Rarely does a single car define the segment in which it resides, but that’s exactly the case with the BMW 3 Series. For three decades it has been a synonym for the compact luxury sedan genre; the yardstick rivals have long measured themselves against.

When this generation of Mercedes-Benz C-Class launched in 2007, the manufacturer claimed it was better than a 3 Series (implicitly acknowledging the BMW was the one to beat). It was much the same with this generation of Audi A4 in 2008. Within one year, those two rivals had transformed themselves to properly front the plucky Bavarian.

Now, the Lexus IS is the latest car to be tagged as a 3 Series-beater. The Japanese car’s chief engineer reckons the IS is the better driver’s car.

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Lexus IS v BMW 3 Series v Mercedes-Benz C Class v Audi A4 - Which Is The Best Compact Premium Sedan?

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