Automobile Comparison: Lexus IS 350c vs. BMW 328i vs. Volvo C70 vs. Infiniti G37 Convertible

Lexus IS 350c vs. BMW 328i vs. Infiniti G37 vs. Volvo C70 Convertible

As part of their Great Drives issue, Automobile Magazine has a convertible comparison pitting the Lexus IS 350c against the Infiniti G37, BMW 328i and Volvo C70 in Laguna Beach, California. Ultimately, no winner is given, but the IS 350c was named first among equals:

The silky 3.5-liter V-6 in the [IS 350c] makes 306 hp and the most torque in this comparison – 277 lb-ft – yet it’s priced to compete with the 328i rather than the significantly more upscale 335i. No wonder Lexus expects to sell 1600 convertibles a month.

Although Infiniti tries to channel BMW’s sporting heritage, Lexus favors the luxury end of the spectrum. The IS350C features the most sumptuous interior in its class….By all of the measures that matter most to prospective owners, the Lexus was very good, and it offers a winning compromise of style, performance, and utility.

With no clear winner, this could be considered a rather weak comparison, when in fact it’s a very clear overview of the differences between competitors. By all accounts, the IS-C had a very good showing, which is very nice to see in its first-ever comparison (to my knowledge).

(One other thing I noticed is how much better the IS convertible design looks when placed among its peers—it provides some much needed context.)

[Source: Automobile Magazine]



  1. Whoa… I’ve never seen the Pacific Coast Highway in the Laguna Beach portion so empty.
    It’s still a nice drive though.

    If I were to drive with the top down, I’d take the IS C because it’s the newest and should be the most comfortable.
    If I were to drive with the top up, I’d take the 328i convertible, but the engine just isn’t as good as the 335i… too bad its price isn’t within range for this comparison.

    The Volvo isn’t bad either, and I’d like to congratulate Infiniti for their successful evolutionary G designs. Too bad I still find the G37 to be very bland, and the controls for the GPS is just awkward.

    I can’t wait for the next-gen SC!!!
    Hopefully, it’s more like the SL, not the CL or E-coupe, riding on its own platform because I’m really looking forward to GS and LS coupes in the future.

  2. Btw, I’d like to apologize for talking down to the IS convertible’s wind deflector because as it turns out, it’s just like those in the Bimmer and Infiniti. At least the wind deflector actually protects the women’s hair and the papers in the rear passenger compartment.

  3. A comparison test without a winner? I’ve seen this several times in some other mags like Top Gear too & it can be both confusing & annoying at the same time to any reader. As blasphemous as Car & Driver is towards Lexus, at least they assign numbers in each comparo.
    I’m losing hair everyday waiting for Lexus to launch a real coupe. IS and/or GS coupe ASAP, Lexus.

  4. I feel like Lexus has a lot of options with the SC. They could go after the SL market, but i would like to see them take on the 6-Series and E Coupe/Convert. Having a true 4 seater large sporty coupe, probably with a 460 engine and eventually a -F variant. But a GS coupe would be pretty amazing also, I almost see the GS coupe being more like the CLS/CL category. I don’t know if LExus really needs a 2 seater convertible like the SL but it could be very interesting

  5. Hopefully next year!

  6. I agree with tyler. That’s exactly what Lexus needs to do with the SC. The IS-C can take over duties as the Lexus convertible, while the SC can become a proper coupe to take on the 6-series & XK.
    The market for 2-seat roadsters like the SC & SL is small anyway & these type of cars are basically halo models. So I reckon…
    - Lexus convertible = IS-C
    - Lexus coupe     = SC