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Faceoff: Lexus IS350 Vs. BMW 330i Page 3


BMW 330i vs. Lexus IS350

As it stands today, though, the 3-Series trounces the Lexus in terms of driving satisfaction. The two cars are in different dynamic leagues and that, right there, is the reason that Lexus sells so few cars in Europe. The IS is an extremely well presented and polished product but that’s not the same thing as being a great car. I have no doubt that Lexus will sell every car they can build because a fine appliance like the IS350 is exactly what many people want to meet their transportation needs. But for those folks who sometime go for a drive when they really have no place to go, the BMW 330i is the easy choice. It’s infinitely more fun than the Lexus and while it might seem like poor value compared to the faster, better equipped Lexus, ask yourself this: Who ever went on vacation to save money? Not everything in life can be quantified in dollars and cents. If pleasure is your measure of value, then the BMW 330i is a steal.


2006 BMW 330i
Base price: $36,660

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Engine: 3.0-liter in-line six, 255 hp/220 lb-ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, RWD (as tested)
Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 21/29 mpg
Wheelbase: 108.7 in
Length x width x height: 178.2 x 71.5 x 55.9 in
Weight: 3417 lb
Safety equipment: Front, side, and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; stability and traction control
Major standard equipment: Dual-zone climate control; adaptive headlamps; rain-sensing wipers; power front seats; 17-inch alloy wheels
Warranty: Four years/50,000 miles

2006 Lexus IS350
Base price: $35,440

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Engine: 3.5-liter V-6, 306 hp/277 lb-ft
Transmission: Six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, rear-wheel drive
Fuel economy (EPA city/hwy): 21/28 mpg
Wheelbase: 107.5 in
Length x width x height: 180.1 x 70.9 x 56.1 in
Weight: 3527 lb
Safety equipment: Front, side, and curtain airbags; knee airbag; anti-lock brakes, stability, and traction control
Major standard equipment: Dual-zone climate control; ten-way power front seats; six-CD changer; leather trim; 17-inch alloy wheels

Warranty: Four years/50,000 miles


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