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Old 07-06-13, 09:53 PM   #1
Stillhart
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Default Lexus vs BMW

Hi all,

I just wanted to post an intro and say hi. I am shopping for my next car and I'm heavily leaning toward a 2014 IS350 F-Sport (white/red!). I am currently deciding between the IS250, IS350, 328i and 335i.

I went to the dealerships this weekend to test some cars back to back after doing extensive research online. Neither the 350 nor the 335 was available to drive so I drove the 250 and the 328. Without going into too many details, here are my thoughts on the two.

I drove the 250 (F-sport) first and was stunned by how much better it looks in person. I mean, I think it looks great on the net, but in person it is a MEAN looking machine. The interior fit like a glove and had all kinds of cool gadgets. The bask seat was spacious enough to fit my rear-facing car seat just fine and the trunk was absurdly large (fit my stroller!). The engine was fine, but nothing special. Certainly didn't feel like a V-6 (though it did sound good). The feel of the car when driving was really tight in sport mode, and really "luxury car" in eco mode, which is nice. $42k sticker price as driven.

Next the 328i. They didn't have an M-sport available so no "apples to apples", but it didn't matter. The normal 328i was WAY faster and even better to drive. There's no denying that the BMW is an amazing driving car. However the interior, after the Lexus, felt really... stodgy. It was classy and European but felt outdated and... standard. Didn't do much for me. The back seat had even more space than the Lexus but the trunk was smaller and couldn't fit the stroller. $44k sticker price as driven (no nav, no M-sport, almost no upgrades).

Other than the pure driving experience and a slightly larger back seat, I like everything about the Lexus better. Next week, the IS350 should be coming in to test drive and a 335 can be brought over from another dealer. I have a feeling the speed differential will be similarly different.

However, on price there's no comparison. A fully loaded IS350 F-sport is cheaper than a fully loaded 328i M-sport. While the 335 is much faster than the IS350, the IS350 should be at least as fast as the 328i. I think the 350 is going to sell itself. (I really want it to!) But then again, the 335 does 0-60 in well under 5 seconds and that's absurd.

Thanks for listening. I'll post more next week after I drive the big brothers.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:02 PM   #2
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The IS 350 should be as good if not the better handler than the 3-series as renowned by many automotive journalists.

Also, you're probably aware but I'll mention it anyway about reliability supremacy going to the IS, hands down.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:21 PM   #3
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i just sold my Bimmer E92 328i. Great car! Solid! but the reliability issues caused me to sell it personally. its was hard to say that every time i drove the e92 i asked myself is it going to break down on me again and do i have the tow truck # ready? Overheating issues caused my car to enter limp mode due to failed water pump. the 335i are notorious for bad HPFP (High Pressure Fuel Pump). As a new Lexus owner myself it's the peace of mind that counts.
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Old 07-06-13, 10:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corradoMR2 View Post
The IS 350 should be as good if not the better handler than the 3-series as renowned by many automotive journalists.

Also, you're probably aware but I'll mention it anyway about reliability supremacy going to the IS, hands down.
Is there much of a difference in handling between the 250 and 350? I know the 350 has Sport+ mode and the 250 doesn't, just not sure how much effect that actually has. I didn't find the 250 to have bad handling; it was actually really nice. But I didn't exactly hit any crazy canyons on the test drive either...

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Originally Posted by LEXUS1904 View Post
i just sold my Bimmer E92 328i. Great car! Solid! but the reliability issues caused me to sell it personally. its was hard to say that every time i drove the e92 i asked myself is it going to break down on me again and do i have the tow truck # ready? Overheating issues caused my car to enter limp mode due to failed water pump. the 335i are notorious for bad HPFP (High Pressure Fuel Pump). As a new Lexus owner myself it's the peace of mind that counts.
Yep, the legendary Toyota/Lexus reliability is always lurking back there in the back of my mind. Can't believe I forgot to mention it. Planning to keep this car for a long time and I think cost of ownership down the line will be much cheaper with the Lexus.

To be fair though, the 328 is actually supposed to be pretty darn reliable for a European car. It's just that it's so darn expensive to fix if anything does go wrong...
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Old 07-06-13, 11:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
Hi all,

However, on price there's no comparison. A fully loaded IS350 F-sport is cheaper than a fully loaded 328i M-sport. While the 335 is much faster than the IS350, the IS350 should be at least as fast as the 328i. I think the 350 is going to sell itself. (I really want it to!) But then again, the 335 does 0-60 in well under 5 seconds and that's absurd.
Don't disregard the 0-60 of the new generation IS350 so soon. The previous generation IS350 was also well known for doing 0-60 under 5 seconds so I assume the 2014 IS350 should reach similar times with a good launch.
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Old 07-06-13, 11:13 PM   #6
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Don't disregard the 0-60 of the new generation IS350 so soon. The previous generation IS350 was also well known for doing 0-60 under 5 seconds so I assume the 2014 IS350 should reach similar times with a good launch.
Admittedly, I haven't done much research on the 2IS so I didn't know it's been known to go that fast. I'm basing it off the stuff I've read online (Motor Trend, C+D, etc) that shows it in the mid-5's.

But yeah, on paper it should be slightly faster than the 328... and of course 0-60 isn't everything! The V-6 in the 350 is going to have a lot better highway passing capabilities and supposedly has a much more linear power delivery. Looking forward to taking it out next weekend!
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Old 07-06-13, 11:54 PM   #7
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I test drove both 328i and 335i MSport. Both are great cars with many options of gadgets that Lexus will never catch up to but reliability and interior quality made me stayed away from 3series.
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Old 07-07-13, 12:01 AM   #8
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buying a '14 250is for wife because she wants a more reliable toyota/lexus car she is familiar with and buying more for interior luxury and comfort, it is a very nice car. I bought a '13 335i m sport in december and that is a BEAST!!! and the bimmer will give you better mpg than lexus. BMW is more expensive to maintain and mod but they last just as long. luxury get lexus pure sports car go BMW.
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Old 07-07-13, 12:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nano10 View Post
buying a '14 250is for wife because she wants a more reliable toyota/lexus car she is familiar with and buying more for interior luxury and comfort, it is a very nice car. I bought a '13 335i m sport in december and that is a BEAST!!! and the bimmer will give you better mpg than lexus. BMW is more expensive to maintain and mod but they last just as long. luxury get lexus pure sports car go BMW.
Hey nano, have you experienced limp mode on your 335i m sport? A lot of people on the f30 forums are getting this issue with the 335i m sport model. I'm comparing between the is350 and 335i and these type of issues is deterring me from going european...

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Old 07-07-13, 12:36 AM   #10
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The problem with BMW's is not the car, but the drivers. Little respect for fellow motorist and a general disregard for safety. For that, I wouldn't want to be lumped into that clan.
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Old 07-07-13, 01:18 AM   #11
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...luxury get lexus pure sports car go BMW.
You know, I think kind of the same thing (from comparing the 328 and 250). I think they're both great cars but clearly they have different focuses. That said, I think that in a vacuum (like if you drove one but not the other), either could be accused of having both top quality luxury and sportiness.

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The problem with BMW's is not the car, but the drivers. Little respect for fellow motorist and a general disregard for safety. For that, I wouldn't want to be lumped into that clan.
I used to think the same thing... but everyone has BMW's now so it's a lot harder to generalize about them. I just moved from the Bay Area where every other car is a BMW. /shrug
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Old 07-07-13, 02:31 AM   #12
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Maybe the IS250 is comparable to the BMW 320 instead?

While the IS350 is sort of in between the 328 and 335 in terms of driving experience?
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Old 07-07-13, 02:38 AM   #13
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The IS350 F-Sport has adaptive variable suspension (AVS) which is kind of like intelligent shocks. It will autonomously adjust the stiffness of the shocks based on road conditions.

Of course Sport + will overall still be stiffer and sportier than Normal mode. So actually, the IS350 F-Sport will ride better than the IS250 F-Sport (which doesn't have the intelligent suspension )

Regarding the Sport aspect, the 335i will be sportier if you narrowly define Sport as just straightline acceleration.

Every other meter of "Sportiness" : steering feedback, chassis stiffness and responsiveness, quick evasive manouevers, the IS 350 F-Sport bests the 335i M-Sport.

Think of the IS as a fine surgical scalpel and the 3 series as a blunt hammer/muscle car. Pick the 3 series if you want to be a red-light to red-light hero. Pick the IS if you want to dance round corners.
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Old 07-07-13, 11:48 AM   #14
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Ah right, the variable suspension! That should make a big difference, I'd expect. Considering how close the 250 and 328 felt, I'm guessing you're right that the 350 will feel better than the 328.

Regarding the brute-force comment, if I wanted that, I could save a lot of money and just buy a Mustang. Of course BMW is more than that, but I get the distinction you're trying to make and it's a fair point.

I admit, I am concerned about having enough power. The drivers around here are insane and I want a car that will be able to escape forwards as well as backwards or sideways should I need to make an emergency maneuver. I am used to my motorcycle (which can do that) and all my previous cars (which could not). Getting a car that can do that is one of my priorities right now so I'm hoping the 350 provides enough power to satisfy that need. On paper, I'd say yes, but I'll have to drive it to see!
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Old 07-07-13, 04:55 PM   #15
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My mom went from a 2003 330I to an IS350. Less fun to drive but reliability issues brought us to it. F-Sport 350 should be a handful though
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Old 07-07-13, 04:55 PM
 
 
 
 
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