Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Audi A3 VS 2015 Lexus IS Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 Audi A3

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2015 Lexus IS

Safety Comparison

The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The IS Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the A3 Sedan and the IS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Audi A3 Sedan is safer than the Lexus IS Series:

A3 Sedan

IS Series



5 Stars

4 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 48 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The IS Series has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the IS Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

There are over 33 percent more Audi dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the A3 Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the IS Series’ engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine Comparison

The A3 Sedan 1.8T’s standard 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (200 vs. 185) than the IS 250’s standard 2.5 DOHC V6.

The A3 Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 185) than the IS 250’s standard 2.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the A3 Sedan 1.8T is faster than the IS 250:

A3 Sedan

IS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

18.7 sec

22 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.7 sec

8.3 sec

Quarter Mile

15.2 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

87 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan TDI gets better fuel mileage than the IS 250 RWD (31 city/43 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the IS Series:

A3 Sedan

IS Series



23 city/33 hwy

21 city/30 hwy

IS 250

IS 350/Auto


19 city/28 hwy



24 city/33 hwy

20 city/27 hwy

IS 250

IS 350/Auto


19 city/26 hwy

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A3 Sedan’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the IS Series:

A3 Sedan

IS Series

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11.7 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the IS Series:

A3 Sedan

IS Series

80 to 0 MPH

219 feet

226 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

127 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro handles at .94 G’s, while the IS 250 F Sport AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the IS 250 (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 400 pounds less than the Lexus IS Series.

The A3 Sedan is 8.3 inches shorter than the IS Series, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro is quieter than the IS 350 F Sport (41 vs. 42 dB).

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the A3 Sedan and the IS Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A3 Sedan is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The IS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A3 Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The IS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the A3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The IS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A3 Sedan will cost $660 to $1720 less than the IS Series over a five-year period.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A3 Sedan will be $6239 to $7810 less than for the Lexus IS Series.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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