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Old 04-10-2014, 11:08 PM   #1
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Advice: 2004-06 TSX vs 2006 IS250 vs 2006 325i

I'm looking for a new daily driver and I've narrowed it down to these 3 and would like some opinions.

My main concerns are reliability and re-sale value so with that said I'm leaning towards the TSX or IS250, mainly because I still hold the perception that BMW's are less reliable than their competitors and more costly to maintain.

I average about 13,000km/year and intend to drive the car for 2-3 years. Auto or manual is fine with me and as of now, space and practicality aren't too important for me.

What do you think, Revscene?
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:14 PM   #2
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It all comes down to budget, what's yours?
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:15 PM   #3
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I was thinking the same thing when I got my TSX. Go with a 6 Speed TSX you won't regret it one bit. I love this car, only wish I got it in a manual. I drove it all across north america basically and its still running strong at 220k kms. Great engine, wicked interior, huge trunk, full options is standard.

BTW. if you do decide to go the TSX route, a couple things, Premium fuel, the same thing as with your other choices, and pony up the extra couple grand for the 6spd, or you'll regret it later. You'll find a bunch of them on the market ranging from dirt cheap to high priced, they keep their value if you treat them well because people are always looking for them. AND once you drive a TSX most other cars in its class will seem plain to you, at least thats how I feel every time I think about trading it in.

Good luck! let us know what you end up getting.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:23 PM   #4
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Given your criteria you only really have two choices - TSX and IS250.

I'd get the Lexus because its RWD and the brand has a bit more cachet. Bonus points if you can find a manual IS250. That should make for a fun DD.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:31 PM   #5
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I was in the same boat as OP up until a month ago. Here are my thoughts:

IS250 - Manual is rare. Resale value is high. RWD. Maintenance is typical Japanese. Pretty boring to drive but a good daily driver / highway cruiser. It struggles with a "I can do it!" feel, but ultimately, it can't because it's engineered to be somewhat pedestrian. Rear seats suck ass. Small front cockpit. Their electronic throttle sucks so bad, I don't even.

325i - Don't get a first model year. I'll leave it at that and let the BMW groupies sway your decision.

TSX - Overall, a nice car except FWD (if that matters to you.) Throttle response is great. 4-cylinder motor. Good daily driver, except I personally did not feel that it was all that fun to drive. The leather interior (lol) is pretty shitty and does not feel "luxurious" compared to its counterparts. The "leather" doesn't age well neither from personal observation. Easy to maintain like most Japanese cars but keep in mind, TSX is discontinued as of this year. And yes, get the 6-speed manual (good luck finding one in good condition.) Resale may be iffy but that's always the million dollar question.

In the end, I bought a 2014 Corolla so take my post with a grain of salt.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:48 PM   #6
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That 325i is actually one of the most reliable E90s. It's engine is a revised E46 one, so most of the problems are worked out. However, I would not suggest getting it as it is a first year model. This is with me being biased as I have a E90 sedan lol

I would go for the IS250, if reliability is of concern. Lexus has always been reliable and most only requires maintenance. It's also not a bad car and it still looks modern. That was actually my choice of car until BMW came out with the 335i.

TSX is a no for me. Reason being it is FWD. I'm like one of those that dislike FWD and will probably never drive one. I really liked the style of it, but FWD turned me off especially since its competitors were RWD/AWD.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:04 AM   #7
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LEXUS. better resell value. never understood people buying entry level bm.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:13 AM   #8
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RWD doesn't help the Lexus drive much. It's a dull, dull, dull car with an old man interior and a lack of space. The 2.5L motor is also gutless - no torque, no verve.

I'm biased since I have a TSX which is far more fun to drive than the Lexus. It's roomier (back seat and trunk) and has a more modern interior.

If you get the TSX try to find a 2006+ which has a bit more power and a few extra features. For $100 you can add a TL Type-S sway bar which scrubs out a bunch of understeer.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:18 AM   #9
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RWD or FWD is irrelevant to me; I've had fun driving both layouts.To me, an 04 tsx without a lip kit looks dated so I would lean towards the 06 if I were to get one, however nobody seems to be selling theirs. Same goes for the is250.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:26 AM   #10
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meeh..don't really care for the 325i, not that great of a looker with those tiny wheels.

TSX...overpriced...

IS250...overpriced....

but if I had to choose i'd go with the TSX 6 speed, only because it's the more fun to drive car out of the two. I'd suspect the lexus to feel more luxurious and plush.

What's the budget? why not 3rd gen TL?
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:27 AM   #11
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RWD or FWD is irrelevant to me; I've had fun driving both layouts.To me, an 04 tsx without a lip kit looks dated so I would lean towards the 06 if I were to get one, however nobody seems to be selling theirs. Same goes for the is250.
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06s are the same gen as the 04s iirc
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:41 AM   #12
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Correct.

04 - 06 - 1st Gen
07 - 13/14? - 2nd Gen

If drivetrain layout is irrelevant, go for the TSX.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:23 AM   #13
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The 06-08 is subtly facelifted so it looks better than the 04-05. Any newer than that and its the current model which I don't like. I considered 3rd gen tl's too but I drove one with fairly low mileage and the steering felt bad, it rattled, and it didn't feel as playful as the tsx. To me, its inferior to the tsx in the categories I care about so I won't even consider it now.

I would be in a tsx now if sellers didn't price their cars above its worth..

What do you guys think about cloth interior on an is250? Personally I prefer cloth over leather but to some its a big wtf when they find out the base IS comes with cloth.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:36 AM   #14
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What do you guys think about cloth interior on an is250? Personally I prefer cloth over leather but to some its a big wtf when they find out the base IS comes with cloth.
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I test drove a manual IS250 with cloth interior and like yourself, it was a big WTF. And yes, the dilemma of why a "luxury" car comes with cloth is a big WTF to some people.

Personally, I really liked the cloth interior. It was REALLY nice compared to most cars. In fact, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say it is the nicest cloth interior of all the cars I've been in. There were some E36 M3 models that came in cloth. I thought that was pretty nice but the Lexus cloth is WAY nicer (apples to apples comparison.) If you like it, go for it. I don't think I'd hesitate to get the IS in cloth whatsoever.

I had the same gripe as you towards the TSX - people were asking what I felt was too much in somewhat a saturated market (similar to Subarus on the market - WTF!)
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:29 AM   #15
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I believe they consider first gen TSX to be 04-08, with 06-08 being facelifted. 09-14 is the 2nd generation with a facelift somewhere in between.

The IS is lacking power from what I hear from others. I would leave the BMW out of the picture, and if you want RWD get the Lexus.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:15 PM   #16
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I would be in a tsx now if sellers didn't price their cars above its worth..
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2006-08 TSXs are particularly hard to come by b/c sellers don't really want to part with them - they're terrific all around cars well suited to Canadian customers.

What's your budget? Considering you are only keeping it 2-3 years I'm not sure depreciation really matter that much since the car is already going to have 7-10 years of depreciation on it already.
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:38 PM   #17
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Get a IS350. doesn't use much more gas than a IS250 and the power is hugely addicting vs hugely dissapointed on the 250. On the used market it doesn't cost much more than a IS250. No carbon buildup issue as well.
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:31 PM   #18
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Are all IS250s prone to carbon buildup?
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:52 PM   #19
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IS250... 302 + T5
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:54 PM   #20
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Surprised multi hasn't been in here with 302 + T5 yet...


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Old 04-11-2014, 05:42 PM   #21
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don't get the 06 325i unless you want to be the next Cement
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:07 PM   #22
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depending on your price range, just go 3g tl with a 6spd.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:22 PM   #23
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Get the tsx, 4 banger will save you money.
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:25 PM   #24
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TSX!
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:27 PM   #25
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Can't say about the other cars but I love my tsx.
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