I came across this Lexus is200 in my local paper, while looking for a newer 3 series to replace my old one.
The Lexus was priced well, looked stylish and was filled with toys, more than you would get in your average 320.
A deal was made and the Lexus pulled me away from my beloved BMW badge, had I made the right choice!
Well, the Lexus for a start looked like it could hold its own in the business end of the car park, with its 17" 5 star alloy wheels as standard, aggressive looking front end and those legendary "Lexus Clear lights" (now showing on a Corsa near you.)
Inside Lexus went for the wow factor, they never just put loads of buttons on a big black plastic dash.
Nice switches were used, and give a reassuring clunk when they slot into place. Well positioned and plenty of toys will keep you entertained, and if they don't, the speedo most definitely will. It has to of been styled on a expensive watch, with its big face and three smaller tachos inside, reading engine temp, MPG and volts. Very cool.
Seats are half leather and suede. Very comfy and easy to find a nice position in them. Driving position is designed with the driver in mind.
Steering has nice feel to it, and car feels planted to the road.
On pushing the car into bends, the RWD car should be a hoot, but traction control cuts power to the wheels as soon as you start racing about.
Even on turning the traction control off, you can still feel the system working away, and it cuts power away from the back wheels.
The engine in the Lexus is a 2.0ltr straight six, with a sensible 153 Bhp. The engine is connected in a very smooth six speed gearbox which work well together.
0-60 comes in 9.2 seconds and pulls all the way to a top speed of 135 MHP.
The power comes in at 4000rpm and is a but lifeless until then, it's the VVti engine that makes this happen, with variable valve timing on higher revs.
The Lexus suffers from a low MPG sadly, it struggles around town and on motorway where it should be fine, it also fails to deliver.
The Lexus has a practical sized boot, and would easy carry four adults in comfort.
Overall, would I turn back the clock and get my 3 Series back? The BMW just feels more or a drivers car, and come on, it's a 3 Series! The 3 series hold its price better, has a wide range of engines and spec, and its MPG is a whole lot better.
OK the Lexus engine sounds better and you get a few more toys and that reliability. But I think it comes down to that X factor, and the BM just has that bit more.