I own a 99 BMW 328i manual and a 2001 IS 300 sedan; here is my take on the two cars. Lexus has better performance all around except for acceleration. Brakes and handling are amazing on the IS and the build quality has been very good. Dealer experience with JM Lexus of Florida has been the best part of owning this car! Bottom line, give this Lexus a manual and a TRD supercharger and it will compete with an M3 on the performance front while costing 10K less after the supercharger.