Top Gear Comparison: Lexus IS-F vs. BMW M3 vs. Mercedes C63 vs. Audi RS4


Lexus IS-F vs. BMW M3 vs. Mercedes C63 vs. Audi RS4

We knew from last month’s Top Gear article that Tom Ford was quite impressed by the Lexus IS-F, though he wasn’t quite sure how it stacked up against its competitors. Well, now the answer’s out, as Ford got a chance to compare the IS-F with the BMW M3, Mercedes C63 and the Audi RS4:

The way these cars operate and handle makes you want to Frankenstein the ultimate super-saloon from various bits because, though all are brilliant, none is perfect.

So who wins?

Well, after much deliberation, endless circular conversation and several pints of strong cider, the answer is: nobody. There is no ‘best’ in this group. I’ve tried to isolate a winner, but it just can’t be done. Each has strengths and weaknesses, some that you’d be prepared to live with more than others, but they’re not necessarily deal-breakers.

For me it goes like this: I want a C63 to play with, because it makes me feel like a 17-year-old, but it’d tire me out if I drove it everyday. I want an RS4 day-to-day, but think I’d hanker after something more throttle-adjustable now and again. The M3 is the best all-rounder, but I’m not really into the M3 image and ubiquity.

So there’s the Lexus. Brilliant, exciting, slightly mad Lexus. It’s flawed. It’s not for the hardcore among us. But for some reason I’m drawn to it. Drawn to the technology, drawn to the fact there’ll only be 150 in the UK per year. Drawn to its oddness.

If Lexus had went as far as to pay off Tom Ford, I doubt they could have asked for a better comparison. The quote above is a great summary of how the cars stack up to one another, and while the refusal to pick a clear winner might seem wishy-washy, there’s merit to it. Personal taste is really the only way to choose among these cars.

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