I want a reliable, fuel efficient into level luxury car. I narrowed my choices to the TSX or IS350. The TSX is fuel efficient, but a new European Accord is due out this fall for 2008 and the TSX might change body styles this fall. The IS350 is a V6 and it has fuel efficiency similar to the 4 cylinder IS250. I have a hard time believing this. Finally, should I try to get a used 2006 version of either car or just spend the extra 2-3 grand for a new one?
I think you should decide whether you want a FWD car or a RWD car. There is quite a bit of difference in the driving dynamics between the two. My guess is that the 4-cylinder Acura will get better gas mileage overall than either Lexus, both of which have 6-cylinder engines. You are aware, I hope, that all of these vehicles require the use of premium gasoline.
There are lots of nice, low-mileage used cars on the market. The first year depreciation on a new car is pretty steep. I like to let someone else lose the money. I’m a believer in buying used cars.
Unfortunately this is not the case for Lexus, Acura, BMW, and MB until about year 3-4.
I live near one of the largest auto auctions on the east coast. I see lots full of these cars every day, many only one or two years old. They may not be cheap, but they are less expensive than new ones.
If you like the Lexus, why not go balls out with a Toyota Camry? Most of the time, a fully loaded Camry XLE will cost less than a normal Lexus model. About the only difference is the drive wheels(the 3.5L v6 in the Camry is the same exact engine they put in the Lexus). If you do a fair amount of city driving, the Camry hybrid might entice you(40/38 city/highway). Also, the TSX is rated 22/31, the same as a Camry v6, with the i4 Camry with 24/33.
A Camry XLE v6 with navigation system(cheaper to buy a handheld unit, but pricing for the sake of decking it all out) is just a shade over $32k. An IS350(same engine, remember), starts out at $35k. A TSX will run you about $30k depending on how you want your interior/exterior looking(metal trim and/or front, side and rear body spoilers, etc)