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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, another comparison debate...

I'm looking at several cars, have no idea what I want. I've always loved the styling of the IS300, but its lack of HP has always sent me searching somewhere else. HP/TQ wise, how does the IS300 compare to MB C320, and the BMW 330i? I've driven a C320, and they seemed decently quick. Your comparisons please, interior, exterior, maintenance(sp?), and overall. TIA & +rep will be spread around.

~Jay
 

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I thought this thread was dug up from 4 years ago or something. Would not have expected a comparison of these cars in 2005, especially since you've been on .net for this long already.

Short of writing a lengthy response, my decision would boil down to whether you are willing to take the risks of a European car out of warranty vs. the known reliability of the Lexus. On the flip side, I think the IS's styling will age less gracefully in the public eye as the new models roll out. The C-class and 3-series can always fall back on being a Merc/BMW, but the IS being trendy in its styling may face..."you were cool five years ago" critics.

Driving wise, I like the IS's gearing and throttle response, making it feel faster than it really is.
 

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The reliability is a huge factor in this choice. The Lexus will probably be much less of a pain in the ass... and the wallet to maintain.
 
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i love the 330, but if I was buying used, i would go japanese, and in this case Lexus, hands down.

my gf's parents have a 2001 gs300 w/ 60k miles and its freakin perfect. They do take really good care of it, but not even a creak or stray rattle, its as nice and tight as it was the first day I sat in it.
 

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Sure the IS300 is not as fast but in terms of reliability and Lexus luxury I will take over the 2 vehicle you are considering because I will not want to put up with the electrical woes that European cars are noted for. Beside repair and maintenance cost will be double than what the Lexus will cost you.
 

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beatloafer said:
i love the 330, but if I was buying used, i would go japanese, and in this case Lexus, hands down.

my gf's parents have a 2001 gs300 w/ 60k miles and its freakin perfect. They do take really good care of it, but not even a creak or stray rattle, its as nice and tight as it was the first day I sat in it.
w3rd.
 

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IWannaLex said:
Hey guys, another comparison debate...

I'm looking at several cars, have no idea what I want. I've always loved the styling of the IS300, but its lack of HP has always sent me searching somewhere else. HP/TQ wise, how does the IS300 compare to MB C320, and the BMW 330i? I've driven a C320, and they seemed decently quick. Your comparisons please, interior, exterior, maintenance(sp?), and overall. TIA & +rep will be spread around.

~Jay

The 330 is the quickest here and the classiest inside and out from a conservative point of view IMO and will still be impressive 10 years down the road......That said this is ruined by the fact that there are just too many 3 series cars on the road (most of them being the 325). The fact that they are so popular has also kept used prices insanely high as well. I also do not find the non sport package 330 to be up to snuff for two reasons. The standard seats are so flat and slippery that they offer no sideways support and the suspension is just way too soft. Reliability has always been only about average for these cars as well so you will have to plan on higher maintenance costs.

I have never liked the C-Class Mercedes. The interior is not of the best quality and the build is not up to the standards of a luxury car. The 190 series were the last of the traditionally well built small Mercs but it is just became too costly to build them that way. It just lacks character as well. The E-Class is a much better car all round IMO. But Mercedes have had some real reliability issues.

The IS is the sportiest, used prices are not bad at all, and is the most reliable sedan sold in the USA. But on the inside luxury is definitely traded for sport a little too much in some places. However this car is solid to drive as a rock and will not be outdone by cars costing twice as much. It's a Toyota at the end of the day so DIY maintenance is also a cinch. Although the sprint times are not impressive compared to the competition, it actually drives much faster than these numbers suggest in the real world. This has to do with the gearing and the car is really fast in 3rd and above. You will easily hit 120mph and above effortlessly and before you even realise it. Stock handling is a bit soft IMO but L-Tuned/Eibach springs and sways will very inexpensively (modding the IS is much cheaper than the Bimmer) turn this into one sweet sports sedan which is much more fun to drive than the 330i....the point being that being a tad bit faster in a straight line is less important than how the car actually drives and handles. The IS has more than enough power to be fun and the extra power of the 330i doesn't actually put it in a different league either. So power should not be the deciding factor in looking at the cars you mentioned....If power is that much of a concern then you need to consider different cars.

In the end I got my IS over a 330i. I have what I call the centre armrest test. 99% of armrest will wiggle when shaken, some a lot like say the WRX or TSX. The 3 series and IS centre arm rests will actually refuse to even budge....now that tells me quality.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
^ thanks for the write up. I realize I will barely have any maintenance costs with the IS300 also. I'm looking @ the 350z, IS300, 330i, C320, and any other recomendations I can get(rwd, sporty, etc) under $25k. Keep in mind I will not be purchasing till Dec/Jan. TIA

~Jay
 

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I'd get the is if i were you. Bmw and mercedes just cant hold up to the reliability of a lexus. As for the 350z i would drive it for a period of time before you pick it, i test drove one for a whole day and didnt like it at all, if your looking for something more sporty maybe an s2000? Those are quick and handle and shift like a dream. And the reliability is awesome,plus for 25k you will get a nice one with low miles.
 

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well if u want number i can crank numbers, is300 is a 3liter 6cylinder inline cranking ot 215hp and 218lbs or torque, which i have and modded my father has the c320 4matic it is a 3.2liter 6inline aswell which creates 215hp and somewhere in the same torque. The NEW bmw 3 series beats the other too because of the recent upgrade. it cranks out 255hp which is able to contend with the g35. The older modeled 3 series was 225hp with 205lbs of torque. numbers are all similar. it becomes preference on style and interior. The c320 i can say which was my first car to drive is quick but it drives like a tank, the steering is very stiff. i also drove my friends 330xi (04) it was similar to the MB but the steering wasnt as stiff but still none the less german tank like drive. The lexus steering is more fluid and i believe much easier to control the car and have fun with it. When i was in the MB i felt like i was about to run a tree over or something lexus i believe is comfortable and reiable. Hey if u honestly want more power, there is NA mods which i have and left both my father and friends bmw in the dust or u can simply... boost.
 

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IWannaLex said:
Hey guys, another comparison debate...

I'm looking at several cars, have no idea what I want. I've always loved the styling of the IS300, but its lack of HP has always sent me searching somewhere else. HP/TQ wise, how does the IS300 compare to MB C320, and the BMW 330i? I've driven a C320, and they seemed decently quick. Your comparisons please, interior, exterior, maintenance(sp?), and overall. TIA & +rep will be spread around.

~Jay
I think used G35 coupe or sedan is the answer. You can probably get one for around $25K.
 

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ssk0771 said:
I think used G35 coupe or sedan is the answer. You can probably get one for around $25K.
Thanks for going off topic.
 

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Chrylser...I mean Mercedes!

I have always like Mercedes, but after owning a new 2000 ML430...NEVER AGAIN! I had over 21 repair orders on my ML in 31,000 miles and 16 months. What a piece of XXXX! Drove great and looked good, but Mercedes/Chrylser quality is horrible.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ssk0771 said:
I think used G35 coupe or sedan is the answer. You can probably get one for around $25K.
That is the car I want to get. Finding one @ $25k or close will be difficult...I'm still not sure how much I can spend...
 

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Get an IS for a good price and get some Go Fast mods. You can have 260hp in no time. You'll also get the Lexus reliability, service and smoothness!
 

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