Re: lets start the debate 2006 IS 350 vs. 330i

From the car book reports, Lexus blew it again. This time the power is better than the Bimmer, but the handling is just not there and, again, no manual transmission. The manual transmission is important as a sign you are
serious about sporting machinery. You will only sell a small proportion as manuals, but it tells everybody that you are serious. It is a MUST HAVE for a Lexus given the comfy-car image Lexus has.
The 330i is no beauty and Lexus could have batted that one out of the park in comparison, but they didn't and went ultra-bland, again. Not a car anyone will dream about owning.
The tepid IS250 is a disgrace, by the way. Incredible lack of power, judging by the published 0-60 times.
Finally, I am a huge Lexus fan. We have had an LS400 for 12 years and will get an RX330 this year. Also own a E46 330i, so I know both brands well. Lexus needs to get some serious sporting DNA in their bloodline and the new IS does not look like it will do it.
I sure hope I'm wrong, but I strongly doubt it.
- nopcbs

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I hope you are wrong also. I looked at the new 330 and drove it. It drives great, but looks like a corolla from behind! I am going to drive the IS350 to see. It sure does have everything else well done: radio, IPOD connection, Navagation system, etc. But I agree the magazines all say "fast, nice to drive, but would rather drive the 3 series."

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I have an 02 manual IS, and when I was looking I test drove a 330i. I'd rather drive the BMW, but due to reliability I'd rather own the Lexus. That will probably carry them again, but given the looks of the 330 and the lackof a stick (plus looks) in the IS, I'm hanging on to my car at least until the next generations come out.
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GRL wrote:

I think a pretty large percentage of 3 series BMWs are sold with standard transmissions. But this is the type of driver that a BMW appeals to; one who wants to be *involved*.

I think the E46s looked great. The E90's I'm not quite so enamored of.

I would tend to agree with you. But Lexus will still sell plenty to their traditional Lexus customers. People that just want a cushy car with a status symbol marquee.
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Funny that, in many countries that would be a Merc and/or possibly a BMW...
(Not all BMWs give a hard, difficult ride.)
DAS
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wrote:

Can't disagree with any of that, but I'll test drive one, to see if they've gotten closer to the (IMO) perfect ride/handling compromise of the BMW sport-suspension. If so, I'll have to consider it, considering the cost savings...
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