2012 Lexus IS vs. Its Competition

2011 Lexus IS 250 4-door Sport Sedan Auto AWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class are the benchmarks in the segment, and both add smaller turbocharged four-cylinder engines to the lineup this year.

Both are available with a range of body style and drivetrain configurations, and their handling and build quality are top-notch.

The Cadillac CTS is also a relative newcomer to the segment, but its low price and excellent feature set make it a good value proposition.

The Infiniti G37 has a new, more powerful 332-horsepower engine, but is based on the same excellent-handling FM platform as the G35 before it, with well-balanced sports-sedan styling and proportions, plus available all-wheel drive.

It's also substantially less expensive than the German sedans.

The Audi A4 is more fuel-efficient and has a great interior, though it can also feel a little noisy and coarse.

2011 Lexus IS 250 4-door Sport Sedan Auto AWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Lexus IS
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2012 Audi A4 4-door Avant Wagon Auto quattro 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A4
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2012 BMW M3 2-door Coupe Angular Front Exterior View2012 BMW 3-Series
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2012 Cadillac CTS Touring Edition2012 Cadillac CTS
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2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class
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Quick Specs
7.4
The 2012 Lexus IS 250 and IS 350 aren't as focused and fun to drive as sport sedans from BMW or Infiniti, though especially in F Sport guise they still look great.
8.2
The 2012 Audi A4 provides an engaging driving experience, impressive in-cabin technology, and surprisingly great fuel efficiency—making it a good everyday driver among premium sedans.
8.4
Despite the weight gain, the BMW M3's still one of the most stunning performance vehicles we've driven.
8.4
It has a styling leg up, and the 2012 Cadillac CTS backs up its looks with good dynamics, good build quality and a competitive set of body styles and options.
8.2
With a new base four-cylinder engine, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class makes even more sense for value-conscious (yet image-conscious) luxury shoppers.
MSRP From    
$33,795$32,500$34,900$35,915$34,800
Gas Mileage    
16 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I4
EPA Class    
Sub-CompactCompact CarsCompact CarsMid-SizeCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sport Sedan Manual RWD4-Door Sedan CVT FrontTrak 2.0T Premium4-Door Sedan 328i RWD4-Door Sedan 3.0L RWD4-Door Sedan C 250 Sport RWD
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55555
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
SedanSedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission    
ManualContinuously Variable RatioManualManualAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Lexus IS vs. 2012 Audi A42012 Lexus IS vs. 2012 BMW 3-Series2012 Lexus IS vs. 2012 Cadillac CTS2012 Lexus IS vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C Class