So I just got the latest issue of Car & Driver where they tested the entry-level luxo-sport cars.. like the BMW 330i, Infiniti G35, Audi A4, etc etc.. among them was also the latest and greatest 2006 Lexus IS350.. when I got back from Taiwan, I really wanted to hold off on buying a car and waiting it out for the new IS350.. knowing Lexus, I knew it was going to be great and vastly improved over the first generation IS300 (which I also briefly owned and liked).. but I kind of liked the idea of owning a VQ35 based car (even if it is a 4 door) and I figured the IS350’s back seats would probably be much smaller than the Infiniti G35 sedan’s.. and I was right.. the new IS350 back seats are much smaller.. and out of all the cars that C&D tested in this group, they said the IS350 back seats were the worst (Acura TL’s were the best, which I kind of have to agree).. anyhow.. on first glance, I figured that the BMW 330i probably deserved to win.. I mean, its been the benchmark for all luxo-sport cars to date.. but a friend sent me this forum post from IS300.net/my.is and it just made me laugh..
OK… it’s official… BMW is paying off the media!
Let’s see… during a test of a BRAND NEW 330i:
1. The airbag warning lights turned on
2. The ABS warning lights turned on
3. A brake malfunction caused the car to spin out of control when they tried stopping
4. The engine wouldn’t always start when they pushed the starter button
5. They admit the active steering is garbage
6. They admit the i-Drive system is horrible
7. They say the navigation system sucks ass
8. They say the audio system is difficult to use
9. They say the air conditioner wasn’t working optimally
Yet… let me get this straight… they STILL rank the car number 1??? This test was FIXED! How could the Lexus loose by only one point?
Yes, after reading the C&D article, I can confirm this.. the 2006 Lexus IS350 lost by one measly point.. and this is even after the BMW 330i had all of the troubles mentioned above.. the first paragraph of the BMW 330i section (where they proclaim it to be Number 1) says something to the effect of “shortly after delivery, we had problems with the push button starter”.. I mean, seriously.. thats like worst thing for a new car.. it can’t start? So someone skims this article thinking the BMW 330i is THE best luxo-sport car.. goes out and drops like $40k on a new one.. drives it home and “shortly thereafter” develops a starting problem? So based on C&D’s observations.. a car that has trouble starting when brand spankin’ new, has potentially deadly problems with its ABS system, semi-working airbags, and crappy controls and interior features STILL beats the new 2006 Lexus IS350 by 1 point?
I dunno.. it doesnt matter.. I flipped to the performance table and saw that the 2006 Lexus IS350 was pretty damn fast.. good enough for me.. it would beat the snot out of any BMW 330i and give an M3 a run for its money..
2006 Lexus IS350 (6 speed automatic) as tested by Car & Driver October 2005 issue:
0-60 MPH : 5.1 seconds
0-100 MPH : 12.8 seconds
1/4 mile : 13.7 @ 104 MPH
2005 BMW M3 (as tested by Car & Driver):
0-60 MPH : 4.8 seconds
1/4 mile : 13.6 seconds (Edmunds.com said they hit 105 MPH in the quarter mile)