Last post on Nov 17, 2008 at 12:27 PM
You are in the Audi S4
What is this discussion about?
Audi S4, BMW M3, Sedan
#125 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [m3_r1]
Oct 14, 2005 (12:21 pm)
The 3 series remains one of the better looking cars in BMW's lineup, and it's still the "darling" car of many automotive jounalists. The M3 is indeed a sharp looking car.
But anybody who says the fit, finish, and overall appearance of BMW's...especially the 5 and 7 series is crazy. Virtually every automotive magazine has questioned the once clean and classy Bimmers of the late 80's and most of the 90's, only to get "Bangelized" the last 1/2 decade.
I've been subscribing to Car and Driver for close to 20 years, and the reviews for BMW products the last 1/2 decade has been average at best. One of the last comments from a writer was that he was glad the BMW 5 series was fun to drive and it got him to his destination quicky, but he was thankfull he didn't have to spend too much time in the cars dreary interior. Nobody really praises BMW for their interiors.
And please, lets not even go into IDrive, as it's one of the poorest designs of any auto manufacturer. SMG vs, DSG? Don't go there, either.
Audi has never been the darling of reliablity, so I won't go there. But the A4's have always been one of Audi's most reliable cars, and they are on consumer reports best pick list for 2005. Audi as a whole has made leaps and bounds in terms of quality and reliablity over the last decade, but it seems that BMW and Mercedes are going in the opposite direction.
The 3 series cars fare much better like the A4's, but don't even talk about reliablity and overall quality for the 5 and 7 series via "consumer reports". The same with Mercedes for their C class, E class, and S class. They are average at best and bordeline horrible at times.
BMW ruled the 80's & 90's, but Audi has the best looking and stongest lineup they've ever had. And arguably a better line-up than either BMW or Mercedes right now. From the A3, A4, A6, A8, there ain't a weak chain in the link anymore. The brutal 414hp RS4 is on the way, and the V10 S6 and S8's are coming next year.
It's good to be Audi right now.
#126 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [m3_r1]
Oct 14, 2005 (5:05 pm)
I'd like to interject with some objectivity. Having not had a preference for any of these cars, I recently bought a new S4 Cabriolet after testing the CLK 500, M3, S4, and 545i. My assessment is, Audi ruled. Not only does it sound more like an aggressive racing machine, I took it 90 mph around a local highway offramp and it was smooth and hugged the road like none of the above. Moreover, it's got a top end like I've never experienced. Must be the 300 lb feet of torque, vs 260.
I did some thorough due diligence as well, and though all these cars are excellent, the Audi S4 seemed to take the cake; read the following:
Check out this auto enthusiast's comprehensive assessment of both cars. Pay particular attention to the "last words" copied below:
This was a shocking test drive, to put it mildly. I expected a more user-friendly drivetrain, and I especially expected livelier handling. As it stands, not only is the Audi S4 a more practical car with a more stylish, more comfortable interior, but it is also more fun to drive. Among $50,000 high-performance luxury cars, the Audi is the easy choice.
The next M3 will likely have a V8 with 400 or so horsepower. But power is the least of the carís problems. The carís steering and handling require much more urgent attention. The M3 might not be breaking a sweat in most driving on public roads, but it should at least pretend to be enjoying the trip. As it is, it feels musclebound, strong but inflexible."
Also, consult consumer reports. The S4 and the M3 are both recommended vehicles.
#127 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [rjlaero]
Oct 15, 2005 (1:09 pm)
This conversation reminds me of a broadway play that was panned by the critics and went on for a long run and made a fortune for it's backers.
The current sales figures seem to indicate the buying public as opposed to the critical journalists like the car. So while one can point to the magazine articles to support a position the cars are cheap, their crap, they don't drive well, BMWs are indeed doing better, ATM, than the competition.
As the above posted suggested, I don't even want to go out in the snow, salt, with my 10 year old Hyundia, much less my $60K M3 or S4. The M3 does better on dry pavement, no doubt about it, but people who drive M3s also have backup cars in their garage. The next generation M3 should make things more interesting for BMW.
It's interesting to note what Audi had to do with the S4 in terms of the engine to get equitable performance to a 3.2L M3 engine.
#129 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [rjlaero]
Oct 17, 2005 (7:09 am)
It's good to be Audi right now? The unbiased authority on rating cars is Consumer Reports. I went to their web site and copied and pasted what they said in a comparrison test between the BMW M3, Cadillac CTS V, Pontiac GTO, and Audi S4.
"The S4 is an excellent overall package, but it isn't as sporty or exciting to drive as the BMW M3 or Cadillac CTS-V. Its V8 is wonderfully smooth, delivered reasonable fuel economy, and makes the S4 very quick. The car has sound, capable handling enhanced by all-wheel drive. Like most cars in this class, the ride is stiff, but the S4 is not as punishing as some sports cars. The interior is beautifully crafted, and the trunk is the largest of the group. Like the regular A4 sedan, the rear seat is cramped, with little leg room. Reliability of the A4 line has been below average."
THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE
The S4 rides a bit stiffly, transmitting low-speed impacts to the cabin. The car feels a little unsettled on the highway, and overall it doesn't feel as controlled as the BMW or Cadillac. The cabin is well-isolated from noise, with just a mild engine hum audible.
The S4 delivers very good handling, but not significantly better than the $30,000 A4 3.0 version. The steering is quick and responsive, and the car doesn't exhibit much body lean in corners. When pressed to its handling limits, the S4 tends to plow in corners, even with electronic stability control. It was secure and predictable and was easy to thread through our avoidance-maneuver course.
#130 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [m3_r1]
Oct 17, 2005 (9:42 am)
From the above Consumer Reports review of the BMW M3 vs the Audi S4 (also Cadillac CTS V, and Pontiac GTO) the M3 was the consumer reports choice:
EXHIBIT 2 From Consumers report:
Sports CARS: The $50,000, High-performance Audi S4 and BMW M3 top our sports-car ratings, while blending fun and practicality.
The Audi S4 and BMW M3 sped to the top of our sports-car ratings this month. Although the two are different in character and driving behavior, their overall test scores, based on more than 45 individual evaluations, were a virtual tie. Both finished ahead of our previously top-rated sports car, the Subaru Impreza WRX STi, which is about $20,000 less expensive.
Although it finished third in this competitive group, the new Cadillac CTS-V also achieved an excellent overall score. The new Pontiac GTO, about $20,000 less expensive than the Audi, BMW, or Cadillac, scored notably lower overall in our tests.
All four cars have a strong engine and manual transmission, and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. The Audi and Cadillac are four-door sedans, while the BMW and Pontiac are two-door coupes. The Audi is all-wheel drive, while the others use rear-wheel drive. The M3 is the only one that meets all of our criteria for being recommended. (See CR Quick Recommendations for more details.)
Three of the tested vehicles are limited-edition, high-performance versions of other cars in their respective model lines. The Audi S4, redesigned for 2004, is based on the compact A4. In contrast to previous S4 versions that used a turbocharged V6 engine, this S4 is powered by a 340-hp, 4.2-liter V8 that's similar to that in Audi's largest sedan, the A8.
The S4 is quick, has a beautifully crafted interior, and delivered the best fuel economy of the group. It has a very tight rear seat, though, and on our track it lacked the at-the-limit handling finesse of the BMW and Cadillac.
#131 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [showstopper1]
Oct 18, 2005 (11:19 pm)
It's only fair if you compare similar model redesigns. M3 is due for a redesign which will give it a bigger engine, S4 just did that. So you can't really compare the S4 and M3 right now, they're playing leapfrog like Ford and Chevy does with its trucks and M3 is just about to leap over S4. However, the S4 is like Avis and the M3 is Hertz. BMW is just a superior brand and superior engineering. If you want a cushy interior, buy a Lexus. But if you want a car that performs, buy an M3 and pass the S4 by. If you compare the last S4 with the current M3, which is the valid comparison, and having owned both I can tell you, the S4 is a poor and distant second to the M3. It has poor reliability, sloppy suspension, poor driving dynamics and and simply doesn't hold up as well - hence the horrid depreciation of S4s. You can get into a used S4 cheaply because they fall apart, literally. Be prepared to make friends with your Audi dealer's service department. The M3 holds its value. It also has much tighter suspension (and I'm comparing an M3 convertible with an S4 sedan), precise handling, and is simply a better designed vehicle with better reliabilty. If you must drive in snow, you can do it in the M3 with snow tires if you just drive sensibly. Remember, all cars used to be rear wheel drive, the M3 has a lot of torque so you just have to drive rmore slowly and carefully. Frankly I feel a lot more comfortable in an M3 versus an S4, AWD just means all the wheels are turning, it doesn't mean the thing handles well. Even the new S4 just feels numb and lumbering on the road, the AWD gives it this clawlike feeling, whereas the M3 feels like liquid over pavement. It's hard to explain. Enthusiasts prefer M3 for a reason.
#132 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [aryn7]
Oct 19, 2005 (1:27 pm)
I wouldn't take 1/2 of what you said as being the truth. S4's do not "fall apart". That's a ridiculous statement. BMW's aren't the pillar of reliablity and are extremely expensive to fix with parts and maintenace. So don't go throwing stones at your German siblings.
Even 5-6 year old S4's with the 2.7T Turbo can be rather expensive on the used market if they've been taken care of and can be hard to find.
Keep your M3 and head back to the BMW forums. You obviously don't have any appreciation for the S4. The M3 is a fine car in it's own right, but you have no objectivity in being fair with other cars.
#133 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [rjlaero]
Oct 20, 2005 (6:27 am)
The truth must really hurt about the Audi S4 being inferior to the M3. If you read all of messages on this site you will see that the statements are supported by facts and not biased propaganda. I went to Kelly Blue Book to check the trade in values for the M3 and the S4 and this is what they said:
2001 BMW M3 in excellent condition with 100,000 mi $20,375
2001 Audi S4 in excellent condition with 100,000 mi $12,700
2002 M3 ( Same as above ) $22,875
2002 S4 ( Same as above ) $14,250
2003 M3 (Same as above) $26,100
2003 S4 (Model year change) No Data
2004 M3 (Same Data as above) $28,475
2004 S4 (Same Data as above) $20,975
Perhaps the S4 is falling apart
#134 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [m3_r1]
Oct 20, 2005 (1:15 pm)
BMW's have also have had a much higher MSRP to start with. 3, 5, 7 series up and down the line. For the same equiptment, you can pay $5 - $7,000 more for a BMW or Mercedes than on an AUDI
If a $60,000 car depricates 50%, the resale is $30,000
If a $53,000 car depreciates 50%, the resale is $26,500
Numbers are relative, lemon boy.