In recent Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the Lexus IS Series has distinguished itself in the compact sports sedan market with top safety scores. The Lexus IS and BMW 3 Series compete head to head in their entry-sports sedan marketplace, and both have good safety scores. However, dig into the IIHS reports and one will find that the Lexus IS has the edge in safety.
In a recent test of the Lexus IS the sedan scored "Superior" in forward crash prevention. This beats the BMW 3 Series's score of "Advanced." The Lexus scored twice as many points in this important test than did the BMW. Also, every Lexus IS comes with this important active safety system. On the BMW 3 Series, the less effective safety system is optional.
There are also differences in the headlight scores of the two vehicles. Although the BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS Series both score "Acceptable," the system that earns that score is standard on the Lexus. BMW shoppers will have to buy a "lighting package" to find those headlights. All the other BMW 3 Series headlights are rated "Poor" by IIHS.