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I'm a young professional and am looking to lease a car...which would you get? A 12,000 mile per year lease, 3 year timeframe would probably work. I know, I know, this is a BMW forum, and this is a beaten topic, but here goes...we're comparing 2011 bmw 335i coupe vs 2011 lexus is 350...the latest vs the latest:

BRAND PRESTIGE: BMW holds the upper hand here but Lexus is no slouch. No one is going to make fun of you if you have a Lexus.

INTERIOR: Hands down, this one goes to the Lexus. I've sat in both, and Lexus gives you a plush interior. Moreover, the Lexus is very quiet, you feel like you're isolated from the road, but you still here the desired engine grunt. In the 2 times I've ridden as passenger in a BMW 3 series, it also seems quiet, but for some reason the boring orange gauges and very stark/spartan/simple? dials don't seem to wow people on first sight as much as the flashy Lexus gauges, dials, bells, and whistles.

SPEED: BMW's website says 5.5 seconds for the 335i coupe automatic and Lexus's website says 5.6 seconds. Call it even. 0.1 seconds to 60 is not going to be a deal breaker for me.

EXTERIOR: BMW's coupe is probably one of the hottest cars under 60K right now in terms of appearance. Lexus looks fairly sharp as well especially with the new daylight running lights, but I'd have to give the slight edge to the BMW.

PRICE: Fully loaded, the BMW is a cool 10 grand more than the Lexus. Leasing, I think it'll be about a hundred bucks more a month for the Bimmer.

RELIABILITY: From what I hear and read, Lexus is significantly more reliable than the BMW, with less parts breaking down. I'm worried about the HPFP, but from what I hear, N55 is at least a little more reliable.

DEALERSHIP/INTANGIBLES: The Lexus dealership seems very friendly, cordial, and definitely willing to deal, but they don't have the all-inclusive 4 year warranty. BMW also seems to be more leninent when returning cars after your lease.

X-Factor: BMW, BMW, BMW

CABIN SILENCE (according to Insideline):
Lexus IS 350 (2006):

Sound level @ idle (dB) 40
@ Full throttle (dB) 73
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 68

BMW 335i sedan (2007):
Sound level @ idle (dB) 46.9
@ Full throttle (dB) 76.3
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 62.5

I'm tired of my noisy Honda, so this last factor, cabin silence might actually tip me over. Do owners notice the BMW quieter than the Lexus?

Many thanks.
 

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I'm a young professional and am looking to lease a car...which would you get? A 12,000 mile per year lease, 3 year timeframe would probably work. I know, I know, this is a BMW forum, and this is a beaten topic, but here goes...we're comparing 2011 bmw 335i coupe vs 2011 lexus is 350...the latest vs the latest:

BRAND PRESTIGE: BMW holds the upper hand here but Lexus is no slouch. No one is going to make fun of you if you have a Lexus.

INTERIOR: Hands down, this one goes to the Lexus. I've sat in both, and Lexus gives you a plush interior. Moreover, the Lexus is very quiet, you feel like you're isolated from the road Is this a good thing to you?, but you still here the desired engine grunt. In the 2 times I've ridden as passenger in a BMW 3 series, it also seems quiet, but for some reason the boring orange gauges and very stark/spartan/simple? dials don't seem to wow people on first sight as much as the flashy Lexus gauges, dials, bells, and whistles.IMO this is one the things that I like about the BMW. Also, the theory is that the orange affects your nigh tvision less.

SPEED: BMW's website says 5.5 seconds for the 335i coupe automatic and Lexus's website says 5.6 seconds. Call it even. 0.1 seconds to 60 is not going to be a deal breaker for me.

EXTERIOR: BMW's coupe is probably one of the hottest cars under 60K right now in terms of appearance. Lexus looks fairly sharp as well especially with the new daylight running lights, but I'd have to give the slight edge to the BMW.

PRICE: Fully loaded, the BMW is a cool 10 grand more than the Lexus. Leasing, I think it'll be about a hundred bucks more a month for the Bimmer. BMW offers pretty aggressive lease deals, I would check on this.

RELIABILITY: From what I hear and read, Lexus is significantly more reliable than the BMW, with less parts breaking down. I'm worried about the HPFP, but from what I hear, N55 is at least a little more reliable. I wouldn't necessarily factor reliability in here, since other than the inconvenience of having to bring the car to the dealer, you can get a loaner from BMW.

DEALERSHIP/INTANGIBLES: The Lexus dealership seems very friendly, cordial, and definitely willing to deal, but they don't have the all-inclusive 4 year warranty. BMW also seems to be more leninent when returning cars after your lease.

X-Factor: BMW, BMW, BMW

CABIN SILENCE (according to Insideline):
Lexus IS 350 (2006):

Sound level @ idle (dB) 40
@ Full throttle (dB) 73
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 68

BMW 335i sedan (2007):
Sound level @ idle (dB) 46.9
@ Full throttle (dB) 76.3
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 62.5

I'm tired of my noisy Honda, so this last factor, cabin silence might actually tip me over. Do owners notice the BMW quieter than the Lexus? Quieter? No, but still quiet.

Many thanks.
Good luck with your decision!
 

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Squeal like a BMW
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If you are leasing I'd cross reliability off as a major factor. The E92 is a pretty mature platform at this point. My boss got bored with his IS350 after a while - just not as much of a driver's car.

I agree on the interiors. Lexus build quality > BMW, but there is also the subjective differences between Euro and Japanese styling, and I happen to prefer the euro styling.
 

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wooohooo
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I admit that I didn't read the whole OP, but I completely disagree that the IS has a nicer interior. My friend who is leasing an IS250 would agree, in fact. This friend works in a large family business where nearly all members and extended family lease Lexus. Well he is considering going back to Infiniti (he had a G35 previously that he finally just sold) because he found their service to be much better than with Lexus. I told him it really boils down to the individual place and person. He possibly got duped on new brakes and rotors for a 3yr lease on the Lexus. I told him he very likely didn't need it done already after two years, but that the pricing was fair (at least with the quotes I'm used to in the BMW world).

Reliability after three years, I guess that's just not a consideration for me. What I mean is that I'm planning on keeping mine for over a decade, and I guess I just expect any car to last three years without much issue. OTOH, 10k is a lot of dough.

How is the rear visibility in the Lexus?
 

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If you think the IS has a better interior, get it.

You dont understand what BMW is, nor the soul of German engineering.

Japanese cars have no intrinsic soul, modern CAD feeling cars...
 

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8D
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My previous car was ES350. The moment I got 328i I was surprised how quiet it was. Over the period of time, I started to notice engine whine, sound of motor turning and road noise, but I wouldn't say they are distracting or stress-inducing. Lexus is a quieter car, hands down. That's what they are made for. Though not to the level of Lexus cars, BMW is quiet and calm as well.

As for build quality, Lexus wins. However, BMW has much more overall solid feel of driving the car. Have fun shopping.
 

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One's a reliable cushy couch and the other is a pure drivers car...It's your call but really apples and oranges here.Why must people keep comparing Bimmers to every other brand??? Not saying BMW is the best but ALL cars drive differently so pick the one you like and run with it.:thumbup:
 

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Grand Poobah
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If you cannot choose, you probably want the Lexus.

That is if you have test driven both cars to a substantial degree. If not, you need to do that, regardless of what you have on paper to compare over and over.
I looked at a lot of makers and models -- including Lexus, Audi, Mercedes, Infiniti, BMW…
In the end, I kept wanting to come back to the BMW dealerships as that was the only car that continued to put a smile on my face (including when I looked at other model ranges). I definitely appreciate the qualities of cars offered by the other companies. A C63 or IS-F could be my next vehicle… But I took home a 335.

One of them is going to feel right. One of them is going to speak to you. Don't let us make the decision. If you don't feel the difference in BMW's handling and dynamics, then it's not going to be one of your criteria.

There is no correct choice for everyone… that is why there are so many vehicles out there. I still want a 1950 Studebaker Champion.
 

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Get a manual transmission, if you want true motoring and fun. Its whole nother league...
 

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...which would you get?
Since you asked...the IS350 doesn't come with a manual transmission, so decision made. But since you didn't even mention this in your comparison, you probably should buy the Lexus.

One of my wife's friends went from a 10 year old 3 Series sedan to a IS350 convertible. I just about gagged when she and her husband were showing it to us. Not our style.
 

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Bad Lieutenant
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Get a manual transmission, if you want true motoring and fun. Its whole nother league...
True, the Lexus transmissions are more anemic than the BMW 328 GM-sourced units.
 

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Get out there and drive both cars-preferably on the same day. Repeat if needed on another day. Tell the sales guys to be quiet so you can concentrate on everything that is important. Some of those guys don't know when to quit.

I'm curious which one you decide on. Even if it's the Lexus, I would like to know.
 

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You guys are right, I gotta go out there, get behind the wheel and test-drive the BMW...I have yet to do this. You can't really compare them on paper!
Absolutely! I own a 335is and for "giggles" I recently test drove an IS350 equipped with F wheels, aero package, and who knows what else. The joke was on me.

I was very impressed with the IS350. The ride was firm and responsive but much more comfortable than my 335is coupe. And the Lexus leather quality is to die for. It puts BMW's 3 series leather to shame.

These are very different cars. The BMW is a high performance machine but is short on creature comforts. The Lexus is a sporty car and also fun to drive but lacks the edge of the BMW. However, it's a better daily drive machine.

So you have to look at the entire package and honestly ask yourself what it is that you want most in a car. The BMW 3er is not for everyone, at least not the models with sport suspension.

BTW also test drive comparable models from Audi and Mercedes. My impression is that Lexus and Mercedes are very similar. Audi is more BMW-like (although I haven't driven one so I am guessing).

And do let us know what you decide and why.
 

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OP: Don't take this the wrong way but you sound like a perfect candidate for the Lexus. Your concerns about cabin noise, fancy gauges, and reliability point you to Lexus. BMW's have lots of quirks (RFT/no spare tire, no dipstick, odd user interface for Stereo/HVAC controls) and are less reliable than most Japanese cars. People put up with it because they drive so nicely when pushed hard. The test drive is mandatory IMO, just go do it. Good luck with your decision.
 

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No matter which vehicle you choose-the 335i or IS350, either will be a quantum leap in performance over your "noisy" Honda.

Either one of those babies will provide you with a lot of driving fun. The Lexus cabin is a bit cozy. The 335i cabin is roomier.
 

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OP, you'd get the lexus, then one day it will dawn on you: this is a souped-up Corolla! You'll suffer sleepless nights and mental anguish and will constantly be reminded of it. You'll see it in your garage and notice that it just doesn't excite you anymore and can't wait to let the lease expire.

The BMW for me has been nothing but a daily journey of discovery. Everytime I drive it, I let out a big smile like a kid in a candy store. It's the first car I've ever owned that I've taken out for joy rides: driving it for the fun of driving it. A lexus will never ever have this effect on people - just remember that.
 

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Freedom isn't free!!
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I'm a young professional and am looking to lease a car...which would you get? A 12,000 mile per year lease, 3 year timeframe would probably work. I know, I know, this is a BMW forum, and this is a beaten topic, but here goes...we're comparing 2011 bmw 335i coupe vs 2011 lexus is 350...the latest vs the latest:

BRAND PRESTIGE: BMW holds the upper hand here but Lexus is no slouch. No one is going to make fun of you if you have a Lexus. What, are you still in high school?

INTERIOR: Hands down, this one goes to the Lexus. I've sat in both, and Lexus gives you a plush interior. Moreover, the Lexus is very quiet, you feel like you're isolated from the road :rolleyes: : puke: , but you still here the desired engine grunt. In the 2 times I've ridden as passenger in a BMW 3 series, it also seems quiet, but for some reason the boring orange gauges and very stark/spartan/simple? dials don't seem to wow people on first sight as much as the flashy Lexus gauges, dials, bells, and whistles. They're not meant to. BMW has a VERY good reason for using those boring orange gauges.

SPEED: BMW's website says 5.5 seconds for the 335i coupe automatic and Lexus's website says 5.6 seconds. Call it even. 0.1 seconds to 60 is not going to be a deal breaker for me. Whew. That's good to know.

EXTERIOR: BMW's coupe is probably one of the hottest cars under 60K right now in terms of appearance. Lexus looks fairly sharp as well especially with the new daylight running lights, but I'd have to give the slight edge to the BMW. I'm sure all the BMW engineers in Munich are jumping for joy.

PRICE: Fully loaded, the BMW is a cool 10 grand more than the Lexus. Leasing, I think it'll be about a hundred bucks more a month for the Bimmer.
You buy a BMW because the driving experience is important enough to you to warrant paying a premium

RELIABILITY: From what I hear and read, Lexus is significantly more reliable than the BMW, with less parts breaking down. I'm worried about the HPFP, but from what I hear, N55 is at least a little more reliable. That would be "fewer parts".

DEALERSHIP/INTANGIBLES: The Lexus dealership seems very friendly, cordial, and definitely willing to deal, but they don't have the all-inclusive 4 year warranty. BMW also seems to be more leninent when returning cars after your lease.

X-Factor: BMW, BMW, BMW

CABIN SILENCE (according to Insideline):
Lexus IS 350 (2006):

Sound level @ idle (dB) 40
@ Full throttle (dB) 73
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 68

BMW 335i sedan (2007):
Sound level @ idle (dB) 46.9
@ Full throttle (dB) 76.3
@ 70 mph cruise (dB) 62.5

I'm tired of my noisy Honda, so this last factor, cabin silence might actually tip me over. Do owners notice the BMW quieter than the Lexus? This question is a joke, right?

Many thanks.
Here's my initial gut reaction : puke:

You buy a BMW because the driving experience is important enough to you to warrant paying a premium for the Ultimate Driving Machine. They didn't choose that tag line lightly.

If you buy a BMW for status (I don't care whether you're a young professional or an old janitor) then you're a poseur. Go buy a Merc. It will have a lot more status with the people you will be trying to impress.
 

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Another (small) consideration...the Lexus IS has a TINY backseat--yes, way smaller than the 3 series coupe. So if you ever carry passengersback there, you may want to hitnk about that. As far as interiors go, I think that the BMW's can "pop" too but it depends on trim choices. If you get black and aluminum it's going to be a bit spartan. Red over aluminum or Oyster/Bamboo come across as quite unique and special. The gauges arent as techy as the Lexus guages but I think you'll actually prefer them after living w/ the car. BMW's lease deals are great right now too. I honestly can't think of very many good reasons to choose an IS over a 335 right now. Reliability may be one, but I think the whole HPFP mess has settled down a bit, and besides, the car is under warranty and the odds of actually having to take it to the dealer more than once for problems are quite low
 

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I test drove the Lexus. I was completely bored after 5 minutes. When we got to a twisty section, I put it manu-matic mode so I could start using the paddles. The thing took a full second to shift. Even worse, if I was in a high gear and floored it, it would kick down a gear or two, even if I didn't tell it to. Don't know about you, but when I want to shift manually, I want to be the boss. The only thing I want the car to do for me is shift to first if I come to a stop (so it doesn't stall). Otherwise, if I want to bang off the rev limiter, I should be able to. If I want to floor it in 5th gear going 50 mph without a downshift, I should be able to.

It be nice if they made the 350 in a manual, but they don't. But paddles don't need to be so boring. My wife's A3 has paddle and they are a blast. It has a DSG, so the shifts (both up and down) are instant and very crisp. And the car always obeys what I want it to do, not what the computers think is right. Now doubt, the IS350 is a nice looking car, inside and out, but the driving experience is flat out bland. Given the choice, I'd choose a TSX before I went with an IS350. Even though it's down 100hp, it's MUCH more fun to drive.
 
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