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Acura TL vs Lexus IS 350



  • digital_bdigital_b Posts: 129
    acura tls of the previous gen had transmissions FAIL. this isnt a problem? lexus is the number one luxury brand in the world in reliability. if you think thats hype then what are facts? super hype? acura tls of the present generation have numerous quality issues if you care to go off site and google acura tl owners groups around the net. thats not hype. thats a fact. its not representative of acura as a whole but then again the tl is built in the same plant as the accord. in america. show us the same problems in any lexus model.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    show us the same problems in any lexus model.

    Care to check out the GX470 board and see the history of "clunking transmissions" and serious drive train vibrations?

    The GX470 was initially on our short list a year ago when it came time to replace our SUV. But two of our friends that had bought 2004 models had them bought back by Lexus - one after significant legal action. And of our other 3-4 friends/associates that have 2004/5 GX's, ALL of them notice some drive train vibration at certain speeds.

    Don't get me wrong, I make no excuses for Acura's automatic transmission problems. I also have a friend that went through two replacements on his 2002 TL. Fortunately, my wife and I prefer manuals, so we got a 2004 TL 6-speed and it has been perfect in all respects through 21,000 miles. But I did have to do a fair amount of research to confirm that the 2005 MDX has a different, redesigned automatic transmission.

    In my opinion, Lexus and Acura are comparable in product quality. Both generally very good, but neither perfect as transmission failures and the GX problems prove.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    And lest we forget the Toyota/Lexus "Oil Sludge" problem.

    I agree with habitat, Lexus/Toyota & Acura/Honda are comparable in overall quality. There will always be a :lemon: or two in every run of a model (and who defines what constitutes an Acura or Lexus :lemon: , that lemon would probably be the best built GM car ever! :P ) Not all bad experiences will be posted about on the 'net, and one can't be sure that all posts on the 'net are truthul, either. Not to mention the squeeky wheel factor...

    Full disclosure:

    I drive an '05 TL. (So far) no tranny issues, no harmonic vibration, no leather issues. Yes to the faded/chalky dashboard although the dealer prettied it up at the "B" service and one rattle, also taken care of at "B" service.
    There are two other TLs and an MDX in the family, no issues (tranny) to report.

    Evil wife drives an '02 RX300. No real issues to date (had to replace the OEM tires around 40k, new battery a month ago), but there are a few rattles. No sludge that I'm aware of ;) .

    '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.

  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    I suggest you visit the ES330 boards and will soon encounter the problems with transmissions that you so eagerly are looking for.... :P
  • this is what happens when companies take cars that are NOT luxury models and try to make them into one. examples? honda accord into acura TL. toyota camry into es 330. toyota 4runner into gx 470. so is toyota as arrogant in these cases as honda? [nice pinched 'h' logo on the "acuras" huh] yes. so it just goes to show that the TL is not a luxury car. made in the same marysville ohio plant as the accord. and gee, isnt it funny how the newest accord takes on more styling cues and hardware from the TL? well its not really funny but its true. so this is why non luxury models sully the luxury brand. however acura is not the equal of lexus. period.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    Are you buying a car or a badge? I bought a TL because it is the car I wanted, badge is of no import. I mean, my last car was a Chrysler!

    '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.

  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Taking your analysis one step further;

    If by what you are saying is accurate ( which IMO don't think is), like changing the "honda accord into a acura tl" and then subsequently concluding that the "TL is not a luxury car," then one can also assume and conclude incorrectly that the ES330 is not a luxury car or the GX470 is not a luxury Sport-ute :confuse:

    I know this board is not about comparing the ES330 and GX 470 to the TL, but please, let's draw the line with illogical and erroneous conclusions, can we?

    You don't like Acura and that's your opinion. Personally, the Honda Accord IMO is a fine vehicle and if you want to compare it to a TL, then I will take that as a compliment because I drive a TL and am 100% happy with its combination of performance, luxury, power, handling & reliability.

    Let's get back to comparing the two vehicles in this forum shall we?

    Too bad Lexus doesn't build the IS350 with a manual gearbox, wouldn't you agree? It would make it a real contender. At least the TL can be classified as an "Entry Level Luxury PERFORMANCE Sedan" even with FWD :P What would you characterize the IS, an "Entry Level Luxury Sedan?"
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You are absolutely right. Acura is not the equal of Lexus and Honda is not the equal of Toyota. To their credit, both Lexus and Toyota have achieved amazing market share with the most boring to drive vehicles in the world. Well built, for sure, but for the most part, completely devoid of "driving" enjoyment.

    The last Toyota I owned was a 1984 Supra. Not a world class sports car/GT by today's standards, but pretty damn good for 22 years ago. What the hell has happened since? Toyota has 14 models. 8 of them are trucks/SUV's and a minivan. Of the remaining 6 cars, there isn't the remotest semblance of a fun to drive, sporty car in the bunch. The Solara is more embarassing than a comb over - and appeals to the same demographic.

    Lexus? 9 models. Of the 6 cars, not much better. The SC430 - Perry Como is too young to find that car exciting. The GS - looks like it wants to compete with the 5 series, but don't turn on the key or if you do, stay far away from a winding road. The ES330 - now that really is a Camry in a tuxedo. Ah, but wait, now we have the new IS. They took away the boy racer aesthetics. But then they went bipolar. Gave an underpowered engine to the 250 and put a slushbox only transmission choice in the 350. Oh, and the back seat? Exactly 4 inches less legroom than the 3-series. Why this forum even exists is puzzling. Why not the "Lexus IS350 vs. the Porsche 911S"? I can get my kids into the back of ours just as easily.

    Look, in the spirit of Fox's "fair and balanced" approach to debate, I am not going to deny that Toyota/Lexus (and Honda/Acura) make mostly very high quality products. But if you are going to be so ignorant as to claim "Acura is not the equal of Lexus", I'm going to point out that at just shy of 50, you would have to put a gun to my head to get me to buy an LS430. I'm not that old that I need the automotive equivalent of Sominex.

    So where are we? You're tickled pink driving an old fart's car. I'm a disgruntled driving enthusiast whose only chance at buying a Lexus faded when the GX470 didn't work out. Honda and Toyota and Lexus and Acura make the most reliable cars on the planet. Take that as the only thing we will probably ever agree on. Period.
  • perhaps you should not be so quick to analyze my post if you dont understand it. nowhere did I say I dislike acura. the analogy between the statement I made about the TL and accord is accurate. so your extrapolation about the ES and GX is also accurate. dont try to tell someone what their opinion is unless they have stated it. You like your TL. good for you. I live in the city and I HATE manual transmissions. the DSG box audi/vw has sounds like a better alternative once it migrates to other brands that is. the reason I am currently negotiating on an IS350 that is almost exactly the same spec as the TL I once owned is because its better than the TL and not simply a derivative of a common car.
  • you and anyone else who doesn't like lexus can say whatever you want. the bottom line is this. lexus stands alone [at least in north america] as the premier luxury brand. period. you can legitimately argue for bmw and mercedes based on whatever it is about those brands you like. it is ignorant to even attempt to put acura is that echelon but if you want to you can. ignorance is bliss but facts are facts. you can say the IS has less legroom in the rear than the bmw 3 series. yay. the 3 and the IS are comparable. the TL and the IS are not. and if I was 'tickled pink driving an old farts car' then I wouldn't be looking for and IS. you simply have no clue about the appeal of the LS.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "lexus stands alone [at least in north america] as the premier luxury brand."

    I'm sure you meant Lexus stands alone in NA as the premier Japanese luxury brand.

    I've often said Lexus is the only Japanese brand that can be mentioned in the same breath of MB, BMW, Audi, Porsche, etc. It plays in that league, even though it is still a bit shy of those other marques, in public perception, if not in execution.
  • Habitat, shame on you to be involved in such petty conversation, a veteran like yourself should be sharing more informative information about how your 911 is holding up.:)

    On a more serious note, I personally ignore post like that, you can tell posters like that are just here to stir up emotions.

    In regards to Lexus, I personally like the GS and it might possibly be my next car.However, I am going to wait for the next generation TL before I make my move.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    You are absolutely right. I will try to exercise more self restraint in the future. :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Oh, c'mon, for heaven's sake, don't encourage habitat1 to talk more about his 911! :P ;)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Oh, c'mon, for heaven's sake, don't encourage habitat1 to talk more about his 911!"

    See, Billy, I'm exercising more restraint right now. ;)
  • I am about a week away from my purchase of the IS350, it will have Nav and the premium package for 39,300. MSRP was 41,150.00. The I had two dealers in a battle for my business. Is the IS350 worth the extra money??? It will work out to be about 100.00 more a month for the IS over the TL. The TL price with Nav is 33,500.00 from the local dealer. I have been driving my self nuts for the last month trying to decide. Both are great cars but is the extra 5800.00 really worth it??? I see all this talk about the "Nanny controls" on the IS. I'm not on a race track but still want to have fun. One reason I'm looking is the 306 HP. I had a 1999 M3 and loved driving it. The IS350 does not come with HID headlights standard, the TL does. In Dallas there are TL's everywhere. The paddle shifter is cool, but will you use them in 3-4 months after the newness is gone??? Does anyone know if the regular stero in the IS sounds as good as the TL??? I dont like the G35 or Audi. I have a 93 Legend that has been great, I have never owned a Lexus. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378
    To answer your question about the radio......I hate to say this but the radio in the TL is much better! I have the IS350 and one of the things that I do not like about it is the radio. If you don't have the ML radio then prepare to be disappointed. The stock radio is weak at best.....and I am not the type of person who needs to have the radio blairing either. I listen to allot of sports radio and the AM radio is quite weak to say the least. Should the radio be a deal breaker, I would say no way. I do however think that for the money you pay for this sweet car your stereo should rock! There are a few other items that should be standard on this car as well and is not. But that's another story.......good luck!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Given my requirements that our family sedan be able to take our family on a long weekend trip, the TL 6-speed was my compromise between sport and size. The 330i was too small and, by extrapolation, so would be the IS350.

    But if the size of the IS350 is acceptable to you, I suggest comparing it also to the 330i and, if can swing it, the M3. No "Nanny control" problems with either of these and their overall performance - especially with 6-speeds - is what smiles are made for.
  • suggest the Audi S4. If you drove an M3 then nothing from Japan will come close to that.
  • Thanks for the info. I listen to alot of sports talk radio, but also think for the money the stereo should be a little above average. I may need to go back up there again and just spend one day with both cars.
  • I may check out the S4, it may be a little too much though. Now that I have a kido, that damn day care cuts into my money for my toys....Its worth it though. Thanks for the info...
  • it sounds like you never drove the damn car. jeez. these are questions you should have answered before making a deal. yeah the stock TL stereo is better than the stock IS... because everything except nav is STANDARD on the TL. I owned an 05 TL and the IS I am leasing is pretty loaded except for the ML stereo. and its better than ANY TL. why are you talking deal when you know next to nothing about the IS? hearsay is just that. drive the car.
  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378
    I am not sure if you are aiming your reply at me or not....
    But in case you are....I DO OWN AN IS350! I have also owned an Acura TSX.....and the guy who works right next to me has the ASPEC version of the TL.....which by the way I have driven many...many I will say again....
    IMO the STOCK stereo that comes in the IS350 when compared to the TL is WEAK at best......BUT it was not a deal breaker for me either.....that issue is an easy fixed with an after market problema for me! In the end, I chose the IS over the TL because of the pure luxury and performance features period. Since I had owned an Acura TSX the TL was to me a step up from the TSX....but the step up wasn't big enough for me....both interiors of these cars are VERY simuliar.....but the IS interior just blew them away...IMO of course.....end of story.
    Oh, by the way.....if your reply was not meant for me then ignore everything I said above.....Happy Motoring!
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "that issue is an easy fixed with an after market problema for me!"

    Do you think an after-market real 6-speed manual would be "no problema".? ;)

    A friend of mine who's daughter graduated from law school looked at the IS350. Her conclusion: It's a shame that the IS350 appears to be a very attractive package, except for this fundamental flaw (auto only) that serious enthusiasts cannot overlook. (This from a 26 year old female who has only driven a stick and is going for a 330i instead).

    Lexus is heavily marketing the IS350 as a performance sedan. They need to fire the bipolar executives that can't get their marketing department and engineering department on the same page.

    And, while they are at it, put one in a sport tuned version of the GS430. I'll give it a gander when I'm back in the market. As of right now, there is NO Japanese alternative to the 550i 6-speed.
  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378
    If I was a bettin' man I would say a 6-speed manual is coming on the IS350.....AWD maybe.....
    I agree, it was a snafu IMO that the IS250 gets a manual but not the IS350.....some lessons are hard learned.....
    BMW's IMO seem to be nice cars....have never owned one....just going by what others say and what I read....but judging by the equipment you get with the BMW I would have to say that they are over priced.....the thing that kills me about BMW is the cheap feeling I get when I look in the interior's....especially the 3 series.
    The exterior I love.....the interior....not so much!
    But it is always in the eyes of the beholder.....I would give the BMW the styling edge for exterior.....but Lexus by far has them beat for interior luxury appointments....
    This is just my .02
  • Lexus sells car that appear "sporty" and go fast in a straight line, but sincerely acura and infinity are the only japanese luxury carmakers that place an emphasis on driving involvement- not a ritzy interior and a big engine.
    Peronsally i'de go for the TL as an overall package, sure it's front wheel drive but you'll be cursing RWD in the snow. Good luck with either purchase.
  • I have driven both cars, thanks for making sure though digital_b. It was not in the same day. It is different when you only listen to the radio vs CD, since I was limited on time I did not get a chance to listen to both. While waiting about a month for the IS350 to come in, I want to get a consumers opinion if anyone regreted buying the IS350 vs TL. This is what the forum is for. You may want to re-read my original message, if I know what options are STANDARD on the TL and what the options are for the IS350, It would sound like I have done a little research. Maybe you misunderstood my question. Basically with all the same options for both vehicles is the IS350 worth the extra 5800.00.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,097
    "Basically with all the same options for both vehicles is the IS350 worth the extra 5800.00."

    You are the only one who can answer that question, my friend. It is your money, needs, wants and desires...

    I find the TL to be a (relatively) compelling value.

    '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.

  • using that logic, the accord ex is a 'compelling value' since its the same car as the TL. to me, having once owned a TL, I HATED the feeling I got every time I saw an accord go by and knowing its essentially the same car. fake wood, cheap poorly wearing leather, doors that let water into the sills when you wash it, rattly cheap sounding trunk door, plastic on the front grill... this isnt a luxury car. the IS 350 is and you can see and feel the difference.
This discussion has been closed.