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Before I get started, let me say I will be buying the first Spectra Blue or Graphite 5-speed manual that rolls of the boat. With that said...

Even before the IS300 went on sale here, everyone was comparing it to the 3 series BMW. On the surface it seems like a fair comparison, both being fun to drive sport sedans. But in my opinion the comparison should have stopped there. When Lexus set out to enter the luxury car market, they took Mercedes head on. They offered cars that were supior in comfort and quality at a lower price. MB was taken by surprise and spent many years catching up.

As we are all aware of BMW has carved quite a niche in the small sport sedan market with the 3 series. There is a lot of history behind that car and emotions run high. No car can shake that sort of cult following in it's first year on the street. Much less a car that is slightly slower and not quite as refined. Not many folks remember when the 3 series was scowled at for being the "cheap" BMW or rich kid's cars. Only true enthuists saw it's potential. Now most people buy them for the name alone. So I believe that is where the IS300 takes over, it is bringing back that fun-to-drive spirit. And it's bring it back strong, with it's bold styling and awesome braking, and growing aftermarket support.

So I believe the IS300 is what a BMW 3 series USED to be. A fun scrappy little underdog of car. Loved buy it's owners, misunderstood by everyone else. The rest of it is some crap some marketing genius dreamt up. Let others compare all they want... just drive the hell out of what you have.
 

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no i think bmw's just being stupid now....they're going for more and more luxury, which also means more and more weight.......sure thye're adding more power but i want to drive a sports/sporty car not a tank.
 

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the 330 has upped it's price, weight, and horsepower and luxury additives

Has it's 0-60 changed at all? given the increased weight and horsepower?
 

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That's pretty much it in a nutshell, the IS300 is what the BMW used to be, a hard edged, slightly tail-happy, sports sedan. In fact it's more comfortable than the E36 BMW, nicer interior, nicer leather. The new 3 series is too refined and too soft, not what it should be. Put the new 3 series engine and interior in the E36 3 series, and the world would be a better place. I'm so glad Lexus targeted the E36 instead of the E46.
 

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VEry nicely said, Bcarter. Emotions definitely run high. I was over waiting for a flight home back to LA and had a chance to browse thru one the european (aka bmw) magazines and readers of the magazine basically dogged the IS as a BMW wanna be. They never really compared spec for spec but instead it just said stuff like "it didn't feel as good," or stuff like "what's up with those stupid rear lights." I think a majority of the hard core beamers out there are a bit offended by a new breed of competition.

simon
 

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If I were a hard-core Bimmer fan, I'd be offended by the E46, particularly the 2001 models (330i, 325i) with the boosted power steering. I'd be thinking Ford F330i.

Originally posted by sklim1:
VEry nicely said, Bcarter. Emotions definitely run high. I was over waiting for a flight home back to LA and had a chance to browse thru one the european (aka bmw) magazines and readers of the magazine basically dogged the IS as a BMW wanna be. They never really compared spec for spec but instead it just said stuff like "it didn't feel as good," or stuff like "what's up with those stupid rear lights." I think a majority of the hard core beamers out there are a bit offended by a new breed of competition.

simon
 

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What about the upcoming 1 (or 2?) series? I know there isn't much info out about them, but BMW says that they will be the "new" 2002...affordable (mid 20's?), RWD, and with priority on handling.
 

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I think BMW's are extremely overrated. They do handle very well. However, the E36 ESPECIALLY had major electrical problems. The new E46 seems to be more refined, but lost the agressiveness that the E36 had. Moreover, I think that Lexus did a great job on the IS.
 

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all i know is what i see, and on BMWs i see the same styling on different cars (ie 2 doors, 4 doors, X5) most of them look the same from the front and the back, with the only differences in a model being different designation numbers...i know the engine, the suspension, the whatever is diff but why would i buy a more expensive beamer if it can't be told apart from the cheaper ones? i know heritage and recognition is important, but so is not becoming stagnant (what if we took all the badges off of every car on the BMW line and had ppl try to guess which was which just by looking, bet they'd get the z3 z8 and x5 but the rest)...thats the exact reason why i would put the bmw on the bottom of any of my car want list. Not to say BMW is a bad car, just saying i would rather spend my money on tastier numbers, even if i have a little less performance than whatever BMW has to offer. but i may be biased, ill informed or just a little confused...all i know is i got the car i want with the things i need at a price i can live with.
 

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I would argue the opposite of DonCorleone. I think brand recognition and heritage are strong factors in keeping the resale value of a car up. If BMW were to change the looks of their new models significantly, the resale value of their older models would drop more. If they kept them looking very similar, this helps keep up the resale value of older models. Mercedes does the same.

My cousin has a 10 year old Mercedes that still looks nice. When you look at it, you don't think that it's a 10 year old car.
So far, the only "proven" design that Lexus has is their SC series. Its been out for around 8 years (?), and still looks good. The LS and older GS models are close.

--k
 

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Eric, that was original (dripping with sarcasm).

The fact you guys CANNOT stop talking about BMWs is indicative of.. I am not sure anymore. You are all convinced your cars perform as well so that isn't it. They are a better value so that's not it. Actually I think you want people to have the same expectation/assumption/stereotype of your vehicle (not the driver). Whether that be "ultimate driving machine" or a sports sedan equal of a BMW. I think there is a frustration that the public assumes the BMW is a better car and you disagree and want them to know the truth.

Though the IS isn't as refined as the 330i which may not be a bad thing. It sure as heck isn't an E30 M3 or even an E30 325i either in terms of tossable, raw little sports sedan. It is actually from what I have seen a pretty nice car. You guys aren't exactly driving Type R's with no a/c.

I have seen 3 IS300's in the last few days. The first one was dark and in a shadow and I actually thought it was a lowered 3 series until I got closer. The next two were yellow. Not a good color on that car in my opinion. I did see one few weeks back that was silver and I thought that was pretty nice looking and by far the classiest color of those that I have seen. The car has the typical wedge shape of most new cars today and I don't think the shape itself is too earthshattering. It has little touches that make it stand out and look a little aggressive. It could stand a bit more elegance--that's the only word I can think of. However, I understand they aren't catering to that market segment. I think a tiny bit of understatement usually results in a more timeless style. I am sure they will refine it over the next few years and, by the way, those luxury features you criticize on the 330i as adding weight will be added. After all, it IS a Lexus.
 

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erick in the same way i can say that is300 owners are poor bastards after value and can't really afford the nameplate with true sports value. i dont' believe the former sentence but that's just the same thing you're sayinga bout bimmer owners.
 
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