Pitting two luxury brands against each other feels like forcing two celebrities to arm-wrestle, which means that no matter who wins, we’ll feel bad for the other side. All right, maybe we don’t really feel bad for celebrities at all (especially bad celebrities), but choosing between two phenomenal vehicle brands isn’t exactly easy. In this comparison, the 2014 Lexus IS 250 gets to compete against the brand-spanking-new Audi A3, which the German automaker introduced for this year.
If you’re like us, then you’re probably pulling your hair out in an attempt to decide which one is better. So, let’s compare the two and see which one wins:
2014 Lexus IS 250
The 2014 Lexus IS 250 is the lower-tier instalment in the Japanese brand’s IS lineup, which mainly consists of sedans. While Lexus has always remained on the more conservative side when it comes to design, last year’s IS stepped up its game by delivering stylish body design, along with a higher degree of refinement and superb reliability. Despite lacking the engaging driving dynamics of vehicles like the BMW 3-Series or Cadillac ATS, it’s still one of the most gratifying driving experiences in the industry.
- Even though it’s aged, the IS 250’s 2.5-litre V6 engine can produce 204 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque, and as a result, it’s more powerful than the majority of A3’s engines.
- The exterior design is far more outgoing than the more conservative appearance of the A3.
- The base model offers features like a universal garage door opener, HID headlights, wheel locks and a power passenger seat.
- The IS 250’s aging 2.5-litre V6 is the only engine choice and it doesn’t seem to offer as much juice as the A3’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, which produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
- The cabin is somewhat less spacious than the one in the A3 – as is the trunk.
- Despite being more expressive in terms of design than the A3, the IS 250 can feel too over-the-top, especially at the front.
- Standard features like a premium sound system, rear air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers and leather seats are all missing.
- The base MSRP of $37,300 is $1,400 higher than that of the A3.
Our review score: 8.6 / 10 (Read the full review)
2015 Audi A3
The newly-introduced 2015 Audi A3 is a fantastic entry-level luxury sedan that also happens to be fantastically affordable, with a base MSRP that’s just above $30,000. It’s one of the smaller vehicles of its kind, but it makes up for it with an optional diesel engine and a host of premium features like a standard panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights and leather seating. Its overall appearance is a little on the traditional side, especially when compared to the new BMW 2-Series, but it’s still incredibly appealing. Buyers who are searching for a real premium car should definitely give this one a look.
- The A3’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and as such, it’s more powerful than the IS 250’s aging 2.5-litre V6.
- The A3 offers a selection of three four-cylinder engines, including a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel four-cylinder, while the IS 250 only has one (three, if you consider the IS lineup as a whole).
- The cabin is noticeably more spacious than the one in the IS 250 – as is the trunk.
- The design is conservative, which means that it doesn’t stray into the “over-the-top” territory.
- Includes standard features like a premium sound system, rear air conditioning, rain-sensing wipers and leather seats.
- The base MSRP of $35,000 is $1,400 lower than that of the IS 250.
- Both alternatives to the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine are weaker than the IS 250’s aging 2.5-litre V6 engine.
- The exterior design sometimes feels too conservative for its own good, particularly when compared to the IS 250.
- The base model lacks features like a universal garage door opener, HID headlights, wheel locks and a power passenger seat.
Our review score: 9 / 10 (Read the full review)
WINNER: 2015 Audi A3
REASON: We adore the Lexus brand to bits, but it’s hard to compete against German luxury. The bottom line is that the 2015 Audi A3 offers more luxury, space and power than the IS 250, while being more affordable. Don’t get us wrong – the IS 250 is a superb luxury sedan, but if someone put a gun to our heads and forced us to choose, we would pick the A3.