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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:chill: First post. :chill:

I'm from the BMW Z4 crowd. I was set on a Z4 for months. I recently test drove a fully loaded accord and an IS300. I haven't driven the BMW 330xi (AWD) yet. The AWD drive versoin of the BMW 3 serie is $1500 more than the RWD version. I believe the BMW and Lexus compete more than the loaded accord.

The IS300 seems to accelreate off the line better than the accord I drove (which was 240HP). I think they drove equally as smooth (and fun), but the accord is a larger car - and everyone has an accord.

You also see BMWs everywhere, but if they are luxurious enough, it won't matter.

I have a slight dilemma, of course it doesn't matter that much, but 3 houses down (i live in a middle class neighborhood, too) the guy there (living with his parents, like I am, and is probably about 21) has a yellow lexus IS300, Acura RSX Type-S, and another very nice car (forgot it now though!). You don't see many IS300's on the road here, but it sucks if your neighbor has the same car. It doesn't realy though, because the IS300 is really fun to drive.

Has anyone test driven a BMW 3 series and has any comparisons to discuss.

BTW my license plate is: 007 ELMO. That's how set I was on the Z4, now it may look weird on a lexus (since bond drives BMW always) but that doesn't influence my decision at all. XD.

Finally, I read a "new" IS300 model will come out in mid 2004. Considering I PLAN to keep this car for 10 years, shouldn't I wait until that model comes out? Or at LEAST use it to my advantage when dealing...

Thanks,
ELmO
 

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The new Accord coupe 6mt is quicker than the IS off of the line. I believe they run mid 14's. The IS is a great car. I would wait until the new ones come out. If you don't like them, you could probably make a really good deal on an 04.
 

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I think comparing a 330xi to the IS300 isn't quite fair.
One is 30k the other approaches 38k.

All in all, the BMW 330xi is a better buy. But if you spend the 8k difference in mods to your IS300 you will have a better car in the end.

I would also say that the IS300 would out last the BMW in terms of reliability and build quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I haven't been quoted the prices correctly then. You could go ahead and compare a RWD BMW 3 series with the RWD IS300.

I was quoted 34K for a 2004 IS300 with GPS from the dealr (only 5 minute haggling though), its 36.5K with GPS for a 3 sersies AWD off bmwusa.com, so to me it's quite close - especially if you consider it against a BMW RWD.

So, shoot the comparisons. I noticed the color choices on BMW (if it matters) are much greater. I like the light blue with dark brown leather (haven't seen that before).

PS - the first reply I got in the BMW 3 series forum asking for comparison advice on the 3 series vs IS300, was:
You are an I_D_I_O_T! (nt) - 323Ci

Makes me wonder what types of people BMW drivers are, wasn't the first rude message I got from them. Wonder if they are getting angry because I'm comparing the "younger generation" is300 vs the oldy (sorry guys, 30+) bmw 3 series.

-ELmO
 

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Umm,
Base price of a 330xi (the AWD 330) is 36.5k. This is with no options. You may be talking about the 325xi. Personally, I feel the IS300 rests somewhere between the 330 and the 325. Making the 325 "overpriced" in the sense that the IS with the same options can be had for a few K cheaper. Plus you get a 6-CD in dash changer vs. the option of a trunk or glove compartment mounted 6-cd magazine changer.
elmalloc said:
I was quoted 34K for a 2004 IS300 with GPS from the dealr (only 5 minute haggling though), its 36.5K with GPS for a 3 sersies AWD off bmwusa.com, so to me it's quite close - especially if you consider it against a BMW RWD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I never said to compare the 330, I said I wanted comparisons for the 3 series. the 325 AWD is 36.5K with the options I'm looking for, and the IS300 is 34K quoted from dealer yestrday. Don't know about you guys, but once I'm in the 30s, 2.5K is nothing - especially when haggling is involved.

Thanks for the input on the 25 vs the IS300.
-ELmO
 

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Don't waste your time with bimmer.org, you won't get any good answers from them. Try Bimmerfest if you want to hear a better opinion from BMW owners.
IS300s should be available close to invoice, no way it's $34k - and as you said, the new model is coming, so I'm not sure I'd buy one today. And a $36k 330Xi is probably stripped right? You are comparing a very sporty car (IS) with a very boaty 3 series (330Xi). Try a 330i with performance package if you really want performance, but you'll pay for it.
 

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I was in the same "boat" as you (325 vs is300) and i drove both cars in the end got the one i liked. i guess what i am trying to say is drive both and go with the one that you most enjoy since you are going to keep this car for 10 years or so.

bmw owners are not bad people some are a little stuck up i must admit :roll: . and if the guy down the street has the same car then i would think that that would be cool because you would be able to help each other with mods and cruse to meets if you are in to that kinda stuff :D
 

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Subject of this posting is "IS300 2004 vs BMW 330". And in your very first post you said "I haven't driven the BMW 330xi (AWD) yet." So gee, where did I get the impression you were talking aobut the 330? :)

Anyways, ckolsen is right on about the xi vs the straight i. The xi on either 3 series is heavier, less sporty, has different weight distribution, and is more of a luxury car than a serious sports sedan. For a much closer comparison of the two cars you have to test the 'i' version against the is300.

I'm impressed with the new 330 with the performance package. 6spd, more power, great vehicle. Still, with the price difference between that and an IS300, it's still a no-brainer for me.

elmalloc said:
I never said to compare the 330, I said I wanted comparisons for the 3 series. the 325 AWD is 36.5K with the options I'm looking for, and the IS300 is 34K quoted from dealer yestrday. Don't know about you guys, but once I'm in the 30s, 2.5K is nothing - especially when haggling is involved.

Thanks for the input on the 25 vs the IS300.
-ELmO
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the replies. I was comparing a 325XI (sorry must have confused people with my originanl post sayign 330) with the lexus IS300. I drove the IS300 and it felt like a perfect balance of luxury and sport (from what i've driven so far).

I will test drive the BMW 325 next week. The thing is, I live in Ohio right now, so the chance of needing all wheel drive is high (for inclimate weather, though I really think I need it only 5-10 times a year max).

Yeah, that's where you got the 330 from, but I guess most people don't read full posts anymore before they reply. :bitching: :D

-ELmO
 

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what kind of packeges did you put on the bmw? i was just looking those up myself and once you start adding extras it starts gettin expensive, if you ask me you get way more from the IS for the amount of money it is.
 

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me too! :D

before i bought my is300, i look at the 3 series and was pretty impressed. looking in the long run as far as mods, maintenance, RELIABILITY, and longevity I ended up with a lexus and no regrets :D

the is300 doesn't have quite as much power as most of the 3 series but thats an easy fix (got turbo now). is300's engine is a damn good block to mod to

but yeah... you should get a car that you feel that most suites your needs :p

btw the new g35 is gonna be AWD and prolly even more horses, should look into that also. Personally the is300 body is damn awesome

good luck G
 

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you might want to edit the title since your not looking at a 330...

if it were between the 325xi and the IS300, I would have to consider if you truly need the AWD... The IS is the better handling car between the two (assuming no sport package on the 325), and has more power than the 325. The added weight of the AWD will even exagerate this performance difference. (you 0-60 racers, dont chime in about the added launch benefit of the AWD... we arent talking 5k clutch drops here, we are talking real world acceleration, aka 0-60 dont mean shit if Im already going 40)

So the decision really lies with how necessary the AWD is for you.... and if its a must have, you really should be looking at the A4 Quattro and the 325xi instead of the IS300.

I can honestly say that I would have bought an A4 Quattro if I still lived in the mountains. The xi wasnt out yet for my decision.
 

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I'd consider the 325i over the 325xi, the rwd simply handles better than the xi & is cheaper.

According to the latest Consumer Reports, the IS has excellent reliability while the 3-Series has avg reliability. However, the warranty should take care of any issues. Also, they come w/ 4 yrs free full maintenance (even wear & tear is included). Over 4 yrs, scheduled maintenance + wear & tear costs on the IS add up quickly.

The 3-Series has excellent resale while the IS only has avg resale (again, according to CR).

Both are going to be redesigned soon.

3-Series also has better interior fit & finish according to CR & every mag.

Despite all these strong points, the IS was still better than the 325i for MY needs. Manual, they're equally quick but auto IS is noticeably faster than auto 325i. Also, the IS handles & brakes better than the 325i IMO.
 

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lots of Lexus dealers offer free maintence too... look into it around your area. I got all maintence up to and including 25k for free. Resale value of a base 325 will be shitty...resale value of a manual 325 in a metropolitan area will also be shitty when compared to what CR states. Dont be too concerned with the resale value, and if you are, consider leasing... then you have a guaranteed resale value...
 

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HoustonLex said:
lots of Lexus dealers offer free maintence too... look into it around your area. I got all maintence up to and including 25k for free. Resale value of a base 325 will be shitty...resale value of a manual 325 in a metropolitan area will also be shitty when compared to what CR states. Dont be too concerned with the resale value, and if you are, consider leasing... then you have a guaranteed resale value...
I think it's just in your area. I don't know about the US but here we get the 1st "inspection" at 1 000 km & 1st service at 8 000 km free. If Lexus dealers offer 4 yrs free full maintenance then that means that person overpaid for the car (compared to what others were buying the IS for).

Also, how come people here never mention it? You're the 1st here to mention it. I know all my local dealers would laugh if I asked (they sell pre-paid maintenance pkgs, big $). 4 yrs free full maintenance is authorized by BMW, BMW dealers wouldn't give it if they didn't have to.

The buyer is not buying a base 325, he's getting it loaded. What are you basing resale value on? Base or 5-sp IS will have even worse resale (higher % of 3-Series are manual than % of IS). CR has actual figures, not just "guessing".
 

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in reply to the first post. bond doesn't always drive bimmers. he's driven lots of cars other cars. (Pierce Brosnan drives bimmers....)

second, I own an X5 4.6iS, silver... and the guy 2 houses down from me owns the identical 4.6iS, black.... and we never glare at each other. And to be honest, he got his first, and I wasn't afraid to put one in my driveway too.

So if you like the IS:

A.) it doesn't matter if bond does or doesn't drive it.
B.) it doesn't matter if your neighbor does or doesn't drive it.

I think it's all about what YOU like. And if you like it, then you go for it! :D They're great cars. :wink:
 

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I traded my IS for a 350Z(regret it sometimes). My wife has a 01 325i. The IS300 is hands down a nicer car for the money. Just my opinion. Drive both and see which one suits you better.
 

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Where in OH are you from?
This is my 4th winter in the IS. With snow tires, even the heaviest snow storms can be managed.

One of the things I'm considering for the futrue (if things go better) is getting BMW 325xi Wagon Manual for my wife. No, there is no way I would give up my IS, but that would be a nice addition, considering its versatility. Two thing I like about it are RWD based AWD (38% front torque, 62% rear torque) and 50.0/ 50.0 weight distribution. I love the idea of "Euro-Delivery"! :p :p :p That would be a dream come true. 8)

One of the rumors for the future of the IS is it getting a V6 motor. If that happens, BMW will have another advantage of the the IS, as it is very loyal to the I6.
 

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IMO the IS (what "is" really is) is a rarely seen, excellent luxury, performance sport sedan. With an impeccable pedigry of reliability and craftsmanship. Well worth 30K.
 
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