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      10-24-2019, 08:07 PM   #114

Drives: M340i
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: California

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by Germanauto View Post
My DD is a Lexus IS. Aside from the very underpowered engine it's a reasonably fun little sport sedan. Looks nice, luxurious enough, and I never have to take it to the dealer for anything besides routine maintenance.
My previous car was a 2014 IS350 F-sport and before that a 2011 Lexus IS-F. My IS350 had the optional Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS). I will be the first to admit the Lexus has better steering precision and feedback than the BMW, but it is hardly a difference worth influencing the buying decision. I love the steering response in the M340i.

And after having the M340i for three months now, I can say that this car handles about on par with the IS-F and better than the IS350 and accelerates faster than the IS-F. It's significantly better than the IS350 in almost every conceivable way.

Regarding reliability, my IS-F was bullet-proof from head to toe, but the IS350 was not so great. It's possible I had first model year bad luck because I had a whole laundry list of problems. The dealership experience was always phenominal, so I didn't complain too much about the problems... but I did have problems.

1. factory camber in the front caused premature tire wear... had to replace tires every 10-15K miles. This is a well document problem. I place this under "mechanical design flaw" which gets extra demerit points.
2. rear shocks started to leak prematurely, needed to be replaced under warranty. also a well documented problem. another mechanical reliability problem.
3. navigation screen had dysfunctional anti-reflective coating that wore off, leaving permanent and illegible screen in direct sunlight (was replaced under a TSB). again, this is a well documented problem.
4. power steering started squeaking like a bird when you turned the wheel (had it replaced under warranty). not a common problem from what I could tell, but another mechanical problem.
5. knocking/thuds coming from the moonroof... tried to get it fixed about 6 times but dealership could never fix it and was the main reason I got rid of it! i found other owners with this problem on forums but nobody had a clear diagnosis and solution.
6. rattling in the door switches from the stereo bass (dealer tried but never effectively fixed it).
7. navigation system completely died around 40K miles... had it replaced under warranty.
8. Before it died at 40K miles, the navigation system would occasionally freeze, had to pull over to the side of the road and power the car off and on to reset it.

There were other miscellaneous problems with the car, but those are the ones that stand out in my memory. Another thing I didn't like was the garbage paint. The clear coat was very soft and you could essentially create swirls and scratches even with a gentle hand wash using the proper two bucket technique. Lexus is on a lot of people's "DON'T BUY" list if you are an automotive detailing geek who loves to keep your paint looking perfect.

All in all, a pretty mediocre experience owning the IS350... but I still got a pretty good trade-in offer for it from the BMW dealership. The only thing I'll miss is the residual value.

Last edited by Giggler; 10-24-2019 at 08:42 PM..