2020 Lexus IS Series vs. 2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus IS Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The IS Series’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lexus IS Series are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the IS Series and the 3 Series Gran Turismo have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Lexus IS Series is safer than the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo:

IS Series

3 Series Gran Turismo

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

36%

36%

Neck Stress

339 lbs.

345 lbs.

Neck Compression

47 lbs.

113 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Lexus IS Series is safer than the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo:

IS Series

3 Series Gran Turismo

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

99

258

Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.1 inches

Abdominal Force

193 G’s

232 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

89

326

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

64 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

15 inches

17 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the IS Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 119 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 3 Series Gran Turismo has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the IS Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 Series Gran Turismo. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 3 Series Gran Turismo ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

The IS Series has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Gran Turismo (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

For better stopping power the IS Series’ standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Gran Turismo:

IS Series

3 Series Gran Turismo

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

The IS Series stops much shorter than the 3 Series Gran Turismo:

IS Series

3 Series Gran Turismo

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

The IS Series’ optional 225/40R18 front and 255/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 340i Gran Turismo’s optional 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

The IS Series has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 3 Series Gran Turismo; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The IS Series AWD handles at .89 G’s, while the 330i Gran Turismo pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The IS 350 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 330i Gran Turismo (26 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 26.6 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the IS Series’ turning circle is 6.2 feet tighter than the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s (34.2 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The IS Series AWD’s turning circle is 5 feet tighter than the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s (35.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Lexus IS Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.

The IS Series is 5.7 inches shorter than the 3 Series Gran Turismo, making the IS Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Lexus IS Series amounts to more than styling. The IS Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .28 Cd. That is lower than the 3 Series Gran Turismo (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the IS Series get better fuel mileage.

The IS Series 300 RWD offers available computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The IS Series has 2.8 inches more front legroom and .7 inches more front shoulder room than the 3 Series Gran Turismo.

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the IS Series offers cargo security. The 3 Series Gran Turismo’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 34% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The IS Series has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 3 Series Gran Turismo, the IS Series offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The IS Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the IS Series to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the IS Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Model Availability

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The IS Series is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The 3 Series Gran Turismo doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/12

The IS Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the IS Series will retain 44.01% to 47.7% of its original price after five years, while the 3 Series Gran Turismo only retains 38.03% to 41.87%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the IS Series is less expensive to operate than the 3 Series Gran Turismo because it costs $190 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the IS Series than the 3 Series Gran Turismo, including $211 less for a water pump, $464 less for a muffler, $95 less for front brake pads and $237 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus IS Series will be $1465 to $6289 less than for the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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