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Morning all

I am looking at various cars for when we return to the Uk in a couple of weeks, I have been abroad and not been a car owner for about 4.5years only driving the standard hire cars 2.0tdi mondeos and passats etc when back in blighty.

I have also gone from single, sports car driving man to father and husband so priorities for cars have changed. However I do not want to be depressed every time I have to drive somewhere so looking at various cars.

I'm looking at:

IS 220d/250 both sport trim

C class 320cdi merc

Audi A4 3.0tdi

alfa 159 2.4jtdm

3 series 325/320d

I've been reading through all the posts and although the 220d seems to get a hard time for problems its going to be the same with any mark where there are good ones and bad ones so I'm not bothered about that.

Also as you can see i'm looking at the bigger engined rivals so a direct performance comparison is not fair but I am used to either petrol turbo or larger engines and like a torquey engine, however the more modern dervs are a lot better these days so I am more open minded. The reason I put the IS on the list is down to I like the looks and interior and they are good value second hand.

Correct me if I am wrong but do the sport models get a closer ratio gear box which helps with performance a little?

Sorry for the rambling a bit but just wondered if anyone had considered similar cars before buying an IS.

Thanks

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I had a similar choice spread when looking for a ~10k car a month ago.

The 320d (imo) is the best choice of all of those cars, and I my many hours of research told me that the general consensus was that it was better than the IS 220d. However, for 10k you would not get one in good nick with good options like leather, and you certainly wouldn't get an M-sport. Realistically you'd have to pay 14-15k. This was the clincher for me, as for a nicely specced black is220d in mint condition with 40k miles cost me 9.5k privately. I also like the fact that they are a little more rare and feel a bit more premium. There are so many 3 series around where I live (London).

is220d makes 6th gear more of a usable gear in spirited drive (apparently). as Standard it's something to stick into at 70-80mph with the cruise on - which for me is perfect. A lot of people complain about it being unusable but for my motorway stretches it's perfect. I think you lose some fuel economy with the sport also.

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Hi

I must admit the BMWs are expensive and yes your right there are too many of them. How does the 220d stack up in terms of performance with say a 2.0tdi passat etc? Obviously more the in gear than pointless 0-60 times.

I am looking at a similar budget as well so the IS is looking great value, and having been in one in a hot country the seat cooling option was fantastic!

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Hi and welcome to LOC :)

I don't think the sports have ventilated seats, only heated if I'm not mistaken so bear that in mind. The diesel sports just have a different ratio on 6th gear, I believe the rest of the box is the same. Just means you can use 6th gear at lower speeds, whereas on the other models you need to be at around 80mph for it to make sense.

I'm not a huge fan of diesels in general so if you don't do high miles I'd be inclined to say go for the IS250 auto, but otherwise I'd lean towards the 6 cylinder diesels than the 4s as they bring a lot more smoothness and refinement to the mix.

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I'd agree with the 250 auto. It sounds like some performance is important to you. The MPG is a bit lower but the MPG of the 220d is nothing to shout about anyway, i'm getting 40-45 average 50/50 town and motorway. You could probably get 30-35 out of the 250. I went for the d for resale value in 5 years (with the way things are going) and because I never get to drive spirited on my commute anyway, I have a CBR600 for when I need a buzz.

You'd get a nice specced 250 auto with low miles for 10k, they seem better value now as everyone is on the diesel bandwagon. If I lived anywhere but London i'd have gone for it (plus the paddleshift is cool!).

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Morning all

I am looking at various cars for when we return to the Uk in a couple of weeks, I have been abroad and not been a car owner for about 4.5years only driving the standard hire cars 2.0tdi mondeos and passats etc when back in blighty.

I have also gone from single, sports car driving man to father and husband so priorities for cars have changed. However I do not want to be depressed every time I have to drive somewhere so looking at various cars.

I'm looking at:

IS 220d/250 both sport trim

C class 320cdi merc

Audi A4 3.0tdi

alfa 159 2.4jtdm

3 series 325/320d

I've been reading through all the posts and although the 220d seems to get a hard time for problems its going to be the same with any mark where there are good ones and bad ones so I'm not bothered about that.

Also as you can see i'm looking at the bigger engined rivals so a direct performance comparison is not fair but I am used to either petrol turbo or larger engines and like a torquey engine, however the more modern dervs are a lot better these days so I am more open minded. The reason I put the IS on the list is down to I like the looks and interior and they are good value second hand.

Correct me if I am wrong but do the sport models get a closer ratio gear box which helps with performance a little?

Sorry for the rambling a bit but just wondered if anyone had considered similar cars before buying an IS.

Thanks

I had a 220d Sport and it was great to drive. Not the smoothest gearbox around, but with the shorter Sport ratios it felt more lively than an IS 250. To be honest, if you are looking for smoothness, get the IS 250, but if you are looking for a bit more fun with a bit less refinement, the IS 220d Sport wont disappoint you. I've always found the IS 250 too boring to drive, there is hardly any torque available at low revs. In terms of economy, don't expect more than 30 mpg in town driving, 34 mpg combined and 38-40 on the motorway.

By the way, the ratios on the Sport model are different on all gears, not just on 6th gear.

From your list, the only other car I would consider is the A4 3.0 tdi (considerably faster). I don't like the BMW styling at all (great engines though), the C class is too expensive in Sport trim (the only trim I would have) and Alfas are too unreliable.

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Thanks for the answers guys. The reason I am considering the 220d is because of the torque on tap but but there are more 250 sports around, good to hear the ratios are all 6 on the 220d though. The cooling seats were nice but i'm not too worried about once we're back in the UK to be honest!

I would disagree about alfas being unreliable though as I had a v6 156 a few years ago and it never put a foot wrong, same with other so called unreliable cars i've owned, it admittedly is luck of the draw but I think a lot of it is common sense when buying as well.

I know I'm not buying a performance car as such and the Lexus has other attributes which I like but I would like it to be a fun drive when the on my own.

I'll keep looking round and will look forward to a test drive of both.

Thanks again.

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By the way, the ratios on the Sport model are different on all gears, not just on 6th gear.

Sorry my mistake, thought I had read in the past that it was just 6th gear. Just googled it and you're absolutely right, it's the gear ratio in the differential that was changed.

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I'd agree about the six cylinder diesels. Not sure what your budget is but if it stretches to the new shape C-Class 320CDi then for me that is the best bet by a mile. Presumably you could get a 330 BMW for that money though. The old shape C is not nearly as good in terms of build quality.

The IS 250 is very slow and manages to feel even slower than it actually is! Very smooth and comfy though.

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Points from me go to the 159 for looks. Lovely front end on those. I just came back from italy using a rented Brera 3.2 V6 and it was beautiful to drive. The only niggle I had with it was the interior build quality felt less refined than my lexus. Everything had play and the plastics felt a bit cheap in comparison. I assume the 159 has similar interior.

Still, I would be proud to own one.

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I'd agree about the six cylinder diesels. Not sure what your budget is but if it stretches to the new shape C-Class 320CDi then for me that is the best bet by a mile. Presumably you could get a 330 BMW for that money though. The old shape C is not nearly as good in terms of build quality.

The IS 250 is very slow and manages to feel even slower than it actually is! Very smooth and comfy though.

Would love a newer c class etc but finances will not allow annoyingly. I would like another Alfa but the boot is tiny and a friend of mine just bought a 159 estate so I would never live it down if I bought one as well! Well may have to get one just to spite him though.

The trouble is with the bigger engined cars it means an older model as well, bar the Alfa really.

We shall see but looking forward to lots of different test drives.

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I test drove an Alfa 159 2.4 JTDM Lusso before buying my 220D. Lovely looking car with all the mod cons. My only issue was that it sounded like a tractor. Really noisy and rattley diesel lump compared to the IS220 (IMO). Read more reviews on them than I can remember and unfortuneatly still have the reliability issues hanging over their head. Had my heart set on one and to be honest was bitterly disappointed.

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