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
#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.
#135 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [m3_r1]
Oct 20, 2005 (3:01 pm)
Mr. bmw, you consentrate to much on the price tag, more is not always better. You talk alot about 0-60's and 1/4 miles. How well does your dinan m3 match up touring.
#136 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [rjlaero]
Oct 21, 2005 (2:52 am)
A good strong post in defense of Audi, though I don't agree with all the comments about Mercedes, but I like Audis a great deal so I'll let that pass.
Anyway, I do agree that Audi is on the move and that there is no weak vehicle in their lineup at this time. The question is how does Audi get out from under the shadow of Mercedes and BMW in this country? In build quality they are seemingly better made (at least initially) than BMWs and most Mercedes (the CLS, SLK, and new S being the exceptions imo), but Audi can't catch a break in the U.S. I've liked Audi since the 5000 days, but for some reason they aren't on a lot of buyers lists when the time comes to look at luxury cars. The A8 deserves a look more than any other Audi product (except the S4 Cabrio), but doesn't get looked at by enough luxury car buyers. The default choices are still the S-Class, 7-Series and to a lesser extent, the XJ and LS430. How does Audi change this? I mean look at the A6. Stunning design inside and out, but it isn't even close to the E,5,GS,M or STS in sales. There has to be something wrong with Audi's promotion or frachise for such a stellar car to go so unnoticed.
#137 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [rjlaero]
Oct 21, 2005 (7:09 am)
The Numbers are not relative. MSRP for both cars is in the $50,000 range and are virtually the same. Audi's can acutally cost more than their German competition. Also, if you go to a used car lot the higher quality cars will cost more than lesser quality cars. For example a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord will be worth more than a domestic because they are higher quality cars and are much more in demand than domestic cars. The same is true for the M3 vs the S4. More of the buying public will demand the M3 ten fold to the S4. Consumer Reports stated that the Audi S4 (A4) reliablity is BELOW AVERAGE which is why the car is less in demand and will cost less than a M3 on the used car market.
Sorry S4 owners
#138 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [rickp4]
Oct 26, 2005 (10:11 am)
Not a very convincing article. If you look at page 6 the M3 easily won both the Performance and Subjective ratings - just got dinged on price.
I'm a bit biased as an M3 owner, but I find the exterior styling of the S4 to be a bit boring. Looking forward to the RS4, thought.
#139 of 275 Re: Want to know positives/negatives of S4 and M3 [m3_r1]
Oct 29, 2005 (4:37 pm)
Just so we can have a fact-based conversation, the 2006 S4 sedan has an MSRP of $46.4k vs $49.6k for the M3 (base version). Similarly spec'd out their price tags are $50.9k for the S4 and $54.2k for the M3. So there is a $3.3k difference in MSRP right there. Granted, looking at KBB for both cars (2004 versions with 40k miles), the trade-in value for an S4 is $27.5 vs $36.4 for an M3. Even adjusting for the $3.3k difference in MSRP, that is still a $6k upside for the M3.
I have always had a bias for BMWs but I really wanted 4WD (midwest weather) and I didn't like the look of the 3X-sedan (previous model). So I went with an A4 3.0Q. Have had it for 3 years now, have never had a problem with my car and I drive 18k highway miles p/year. I have test-driven an M3 cabrio and an S4 cabrio recently as I am looking to trade-in. They both drive amazingly, although the M3 feels more "racey" while the S4 is a lot more refined. Having said that, the heavy rumble of the S4's V8 is just that much more exhilarating than the high-pitched whine of the I-6!! Either way, both absolutely waste most other things on the road, eventhough the S4 is so much more understated that most people don't even know what they are up against (so I think I would quite enjoy the look of the Porsche driver who challenged the S4 and lost).
So what do you prefer? I guess it is just personal taste. Even to the M3 lovers, you can't deny that the S4 cabrio looks stunning (and the fact that there are not that many out there means resale values are actually much better than the sedan's). Personally, I have to commute in this car and that includes 3 months of snow ... so from a safety perspective I think I am going S4