: Car & Driver comparison: IS 350 F Sport/335i/ATS 3.6



huna
05-04-13, 11:23 PM
Just got the new Car & Driver. ATS 3.6 vs. 335i vs. IS350 F Sport. IS350 won by a hair over the 335i (208 to 207 points). ATS last with 201. Looking at the result chart, the ATS lost primarily due to transmission, 1/4 mile speed, and driver and rear seat comfort. The chassis was viewed as the best, but not able to overcome the transmission in the ratings.

Reading the article, I can't say I disagree much with the write-ups of all three cars.

Their brief ATS report:
"Plus: If everything were as excellent as the chassis, this would be untouchable.
Minus: Nothing is as excellent as the chassis; CUE is as excellent as herpes. [I must admit that made me chuckle. So call me juvenile. ;-)]
Equals: The most fun, but the most flawed."

Stevo Supremo
05-04-13, 11:41 PM
yeah I read that review, just another load of Toyota following BMW humping crap.

73JPS
05-05-13, 12:10 AM
I haven't read the review, but after only 3 days with CUE, I can say that it works very well: very well indeed.

As a bit of a human/machine interface buff, I must confess that I was expecting to not be too thrilled with CUE. I can honestly say that it works very very well: the menus are logical, and the response is adequate enough that I don't lament the loss of knobs and buttons nearly as much as I thought I would: in fact, I am not missing them much at all.

I will go out on a flaming limb and say that I think that many of CUE's media detractors have a relatively low I-CUE.

Fraggy
05-05-13, 12:16 AM
yeah I read that review, just another load of Toyota following BMW humping crap.

Actually it's not at all. Go drive a 335 and and listen to it bang off shifts with ease. Additionally, it fully engages at a very low RPM and stays fully engaged no matter what the drivers doing unless it is going to absolutely harm the engine unlike our car that slips like a little bitch between 2000 and 3500 RPM. I posted videos and comments about this already it's a very true phenomenon.

But the ATS suspension and steering are way ahead of the BMW. I tolerate the transmission to get enjoy the rest of the car. I could not though tolerate the BMW steering and suspension just to enjoy their transmission.

Siren05
05-05-13, 08:50 AM
I've owned an is350. Very nice car indeed.
I've driven many 335s stock and tuned.

I would agree the auto tranny is mostly always looking for a gear. I think it just needs proper tuning on
Better Shift points.

But I also believe a properly tuned 2.0 will dust stock 335/is350s and ATS 3.6
Ha.

Lol
Just figured I throw that in.

I love my ATS CHASSIS and suspension?

torkibe
05-05-13, 10:42 AM
Obviously we are going to be biased but... I am o.k. with these assessments. Admittedly the tranny is a bit annoying on hard acceleration on the parkway, but short of that; every area the ATS excelled in is an area that has far more bearing on real world driving. I'm not getting into drag races on the streets. However if a potential accident arises (which I have noted in another thread) I'll take the superior steering, brakes, and chassis which will help me stay alive. My back seat rarely sees anyone other than my 4 1/2 year old in his booster seat (and has not since he was born) so the roominess back there is a moot point.

In my humble opinion the ATS is the sexiest looking of the 3 hands down. And CUE is only a problem while you are learning it. A lot of the comparison/reviews are a little unfair because they spend a day or two in the car and then pass judgement. Of course a more advanced system is going to have a learning curve. Sit someone down in front of PC or tablet that has never used one before and imagine their frustration.

Someone was kind enough to scan the entire article -

http://imgur.com/a/4n2sV#0

flycaster
05-05-13, 11:04 AM
73JPS, as an interface buff, what do you have to say about the difficulty (at least for me) in having CUE understand certain commands? For example, during Navigation, CUE could not understand "Coral Springs." After at least 5-6 tries by me and my wife, and CUE coming no wheres near "Coral Springs," we gave up. Now, I'm fairly computer savvy when it comes to getting around within its interface environment, and agree that there are many that aren't - thus their failure to appreciate/use what it can do, but there have been many similar instances of CUE failing to understand commands. BTW, aside from CUE being a little slow, this is my only problem with it...CUE is a lot of fun to work with.

Fraggy, couldn't agree with you more about the transmission. Coming from two BMW drives, I do find that the ATS has a lot to learn transmission-wise before it competes with BMW in this area. As for steering, your comment about ATS having the better steering, only goes to confirm my feeling that there is also much to be improved with both the present day BMW and the ATS steering. Neither of these cars come within miles, and I do mean miles, to the steering of the BMW E46s (3-series that ended around 2007, when BMW went plush with their suspension and steering).

73JPS
05-05-13, 11:39 AM
73JPS, as an interface buff, what do you have to say about the difficulty (at least for me) in having CUE understand certain commands? For example, during Navigation, CUE could not understand "Coral Springs." After at least 5-6 tries by me and my wife, and CUE coming no wheres near "Coral Springs," we gave up. Now, I'm fairly computer savvy when it comes to getting around within its interface environment, and agree that there are many that aren't - thus their failure to appreciate/use what it can do, but there have been many similar instances of CUE failing to understand commands. BTW, aside from CUE being a little slow, this is my only problem with it...CUE is a lot of fun to work with.


It's interesting you mention the voice command aspect: I have never had much luck with voice command systems in the past, but the few times I have used this one it has worked really well. It even identified the less-than-normal last name of a friend of mine on the first try. I guess maybe my sample size is too small: I'll try "Coral Springs" just for fun and see what it gives me. I wonder if these systems are very forgiving of local accents? I also wonder how it would do with places like Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, or even Des Moines.

My big worry with CUE was the lack of normal knobs and buttons: here are simply functions for which those are the best interface, IMHO. But having used the system for a few days, I have found the swipe/haptic combo to be quite effective, and certainly no where near as awkward as I thought it would be; the steering wheel controls are also quite good.

ATSwannabe
05-05-13, 12:41 PM
I've owned an is350. Very nice car indeed.
I've driven many 335s stock and tuned.

I would agree the auto tranny is mostly always looking for a gear. I think it just needs proper tuning on
Better Shift points.

But I also believe a properly tuned 2.0 will dust stock 335/is350s and ATS 3.6
Ha.

Lol
Just figured I throw that in.

I love my ATS CHASSIS and suspension?

I believe a properly tuned 2.0 would be about equal to a 335I,but there are many options in the after market for tuning the 335I.Some 335I's are turning 11 sec quarter mile times at more than 120mph.The unmodified 335I is considerly faster than the ATS 3.6,the 2.0 or the IS350.Once you start tuning you will always find someone who will outdo your best efforts.

bdwalters
05-05-13, 03:10 PM
I'm surprised that the IS was able to win this. The initial reviews of it said that it didn't drive any better than the previous model. This is really a disaster for BMW. With the new Q50, A4, and C coming out soon, the 3 might not win any comparisons with the F30 going forward. The ATS and Q50 will probably reign as the most fun to drive, stealing that traditional victory from the 3, and one of the other cars will take the best overall prize as well. BMW better get its stuff together or the 3 is going to be just another good sports sedan that happens to have a little more room and slightly better mileage than the other models, if that.

As for Cadillac, where is the 8-speed Aisin auto (besides in the CTS Vsport and probably the ATS-V)? Put that and a few more CUE bug fixes into the ATS and you have a clear winner in all of these comparason tests! Is the 8-speed really that much more expensive? I had hoped that it would be available in the 2014 model, but I guess I'm going to have to wait a little longer. I just wish I hadn't driven the 3. The handling and breaking are sub-par, but man that powertrain is something wonderful to behold... Cadillac, give me a comperable powertrain, along with your superior driving dynamics, and I'll be one happy man!

flycaster
05-05-13, 03:50 PM
... I'll try "Coral Springs" just for fun and see what it gives me...

Yeah, I'm quite interested in your test's outcome...let us know.

----------

[QUOTE=bdwalters;3304568 I just wish I hadn't driven the 3. The handling and breaking are sub-par, but man that powertrain is something wonderful to behold... [/QUOTE]

If you want to experience the true BMW driving experience, drive a BMW 3-series E46 (discontinued after 2006, then came the E90 and the rest of the floaters) and you'll realize that none of these newer cars can come close to it handling characteristics. And, the E46 had a great transmission, even then.

M5eater
05-05-13, 09:18 PM
I'm surprised that the IS was able to win this. The initial reviews of it said that it didn't drive any better than the previous model. This is really a disaster for BMW. With the new Q50, A4, and C coming out soon, the 3 might not win any comparisons with the F30 going forward. The ATS and Q50 will probably reign as the most fun to drive, stealing that traditional victory from the 3, and one of the other cars will take the best overall prize as well. BMW better get its stuff together or the 3 is going to be just another good sports sedan that happens to have a little more room and slightly better mileage than the other models, if that
Although the review hasn't come to the interwebz yet, I'm surprised that it won this as well, more so considering the lack-luster power trains that carried over (and the perplexing thought that the reason the ATS doesn't win comparaison are it's powertrain options) Espically considering that the inital reviews I saw placed it behind

car reviews frankly are full of contradictions and nonsensical opinions. Period.

Case in point;
(from the SAME site comparing the SAME cars)

Stressing that this was a brief and informal track-only comparison—a proper comparo is forthcoming—we found the BMW was our favorite, with the IS350 F Sport a close second.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-lexus-is-sedan-first-drive-review-refined-style-page-2

I try to look at the smaller blogs and sites rather than any of the major auditorials for evaluation. Because eventually they(the major sites) all sort of just say the same thing anyway.

Hoosier Daddy
05-05-13, 09:48 PM
car reviews frankly are full of contradictions and nonsensical opinions. Period.
Comparisons certainly are. For market reasons, basic classes of cars come to exist. Obviously if people could totally define the car they drive nobody would buy a single car on the market today. Nobody. But manufacturers can not make a car from scratch for every driver so they design a small finite number of cars they they believe the most people will accept. They make sure they are not too identical to any other car in the class lest they become irrelevant and not too different lest buyers get confused. So any comparison is just an exercise to see which car comes closest to the reviewers' idea of the least amount of compromises from THEIR personal ideal. Their opinion of which car is best is irrelevant to anyone but themselves. Various measurements are relevant but opinions on which are most important don't matter to the next person.

And even some measurements are nearly nonsensical and akin to looking for something where the light is better rather than where you lost it. The best example is 0-60 times. Absolutely nobody cares how long it takes to get to a certain speed other than from being hypnotized by those who came up with the idea. All anybody cares about is time to distance. Who cares about 0-60 stats when you can race a car with a slower 0-60 than your car and be looking at its tail lights when you hit 60 because it got to 20, 30, 40 and 50 (or some combination) before yours did?

thebigjimsho
05-06-13, 04:35 PM
The good news is Cadillac got right the bones. It just needs to polish up a first year effort. Cadillac knows how to improve a great design. The ATS will reign supreme before long...

USe-car
05-06-13, 05:33 PM
Car & Driver picking a Japanese car over an American car in a comparison?? Gee, what a surprise. They've been doing that since the invention of the printing press. I dropped them years ago because of that reason.

thebigjimsho
05-06-13, 07:59 PM
Oh, please. They are fine. I see little to no bias with them...

JSATS
05-07-13, 07:55 AM
Pretty much every review I have read says the ATS is the best handling, most fun car to drive. Then they bash the hell out of CUE and talk about how bad the transmissions are. I find CUE to be very user friendly and my car shifts just fine. I don't care about 0-60 times either I just want plenty of power when passing slower cars and going up hills. The ATS delivers most everything I want in a sports sedan. My only concern is fuel mileage, I think it could be better. My ATS looks awesome and stands out in a crowd. While the competition is starting to look like clones of each other the ATS has a look of its own and I like it. I guess if I cared what these auto experts wrote then I would buy nothing but Honda Accords.

Stevo Supremo
05-07-13, 10:53 AM
I don't care for car comparisons once theirs BMW and or Toyota(lexus) involved. They all just start Humping the Lexus and kissing the ground the BMW rolls on.

Its annoying how those two always come on top, I've driven a 3 series before I got my caddy. I'm not knocking it, its a nice car, but it really doesn't blow my socks off.. its just a nice car. But the interior of the BMW was BORING though, yet they seem to just LOVE its interior.

The lexus isn't anything to write home about, its just a decent car, but like Richard hammond on top gear said "Lexus are the librarians of the car world"

The ATS is the newest coolest thing, I truly feel that its better than the 3 series, cue works fine, you need to live with cue for a while to get it, you cant just hop in and appreciate it.

I'm not saying all this because I own an ATS, no bias. I chose the ATS AFTER driving all the others, I truly feel car reviews are just being there regular biased selves and praising unworthy imports.

RXUYDC
05-07-13, 01:17 PM
The thing I found puzzling was this sentence in the review of the ATS

"Delightfully neutral handling and hefty steering make this the most engaging car for a run through the hills"

Firstly, much as I love the ATS, I would never describe the steering as "hefty", although maybe Cadillac have recalibrated it on later builds than mine?

Secondly, the Lexus wins largely on "the twisting, climbing, kinking, plunging roads", which sounds like hills to me. Doesn't that contradict what they say about the ATS then?

Also, I get to drive through hills like that maybe once a week. The other six days I'm on freeways, city streets and straight suburban roads, and don't want to drive a car that is "remote and lazy when insufficently challenged" as the Lexus is described. And if I make my buying decision solely on the comfort of the seats I'd buy another Volvo.

The ATS will never win until its transmission is improved. It doesn't even have to be an eight speed, it just has to stop screaming at me and getting confused every time I press the accelerator a little more than usual.

C&D used to be a great magazine, opinionated and humorous, but now? What does "as excellent as herpes" even mean?

JSATS
05-07-13, 07:17 PM
Maybe he was trying to say that it is as excellent as the time he had getting herpes?
The thing I found puzzling was this sentence in the review of the ATS

"Delightfully neutral handling and hefty steering make this the most engaging car for a run through the hills"

Firstly, much as I love the ATS, I would never describe the steering as "hefty", although maybe Cadillac have recalibrated it on later builds than mine?

Secondly, the Lexus wins largely on "the twisting, climbing, kinking, plunging roads", which sounds like hills to me. Doesn't that contradict what they say about the ATS then?

Also, I get to drive through hills like that maybe once a week. The other six days I'm on freeways, city streets and straight suburban roads, and don't want to drive a car that is "remote and lazy when insufficently challenged" as the Lexus is described. And if I make my buying decision solely on the comfort of the seats I'd buy another Volvo.

The ATS will never win until its transmission is improved. It doesn't even have to be an eight speed, it just has to stop screaming at me and getting confused every time I press the accelerator a little more than usual.

C&D used to be a great magazine, opinionated and humorous, but now? What does "as excellent as herpes" even mean?

Jercat
05-07-13, 07:52 PM
I'm surprised that the IS was able to win this. The initial reviews of it said that it didn't drive any better than the previous model. This is really a disaster for BMW. With the new Q50, A4, and C coming out soon, the 3 might not win any comparisons with the F30 going forward. The ATS and Q50 will probably reign as the most fun to drive, stealing that traditional victory from the 3, and one of the other cars will take the best overall prize as well. BMW better get its stuff together or the 3 is going to be just another good sports sedan that happens to have a little more room and slightly better mileage than the other models, if that.

As for Cadillac, where is the 8-speed Aisin auto (besides in the CTS Vsport and probably the ATS-V)? Put that and a few more CUE bug fixes into the ATS and you have a clear winner in all of these comparason tests! Is the 8-speed really that much more expensive? I had hoped that it would be available in the 2014 model, but I guess I'm going to have to wait a little longer. I just wish I hadn't driven the 3. The handling and breaking are sub-par, but man that powertrain is something wonderful to behold... Cadillac, give me a comperable powertrain, along with your superior driving dynamics, and I'll be one happy man!I agree about where is the 8 speed, but if they can't program a 6 speed right then an 8 speed won't be any better. Also the 8 speed is available on the 2014 standard V6 CTS.

MyfirstCad
05-07-13, 08:21 PM
For me, all three cars are great. We customers are rather spoiled to have such choices. Overall what did it for me was the styling of the ATS, it looks like nothing else on the road. The Lexus actually reminds me of a Kia Optima and I won't ever get over the BMW dolphin forehead front end.

thebigjimsho
05-07-13, 09:04 PM
I agree about where is the 8 speed, but if they can't program a 6 speed right then an 8 speed won't be any better. Also the 8 speed is available on the 2014 standard V6 CTS.

Even though I'm not a fan of automatics, you won't see many V drivers complaining about their 6ATs...

Fraggy
05-07-13, 10:17 PM
I agree about where is the 8 speed, but if they can't program a 6 speed right then an 8 speed won't be any better. Also the 8 speed is available on the 2014 standard V6 CTS.

You're right. All that slipping has to go. Transitioning from cruise to acceleration is painful.

gohawks63
05-09-13, 11:50 PM
Actually it's not at all. Go drive a 335 and and listen to it bang off shifts with ease. Additionally, it fully engages at a very low RPM and stays fully engaged no matter what the drivers doing unless it is going to absolutely harm the engine unlike our car that slips like a little bitch between 2000 and 3500 RPM. I posted videos and comments about this already it's a very true phenomenon.

But the ATS suspension and steering are way ahead of the BMW. I tolerate the transmission to get enjoy the rest of the car. I could not though tolerate the BMW steering and suspension just to enjoy their transmission.

The inline 3 liter Turbo 6 pulls like a beast immediately. Our X5 has the same engine and I truly believe they have underrated the HP and torque numbers.

MyfirstCad
05-10-13, 02:21 AM
So a 335i will do 0-60 in 4.6. Somewhere I remember reading the ATS V is supposed to be about the same potentcy. So does that mean the V will be sucking on M3 exhaust fumes?

M5eater
05-10-13, 08:45 AM
So a 335i will do 0-60 in 4.6. Somewhere I remember reading the ATS V is supposed to be about the same potentcy. So does that mean the V will be sucking on M3 exhaust fumes?

.3-.5seconds worth of deficite with the ATS 3.6 and 2.0 are in that they need 3rd gear to pull 60.

Truthfully, I don't really care how fast it reaches 60 as long as its around the mid 4 range.

You're buying the wrong 70-80K car if you want to go fast in a straight line, because you can accomplish going *much* faster for half the price in a new Mustang GT. Or even a ZL1 or GT500, and if you want to eyeball what you can get for 70K used, the sky is nearly the limit.

This car and market are more about being nimble canyon and track carvers rather than brute force road-racers.

Even V6 accord's and Camry's will be on your heels with sub 6 second 60 times these days.

Stevo Supremo
05-10-13, 03:57 PM
yeah people just look at 0-60 times to determine if a car is better than another, wich is stupid.

I like Toyotas newest dumb Camry commercials where they have the brainless "Actowners" giving there testimonials

"Its like a race car!"

no its not! they shoved a v6 into a FWD family car, its not a race car, it still just spins out if you hit the gas too hard, its still FWD and will never EVER handle like a true RWD performance based car. I dont understand the mentality...

"Oh my FWD family car Toyota Camry has a 240HP v6! that automatically makes it better than your Rear wheel drive, purposebuilt SPORT sedan Cadillac ATS, because it has a 2.5 with less power. "

-not that I HAVE a 2.5, I was just trying to make a point, seems me 2.0 still has about 30HP on the v6 camry lol