I am trying to decide which 2007 model to buy, an Acura TL with Navigation System or a Lexus IS-250 with the same features. I have been quoted almost identical prices for both. Any thoughts/recommendations will be appreciated.
If you can, you might try renting each one for a weekend, then you might have figured out which you prefer, they are both cars with good reputations
Either one, don’t get the Navigation System, it is a total rip off. You can buy aftermarket GPS systems that are just as good for a fraction of the price the dealer will charge. Also, nav systems depreciate in value quite quickly, which causes the car’s value to drop quicker, so come trade-in time, you would be out the $1500 (or more) you paid for your included nav system.
Anyway, I’d probably get the TL, since I’ve heard the Lexus is boring to drive, but that’s just me. Try each of them out for a while, then decide. But don’t get ripped off with the nav system, a good one can be had for $300 from any big box store (Future Shop, Best Buy, WalMart, etc.)
For more info on why not to get a factory-fitted nav system, see http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=3874
I suggest driving both as much as possible and choosing whichever you prefer. The Acura is FWD and the Lexus is RWD, so the driving dynamics should be considerably different. You might want to factor the weather in your area, particularly winter, into your decision.
Are you aware that both of these vehicles REQUIRE the use of premium gasoline? Something to think about.
You can run the TL on 87 octane – the computer will retard the timing to compensate. I suspect the Lexus can do the same thing. This isn’t recommended for long-term use, though, as it can affect long-term reliability. But an occasional tankful of 87 octane when premium isn’t available won’t hurt it.
It’s like chosing a date between two beauty pagent stars. Both are good choices for performance, looks, quality, safety, and reliability.
Which personality is most appealing to you? The Lexus IS will be more sporty with stiffer suspension and less cornering lean. The Acura a little more cushy.
You might focus on nuances such as trunk space for your lifestyle (will four sets of golf clubs fit back there?) and rear legroom (can 2 or three adults be comfortable for a few hours back there?).
As suggested, see if you can get the dealer to loan you the cars for a weekend.
I would not put anything but 91 octane in either of these cars unless there was absolutely no choice. And then I’d fill up again with premium ASAP. Running these cars on regular is not a good idea.
My brother ran his TL on 87 octane against my advice for several months with no damage. Again, the computer in the car will retard the timing to compensate. The side effects are that the engine may run a bit hotter, somewhat reduced power, and slightly lower fuel economy. It is possible that long-term reliability may be affected by doing this for a long time, but it should not damage the engine if done occasionally.
If you got your mind on the Lexus, think about it’s cheaper twin, the Camry XLE v6. You’ll get a 3.5L v6 instead of a 2.5L(according to Edmunds.com), heated seats, rear spoiler, remote AND smart start, and even if you got the Nav system, you’d still be right about the base price for the IS-250(around $30k).
Are you looking at the base TL or the sport model? Both have moe power than the IS does, especially the Sport. It probably doesn’t matter whether it is RWD or FWD unless you plan to race it.