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Acura TSX vs Lexus IS 250



  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    Here's what Consumer Report says about the handling on the TSX and the IS 250

    TSX: "Handling is more agile than that of the Accord, with quicker turn-in response and better tire grip, but the ride is a bit stiff"

    IS 250: "The ride, is jittery and handling secure, but not sporty"
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I like to read AUTO magazines - but I would not base my decision on which car to buy on what they write. I like to go see for myself - Based on my FIRST HAND experience the ride and handling of the IS (both 250&350) is very nice. The ride of the TSX is about the same as a Civic and handling is poor.

    How could a car with a "jittery ride" provide "secure handling"?

    BTW - did that issue of CR also include the review of the 2006 toasters? - I have been having some problems with mine and may need to buy a new one!
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    I didn't buy my TSX based on car based on reviews. I drove the following cars: BMW 325i, Mazda6, VW Passat, Honda Accord, Infiniti G35. I could tell you that the closest thing to the TSX in terms of "fun to drive" for the price was the Passat. Having had enough little problems with my Audi, I didn't want another headache. A lot of these cars were more than I was willing to spend, so they were discounted right of the bat. The IS 250 fell in the "too expensive" category so I didn't even bother. I have no regrets, I enjoy the TSX tremendously. Drive what you like my friend, and enjoy...I do.
  • notjafonotjafo Posts: 63
    I'm with speedracer3

    I did drive the IS250, and I preferred the feel of the TSX. I didn't like the amount of visibility I had in the IS, I didn't like the more cramped interior, and, I didn't find it any more fun to drive. And another point keeps getting missed - I didn't want a RWD car, and I looked at the AWD IS, and it's not available with a MT.

    As for money, if you forced me to spend as much as it would take to get a comparably equipped IS, well then, I'd probably get the TL (with the 6spd MT). And that's a point that's missed here - I chose the TSX over the IS and over the TL. It does everything I want, and you think there is something wrong because it also happens to cost less?

    And don't keep getting fooled by a car's platform - you'd be surprised how old some car platforms are out there, and how they show up in multiple models by a manufacturer. Volvo uses the same platform for quite a few of its cars, sporty and not.
  • waw40waw40 Posts: 39
    You would be surprised how many people avoided buying crappy products or services thanks to the information in CR. It is not CR vs. first hand experience, as you seem to impute - both are parts of an informed decision.
    When I am ready for a new car I: 1. read about cars within my interest range (sporty sedans, coupes, manual only)- CR, Edmunds, nctd, Car&Driver, MotorTrend... and within my price range (up to $40K)to narrow my choices to 3-5 cars; 2. I read/listen to the opinions of owners of such cars, and 3. I test drive my 2-3 finalists and make my final decision based on driving impression, desired equipment and feel of the interior, exterior appearance, and availability of preferred body/interior color combo - in this order.

    After this procedure, I had no hesitation to choose TSX and I never looked back.

    Happy toaster hunting z71bill! Make sure that you make your toasts of whole wheat or rye bread - CR recommends...
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    Good points - all valid - if it is the best for you and still costs less how can you go wrong?
  • lexus_jnlexus_jn Posts: 102
    I just tried out the TSX this afternoon at the Acura dealer in Naperville, IL. I agree about the handling of TSX...Yet the TSX's acceleration is not as fast and smooth as IS. To be frank, I don't think it's fair to compare TSX and IS. Sure, TSX is cheaper but it doesn't mean that we consider this model should go head to head with IS.

    I met a few friends at lunch last Friday and surprisingly most of us all shared the same opinion- Acura's front design is the ugliest among all others luxury brands. If you look at all Acura models from the front view, they do not look like luxury cars. Putting aside luxury, and performance (Lexus & BMW seem to edge out Acura on those 2 factors), Acura might as well provide a better value for the money because its price is more affordable than BMW & Lexus. In term of styling, design...I think Acura seems to fall behind than that of Infiniti, Lexus...etc. I was at the Chicago Auto Show last month and boy..I must say that the new Acura RDX is a true disappointment and no WOW products in the Acura's lineup as well. No wondee Acura showroom attracted just very few spectators at the Chicago Auto Show.
  • notjafonotjafo Posts: 63
    and this is why taste can't be argued -

    I like the look of the IS and the new BMW, but I also really like the look of the TSX and the new TL over the previous TL. One of the things I don't like about the Accord, relative to the Acuras, is the frumpy, big headlights on the Accord. And While I like the look of the IS, I don't like the look of the Lexis ES - it's an ugly frumpy front end. As for the Infiniti, well, I think they are all pretty ugly. Period.
  • lexus_jnlexus_jn Posts: 102
    Different taste and opinion make life more interesting, isn't it? :-)

    Hopefully the next generation of TL won't disappoint Acura loyalists. I already owned a Bimmer and a Lexus and I look forward to driving an Acura in the future (if Acura comes up with a better design for the TL). I think that owning a different brand once in a while will give you a pretty clear perspective about the strength and weakness of each brand. Oh, while I really like the space TL offers, I have heard others complained that the TL is kinda big for a sport car...What is your opinion?
  • mvc_jonesmvc_jones Posts: 88
    I do not consider the/my TL a sportscar. It is 'sporty', but overall a luxury sedan. I am very happy with the package and agree with those that state it does many things well but is generally not the best of class in any area. The balance of this car is nice, between luxury, space, sportiness, good design/aesthetics, quality, etc...
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    sure sportscars have two doors, not four. As far as the TL needing a "better" design, that's purely a matter of opinion. The car has been selling very well since its refresh. Somebody must like it.
  • notjafonotjafo Posts: 63
    I drove the TL and thought it handled quite well, but it was a bigger car than I needed and I thought the TSX was more fun - hence I have the TSX.

    There are lots of bigger cars than the TL that are sports sedans - maybe not sports cars, but sports sedans.
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    but IMO, nothing handles like a German car. Japanese cars just have different degrees of sportiness. German cars, are true sport sedans.
  • notjafonotjafo Posts: 63
    there is also a fundamental difference between rear wheel driven cars and front - and the move to AWD in the sports sedan market will be interesting to follow

    mercedes-benz was losing sales to subaru in new england because of the focus on RWD, and the auto press credits this with MB's introduction of AWD
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    It's not a FWD/RWD debate. I just think German cars handle better.VW/Audi have plenty of front wheel drive cars that have excellent handling, not to mention the Quattro models. The Infiniti G35 is a RWD car, IMO it doesn't handles as well as it's German competitors. Again, the TSX is a great package because it offers, sport, luxury, reliability and it does it all without breaking the bank.
  • johnny420johnny420 Posts: 473
    I have no doubt that German sedans handle better than other sedans, specifically BMW's. At 8/10ths or more. I've only driven one (an E90), and it was good. I haven't yet had the opportunity to live with one.

    That said, the TSX with A-Spec suspension and better-than-OEM rubber handles pretty darn well, with excellent steering feel and response. I'm not sure that I need a sedan to handle much better than my car does for street driving, including spirited street driving, say 7/10ths and below.

    Would I like to experience BMW ownership at some point? Sure. Then I can truly decide for myself. But, for now, in my third year of owning it, the TSX is proving to be one heck of a blast to drive. And stacked up against todays somewhat bloated Bimmers, I'm sure the TSX acquits itself quite nicely, regardless of price point.

    For all the criticisms about the TSX's supposed lack of power, poor handling (as stated earlier in this thread :confuse:) etc, etc, I still get a big kick out of it every time I turn the key. For me, that's all that matters.

  • My wife and I were in the market for a sedan after deciding to sell our Jeep. We tested and looked at the IS250, TSX, S40 T5, A3/A4, Jetta, Accord V6, SAAB 9-3 and the 3 Series. We wanted something fun but practical at the same time, with good driving characteristics (to me, this does not mean the fastest 0-60 time- coming from a jeep I thought all of these cars were amazing to drive). Also, I wanted to keep the price around 30K and no more than 35K. The S40 was the car at the top of our list before we started looking but quickly fell off because the interior felt somewhat cramped and being picky, I didn't like the side mirrors, which seemed much smaller than the other cars. We ruled the 3 Series out because we thought it had a plain, almost ugly interior on the base model and no one at the dealer offered to help us even though we were the only people in the showroom. I absolutely loved driving the Jetta and both Audis but my sister has owned 2 vw's and both had numerous electrical and mechanical problems. That said, I still really considered the A3 because for the extra space a hatchback offers and it had a really nice interior. My wife was set on a sedan though. Audi had another strike because the first salesman was extremely rude and told us we couldn't park our 99 civic in his "showcar" place- he then told us to move it the handicap spot- so we promptly left. So the A4 was out.

    Since I hadn't seen the Lexus before going to the dealer, the new design was very striking and also very tempting. The Lexus had a very nice interior and really stood out to me as being put together with a lot of care. My wife thought so too. But the rear seat didn't fold down and that was a must have for us (same issue with the in stock BMW's). I also may be one of the few that appreciates fwd in the wintertime, ,which I did not have on my liberty so the lexus had another strike. Finally, we were mostly ignored at the dealership just like at BMW. I just had the impression that they thought we were two kids window shopping for the car we might want when we get grow up and get real jobs (I'm in my early 30's and probably doing better than the salespeople who wouldn't talk to me).

    Unlike the IS250 which I hadn't seen on the road but was very interested in, I didn't even know the TSX existed. I put it on the list almost as an afterthought and I'm glad I did. All of the cars I drove were exceptional, no doubt about it, and I would have been happy with any of them. However, having owned 3 hondas in the past, the layout and controls of the TSX felt very familiar to me, except much nicer. I suppose the familiarity of those past cars, coupled with all of the new features on the 2006 TSX (as opposed to 2005) convinced me that this was the right choice. Moreover, the decision was made even easier because the dealer threw in free maintenance and car washes for 7 years. Best car buying experience I ever had, looked at these forums before I negotiated and they gave me the price I asked for without even trying to wheel and deal. We ended up buying a 2006 TSX and I do not regret it, though again, I'm sure I would have been very happy with the IS250 or any of the others.

    One last thing, the only car, in my opinion, that stood out among the cars I drove was the Accord V-6. In terms of power, it was simply in another class and the interior and features were just as nice as any of the other cars, better in most cases. It truly may have been the most sensible choice in terms of value for dollar. That said, I couldn't bring myself to buy a car that, at least it seems, every other person in the US owns. If I could have gotten over that, I would be driving it today.
  • verticalvertical Posts: 12
    After reading many posts and test driving new Civic, Accord V6 EX. Volvo S40 T5, and BMW 325i, I just purchased a 2006 TSX (upgraded from a Civic)

    I don't think a Civic can compete with a TSX in terms of build quality, handling, refinement, etc. Even the new Civic is full of plastics in the interior, and that feeling continues on the road (gimmicky).

    Accord's ride is soft and powerful but not precise, but I wanted a sports sedan, not a family sedan (I prefer my Passat V6 for that purpose)

    Volvo's ride is very good (turbo makes it a formidable car), but I couldn't get past the fact that it shares a lot in common with the Mazda 3. Plus, I don't like the way the options are bundled.

    325i's handling is a notch above a TSX, but again, the way options are bundled...

    Overall, I prefer the all inclusive nature of Acura's offering, plus, for less than $30K, I don't think there is a car out there that has everything a TSX does (C/D 10 Best List agrees)
  • biker4biker4 Posts: 746
    mercedes-benz was losing sales to subaru in new england because of the focus on RWD, and the auto press credits this with MB's introduction of AWD

    Wow, MB worried about losing sales to Subaru :confuse: :P :shades:
  • haminhamin Posts: 12

    good choice ...I am glad you bought it ....I am in same situation, looked up TSX/ BMW3 / AUDI A4/ IS 250...have decided for TSX. can you tell me what price you bought this for ( excluding tax.) .....did you buy one with navigation??

    looking for your reply.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi and welcome!

    You'll want to head on over to our Acura TSX: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion. That's a far better resource for you than this discussion where the subject is a comparison with the IS 250, not the actual buying details.

    Good luck!
  • ninjaguyninjaguy Posts: 21
    The TSX, introduced in the US in April 2003 as a 2004 model, is the same car as the European/Japanese Accord that went on sale in fall 2003 as a 2003 model.

    I am surprised about the comments about the poor handling, maybe the tires on the car you drove were under inflated. If you haven't already bought another car, suggest driving another TSX again.

    My son has a 2004 TSX with AT, and I am impressed by the handling. I drove both the IS250/350 with ATs at the Taste of Lexus last fall, and I thought that the handling was similar. Although the HP is about the same (IS250 and TSX), the IS250's extra 20 ft-lbs of torque do make a difference with the AT.

    Regarding your comment about cheaper price, everything is a factor in choosing a car (power, handling, comfort, luxury, etc.) including price. I was highly anticipating the IS when it was announced last spring, but was extremely disappointed when the price was announced last fall. Lexus made a serious mistake in selling the IS at BMW prices.
  • ninjaguyninjaguy Posts: 21
    In my #144 above, I made a typo: The European/Japanese Accord went on sale in fall 2002 (not fall 2003) as a 2003 model.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    So my original post - that the 2006 TSX is based on a 2001 or 2002 Accord was correct. I was not sure if the European Accord (which the TSX is based on) was updated in 2001 or 2002 - I will take your word for it (2002). I bet all the people who just bough a 2006 TSX will be VERY happy to hear that their new car is based on the 2002 and not the 2001 model Accord! I wonder why Honda (Acura)does not put that in the sales literature - COME BUY OUR 2006 TSX - it is a REAL DRIVERS CAR - based on the LATEST 2002 technology!

    Not slamming the TSX because it costs less than the IS - BWM - fill in the ______ with whatever.

    It just seems like every post kept coming back to - lower price - better VALUE - BANG for the BUCK - LOOK AT ALL THE FEATURES you get at NO ADDITIONAL COST - and things like BEST HANDLING - GREAT 4 cylinder!! ENGINE - GREAT BRAKES are not listed very often - then the main reason the car was purchased was IT COST LESS. Nothing wrong with saving money - but why not just admit - I bought it because it does 85% of everything the more expensive cars do and I save $5,000. The extra 15% is not worth $5K!

    The 2006 Civic has about the same ride quality as the TSX - but (the Civic) has MUCH better handling - the TSX does have a nicer interior - but at 2 times the price it should have a better interior - and it should RIDE better and it should HANDLE better. That is the point of my comparison to the Civic - not that the dash of the Civic has more plastic (compared to the TSX).
  • speedracer3speedracer3 Posts: 650
    I don't understand why you are insisting on imposing your values and preferences on other people. So what that the car is based on a 2002 model?. A Lamborghini Coutach is old technology but boy would I love to have one. Who cares?. The TSX has all the latest gadgets, tell me what technology am I missing out by having a TSX vs. an IS 250. What does the IS have that the TSX doesn't?. I don't think you are reading what people are saying. We all bought the TSX not JUST because of the price, but because of the whole package. And again, your Honda Civic comparison is just plain idiotic. The Civic is a fun to drive, economy car. That's it. You can't even get it with leather for goodness sake!. Get back to planet earth my friend.
  • waw40waw40 Posts: 39
    I concur with speedracer3 100%. It seems that z71bill represents an incurable case of ISism. I suggest we let him remain triumphant in his conviction that IS is better than any other car in the world and stop this useless ping-pong of arguments.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    What does the IS have that the TSX doesn't? Lets see -

    Much better ride quality
    WAY better handling
    Faster 0-60 time
    RWD (some may like FWD better - most SPORT SEDANS are RWD)
    A higher price (must take the bad along with the good)

    The Civic example is right on target - perfect example of how 2006 technology can be better than 2002!

    Not sure why the Civic handles better than the TSX - both cars are front wheel drive - the Civic has a little bit LONGER wheel base - and is lighter - both have 4 banger engines.

    I would guess the longer wheel base and lighter weight allow a relatively stiffer suspension to be used - the result is a ride quality that is about the same (as the TSX / 2002 European Accord) - but still provides better handling. Isn't 2006 technology GREAT!

    I still predict that the next time Acura updates the TSX (assuming they do) it will be based on the Civic platform.
  • $26,200 + Tax and title for non-navi A/T. I somewhat regret not taking a closed look at the navi but I wasn't sure how useful it would be to me. Since I purchased the car, I read a lot about navigation and wish I had taken a closer look at it , though it may not have changed my mind in the end.
  • cmschmiecmschmie Posts: 27
    Again you are quoting performance numbers. Now I am not sure if you are going Auto vs. Auto or Manual vs Manual. But, if you are saying manual vs manual then your performance "comparison," look at post #118.
    And again, "Much better ride quality", "WAY better handling" are subjective. You say these are better in the IS because you like the IS more, that in the ONLY reason you can say that.
    It's like comparing Gold Delicious Apples to Red Rome Apples. I like Gold Delicious more so then it must be better. Give me a break.
    I like the TSX (just bought one the other day) and I am not knocking you for liking the IS. It is a great and a very nice looking car, but, in my opinion it is not a $6k-$7k better car than the TSX.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    >>>Finally, we were mostly ignored at the dealership just like at BMW. I just had the impression that they thought we were two kids window shopping for the car we might want when we get grow up and get real jobs (I'm in my early 30's and probably doing better than the salespeople who wouldn't talk to me).<<<<

    Seriously something wrong here. I usually walk into a Lexus dealership unshaven, wearing rubber sandals, jeans and t-shirt hanging out and the salespeople still come up to me, greet me and enquire about my interests and how they can help me out. I guess the "attitude" with which I walk in makes the difference?
This discussion has been closed.