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BMW 3-series vs Lexus IS

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  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Tested a 325i over the weekend - planned on buying one based on a prior test drive - but 2 things changed my mind.

    1. The gas pedal feel was strange. The sales guy said it was the drive by wire and that I would get USE to it in a few weeks - but I have driven several other cars with this system and they did not feel like this. If I pushed the pedal about an inch down it did nothing for about 1/4 of a second - doesn't sound like a long time - but very strange delay. As soon as the car started moving the tranny (automatic) would shift into second. It did not matter how hard I stepped on the gas - seems like it should hold 1st gear MUCH longer. Even when using the manual shift mode the car still had a delay between gas pedal being pushed down and car moving - this is just plain UNACCEPTABLE.

    2. I drove the Lexus IS -
  • You mean, the 3 isn't the "Ultimate Driving Machine"?

    Since when is the car with fault?

    Many people will have others believe that the 3 series is the Alpha and Omega of car design.

    Good to hear somebody with an unbiased opinion. I've also driven the 325i e90 and found the transmission and engine setup very sluggish. In no way did I think it compared to the responsiveness of the IS 250. Although the 325i stuck well to the road, I perceived the bodyroll to be somewhat unsettling.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Although the 325i stuck well to the road, I perceived the bodyroll to be somewhat unsettling.

    Eh? I've never heard of anyone complain about BMW body roll... They have less than any make out there.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "Everyone is up in a rioting fashion when the 3 is matched with an AT, when the MT is the sportier choice, but nobody says a thing when they mention an option to shutoff VDIM for a more sport oriented comparison and don't."

    Did you even read your own post?

    From earlier on your post:

    "You can scramble the computer and cancel VDIM completely via a complicated pedal dance that must be performed every time you start the car, but Lexus doesn’t want you to know about that. In fact, Lexus reps swear to us there is no way to circumvent the system. So we left VDIM on for the slalom."

    BMW has a button you can push to turn traction control off. Lexus has some secret pedal dance code (reminds me of those old Nintendo cheat codes). Makes me wonder how Edmunds even found out about it.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    "there are folks who will rationalize how the 3 series is superior until the end of time but the facts will remain the same. the lexus will definitely keep you out of the repair shop much less than a bmw 3, it will blow you away with the best air conditioner you will ever find in any car, it will blow you away with its kick a$& stereo system on your drive to work."

    Just what I always wanted in my sport sedan. A kicka$$ stereo & A/C. They've always been #1 & 2 on my list. I guess this explains why the Lexus crowd can't understand BMW folks.

    FYI, I don't drive a 330i anymore. Pat deleted my post regarding that.
  • "but i am merely a simple mind here amongst experts"

    truer words have not been said... ;-)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm not going to raise the "who's a driving enthusiast" debate again, but the Lexus advocates certainly talk the talk. And the unrestrained drooling over the performance attributes of a slushbox equiped IS350 is a conundrum.

    I believe there is something more than meets the eye in this design oversight by Lexus. I think it is indicative of what can be expected from a company that builds virtually all of it's other cars with Buick like driving dynamics and then decides to make one model the "BMW fighter". It was such a departure from their mainstream that they were bound to forget or screw up something. In the first go around (IS300), it was a design that looked like it was right out of "Boy Racer Illustrated". Unfortunately, this go around, it one of the basic prerequisites in my book.

    Yesterday I broke down and let my 7 year old daughter sit in the front passenger seat of our 911 so she could shift from 1st to 2nd and back on our way to her nearby basketball game. Left handed, no less. She hadn't done that since I traded our S2000 two years ago. She can't understand why anyone would get an automatic and give up the "fun" of shifting gears. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I guess.

    Just curious, if any of you Lexus guys are golfers, which tees do you play from? White, Blue or Black? (please don't say red or gold) ;)
  • Sir, the quote you "quoted" - for lack of a better word - is from a comparison test, not my own words.

    Also, Lexus techs need to know how to shut off the VDIM to diagnose the vehicle, therefore, it is "common" knowledge. And no, Edmunds did not find out about it first.

    Other than you misunderstanding about what was written, what else do you have to say besides your lack of faith in my intelligence?

    I hope pat is around to delete some of the malignant posts circulating around now.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Really? Even less than the Volvo S60 R with suspension set to its sportiest mode?

    I doubt your claim; it was too broad. Maybe it has very little relative to most cars, but such an acute statement is hard to believe.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    She can't understand why anyone would get an automatic and give up the "fun" of shifting gears. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I guess.

    I guess your 7 year old doesn't have to drive in rush hour daily. :-)
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    When Lexus first came to market (LS400) the MB folks thought that the Lexus would never amount to much and would never be able to compete. How did that turn out?

    When Toyota first came out with the T-100 pick up truck all of the Ford, Chevy & Dodge truck guys made fun of it - it was a joke - small size - weak V6 engine. The new full size Tundra is about to take the "Big 3" (now that is a joke) on in full size trucks. How will this end up?

    Toyota (through their Lexus brand) has now set its sights on BMW - the IS 300 fell short - the IS 250/350 are closer (better in some ways - still short in others)

    BMW can try and run as fast as they can to keep ahead of Toyota - but all that will get them is tired. In the long run Toyota will crush them.
  • When your medication dissipates and you come back to earth, you may want to reevaluate your last comment... "BMW can try and run as fast as they can to keep ahead of Toyota - but all that will get them is tired. In the long run Toyota will crush them."

    An extraordinary flame - bravo! Was that written with a straight face?
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    Well, while it was a bit over-the-top, I DO think Toyota is moving closer to becoming the world-leader in the auto market.
  • you mean they will build more cars than BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborgini, Rolls Royce and Bentley combined? Wonderful transportation appliances alone do not drive the market. Not to downplay the quality of their vehicles, but others are not "chopped liver" ;-)
  • Hi folks. I'm a newcomer to the Edmunds forums. However, I've been following the Lexus IS thread and the BMW 3 series vs. Lexus IS threads since they started, and I've read the reviews. I have no dog in this race since I recently bought an Altima. Nevertheless, I have found your discussions energetic and fun, more so than most other threads I've seen. So if you don't mind, at the risk of being hammered, I'm going to offer a few opinions. Thanks for listening.

    First of all, I believe there is a bias, albeit well-deserved, in favor of the 3-series. The way Car and Driver dismissed the problems they encountered in such a cavalier fashion ("we'll use other braking results", or something to that effect) as well as many other problems points to this, IMO. I believe that BMW got a free pass. Also, the other review in which the editors had the option to test the IS350 with VDIM disabled, and knew how to do it, yet chose not to is very suspicious. I have to believe, considering the debates that have raged over this seeming oversight by Lexus, that they must have given the car a spin with VDIM disabled. Certainly they must have been curious enough to do that. If is extremely poor and biased reporting that they would have had the opportunity to test without VDIM in comparison to BMW, and chose not to, or at least not report it. This is, IMO, a far more egregious oversight than reviewers who choose to use an automatic on the BMW.

    Secondly, clearly Lexus goofed by not offering a stick in the IS350, a VDIM disable-switch, and to underpower the IS250. I actually consider the latter the worse move of all. Lexus stated that they expected the IS250 to account for the huge majority of their sales. Then how do they choose to offer LESS horse-power against the BMW they are targeting, with the automobile that they expect to be the big seller. Who made THAT decision? Certainly, they could have equipped the IS250 with 225-235 HP, bettering the 325i, and leaving plently of room and reason to consider the IS350 for those who could afford it. This is, IMO, an absolutely critical marketing mistake. When Lexus originally came out with the LS400 (around 1989, I think) at $35,000, what made everyone take notice was how they blew away the BMW and Mercedes sedans that were selling for 15-20K more with an ultra-refined, more powerful engine. It was that single critical marketing decision that launched them. Why didn't they do the same with the IS250, maybe even launch it with 250-260 HP. Just blow away the 3-series. Instead, they have lost vital momentum on their maiden voyage. They should have taken the long term view, but instead tried to finesse the market so they could make some big dollars in the first year. Wrong call, IMO. So you don't make the big dollars the first year. But you set yourself up for the next decade. Hopefully I'm clear on this. Thanks again for listening and for your spirited debates!!
  • lexus_jnlexus_jn Posts: 102
    I tested 325i and IS250 and fell in love with both of them. It was a tough decision but I finally opened up my wallet to get the Lexus IS250. I picked Lexus over BMW because of the following factors:

    1. I have 3 friends each owning a BMW. All of them always complained about the bad experiences they have had with their cars. One already traded his car for Rx330 after his girl friend kept whining about how boring the BMW's interior & stereo sound system were as well as tons of electrical/power issues they had experienced. One still owns the car but just purchased another $1600 for 2 additional years on warranty to avoid paying big bucks on maintenance. The last guy is going sell his car and get another one (not sure which brand/model) because he said he's tired of fighting with BMW service people over the problems that they (BMW service ppl) do believe those should not be covered during the 4-year full of maintenance. I notice one thing...all of my friends never said a bad thing about the performance of BMW.

    2.I've known at least 5 guys/ladies who own Lexus over the years. None of them says a bad word about Lexus..They are all excited about their cars.

    3. Even I heard enuf of bad experiences from BMW owners or great things from Lexus's ones, I was not so sure if I fell for Lexus completely. Part of the reason was because I had been obsessed with BMW badge and always believe it's cool thing to own an BMW.

    4. One last factor that helps me to make my final decision is the rating IS recieves from both CReport & JD Power Associates... It's the only model that got 5-star overall rating. 3-series only receives 4 star... Acura TL: 3, Infiniti G35: 3.

    I am happy with my purchase and love the IS every minute driving it. I also like BMW but I just wish they (BMW) improve the car quality and design in the future....oh, btw please change the taillights... Seems to me that not many people really like them.
  • binnybinny Posts: 1
    Are you the Mike Giller who went to OCA in Toronto?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "I guess your 7 year old doesn't have to drive in rush hour daily."

    No, she doesn't. But up until a year ago her bruising 5'1", 105 lb, Mom drove a 5-speed Trooper through the streets of DC. And would have opted for a 6-speed manual in our new MDX if it had been offered. So at least my daughters are not genetically inclined to use that wimpy excuse. ;)

    Seriously, if you are going to handicap a so called sports sedan of its full capacity for "fun" by equiping it with a slushbox because of a left foot that goes limp during rush hour, why even bother?? Get a hybrid and let it run on its battery for most of the commute and use your tax credits as a down payment on a Honda S2000 or other real sports car for weekend use. But that's a subject for a different forum.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    . If all buyers of automatics are not "driving enthusiasts," and 70% BMW's are purchased with automatics, doesn't that make most BMW buyers disqualified from being driving enthusiasts? Please answer the simple logic question or retract or your earlier assertion, instead of launching into another round of pointless personal attacks.


    I honestly dont see any logic in your question?

    Whoever said all BMW drivers are driving enthusiasts? Whoever said that the 30 % who drive manual BMWs are by default driving enthusiasts ?

    I love manual cars and despise all electronic nannies. I had preiously stated that buying a a sport sedan with a slushbox is a waste of money. Does that make me a driving enthusiast? I dont know ? Nor do I really care.

    Your attempt to categorize each individual's preferences and invent a pigeonhole to label them is in itself quite illogical.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    You can scramble the computer and cancel VDIM completely via a complicated pedal dance that must be performed every time you start the car

    Are you a dancer?

    To my wife's dismay I am no dancer and I hate all complicating dances. If you prefer fancy foot-work versus using a button to turn off VDIM, then I guess you are different from myself and the reviewers who are in no mood to do compex Tango steps.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    so which lexus vehicle is a rebadged highlander?

    FYM it is called a Lexus RX.

    probably the bmw has the highest percentage of manual buyers in the category but as has been said previously 70% of 3 series buyers buy automatics. of course this makes these people less than 'enthusiasts'. its the same stupid argument that ALWAYS states that unless you do something X way you cant be one of the 'chosen'. pathetic

    Hmmm, "pathetic" is one very interesting pigeonhole. What is the criteria for membership other than liking three pedals?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    seen anybody driving their bmw 3 series any differently then some old lady in her lexus ES300 or RX330. geeezz. maybe because 90% of people who buy the 3 series buy it because it is the only bmw they can afford???

    Nor do I see see any difference between a RX driver and a old centarian driving a AMC Eagle. The AMC Eagle was the first pioneer crossover that Toyota smartly imitated with the Lexus RX.
  • Not to be facecious but four out of the six marques on that list are "chopped liver": Ferrari is owned by Fiat, Lambo by VW, Rolls by BMW and Bentley by VW. Porsche is in the process of a reverse-buyout of VW, BMW is really the only one not associated with any volume producer, for now. That independence is very much dependent on its ability to grow volume going forward.
  • Your attempt to categorize each individual's preferences and invent a pigeonhole to label them is in itself quite illogical.

    Very strange accusation indeed. I was not the one who came up with the term "real enthusiasts" as if all drivers of automatics are not "real enthusiasts"

    Doubly strange, considering that in the very same post you repeated your categorical statement that "buying a sedan with a slushbox is a waste of money." Talk about categorizing, pigeonholing or labelling.
  • her bruising 5'1", 105 lb, Mom drove a 5-speed Trooper through the streets of DC. And would have opted for a 6-speed manual in our new MDX if it had been offered.

    Need I say more? Can you say "over-compensating"? ;-) What bloody reason is there to have a clunky offroad vehicle like the Trooper in the streets of DC as a daily driver? or for that matter matching a manual to either a Trooper or MDX? Goes to show that manual tranny is more about the driver's self-image than about vehicle characteristics.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Very strange accusation indeed. I was not the one who came up with the term "real enthusiasts" as if all drivers of automatics are not "real enthusiasts"

    1) :confuse: Boy, dont you have a short memory! I simply answered the following question that you had posted:

    If all buyers of automatics are not "driving enthusiasts," and 70% BMW's are purchased with automatics, doesn't that make most BMW buyers disqualified from being driving enthusiasts? Please answer the simple logic question or retract or your earlier assertion, instead of launching into another round of pointless personal attacks.
  • Factual correction: this is also the same company that made GS, Supra, Celica, MR2 . . . seriously, when is BMW ever going to sell a mid-engined "real sports car" ;-)

    I doubt anyone can say that MB and Nissan are unfamiliar with building sporty cars, nor that M3's are unsporty cars, yet various AMG models, G35 and E46 M3's were all introduced with automatics first, followed by manual when the market demand is there. It's a simple solution to the market reality that most people buy automatics, and it cost a lot of money to get EPA to certify yet another engine-tranny combo. It would not surprise me to see a manual IS350 in the second or third model year, just like the original IS300. What's BMW fans going to nit about then? ;-)
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    Doubly strange, considering that in the very same post you repeated your categorical statement that "buying a sedan with a slushbox is a waste of money." Talk about categorizing, pigeonholing or labelling.

    In that case you have difficulty in distinguishing "personal preferences" from"categorizing others".

    Yes I love sticks and hate electronic nannys. That does not mean that I categorize everybody who thinks differently as non-driving enthusiasts as you yourself were trying to imply.
  • In that case you have difficulty in distinguishing "personal preferences" from"categorizing others".

    Interesting new stand, considering in post #687, you wrote:

    "So a IS350 is a serious VDIM slushbox sport sedan?
    Maybe if you are an Avalon driver who considers his car a performance car just because of its 0-60 stats. It is this type of driver that the IS is made for."

    Is that "categorizing others" or a statement that you are an Avalon driver as in "personal preferences"?
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    My statement from a prior post: Maybe if you are an Avalon driver who considers his car a performance car just because of its 0-60 stats. It is this type of driver that the IS is made for."

    Did you see the word "maybe" in my statement. That is certainly not a categorization. And yes there is a fellow in this forum who seriously considered a Avalon over a IS.

    Mike Giller can you recall those days?
This discussion has been closed.