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Am considering purchasing/leasing an IS300, but am also looking at the following competitive vehicles:

BMW 330i
Audi A4 (will be redone for 2002)
Mercedes C320
Jaguar X-Type

Any reasons why IS300 is better? Was hoping to get a manual transmission, which would limit me to BMW or Audi.

Thanks!
 

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As former IS owner and current 530i/C320 owner.

IS300 is slightly quieter, the interior material is slightly better in quality (330i and C320 interior is very cheap).

Handling wise, 330i is still better than IS300. IS300 is more quieter. But 330 is more fun to drive. C320 feels like an old man's car.

The 3.0L engine in the Bimmer feels a little more strong, espeically in the low end. IS300 is just about okay through the RPM range. C320 is weak.

I would suggest that you buy IS300, since the price difference is around 10K between 330 and IS.

Keep the 10k and mod the IS.
 

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First off, I'm surprised there hasn't been a hundred replies telling you to go do a search on this exact topic (theres been tons of talk about all these comparos before), but I've been thinking about(and test driving)these exact cars for waaayyy too long without making a decision yet so here's my take on it (and I think I'm pretty unbiased since I've been hanging out here, audiworld, and bimmer for a while).
Bottom line is if you're only looking to spend in the low 30s, the is300 is hands down the best car out there for the money (you get more for your money with the tl type s, but its for old people all the way). The IS is the most unique of all those cars, it handles arguably as good or better than all those, you've got the great lexus quality and service, and its just pretty damn fun to drive. On the other hand the interior is just not on the same level as the others (design-wise yes, quality of materials not even close). Spend 10 seconds in the audi or bmw and you'll know what I mean, but again, you're paying for it.

As far as the X-type have you seen the pricing thats been released, with comparable options on just the 194hp base 2.5 you'll be looking at 40k let alone at least 5-10k more for the 231hp 3.0. i haven't seen it in person but thats a hell of a lot for that and you still have to wonder about Jag (Ford) quality.

The Mercedes, too, is drastically more and its just a cushy ride even with the sport package. And personally it looks cheap on the outside.

The new A4 looks like it will be pretty nice but you won't be able to get one until late, late fall or early 2002. Also you'll be paying at least sticker and you'll deal with the bugs of the first year (which Audi always has), but you'll be the first on the block which is cool. Also its a bit bigger than the old a4 which may be too big. Also it'll cost in the very high 30s for the 3.0 with quattro(which is a must).

The 330 is a great car. Its feels noticably more powerful than the IS, handling feels nearly identical, the interior is great, but again way more $$ like 42k loaded v. 32k. Its just nicer than the lexus but overpriced and not as unique. And the 325 doesn't compare.

Lastly, my personal favorite is the S4. Its a luxury rocketship with the one of the nicest interiors ever. Go test drive one for the hell of it, its awesome. In no way does it compare to the IS but it shouldn't because it costs at least 25% more.

Bottom line if you spend low 30s I'd go for the the IS and if you can afford it go for the s4(although you better hurry because its gone in a couple of months). But test them all because they're quite different.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, just my opinions so don't anyone get too upset but I'd like to here any agreements/disagreements.
 

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I honestly think all the cars that you listed are great cars. When I lease my IS300 last November, the other car that I looked at is MB C240/C320. I did not look at BMW 330i, because I know that it will be out of my budget. Tell you the truth, I did not even drive the C240 or C320 (I did seat in there and it just did not feel quite right) and I picked IS300 for the following reasons (first one been the most important factor).

1. I can afford it.
2. Great quality.
3. The seat fits me the best (I think been AZN have something to do with this).
4. Great looking exterior and interior.
5. Great service at Lexus of Santa Monica.

The cars that I have owned before the 2001 IS300:
¡¥79 Fiat X19 Inline 4 (1.5 or 1.6L?), 5spd stick
¡¦80 Ford Fremont 2DR V8, automatic
¡¦87 Toyota Pickup 2.2L 4spd stick
¡¦63 Pontiac Tempest 2dr. slant 4 automatic
¡¦7? Dodge Van, 318 V8, automatic
¡¦87 Isuzu P¡¦up (2.?L) 5spd stick
¡¦96 Chrysler Sebring Jxi convertible, V6 automatic

I have also driven (more than 24 hrs on each model) my cousin¡¦s BMW 524i, MB E320 (old style), E320 (new style), and C280 ¡¦96 (I actually like the ¡¥96 C280 better than the ¡¥01 C240)

As you can see, I have owned and driven quite a few different kind/type/style of vehicles, and tell you the truth, I don¡¦t miss the stick shift a bit. The e-shift is the greatest thing that they put on the IS300, on the twisty, this is a plus and I don¡¦t think I can shift better than the e-shift.
 

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Why not go and test drive them and see for yourself?

I'd say one of the main reasons to get the IS over the others is the price/value.
 

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There are many reasons why the IS300 is a better car... to me. I won't state them because they probably won't apply to everyone.

All the cars you listed are great... don't think you can go horribly wrong with any one of them. If you're picking a manual, include the IS300 in the list since the 5 speed is due soon. Another thing to consider is that the IS300 (comparably equipped) is priced in the lower end of those other cars. (read: C240, 325i, X-type 2.5, A4 1.8t)

Which ever way you pick, you'll end up with a smile.


Originally posted by Thayer:
Am considering purchasing/leasing an IS300, but am also looking at the following competitive vehicles:

BMW 330i
Audi A4 (will be redone for 2002)
Mercedes C320
Jaguar X-Type

Any reasons why IS300 is better? Was hoping to get a manual transmission, which would limit me to BMW or Audi.

Thanks!
 

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You can't beat the value you get on the IS300. That doesn't mean that this car is cheap - then again, if you are considering those other vehicles then maybe saving a few $$$ is no a concern for you...
 

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Actually I would chose the X-Type 3.0.
The engine looks sweet, has a pleasant exterior, probably gorgeous interior, and most of all comes with a MANUAL TRANSMISSION. If you can not go all out for the X-Type, go with the 330. S4's tranmission is not too good, and the exterior is identical to a car that costs $20k less (chicks wont dig it). C320 and A4 are both too pitiful to warrant a response...
 

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Of those cars, I would definitely not get the Benz, even though it's a nice car and quite sporty, I don't think it offers anything that justifies the price premium (unless you love the look).
The new A4 should be a great car, but I wouldn't buy a first model year (esp. German or American). The 330 is now a great option since the steering is back to being weighty and responsive.
It'd be a tough call between a 5 speed 330i Euro Delivery ($35,000) - drive it in south France!! Or an IS300 5 speed ($30,000 maybe). I'd personally go with the IS300 and use the $5000 extra for a nice European vacation ($2400 rents a 911 for a week - Nurburgring!!) and some mods.
 

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Price lower than 330i.
Handling better than C320.
IS300 looks more like your own car than your parents' car than X-type, at least for me.

But still, I don't have any of the above because i am poor.
 

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the new a4 even with its 3.0 is disgusting, they turned it from somewhat of a good looking small sedan to an ugly grandma mobile with the new a6 styling they put on it. X-type well nobody know enough about that yet. the one i saw at the NY auto show was badass, with the 3.0 sport package, 5 speed, and i think they were 18" wheels. 330 you will end up paying alot more for and the c320 is weak and the least sporty of the bunch
 

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It's a damn shame that the Audi's are starting to look more and more like Volkswagens. I hate VW! And the new A4 SUCKS! My only hope lies in the S4, but soon that will be phased out from it's current suit, I'm sure.
 

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I saw the new A4 in Munich, both on the road and in a showroom - it looks very nice (and I don't like the A6). don't base your judgement on the pictures, looks very nice in person. I sat in one too, the interior's very nice, even better than the current A4 - though it looks the same in pics, it's actually better made, with better seats. much better feeling shifter too.

Originally posted by zachase:
the new a4 even with its 3.0 is disgusting, they turned it from somewhat of a good looking small sedan to an ugly grandma mobile with the new a6 styling they put on it. X-type well nobody know enough about that yet. the one i saw at the NY auto show was badass, with the 3.0 sport package, 5 speed, and i think they were 18" wheels. 330 you will end up paying alot more for and the c320 is weak and the least sporty of the bunch
 

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Hmm... seems like '02 IS300 will be pretty nice. And '02 models won't have those ECU and TRAC probs that current model is having. Also full leather will be available... armrest... NAV... VSC... hmm... makes me think twice about getting C320... I know I can't go wrong with C320 tho~ it's a nice car. However, I think C-class is focused on luxury rather than sports. Cushy ride... luxurious interior... etc. Hard decision... C320 or IS300....
 
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