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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
For the past few weeks, I was dead set on buying the new IS350. I ran across an ad for a 2004 BMW M3 with only 6k miles for $45,000. The car is immaculate and comes with smg and other options. The price is great. Now, I have a huge dilemma. I figure the IS will come in at about 45k with a few options, so price is a wash. I know this is a Lexus board but I am pleading with you guys to be objective. Which car would you take? Now, bare in mind that I have had a 2001 330I for the past 4 years. One thing that is stopping me from buying the M3 is the fact that it is similar to my 330I. If I bought the M3, it would seem like having similar cars for 8-10 years (I usually keep cars for 4-5 years). Of course, engine wise, it is a totally different beast. Please give me some tips and advice. Thanks guys.
 

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go with the e46 m3, try to lower it by another 2~3k if possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. Here's another catch. My wife had a 01 es300 and while it was a decent car, it had a totally different feel compared to my 330I. Her car was very quiet and drove smoothly, while my BMW is a bit harsh and communicates the road feel well. Now, I know BMW's are known for their road feel, and Lexus is known for their isolation. I almost feel like I would take luxury and isolation over harshness and road feel now. Perhaps I am getting older? :( Does anyone understand what I just said?:) Thus, maybe I am just tired of BMW's driving philosophy and need a change of pace.
 

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Maximus330I said:
Thanks guys. Here's another catch. My wife had a 01 es300 and while it was a decent car, it had a totally different feel compared to my 330I. Her car was very quiet and drove smoothly, while my BMW is a bit harsh and communicates the road feel well. Now, I know BMW's are known for their road feel, and Lexus is known for their isolation. I almost feel like I would take luxury and isolation over harshness and road feel now. Perhaps I am getting older? :( Does anyone understand what I just said?:) Thus, maybe I am just tired of BMW's driving philosophy and need a change of pace.
i'd go with the e46m3, but then again, depends on what you want from a car....
 

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go for the m3.
 

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my brother has an '03 M3 and it definitely is a different feel from a lexus. depends on what you want, i think the new IS would be interesting with some of the new features not to mention it would be brand new with a better navi and tech stuff. if you can wait, test drive it first.
 

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Maximus330I said:
Thanks guys. Here's another catch. My wife had a 01 es300 and while it was a decent car, it had a totally different feel compared to my 330I. Her car was very quiet and drove smoothly, while my BMW is a bit harsh and communicates the road feel well. Now, I know BMW's are known for their road feel, and Lexus is known for their isolation. I almost feel like I would take luxury and isolation over harshness and road feel now. Perhaps I am getting older? :( Does anyone understand what I just said?:) Thus, maybe I am just tired of BMW's driving philosophy and need a change of pace.
If you're having so many second thoughts, then it's clear that you're already leaning towards the Lexus in addition to being doubtful about the M3. The only thing you have to make distinct now is if you'll have a case of the "what if's" down the road. This goes for both cars.

Example: If you got the BMW you might be stuck wondering what if I got the Lexus, and vice versa.

To clarify my point about you having second thoughts, imagine you and your wife torn between two restaurants, an Italian one and a French one. You decide to toss a coin and leave it up to fate - heads for Italian and tails for French. The coin lands on tails, yet you say "let's flip it again for best out of 3". That's how you know you were subconsciously craving Italian all along. The same concept applies to this situation, except that you have listed many things already that's pointing to you wanting a Lexus over the BMW.

In the end though, the best way to decide is still to test drive both and figure it out from there. If time is an issue and you can't wait, well... that's a different story.
 

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Maximus330I said:
Hi guys,
For the past few weeks, I was dead set on buying the new IS350. I ran across an ad for a 2004 BMW M3 with only 6k miles for $45,000. The car is immaculate and comes with smg and other options. The price is great. Now, I have a huge dilemma. I figure the IS will come in at about 45k with a few options, so price is a wash. I know this is a Lexus board but I am pleading with you guys to be objective. Which car would you take? Now, bare in mind that I have had a 2001 330I for the past 4 years. One thing that is stopping me from buying the M3 is the fact that it is similar to my 330I. If I bought the M3, it would seem like having similar cars for 8-10 years (I usually keep cars for 4-5 years). Of course, engine wise, it is a totally different beast. Please give me some tips and advice. Thanks guys.
For me I think it would have alot to do with what stage I was at in my life. Personally if I had to pick right now, I would pick M3. But if I had a family or if I was a little bit older, perhaps more refined...I would probably go for the IS350. I dont think you can go wrong either way though.
 

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I personaly dont like M3 but this isnt about me so I say if theres a way for you to test drive the New IS350 do so and if it feels better then your 330 wait for it. If you're not as comfortable in the IS350 go for the M3.
 

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If performance is the main thing then the M3 no doubt. However, for 45K I am guessing that will get you a loaded IS350 with stuff the M3 doesnt have like heated/cooled seats, the dvd-audio surround system, keyless access, etc.

I personally would get the IS350 because I like having stuff in my car more than just sheer performance that I can't even fully use on a daily basis and these creature comforts can be used every single time I am driving. 5 or 6 years ago (I'm 26) I'd have gone maybe more for performance but now it is the luxury side that sells me hence why I drive a 05 RL and not something that offers better performance but less luxury although I will say the RL handles almost as good as the current IS300 (my former car) so...

The M3 seems like a pretty badass car though.
 

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FiJeeBOi said:
For me I think it would have alot to do with what stage I was at in my life. Personally if I had to pick right now, I would pick M3. But if I had a family or if I was a little bit older, perhaps more refined...I would probably go for the IS350. I dont think you can go wrong either way though.
Hit the nail on the head. In my case I'd take the M3 right now...5 years from now probably the IS350.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have 2 young children, so the is350 would be a lot more practical. I think no matter which car I choose, I am going to always be thinking "what if". I suppose it's the nature of the beast. Yesterday, I was really headed for the M3. Today is a different day:) I'm sure the IS will be more practical and I am a gadget lover! I love new gadgets and great stereo systems. I would definitely uprade to the Levinson and nav for sure. Still, I am torn between the two cars and need to decide pretty quickly because I do not think the 2004 M3 will stay at the dealers lot for long. More comments are appreciated. Thanks guys.
 

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I would have to agree with the others... if you want pure performance... get the M3! But if you want a well rounded, comfortable car that can also allow you to have a lot of fun when you want it... get the IS350.
 

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i think i'll have more fun with e46 m3... only reason couldn't get it cuz can't afford insurance.
 

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Also keep in mind the reliability of the Lexus. I don't know much about the M3 reliability, just about BMW's in general, but with a family, you don't want to break down somewhere. I personally would take the Lexus, being a father of young'ens myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Crester,
I agree with your summation. Performance wise, it's going to be hard to beat an M3. I think the IS350 will be more rounded as you stated above. Does anyone know what is the earliest date they will be available to purchase?
 

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cryostate said:
Also keep in mind the reliability of the Lexus. I don't know much about the M3 reliability, just about BMW's in general, but with a family, you don't want to break down somewhere. I personally would take the Lexus, being a father of young'ens myself.
another thing to add, u need to find a good shop for service when out of warrenty, brake job is a 1000 dollars job if u dont' know how to do it urself. (doing it by yourself is about 2~3 hrs long) - speaking from a previous e36 m3 owner experience

but i still would take m3 anyday.
 

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How was your experience with the 330i?

I know one of my deturing factors is the reliability and service that BMW has become notorious for. If you have had a great experience, then the BMW should be more appealing. If you have not, however, then I would think the Lexus might appeal to you more.

It seems that if you are a BMW customer considering a Lexus, that BMW does not "do it" for you. My BMW friends consistently criticize my car and its ride, claiming that it feels nothing like a BMW. It seems almost cultish, like its a fraternity (I am in one...dont think I'm biased against fraternal organizations) and the members only associate with themselves and deem their organization superior without consideration.

If that '04 BMW is on the market, similar deals will follow. IS350 deliveries are suspect, some claim they will arrive in October 2005, others feel it will be 2006 Q1.

Again, its really a personal preference. From your posts, it seems that you are on the fence about BMW. A "rational" customer ;). From what enthusiasts have commented on about the IS350, its one hell of a car. They are Lexus IS enthusiasts, no doubt, but I think the reviews are fairly level headed.

Are there any "Taste of Lexus" events in your area? I know they are really pushing the new IS, you might be able to land yourself in one before you purchase one.
 
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