i am a big fan of Lexus, actually in fact i have never bought a lexus or Acura in my life.
    for the honda/ acura guy ,one thing u have to know is that many of the Acura cars they make today, many parts are ship from japan and they put it together here, and that's where it goes wrong(in fact honda does have a better quality than Acura and do you konw over there in japan ,china there is no Acura).and i know on the sticker they didnt say 95% made in USA but i got the 95% from my friend who bought the 04Tl and he gets that info from the Acura Tl web
    for people who like to buy BMW or Benz,think about this, which is harder to achieve when it comes to make a good car, Great performance or Make a car that never breaks down?to make a good performance you can put a bigger engine or put a turbo and perfectly tuned suspension so on..., but to make a car that never goes wrong, that's test after test years experience when it comes to built a car.In fact there are more BMW ,Benz lover are switching to lexus these days, people who buy those car u think they have time to go to dealer all the time for problems?
    at last, when i test drove the Is350 (i ran the RPM to redline every gear with pedal shift)come on!!! they call that 306HP? so what's in the M3 or 911 if that's 306? what 500? lol. however it is still faster than the 04 Tl. By the way some people wonder why Acura dont make RWD is because of 2 reason. 1,cost cutting, 2,until they have a better engine with higher torque 'at wheel'Rwd is just not gonna work.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    What part of "in all fairness the final point of assembly for the TL was in Maryland" was confusing?
    Yes, I do realize this. Thanks for clarifying. :confuse: The point I was trying to make is that the engine and transmission, which IMO is probably two (main) of the many reasons why consumers purchase Honda/Acura was made in JAPAN.
    I searched the Acura website and can't find the percentages that you were referring to. What I did find (from the original window sticker) is that 65% of the parts were obtained from the US. Whether this helps clearing up the ambiguity, I leave to you to determine.
    In all honesty, could the TL quite possibly be an even better product if it was assembled in Japan- sure. That being said, even with the cars still selling like hotcakes like they are with record sales in 05 and with "projected" increased sales for 06, I would venture to say that it really doesn't matter where this car is assembled because people will still buy them.
    In regards to "In fact Honda does have a better quality than Honda" statement is concerned, how so?
    No doubt the IS350 over powers the TL. For those individuals out there that prefer the IS (like yourself) over the TL and want to spend the extra 5-10k, happy motoring :)
    In regards to why Acura doesn't make a RWD TL? You might want to do a search on the other forum boards and really find out why Acura doesn't do so. Simply put, they don't have to. The car sells great as configured. Imagine, if they did though....interesting....
    Also, I am interested in YOUR thoughts on why Lexus doesn't offer the IS350 in a manual? The power in that beast coupled with RWD and manual would be somewhat stimluating, wouldn't you think?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    " I am interested in YOUR thoughts on why Lexus doesn't offer the IS350 in a manual? The power in that beast coupled with RWD and manual would be somewhat stimluating..."

    The reason is that "Lexus" and "stimulating" are mutually exclusive! :P
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    While opinion's on luxury/interior quality/materials can certainly vary from one person to another, overall reviews of the TL usually comment on it's well laid out, stylish, luxurious, quality interior. Some don't like the blue lighting (I do) but overall the interior is a winner in most opinions that I've read/heard. The interior is one of the reasons I chose the TL over the G.

    The turning circle is a bit of an annoyance, but a minor one in my book.


    '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.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "you dont get it. same as bmw lovers. lexus isnt chasing you. they know their customers want luxury and comfort FIRST."

    You might want to ship that post off to the Lexus marketing department. Every TV advertisment I've seen for the IS and GS looks like it was made by BMW's marketing department. When I first saw the new GS television advertisments, they made reference to a "six speed transmission". Needless to say, when I dropped by the Lexus dealership to test drive one, it was a 6-speed automatic. And the new IS commercials sure seem like they are trying to appeal to the "sport crowd" with their heavy emphasis on horsepower and acceleration.

    Be assured, I "get" that Lexus' current model line-up is not for me, and probably never will be. The closest contender was the GX470 we considered when replacing our SUV. But, as I came to find out, that particular model has had SERIOUS quality problems, related to drive train vibrations and transmission "clunking". My wife spoke with two owners in our neighborhood who subsequently had their cars bought back by Lexus (one amicably, the other after extensive legal action).

    Quality is very important to me. But so are driving dynamics and engineering. And whereas Acura apparently falls short of your requirments in the former, Lexus falls short of mine in the latter. To each their own. :)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Not to beat a dead horse, but I happened upon this post in another forum. The author was seeking advice on a sports car he was considering.

    "Does it keep the smile on your face month after month of daily driving? The last car that did that for me was my BMW 330i. Then I went practical and went for a Lexus LS430 (I know, what a sell out!) Anyway it's a great car for what it is, super luxury, fantastic quality and very quiet and smooth. But, it's boring. And I'm too young to be that old. (Can you say mid life crisis!)"

    I am fortunate in that we added a Porsche 911 as a third car this year. But I still want a sedan that is at least a little fun to drive. And given that I'm dangerously close to the half century mark, I suspect that I'll never get old enough for that preference to change. For those that don't have such aspirations and can enjoy the Lexus for what it offers, it's an unbeatable choice.
  • you know what? you dont drive an LS 430. you cruise in it. which is not boring but its not fun either. bmw has its appeal but not to me. I EXPECT that a luxury car whether its competency be comfort or sport be reliable. having driven and very much enjoyed the IS 350 and knowing that I wont be at the dealer quarterly for warranty issues. I MUCH prefer the luxury part of sport luxury being near the half century mark myself. and finding now that I have a bad back you can keep those 'sport suspensions'. the IS 350 delivers for me.
  • I agree...I intend to purchase a TL. I just wish it had a back-up camera included with its navigation system.

    As an aside, it's "opinions," not "opinion's," and it's "its," in this case, rather than "it's," which means "it is."
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    Correct you are, sir! I do know the difference between the possesive/contractions but for some reason I tend to type for speed vs. accuracy here on the 'net. It's funny as I usually do notice the incorrect use of it's/its and possesive/plural.

    Well, it has been MANY years since University... Where I did receive a goodly edumacation!

    At least I spelled TL correctly. ;)

    '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.

  • hamlynhamlyn Posts: 22
    "At least I spelled TL correctly"

    That is NOT how you spell "IS" :P
  • Hey buddy- guess what, I am getting rid of my TL this coming summer and I have have Lexus written on my mind.

    I am going to wait for the GS350 (AWD) but in the interim I am also looking at the Audi A6 (4.2), the BMW 530 (xi) and also the Infiniti's M35 (AWD) but they need to re-do the taillights on this before I even consider it.

    If Acura make major upgrades to their TL (drivetrian especially) and RL then I will definitly add them to my short list.

    So for now, take it easy with the Lexus bashing because in a few months, the only thing you are going to be seeing while driving your TL (not the beasty Porsche)is the tail pipes of my GS 350.:)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Happy New Year Billy. Glad to see you haven't lost your drag racing competitiveness. :)

    So it sounds like you are going the route of AWD? If that's the case, I'm not going to concede anything to the tailpipes of a GS350 just yet, compared to my TL 6-speed. I had an RL loaner several months ago, and that extra weight (and automatic transmission) made for rather unimpressive acceleration. Perhaps Lexus will fare better with their slightly more powerful engine, but AWD is a lot of extra weight.

    Sure you don't want to go for a 550i 6-speed with extra winter tires? That would certainly shut me up until I figured out a way to trade the TL for an M5 ;)
  • Same to you Hab.

    I live in Connecticut so AWD fits my life style, I don't want an SUV so that is why I am opting for the AWD sedans.

    The 550i is nice but it is out of my price range for this year.Another thing is, I dont want a RWD car,all that winter tire stuff is a myth.
    I work with a lot of wealthy individuals and they all complain about their car been useless in the snowy seasons.

    But of course they all have alternative high end SUV's.

    If I move to Califonia or Florida, RWD vehicles will be top priority for me.
  • I am new to this board and am considering purchasing a Lexus GS430 after having driven an Acura TL. The key to my Acura loyalty was always that Acura seemed to provide excellent value for the money and maintenance costs are miniscule when compared to some other models. I used to drive a BMW and it cost me a FORTUNE in ongoing maintenance costs. Does anyone have an idea how maintenance costs compare between Lexus and Acura?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "maintenance costs compare between Lexus and Acura?"

    I've never owned a Lexus, but I would venture to guess the costs are similar -- neither of them should require much out-of-warranty repairs.

    I guess the trick to owning a BMW or one of the other Euro brands is to never get stuck with one out of warranty! :P
  • wscheewschee Posts: 18
    I had Acura TL 2003, and have a 2004 Lexus RX.
    I witnessed that there was variation of the maintenance cost among the Acura dealers.

    I believe that the cost of scheduled maintainence is more expensive for Lexus.
    However, with Lexus, you will know what you get is what you pay for. In almost every detail, Lexus is better than Acura in terms of service. For example, I paid $19.99 for oil change with coupon at Acura dealer. I should wait for the service in the waiting room without free soda. I made an appointment, but mostly my appointments were lost.
    At Lexus, I pay $39.99 for oild change (no coupons). I don' t wait since I am provied with a loaner or a camry rental.
    When I arrive at the Lexus dealer, there is a greeter who has my name on his list and guide me to the service manager for just signature (the service manage types all the documents in advance). Thus, I leave the dealer with 10 minutes. Then, I return around 6PM to pick my car up to return home.

    I had 2 recalls with TL including replacing timing belt when my TL had 150 miles. :cry: Then, there were no problems. However, my friends who had 2003 or earlier TL-S had transmission problems. (Lucky for me).

    With RX, I had 1 recall. However, I had several visits for various small problems (CD changer, Air Conditioner Noise (it was called 1100RPM noise), broken sun visor, rear gate noise, air suspension problem). Whenever I had these services at Lexus, they were covered by warranty and I was provided with RX or ES as a loaner car. For air suspension problem, I had to keep RX loaner car for 4 days.

    I truly believe that my Lexus dealer attracts the best people in town since I saw an excellent service manager who worked at Acura dealer move to my Lexus dealer.

    If you want to compare the cost, you just call the dealers and ask about 30,000 mile service or other schedule maintenance cost. They will tell you the cost.
  • You are making me really nervous now about purchasing a Lexus with all those realls.Warranty or not, that is a lot of recalls you encountered with the RX.

    I have had my 2003 TLS for about 4 years and only two problems- 1)Transmission replaced 2)inverter for the headlights replaced.

    Other than that, the car is flawless.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I've always thought Toyota reliability has been over-hyped. They're good, but not as good as people seem to make them out to be.
  • Although I have no experience with Lexus, my 04 TL, 6 sp manual, has been trouble free for close to 2 yrs, with no transmission vibrations other than my shifting gears improperly. I schedule oil changes every 5K miles, with the east TN dealer allowing me to provide synthetic oil (total for each oil change, $18). The recent 30,000 mile check-up cost was about $58. Otherwise, my 04 TL is near bullet-proof (knock on wood). I receive an Acura loaner at each service visit, assuming that I make an appointment about 2 weeks ahead. My car is washed if I request a wash. The east TN service department representatives are outstanding with client relations and with explainations on any warranty work that they find. The debate between Lexus service v. Acura service will be highly dependent on the competency of service department representatives at two dealers in the same town. You should have minimal problems with either the GS430 or the Acura TL, as long as preventive maintenance is done. Good luck with either car.
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