Lexus ISF / IS-F / LFA / LF-A  Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I know that the answers in this forum may be biased, but I am in a quandry.

I have a BMW '07 E92 335i Coupe. Great car, wicked fast, and tons of fun to drive. But there are a number of problems.

1. Fuel pump went out, took 3 weeks to fix.
2. Oil runs REALLY hot, had to convince BMW of North America to retro-fit my sport package with an oil cooler.
3. Even with the new oil cooler, it still runs hot, just not as hot as before
4. iPod adapter is crap. If you turn the car off for more than a few minutes, when you come back it starts back at the beginning of the song instead of where you left off...if your'e lucky. Sometimes it resets completley and goes back to to the first song on the first playlist.
5. Comfort access key fob works about 50% of the time. I should be able to walk up to the car with the key in my pocket and unlock by touching the door handle, but doesn't work all the time.
6. Yesterday I went to get into it for lunch and it wouldn't start. All electrics come on, but won't start when I touch the start button. I call home and have my daughter bring me the extra key, and it won't start either. Have to have it towed on a flatbed to the dealer and get a loaner car.

I must stress that I really like this car, but it's getting on my nerves. Granted all these fixes are covered under the warranty and don't cost me anything...except a LOT of my time.

So I am shopping around, and the IS-F has come up as a top contender. I have owned (2) E46 M3's (2003 and 2006), and liked them both for the track, but were not too keen on them as a daily driver, which is 99% of my time in them. I go to the track a couple of times a year, and am getting pretty good, so I need something that I can bang around the track, but use as a daily driver most of the time.

I have also owned a GS430, SC430, and ES300 in the past. Love the Lexus brand, and you can't beat the touch screen navigation system or the Mark Levinson sound.

So here are my questions.

1. How well does the iPod interface work? Do you get song and track data on the touchscreen while playing them back? Does it pick up the track where you left off when you stop and restart the car?
2. How well does the car do for the occasional track weekend? I have one coming up at Daytona at the end of October, so I need a good track car.
3. Any direct comparisons with the M3 sedan? That one with DSG would be my other choice. Price wise, they are pretty close, with the Lexus coming in slightly lower, but not much. I have read the car mags and they all put the M3 on top, but that's mostly as a track car and not a daily driver. Plus with the problems I have had with my 335i, I am tempted to jump brands.
4. BMW's no charge maintenance is a big plus too, how does the IS-F compare on maintenance costs for the first 20-30K miles?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
All i can say is look at the previous Lexus vehicles you've owned and I'm sure you'll see the quality of a vehicle that doesn't break down.Sure any car can have "problems" but a Lexus is built to last.Plus if the warranty is up on any "luxury" vehicle the parts will be cheaper in a Lexus because of Toyota.As far as maintenance you can purchase a plan very similar to BMW where it's maintenence free,just ask the dealer I purchased it and it's worth it!! :D Just my 2 cents
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
303 Posts
1) The ipod interface, needs an adapter that allows the touch screen to display song/track info as well as charge the ipod on the run. It is now available at your Lexus dealer, but be prepared to lose satellite radio as they use the same jack on the back of the head unit. If you don't get the adaptor you will not get the controls on the touch screen or the song info either.

2) This car is a great track car in my opinion, and you will want to get it on the track to fully enjoy what it is capable of.

3) If you are considering the DSG than you will like the tranny in this car. It is direct and fast shifting, with shifts in 0.1 of a second in the sport/manual mode. This car has changed my mind about automatic trannys.

4) You pay for maintenance no matter what. It just depends on whether you want to pay for it in the price of the car up-front, or a little at a time when you need it. Nobody does maintenance for free, but the more time that you are enjoying the car and not a loaner, will more than pay for itself.

I hope that this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So I went last night to the local dealer and took a test drive. Nice power, and the interior was very nice. Having had previous Lexus models, all the controls were familar, and the touch screen nav and audio is really nice.

The power was good, and that sound kicking in at 3600 rpm reminds me of the muscle cars of old.

Transmission was a little twitchy though, and I couldn't seem to find the right gear. Came off of one rolling corner onto a three lane road and stepped on the gas, but I was in third so I didn't get the acceleration boost I was expecting.

Also got to test drive a manual M3 4-door yesterday, and I have to say I was not as impressed with it as I thought I might be given my penchant for BMW's in general. It was fast and powerful, but it's been so long since I rowed my own gears that I am seriously out of practice.

Anyone had any track experience with the IS-F?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
303 Posts
I spent 3 days with it at the road course at Las Vegas Raceway with pro drivers. I had a blast and was very impressed, as were the drivers that I spoke with. This was the first car launch that many had experienced from a manufacturer that the car didn't experience any "teething" problems on the track when driven hard.

The brakes never faded in the cars that I drove, and you can expect a bit of understeer at the limit, but it is a better package than I expected. I really expected the normal slushy, scaled-back "Lexus-like" approach, which takes no risks, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was one of the few who actually wanted as much time in the car as possible, because it was so much fun and the mid-range punch that the 5-liter has, is a blast.

The transmission is what impressed me the most after driving the IS350 which is sooo slow to shift. The shifts were almost instant in the IS-F, and no heel and toe downshifting to prevent rear lockup is a plus, as I haven't mastered that yet.

I also had a chance to ride a hot lap with one of the pros with the safety aids disabled and the car is absolutley crazy good when driven at the limit, by sombody with experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Just got back Friday night from Alanta Motor Speedway where my son (37 years old) and I attended the Lexus Performance Driving Academy course I have to agree with everything that SpeedFreak said. We were able to ride with a professional driver around the course for a couple of laps and he really hung it out.

My wife has a new BMW 335i conv with the selectronic automatic with paddle shift. There is no comparison with the ISF's tranny. I have not driven the dual clutch automatic of the M3 so I can't really compare. I think that the problem you had on the track was not knowing the correct gear you wanted to be in as you approached the exit of the turn. After a while driving you will almost automatically downshift entering the turn the same way you would with a 6 speed, sequentially down the gears, until you reach the one you want exiting.

My son has a 330ci and recommended that my wife get the 100k BMW warantee. He said she would need it. Sounds like he was right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the advice. I'm off tomorrow to sign the papers on a brand new, off the boat, Blue on Black IS-F... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
117 Posts
ChrisH,

Tomorrow will be a very, VERY good day for you, then. Congrats...and enjoy!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
109 Posts
Great choice...congrats. Oh and your 335 sounds like a total lemon and I would look into lemon laws in your state.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
882 Posts
I just did a side by side comparison of the BMW M3 Sedan and IS-F, and I have to admit, the M3 is more fun on the track, but not on the street....
Welcome the site !!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
i can answer that.

1. more interior space
2. more quiet when revs below 3600 rpms
3. better gas mileage
4. better interior/sound system
5. more comfortable seats

ok so the m3 comes with an optional carbon fiber room, but as a current m3 owner i have to say i am damn disappointed with the new M3. i mean, ive said it before and ill say it again, i can buy a 335i spent about 5 grand and get ,m3 performance, handling and looks and keep the 20k price difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
"What do you feel makes the IS-F better on the street?

1) A Lexus quality ride as only a Lexus can deliver
2) Dependability & reliabilty
3) More comfotable seats
4) Better nav/touch screen
5) Awesome sound system
etc...etc...etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
114 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
i mean, ive said it before and ill say it again, i can buy a 335i spent about 5 grand and get ,m3 performance, handling and looks and keep the 20k price difference.
I agree. As a former owner of (2) E46 M3's, they are really great track cars, but the 335i beats them as a 'daily driver'. And you are right, you can spend a few thousand $$ on upgrades from Dinan or other vendors and get M3 performance (although the really good Dinan upgrades will run you close to $25k).

I am a huge fan of the BMW brand, but the experience I have had with this 335 has really disappointed me. Maybe I just got one early off the line and all the bugs hadn't been worked out, I don't know. I just know that over the course of 14 months I spent a lot of time in a 328 loaner while the 335 was in the shop.

It was also a 'good' track car, but not great like the M3. And if you really get on it the turbos get hot, the oil temp spikes, and it goes into limp home / back to the pits mode.

The reality is that I spend 4-6 days (2-3 weekends) a year at the track, and the other 360 days driving it to work and back.

I am confident that the IS-F will fill these requirements... :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
109 Posts
I'm sorry but I have to call someone out. To turn a 335i into an M3 killer for five grand is simply absurd. Dinan stage 3 software runs $2500 alone and u need to upgrade the oil cooler and intercooler which runs another 4 grand. And we haven't even talked about braking which will have to be upgraded...Dinan brembo kit runs another 7 grand. Have we mentioned suspension yet? That will run 2 grand. Close but no cigar!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
I'm sorry but I have to call someone out. To turn a 335i into an M3 killer for five grand is simply absurd. Dinan stage 3 software runs $2500 alone and u need to upgrade the oil cooler and intercooler which runs another 4 grand. And we haven't even talked about braking which will have to be upgraded...Dinan brembo kit runs another 7 grand. Have we mentioned suspension yet? That will run 2 grand. Close but no cigar!
heres the breakdown

Vishnu Procede piggback ECU $1200
Ground Control suspensio $1600
Agency Power Exhaust $900
Limited Slip differential $2500

ok. so it was 6k


i never said anything about dinan. dinan is sort of a cult with a bunch of overpriced hype anyways. the only great thing they make is wheels, and they dont even make them. theyre actually forged by champion.

you dont necessarily need cooling to equal m3 performance. unless u decide to do a very very long trackday, or you drive in the middle of the desert for 12 hours straight, the stock cooling system is fine.

brakes, once again, same thing applies. as long as you are not doing consecutive track days, then you can run the stock brakes no problem. BBKs for people who dont track are all for show and a complete waste of $$. ITS LIKE Spending 20k on a sound system. i mean. are you seriously going to have your music up that loud to notice the very slight difference in bass and clarity?

so thecatch, before you call someone out, you should look at the facts, and the fact is i own an E46M3, and have driven any and all bmws for extended periods of time (a lot of my friends own BMWs), and would be willing to wager i know a little bit more about these cars than u.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
81 Posts
oh and a couple more things. with the 335i with those mods, you are looking at over 100 ft lbs more torque than the M3. so with gears, you will probably be faster.

basically, my point, was unlike the E36 and E46 chasis where there was a big significant differencein looks and performance between a normal 3 series and the "M3", there is very minute difference btween the 335i and the M3, and for the $1200 price of a tune, i can basically get M3 like performance.
you looked at a 330i E46 that made 225 crank HP vs the M3 at 333, i would have to put a blower on to match that power. AND do the boltons on top of that. that would easily run me 15k. which was the price difference at that point between the 3 and the M.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
109 Posts
um no....with gears you will not be faster with that much more torque. And did you even read the beginning post where that guys 335 was having oil temp issues with his stock car? But I guess you won't need to improve cooling with 120 more hp.

I have owned two bmw's.....an M5 and E46 M3 and had cooling issues with both but I guess you're the expert!

Here is a video of a Dinan stage 3 335i ($14,000) in upgrades and a stock M3 and the 335 is slower around the track and Qtr mile. So I guess it takes more than five grand (Err Six grand) to beat a new M3! Oh, and the oil cooler was modified.

http://www.bmwblog.com/2008/05/31/dinan-335i-vs-e92-m3/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
As some of you BMW guys know, the original 335i came out without an oil cooler and they had several major problems with oil temp. BMW has gone back and retrofitted (at no cost to the owner) some of the older 335i units with oil coolers. From some of the discussions on the BMW boards owners of older 335i's have to push pretty hard (including threatening to sue) to get the work done for free, and then they have to sign a statement that they will no longer discuss the issue on any of the boards

Since early this year, all 335i's being inported into the US have the latest updated oil cooler as standard equipment.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top