Edmunds Comparison: Lexus IS 250 F SPORT vs BMW 328i M Sport vs. Cadillac ATS 2.0

2013 BMW 328i M Sport, 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0 Premium, and 2014 Lexus IS250 F Sport

Edmunds has published a comparison between the 2013 BMW 328i M Sport, 2013 Cadillac ATS 2.0 Premium, and 2014 Lexus IS250 F Sport — here’s how the Lexus stacked up:

Though Lexus is seriously outgunned with its entry-level powertrain (there is, of course, an IS 350, but there are also a BMW 335i and a Cadillac ATS 3.6), it takes the cake in terms of interior refinement and build quality.

Make no mistake, the 2014 Lexus IS 250 F Sport is a very good car, if an imperfect sport sedan. Many buyers will find it easy to forgive the lack of grip and power in exchange for the low cost of entry and the exemplary, if awkward, interior.

Edmunds ultimately chose both the BMW & Cadillac over the IS 250 F SPORT, though the result appears to based purely on performance with little regard for value — here’s some back-of-the-envelope number crunching, just for some perspective:

  • The 328i was priced $2,000 more than the IS 250 yet lacked a navigation system, back-up camera, and paddle shifters.
  • The ATS was $3,500 more than the Lexus, which would just about cover the upgrade from an IS 250 to an IS 350.

Read the Edmunds Sports Sedan Comparison


  1. Not sure about your numbers, Krew. The ATS was $51k+ as tested, but over $47k comparably-equipped The 328i was also over $45k, but a $38k base price, like the IS250. The Lexus IS350 F-Sport costs $43,085, which was about the price of the loaded 250 F-Sport tested. My problem with the test was it was billed on the front page as a $45k comparison test, but they didn't get the best cars they could for $45k. Other than that, they are right in the actual evaluation. The MR suspension on the Caddy will give it some dynamic advantages. The Bridgestone tires Lexus is in love with have some dynamic disadvantages. And Lexus dropped the ball in not improving the V6 engines at all. Lexus can do better. But the car will sell briskly for the next two years. In 2015, it needs a strong upgrade in tires and engines, or else sales will tank just as fast..... BD
    • Probably for that time the 250 will be already displaced by the 200Turbo
    • What's wrong with the motor? Smooth, powerful, efficient & reliable..? Those not good enough for you. The IS350 is a 5 second car, and there has been high 4's 0-60 for example.
    • PG

      The motor may be smooth and reliable, but powerful? Seriously, stop kidding yourself! The competition's BASE engines (328i, ATS 2.0) offer basically the same performance as the Lexus' TOP 3.5-liter engine. And the BMW N55 (3.0 turbo) and N20 (2.0 turbo) are really smooth, maybe even smoother as the Lexus V6s.
    • haha same here powerful?? I'm a big Lexus fan but you have to wake up F1 and stop kidding yourself. Any average car on the road today can either outrun or keep up with the 250. Yes the 350 does make more power but it doesn't have that responsiveness or on demand power that the german engines have and plus it's getting long in the tube, look around people today are lured into buying cars about the engine turbo this turbo that.
    • The disadvantage with the boosted motors is throttle lag. This is a perennial complaint on BMW forums so stop kidding yourselves that the BMW motor is almighty. Also take both cars on the track and the heat soak will kill the power delivery of the BMW motor after 3-4 flying laps WHILE the NA motor of the IS will be going strong even after 10 laps.
    • Your "heat soak" comment is very inaccurate. Indy and F1 race cars use turbos. Boost levels can be adjusted by the ECU to compensate for heat and barometric pressure; an area where naturally aspirated engines are at a disadvantage. I have much track time using both engines. I would also have to disagree with your "throttle lag" (I think you meant boost lag), as the torque comes on much sooner in the BMW's engine than it does in the 3GR-FSE. I am a big Lexus fan, but this in one area were they fell way short on the competition.
    • The IS350 motor IS powerful. Stop kidding yourself. regardless of whats other engines have to offer the Toyota 3.5 has proven to be a strong platform and one tough work horse look how long Toyota has been running it. Dont knock it. Yea other makes have developed new engine but this just show that the Lexus 3.5 doesnt need to be constantly updated because it was a good engine from the jump. Where BMW and other are experimenting and going they engine issues Lexus motor stay strong. Yes I would like to see a new motor but not a damn thing wrong with the 3.5
    • So the ATS 2.0 can beat the IS350? Yeah for sure mate, its closer to performance to IS250 And the 2.0L 4-cyl I smoother than either of them Lexus V6 motors? Yeah your the one who's kidding him sleeve hahaaaaa The previous six speed IS350 was faster ham 335i, now with 8-speed it should be faster. Numbers don't mean squat, the 3.6L ATS has the highest amount of HP, yet its clearly the slowest. Watch this mate http://m.youtube.com/results?q=335i%20vs%20is350#/watch?v=aqzUihLhH14
    • I agree the new IS need new engine, and sadly Toyota have there old 3S-GTE engine, that they had in the Altezza RS200, that they could use, and take out 240hp very easy..But Lexus and Toyota always just have fun engines in Japan..sadly for us.. But the 2.5l V6 is slow everywhere if compared to 4cyl turbo engines..
    • The Altezza RS200 does not use a turbo setup. They used the dual VVT-i 3S-GE engine.
    • Sorry, should have said i meen same engine with turbo, that they use in the celica and caldina, but i did meen use a 4cyl engine (but with turbo) that Toyota have..
  2. Why don't they actually compare the IS250 to the the actual base model of both these cars? For the ATS there is a 2.5L I-4 and for the BMW there is a BMW 320i which sits below the mid spec 328i? LOLs comparing the mid spec of both these to base IS250, good job!
  3. IS350 hands down has the best technology and the most user friendly Nav and will hold the best resale value being the most reliable luxury brand. I was one of the few people who had a chance to drive one and test the technology thats in the Lexus. All you guys like to talk about is that one is faster than the other by 1 sec or one has more power. WTF(excuse my language) are you gonno do with all that power? People now days are looking for a car that's gonno give them the least amount of headache and yet not worth 20k after 3 years.....and to all the Cadillac lovers, please first of all have Cadillac design a car that doesnt take the entire front of the car to be disassembled to change a light bulb than learn about making a dashboard that doesn't look like a Christmas three after 3 months.
  4. Such a bias test, an inconstant review, as per usual from Edmunds For the price of that IS250, they should of tested the IS350 as it would've made the difference with the Cadillac and BMW in price. second as mentioned above, the IS250 is BASE, the ATS also has a 2.5L 4-cyl as base, and apples to apples comparison they should of used that. Also the BMW comes in 320i, which if optioned can exceed the price of the IS350, let alone the IS250. I've driven the 328i and I'm not sure of its as fast as this test states.
  5. I would still take the Lexus over em all just cuz it looks better & has more bang 4 the buck! power? really? i can easily add that myself if i feel necessary. its like not buying a car complaining that the wheels are ugly lol... the 3Series is bland & Caddy has a querky (kinda lame) interior. the 250 slow, yes & i agree it shud have a 4cl T but if thats ur only complaint, 2k extra (now the price of BMW) can get u the power upgrades u need!
  6. Let's not forget that in the current C&D on Newstands now, the IS350 F-Sport defeated the 335i M-Sport and ATS 3.6 head-to-head. Car & Driver. A BMW 3-series. Umpteenth time 10 Best Car Second-rate To a Lexus sports sedan? Oh yes..... http://imgur.com/a/4n2sV#0 BD
  7. Bob

    As has been mentioned the test of base engines should have seen the IS250 tested against the 320i and ATS 2.5L. The results might have been more closer. I think the IS300h would be more of a competitor to the 328i and ATS 2.0T.
  8. The only problem with this review is the 328i will be 5k more then the Lexus is 250 with same features. For the same price you must compare it to the 320i!!! I have drive the is 250 a couple of times. The engines performance is fine for 95% of the drivers that will buy it. You also will not have turbo lag or huge maintenance bills if you choose to keep it a long time. Also you have people buying lots of 320i discount Bmw's which cheapen the idea of a 3 series. is 250 starts at 36000 so there is really not way to get in real cheap unlike the 320i. Really only negative I see if mpg not that great with the Is, perhaps an 8 speed transmission. Of course it will be getting the turbo next year probably anyways, hopefully no lag