Why Do Buyers Choose Lexus RC F or IS 350 Instead of BMW M4 or 335i?
Our recent interview of a Lexus RC F owner brought to light an interesting subject. Josh, the interviewee, mentioned that when he was looking to move up from his Lexus IS 350 F-Sport he considered a BMW M4. However, scarce availability of the BMW, coupled with excellent service at his Lexus dealer, factored into his decision to buy an RC F. Torque News maintains a close relationship with a number of Facebook Clubs for owners of the Lexus IS sedan and RC coupes. We reached out to the approximately 15,000 members and simply asked “When you bought your Lexus, did you consider a BMW? If so, give us the top two reasons you chose a Lexus instead.” Here is what current owners of Lexus performance vehicles said.
Lexus IS Sport Sedan Owner Replies:
-Kenneth C: I was choosing between a Lexus IS F or BMW M3. My friend has an M3 that he bought brand new, and the maintenance became quite expensive when the BMW ran out of warranty. The IS F looks better than the M3. Reliability and lower maintenance costs were a big factor in choosing the IS F.
-Mark W: Reliability. I can do most maintenance and repairs I'm likely to need with regular hand tools. Not having MacPherson (struts) was a close third.
-Anthony L: Reliability and repair cost. Hate to say it but I like the looks of the M4 more than my RCF. I don't track the car so the low-end torque would be more fun around town. And the option to do bolt-on and tune puts the M4 in the 500ish hp and torque. But I've seen the price of replacing a turbo on the 335i, and that dissuaded me all together.
-Eric JT: Reliability, cost of repairs, power to price ratio, and Lexus drivers have a better reputation.
-Kory G: BMW charges you an arm and a leg for oil change. BMW brake maintenance costs are also high. I own a 2008 Lexus IS350. Its spark plugs are easy to change. I do think Lexus’ labor fees are high, but I do my own work. You'll pass a BMW 3-Series or 5- Series like nothing with this 300+hp Lexus engine.
-Alfred L: The new Lexus interior was more appealing to me. One can't go wrong with Toyota’s reliability. I'd still rock the M series, though!
-Esref GM: Lexus is the most reliable car. There are a lot of aftermarket parts for Lexus IS cars. The IS sedan’s shape and look is timeless. Advanced technology for low price.
-Marcos S: IS is a more reliable car with a better resale price.
-Anthony G: I'm 17, and I wanted a fast, reliable car. I was torn between the BMW 335i and Lexus IS 350. I choose the 2006 Lexus IS 350 with 145K miles and have not had any maintenance but oil changes. My cousin bought an ‘07 BMW 335i with 104k and has put more than 2k in repairs into it so far.
RC 350 and RC F Coupe Owners Replies
-Mark Y: I preferred the Lexus Dealership experience to BMW’s. The RCF is just so damn sexy!
-Mort G: Lexus looks and Lexus reliability. I have owned 5 Lexus with zero problems.
-Alvin H: Reliability, quality, and design. BMWs all look the same- boring! I don't drive a BMW because it's a BMW. I drive a Lexus because it's not a BMW.
-Rafi R: Lexus reliability. The BMW is great during its warranty, but then you have to trade it.
-Josh B (The original inspiration for the story): Maintenance costs. The Lexus is more affordable after 50K miles, particularly regarding brakes.
Reliability and cost of ownership are clearly important to Lexus performance vehicle owners. Their opinions are based not just on the many objective studies that put Lexus on top, but also personal experience. Style, performance and value are also recurring themes. We are happy to see that although many of the respondents to our survey are blunt about Lexus having better reliability than BMW, none insulted BMW’s performance or capabilities, and many complimented the brand.
Editing note: Owner comments were done in the style of FB commentary. Torque News only edited the comments with grammar corrections and for formatting. See the full discussion at the following Facebook clubs: Lexus RC Club, Lexus IS250/350/ISF Owners page, Lexus IS Owners Club
Image Note: Lexus RC image at top of page used with the permission of of Scott Wilson. Smaller images courtesy of Lexus.
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