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Audi S4 vs BMW M3



  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    If you look on a place called, you'll see the article that says, "Does Audi finally have the winning formula to beat BMW and Mercedes?" Click on it, and look at all four parts of the story, and you'll see not only reliabiltiy is above-average on Audi but is just behind Lexus, Acura, and Infinti. BMW and Mercedes are below-average. You will also see Audi's residual value over three years has surpassed Mercedes's and is catching up to BMW's.
  • latigolatigo Posts: 2
    “With every new car they release, Audi keeps inching closer and closer to MB and BMW, here in the USA.”

    That's the first line of the page referenced; not exactly gushing. It’s also interesting to note that on the same page Audi is advertised three times, as is the case for all the features pages.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Autospies is probably the worst place on the net to get information from. They're simply a garbage site. They only posted material that Audi salesmen use!!!

  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I'm in auto sales and I checked out that site as well...pretty much garbage and all advertisements. Not worth going back a second time.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    Autospies... AKA.. Autolies

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • I have owned an E36 M3 since 1995 and just this month traded in an Audi A4 owned since 1996. I have/had been ecstatic and happy respectively with the BMW and Audi.

    The BMW has been more reliable than the Audi and less expensive to maintain. Known reliability issues with the E36 3-series include the cooling system and rear shock mounts. My second thermostat was installed at ~60k miles (the car now has 72k). I will be replacing the plastic-impeller water pump and possibly the radiator as preventative measures at my next service (soon). Rear shock mounts also have been changed twice. I don't know if these issue had been addressed for the E46 generation. There have been a few other non-routine repairs, but overall I have had good reliability over the 10 years. The Audi has had a bit more of the non-routine stuff happening, including radio, antenna and speaker problems that were never completely fixed after at least 4 tries, power window glitches, water pump, thermostat, intermittent instrument fritz (water temp, fuel guage, odometer display), un-turnable rotors at 50k, temp sender, a couple of leaks (gasket replacements), CV boots twice, random alarms, windshield washer system and probably a few other items I am not remembering. Despite all this, I still think the A4 has been one of the best cars of the past decade. But I did trade it in this month fearing future repair and maintenance costs. Although individual experiences vary, I would not believe any surveys that rank Audi or BMW as having near the reliability of Toyota and Honda.

    There are quite a few independent service shops that specialize in BMWs here in the SF Bay Area. Although they must exist, I do not know of any independent Audi-only shops in my area. New Dimensions is the closest thing, advertising themselves as a VW/Audi shop. However, I am sure that 90% or more of their business is VW; I had a mediocre service experience there. So, there are more service options for BMW along with somewhat lower service costs vs. Audi.
  • One major difference between the S4 and M3 is the variety of aftermarket stuff available. There are a few Audi suppliers for performance enhancement, but there are many more for BMW. (I am fortunate enough to live near the Dinan headquarters!) If you are not into modifying your car, this is a moot issue. But if you like to have several chip, cold air intake, short-throw shift kit, etc. suppliers to choose from, then you will probably be happier with a BMW. Also, the local BMW Car Club is very active, with several driving school, track and other events in the SF Bay Area each year. I don't know what the Audi Club (I assume there is one) does. In my mind, BMW owners have a higher tendency to be "car people" than Audi owners.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    ALL of the manufacturers post their releases there. It's not like the people there are going to spend money on something that can be already made! (BTW, the biggest payment given to autospies was from Mercedes, and now autospies is going crazy over the new S-Class)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    ALL of the manufacturers post their releases there.

    Thats incorrect. No automaker posts anything there. Autospies gets the press releases from the same sites that you and I would go to read them, like the or any other respectable media outlet. Autospies just posts them on their site with a catch headline and then calls it news. Every wonder why they wait until Thursday to post new info? They gather the press releases from, and others all week long and just rehash it on Thursday night. Problem is they often try to act like they got the "scoop" first and then they run with it.

    There probably isn't a more seedy or tacky site on the net, as far as automotive things go.

    Do you really think Mercedes, Audi or any other carmaker would have anything to do with such a low-rent, off-base site? I think not. Are there car dealers associated with them? Yes of course. They are what keeps the site going. Big difference from the corporate offices of MB, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Lexus or any other make. None of them "post" anything on their site. A press release is just that a press release and once its out anyone can post it anywhere.

  • Bitte setzen Sie Lexus nicht in das gleiche sentance wie MB, Audi, BMW, Porsche ein, das es Ihren Punkt über diese Autohersteller vermindert!

    Please do not put Lexus in the same sentance as MB, Audi, BMW, Porsche it degrades your point about these car manufactures!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Regarding your message to merc1, you are speaking to our Forums' über German car fan, so your comment to him is unnecessary!! :) If you spend a little time catching up on our discussions, you'll see what I mean.

    I do need to ask you to keep your posts totally in English, please ...
  • I drive an 04 S4 and im in love with it. its an undercover rocket. u see millions of bmws on the road..wheter its an older model beemer, an old m3,new m3 or even an m5...yes you see the A4's and the A6's but rarely do u see the buddy who knows nothing about cars even said, since u got ur s4 i always look 4 them but only see the A4...its a rarity and that 1 thing i love about it...also the fact that i have smashed on new M3's on the open freeway makes me believe that this car is the truth..whats great is that the new s4 is often mistaken for the smaller engine older moldel s4...but when push comes to shove, the heat of the s4 has given me many thumbs up from people testing its power...being 19 and a college baseball player, my s4 has handled long drives with 5 grown men with comfort and ease...i could keep going but i think every1 see's my side
  • I've got experience, thought different types of experience, in each one so here are some observations, fwiw.

    I instruct at track events for a number of clubs, and have done quite a few BMW club events. I've driven and ridden in a bunch of M3's on the track, but never on the street.

    My daily driver is an '01.5 S4, and I've driven a friend's '05 S4 (both 6-speed), but I've never tracked an Audi.

    They're both great cars, but are at their best doing different things.

    IMO the M3 is almost certainly the better track car, comparing unmodified cars. (That's assuming a dry track - different story in the wet). Great balance, feedback, high-rpm performance, brakes, it's all there. I prefer the slightly older M3's because the new ones feel - and are - heavier, but they're all a real pleasure on the track. I think the S4 would feel quite heavy on the track, particularly front-heavy, and the front tires and brakes would take a beating. I saw a very fast S4 (V6TT) on the track recently, mostly stock but with stiffer suspension and chip,exhaust, etc., and I'd sure like to drive it some time, but this thread is really about stock cars.

    On the road the S4 is really amazing, it's hard to imagine anything better. Fast, smooth, responsive, comfortable, superb interior, and all in a car you can drive all day and night through a snowstorm. I've had no problems in New England winters with just all-season tires.

    So, my verdict, which means absolutely zero by the way, is the S4 for a street car, even in non-snow country, and also the S4 for someone who does an occasional track event. For a real track junkie though I'd have to recommend the M3, provided there's something else to drive when it's slippery out.
  • jspencejspence Posts: 3
    Just a post of a little link for the ESF guy:

    This is the 2005 JD Powers Initial Quality Survey.

    BMW is clearly above Audi. Also making a mental note never to buy a Suzuki. ;)
  • guido591guido591 Posts: 1
    "whats great is that the new s4 is often mistaken for the smaller engine older model s4"
    And uh, what exactly does that mean? I suspect that you are implying that the V8 S4 easily trumps the B5S4....which isn't exactly accurate . The 2.7 Biturbo easily lends itself to performance upgrades that enable it to leave the larger behemoth in its wake. I traded my '01 for an '05 and, while the newer version has many wonderful attributes, I miss the performance of my 2.7T. "i could keep going but i think every1 see's my side"(sic). You do more baseball than college, don't you.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    Just because you're German does not mean you can make Lexus the underdog. Lexuses are far more luxurious than BMWs, and no German manufacturer can match the owner's experience or reliability. I should know- I am on my second Lexus (an RX330) and second Audi (an S4 Cabriolet).

    Lexus is also becoming far more competitive- the IS350 is a 315 hp car, and it's not even the M3-fighter. It could probably wipe the G35 across the floor.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    How are they worse than BMW? The only BMW that I've seen consistently beating Audis is the 3 Series vs. A4- the A8 always wins comparisons, the A6 always comes on top of the 5 Series, and the S4 has never lost an American test that I've read. The only other exception is the TT- but that's not competitive at all. It's just cool looking. And, when the A4 is completely redesigned, it should kick some 3 Series butt.

    The only thing that BMW is actually better at is performance- and that's not saying Audis have bad performance. They have great performance and accelaration off the line, with luxury, style, and value to back them up. And, quality is different than reliability. In a test I read today, the magazine said that "the A6 has the highest quality of the bunch". They didn't mean reliability.
  • esfesf Posts: 1,020
    I feel the same way about my new Cabriolet. The S4 just flies- I love playing with Bimmers, letting them think they can pass me, and then blasting by at the last moment. I also had a nice run with a '00 or so Pontiac Firebird V8, a fast car, on the highway the other day. We were fighting to pass each other, and I finally passed him, but then went on the exit off the highway.

    And, I love the attention. I got a beautiful Sprint Blue color, and that way almost every luxury car owner knows that it's an S4. A man in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo gave me a thumbs up, a person in an A8L nodded at me, and someone who drove an S4 sedan just smiled at me. And, most people who drive competing companies just look at it. For a while. I can see a tad of jealousy. But, my favorite part so far was when a dark blue M3 Convertible and I were at a stoplight, and I just dusted him. Twice.

    I'll never get tired of the car, and now I'm hooked on convertibles. After this, I could never go into another A6.
  • Is there any way to get below .0020 on the money factor?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,643
    This month, the MF is .00195... for any 36 month lease.. that is the base rate.. as low as you can get..

    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

This discussion has been closed.