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Audi S4 vs BMW M3



  • I had forgotten about this thread untill last sunday when Top Gear reviewed the RS4.. I will let the video do the talking.
  • "The BMW weighs nearly 600 pounds more than the S4 which makes a huge difference in performance, especially when the engines are close in horsepower. 333/340."

    What have you been smoking. The M3 weighs 3415 while the S4 weighs 3650. How in the world did you conclude that the M3 weighs 600 lbs MORE than the S4? Your credibility is completely shot when you can even get OBJECTIVE FACTS straight.
  • Given the considerable price premium of the RS4, you can't really compare that to the current M3. The S4 v. M3 is a fair comparison. When the new M3 comes out, that will be a fair comparison with the RS4 because it will be each company's current generation and undoubtedly the price will be higher.
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    I got the weight info from this very website.

    For one thing, gross vehicle weight is the # that really matters, not curb weight. The M3 is a 2 door coupe while the S4 is a 4 door sedan. That will make a difference in the total weight for sure and it also makes an exact comparison impossible because the 2 vehicles have completely different bodies. I'd rather have a car that has 4 doors over a 2 door car that's a little lighter, but that's just my opinion.

    According to

    BMW curb weight = 3415 lbs
    S4 curb weight = 3825 lbs (mainly because it's a 4 door)

    So, your facts are not entirely straight either bknblk based on the #'s you gave. listed the gross vehicle weight for the M3 in the same exact place that it listed the curb weight for the S4 and it gives no GVW info for the S4. The GVW of the M3 is listed at 4453 lbs. I mistakenly compared that with the curb weight of the S4, that's how I got the 600 pound difference. MY BAD. claims that the GVW for the S4 is 4872 lbs which makes the S4 about 400 pounds heavier overall, but again I believe the difference is because of the 4 doors vs. 2 doors. That said, the weight of the cars is comparable.
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    What's up with the RS4 anyway? I'm looking to buy a new S4 at the end of the year, but if I can find a RS4 and the price isn't in Porsche territory I'd love to have one.

    Can you even buy one in California?

    I've never seen one at a local dealership, nor have I seen one for sale anywhere in CA. give no information about that vehicle, though I saw one the other day and it looked really nice with the exception of the ugly yellow paint job. You're right, you can't compare it with an M3.
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    Thanks for showing how some of the S4 crowd uses distorted facts and subjective web sites to build up the inferior S4. Rarely do these people respond to the truth about the cars they drive. I can't believe that this guy posted a message stating the M3 weighs more than the S4. It just goes to show how reality doesn't exist for many of them. A couple of weeks ago while on one of my bi weekly trips to Atlanta I noticed a 2005 yellow S4 on the the car lot of Select Luxury Cars . This dealership only sells high end cars such as BMW, Mercedes, Ferrari, Lotus, Porsche, and Lamborghini. I talked with a salesman about driving the S4. He said to me "why would you want to drive this car when you own an M3?" He went on to say that they don't normally carry Audi's on their lot because they don't hold the value like the other cars they sell. Lastly, he stated (not to my surprise) that Audi is trying to play catch up with makes like BMW and Mercedes which is why the Audi S4 does not meet the standards of what they normally sell. I think it's amazing that someone who sells cars for a living basically tells me that the car I arrived in is far superior to what is for sale on their lot. I don't expect this S4 crowd to take my word for this experience, yet I know for myself that it's true. As of November 28, 2005 the Yellow S4 is still on their lot for sale. It's been there for some time now...I wonder why :lemon: Someone in an feeble example of trying reply to why Consumer Reports does not recommend the S4 stated:
    "perhaps it's because of the gas mileage that the M3 is a better choice than the S4". Actually Consumer Reports said that the S4 had better fuel economy than the M3 and yet the M3 was their pick. Just to make sure you S4 dreamers get it I will post their comments (not mine) here again.

    "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."

    "See a summary of test findings and Quick Picks--the choices that merit first consideration.
    In a sports car we look for quickness, agility, and responsiveness. Comfort, convenience, and fuel
    economy are important, but less so than with regular cars. Of the nine cars listed in the chart below, we recommend three. The Audi S4 (1) and Cadillac CTS-V (5) have had below-average reliability in their standard versions, the A4 and CTS, respectively, so we cannot recommend them. We lack reliability data on the Mazda RX-8 (4), Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (6), Pontiac GTO (8), and Chrysler Crossfire (9).
    The Ratings rank vehicles based on their overall score in our tests, irrespective of price or reliability. Recommended models ( ) not only tested well but have shown average or better reliability, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test. Quick Picks are recommended models that in our judgment deserve special consideration based on your needs".


    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.)

    You S4 owner know that when you reply to my posts you had better get it right.
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    Get Real. You under studies are really getting desperate in trying to defend the lesser S4. Do you actually think this over the top Audi sales video lends itself to being in anyway honest, fair, or even objective? Why didn't you just ask Audi AG to send you some sales video along with a salesman to make the same point. A 333hp inline 6 M3 will show the 340hp V8 S4 it's tail lights every time. Yet you never mention this fact in replying. Tell me, does the truth really hurt that much? So what do you think will happen when BMW places an all new 400hp V8 in the new M3. Next time try to at least be objective when comparing that :lemon: to the M3.
  • Wow, you should be the poster boy for BMW. Your arrogant, rude, and make up silly stories. Hey, you should sell BMW's. But seriously why all this venom towards the S4? Is this the car that you saw your girlfriend being driven away in? :P
  • Blah,blah,blah. yea thats it. i will run out and get the same BMW that half the women on my block drive! Now there is an idea. M3=unoriginal. Reliability, resale.....whatever then go buy an Accord. One of the great things about all the S4 is that like all of the highest end cars you do not see them in every driveway. And please spare me "consumer report card" review. i will keep that in mmind when its time to get a new toaster oven.

    the S4 not only performs better but has a cooler class of drivers. yea thats right. so when all you future and current M3 buyers are computing your resale values just remember, your all a bunch of sheep. so play it safe and get the same car as your neighbor and your neighbor's neighbor.....
  • "One of the great things about all the S4 is that like all of the highest end cars you do not see them in every driveway. "

    The reason you do not see S4s in every driveway is because there is less DEMAND for them. The marketplace defines the winners. M3s have high resale values for a reason. I also own a C32 AMG. Love it. But I readily acknowledge that an M3 is a better driver's car. That's why I bought one. The S4, like the C32, is too heavy. 400+ lbs difference between the M3 and S4 is huge. When it comes to handling, lighter is always better.
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    Thanks for showing how some of the S4 crowd uses distorted facts and subjective web sites to build up the inferior S4.

    If you would have bothered to READ my post you would have noticed that I got all of my #'s from! If it's a subjective website then why are you here?

    I can't believe that this guy posted a message stating the M3 weighs more than the S4.

    Again, if you would have bothered to read my post you would have noticed that I retracted what I first said when I realised that put GVW for the M3 and curb weight for the S4 in the same place. Again, MY BAD, I didn't catch it. I was not trying to be misleading, so stop making false accusations. Frankly, I was surprised when I found those #'s because I expected the 4 door S4 to weigh more simply because it's a 4 door and the cars are comparable in size.

    As of November 28, 2005 the Yellow S4 is still on their lot for sale.

    It probably has something to do with the car being yellow which is the ugliest possible color for a car next to orange (in my opinion).

    Actually Consumer Reports said that the S4 had better fuel economy says that the M3 has better fuel economy. I don't expect you to believe me though, go look it up yourself. While you're at it, check out the vehicle weight #'s and you may see why I made the honest mistake that I made.

    M3= 16/24
    S4= 15/22-23

    I can really care less what consumer reports says. If I want a washing machine I'll consult them, but they're biased just like you are when it comes to nice cars. See, both the M3 and the S4 are nice cars. I have no problem admitting that. It happens to snow where I live and I would much rather have an AWD for obvious reasons so I'm not on my knees in the snow slapping on chains all the time like you would be with your M3. I also prefer a 4 door car for obvious reasons like convenience. I also prefer a V8 over a V6. I like the torque and I like the sound of a V8 and nothing that you say is going to convince me otherwise.

    Grow up bknblk and stop being a rude, arrogant jerk. Try reading posts instead of berating people simply because they don't worship BMW's like you do. You're making all BMW drivers look bad with your childish remarks and petty insults. Much of what you're saying is opinion just like some of what Consumer Reports says is opinion based on unavoidable human bias. I make my own decisions and I have never and will never let someone or some magazine make them for me. I test drove an M3 before I bought my S4 because I wanted to keep an open mind. I didn't like the fact that it was a 2 door, I didn't like the whiny 6 cylinder engine, I didn't like the fact that it was only a 2WD because of snow issues where I live and I especially didn't like the extra $10,000 on the price tag because there's absolutely no justification for it. Also, I have never had any reliability issues with my S4. I take major issue with Consumer Reports living in the past and basing their reliability speech about the S4 on older models that are completely different from the S4's made after 2004. That means absolutely nothing to me because it's irrelevant to the discussion.
  • you are confusing demand with discerning tastes. there is plenty of demand , its just not the generic mind numbing herd mentality demand like BMW has grown accustom to. Please do us all a favor and wipe off your make up and crawl back in your Mcmansion. And BTW don't even start in with that C32 junk. i have seen better looking go-carts than that car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    And I thought we had some lively discussions on the High-End and Luxury Performance Sedans boards!

    I think both cars are winners for being what they are. However comparing the two head-on really doesn't make much sense to me because of the vast differences between them.

    The S4 IMO, is a better real-world choice due to being a sedan and AWD. The S4 is like any other Audi, wonderful interior and styling, but not nearly as viseral as a BMW, especially a Motorsport model. The Audi is superior everyday choice, especially when the weather turns foul.

    The M3 on the other hand is vastly superior on a track and just in its "sportiness". The I6, 50/50 weight distribution and so on equal a superior sporty car for the hard-core enthusiast.

    Both of these cars are winners in my book. One a just a superior day to day touring car with great all year capability and the other is a track car detuned just enough for life on the street.

    Not saying it is "better", but I'd take an RS4 over anything being talked about here.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    I don't see that there is anything useful being discussed here lately.

    If anyone wants to continue this comparison, we need to have some civil conversation on the merits and faults of both of these vehicles and discontinue the personal comments right now.
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    Wether you like it or not Consumer Reports is basically the ONLY OBJECTIVE source for consumer goods that does not rely on nor accepts advertisement from business. Millions rely on this consumer agency to provide honest unbiased non subjective opinions on any product sold in the US. Many auto publications admit that their ratings involve personal preference and taste. So if Consumer Reports determined that the M3 is superior to the S4 and it's the only car in the comparison test to meet their standards, why is it that some S4 owners feel the need to somehow dismiss or down play their unbiased opinion. As I see it this debate is settled. Clearly the M3 has better reliability, superior resale value, is much more in demand and has set the standard for luxury performance cars. Personally, I have nothing against the S4. If you drive that car and you are happy with it then good for you. It's not my choice for the reasons stated over and over again. Audi has a long way to go before it can be seriously seen as a viable contender with BMW. For some strange reason Audi can't seem to find it's identity. Look at the changes in how the grill is now much larger than before. Audi representatives admit that they are seeking to set an image that people easily associate with the car company. Take the S4 name. Will it be S4 or RS4? I certainly hope they make up their minds and settle on names and images. You don't see such confusion with BMW or Mercedes. A BMW 3, 5, or 7 series has been just that for many years. Audi on the other hand seems to change models with each decade. Remember the Audi 5000? We no longer see it and I won't get into why (If I did S4 owners would like me even less). What about the Audi 80, 90? Where did they go? No doubt car models come and go with each car maker, but not every decade. Model evolution is one thing confusion is another. Perhaps in 10 or 20 years Audi will be more reliable and perhaps a suitable contender to it's big brothers in Germany.
    Remember, reply with (if possible) facts and try not to take it so personal. Before I forget, the comment about my being upset because someone drove off with girl friend an an S4 (LOL). My girl friend was with me when I checked out the S4 in Atlanta and needless to say she wasn't impressed. So I doubt that anyone could drive her away in one ;)
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    My main issue with Consumer Reports with respect to the S4 is that they base their reliability statements on older models that share very little in common with the new S4's.

    A more correct statement would be- We can't make reliability statements because there is no data on current models to back it up. Now, if there were reliability issues with the new S4's (2004+) that would be a MAJOR red flag given that the car is so new and no car should be breaking down so soon after purchase. The moral of this story is that the past does not necessarily predict the future and I see no validity in their complaints about reliability of newer S4's based on older and completely different models.

    The other thing I've been noticing lately about Consumer Reports, mainly because some here have been throwing it in my face, is that their data about a certain car seems to differ from what other websites are saying. gives slightly different numbers with respect to gas mileage for the S4. Does that mean is subjective? I think not. In fact, I believe that is every bit as objective and on the level as Consumer Reports claims to be. Does someone here feel differently? For example, says the M3 gets slightly better gas mileage while CP says the S4 gets slightly better gas mileage.

    Remember, reply with (if possible) facts and try not to take it so personal.

    If you read my previous posts, I was and I will keep trying to be as factual as possible. Someone else whose name I won't mention started in with the personal attacks. I'm only interested in information and I do want to hear people's opinions or I wouldn't be spending any time here at all. I test drove both cars plenty and I liked things about both of them. They are both nice cars, but I chose the S4 because it suits my needs better than the M3. I'm sorry if my choice offended someone here and made them feel like they had to berate other people (and not just me) because of my preference.
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    If you take the time to read the Consumer Reports issue between the BMW M3, Audi S4, Pontiac GTO and the
    Cadillac CTS V, you will see that all of the models were of the same year. Consumer Reports would not use a older car from one brand to compare to a newer car of another brand. Consumer Reports seeks to have a level playing field when testing any product. I'm sure those of you who drive Audi's are proud of your cars and you should be. If you plan to keep the cars and never sell it you may only have to deal with some quality issues. If you are lucky you won't have to visit the service department at all. Just be prepared fo a reality check if you decide to trade in your S4. I would not buy that car for the same reasons I would no longer buy an american made car. American cars simply don't hold value on the used car market compared to imports. In 2003 I purchased a new Ford Focus SVT. The car was awesome and I regret I had to sell it. The problem with the SVT was it did not hold value compared to the Honda Civic SI. Therefore I had to sell it as soon as possible to cut my depreciation loss. This is the same problem with Audi. For years Audi has had SERIOUS quality issues with it's cars therefore when compared with an M3 (which are virtually priced the same new) the difference in value is at least $10,000 on the used car market. You simply can't justify that big of a difference with all wheel drive or V8 engines. As I said before Audi may someday get it's act together and produce quality cars. But for now the facts speak for themselves.
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    Thanks for the info. I'll check out the article, but my question still remains. How can Consumer Reports claim that the new Audi's have reliability issues? Are they not basing that statement on older models? It seems to me that CP is basing that statement on older vehicles and using that info to make judgements about the new Audi's claiming they will have the same reliability issues. I think that argument is somewhat flawed.

    I hear you with respect to the resale value though.

    when compared with an M3 (which are virtually priced the same new)

    Hmm, I compared the price of the M3 and S4 on and got #'s that were not the same. The M3 costs substantially more with comparable options. If you include things like the competition package and the cool gearbox you're talking about a $10,000+ difference. Check it out. Even without those options there is still a difference of several thousand dollars, mainly because the S4 comes with several standard features that total an extra $3,000 in the BMW. That may offset some of the resale issues, but I agree that Audi's have a lower resale value. Good enough, I'll try to use that fact as leverage when I bargain for my '06 S4 at the end of the year. Better yet, I may just buy one used and save some $$$.
  • I hear you on the confusing car name part. s4 or rs4, It's very misleading. 325 or 330, x3 2.5 or 3.0. Oh my gosh I think my head will explode. Listen we are all subtly berating each other for our taste {or lack thereoff} in cars. Let's continue to have fun with each other. Like for instance, here's this guy trumpeting the reliability of one german car over another. Meanwhile some executive at Acura, or Lexus is laughing his [non-permissible content removed] off. By the way, in Germany Audi sells more cars than bmw or benz.
    I think consumer reports is good at what they do, but I will look at serious driver enthisiasts rags for a more reliable report on the dynamic of cars. Which is why were all here right. Because we all know that a car is more than what's reliable or a good deal. It speaks to us somewhere in our gut where our senses of humor used to live. Let's all regain that. It's easier to regrow than my hairline
    I'd like to leave you all one thought for the da
    Just kidding.....or am I? :shades:
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    I personally checked out an Audi Dealer on a previous trip to Atlanta. This dealer had about 6 S4's on the lot with various options. All the S4's had a a sticker price beginning at $51,000. Regardless of the history with this car it does not sell cheap. This is exactly what you would pay for a same model year M3. The down side is if you should ever decide to trade the S4 in. A web site might give basic info on what the car should cost. However, dealers will not sell any of their performance cars cheap wether its BMW M series, Mercedes AMG, or
    Audi S's. As to why Consumer Reports gives the S4 a poor rating is basically due to the history the A4 model which is the same platform for the S4. In comparison the BMW 3 series is rated high by Consumer Reports due to it's history of being reliable. Audi will have to show that it is serious about establishing itself not only as a alternative to BMW in performance but quality also. So far the latter has not happened.
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    Please don't hold your breath wondering if I think you are kidding or not. Saying M3's suck and proving it is another matter. If we had to use the facts it would be quite clear who sucked. For example, 1. When you visit a dealer and learn just how much less the S4 is really worth on trade in. 2. LEARNING THAT THERE ARE TEN TIMES THE AMOUNT OF PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS for the M3 compared to what is available for the S4. 3. Comparing the number of independent shops that specialize in repairing BMW's as to those that repair Audi's (now that sucks). How is it that when a lot of people own a BMW it's seen as a bad thing? So let me get this straight, because a few own Audi's that some how make that car better??? Talk about reverse psychology! In reality perhaps these people know the difference and used better judgment at the time of purchase. In representing one of the best cars ever created (M3) I'm just stating the facts taken from those who know best. It seems that since the evidence can't be refuted, some S4 fans use the old tactic of "shoot the messenger". Like it or not Consumer Reports tells the truth on any and everything for sale, and in this case it's cars. Intelligent people across the US can trust the information Consumer Reports complies each year on every car sold in America. I promised some time ago that I would soon challenge the "All Wheel Drive System" that seems to be one of the few points that S4 owners want to use try compete with the M3. Like it or not the messenger is back.



    A common misconception is that 4WD and AWD help in all driving situations. But these systems provide added traction only when accelerating. They do not help in braking or cornering.

    Some drivers mistakenly use less caution when driving in slippery conditions with a 4WD vehicle, and pay the price by losing control and sometimes rolling over. Because the added traction of 4WD can allow a vehicle to accelerate more quickly in slippery conditions, drivers need to be extra vigilant, not less. For extra help in braking, get a vehicle with antilock brakes. For a cornering aid, look for a stability control system. But neither of these systems can overcome the laws of physics. Slippery conditions demand extra caution, no matter what you drive.

    M3's don't suck, they rule! :shades:
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This beating each other up is not helping any of you convince anyone of anything except that you are taking other folks' personal preference as a personal insult ... when there's no reason to do so. You surely can't believe that people are not entitled to their own point of view - after all, you are entitled to yours. So are they entitled to theirs.

    Once again - we need to stop making these exchanges personal. Let's stick to the features of the cars only, and knock off the sarcasm and insults.

    If we can't do that, we will need to end this.

  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    Who's beating anyone up? We are all adults here and I don't have a problem with what S4 drivers getting passionate about this debate. Did it ever occur to you that some passion has brought a post that was practically dead and on life support? Actually until a couple of months ago this post was dead until a few of us breathed life back into it. If you feel you want to end it then just do it. Perhaps there should be a post where people can freely express themselves without worrying about being censored. I personally don't see anything here that is disrectful and some of thes comments have directed to me.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Are you going to talk about the cars and not me and not other posters?

    The point I am trying to make is that no one is going to pay attention to anyone who is posting with the vitriol that has been contained in nearly all of the posts that have been made here lately.

    So I guess it boils down to do you want to create a post that might mean something to someone, or are you just going to to post messages that 95% of the readers will dismiss because it is sarcastic and attacking.

    I'm not just talking to you, I'm talking to everyone that has been involved in the recent sniping and insulting posts that have been flying around.

    If anyone has any further comments about the management of this discussion, you need to email me, not post them here.

    As I've said, I think now is the third time, if we're not going to discuss the cars in a reasonable and respectful manner, there is no point to this discussion.

    Thanks to anyone and everyone who is willing to do what's necessary to sustain this!!
  • Pat
    I apologize for being offensive to any and all. I certainly don't want to see this thread go away, and am willing to be less offensive to ensure it's longevity.
    Now, has anyone seen the Top gear {British car show} report on the M3 vs S4? It had the M3 quicker thru the quarter mile by half a car length, but over a second slower thru the course they had set up. 1 Pro driver, timed event. They said the same thing that MOST all pretty much said. M3 for track car, S4 for everyday driving. I'm not any good at posting links but I'm sure you can go to the Top gear website and download it. Happy holidays to all :)
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    But these systems provide added traction only when accelerating. They do not help in braking or cornering.

    Well, sure. That's an all encompassing truth no matter what vehicle you're driving in the snow short of a snow cat. The #1 issue for me as to why I prefer an AWD over a 2WD is so I don't have to chain up whenever I need to go somewhere. Who here likes putting chains on a vehicle?
    .........That's what I thought. Besides, I'd be horrified if I saw someone driving an M3, or anything similar, with chains slapped on the tires. Chains are bad for your vehicle and when they break (and they always do sooner rather than later) you're looking at some costly body damage as a result, even if you do manage to pull over quickly. The fact that the M3 is a 2WD coupe really does put it in a different category anyway.

    I see hoards of BMW's on the road. I also see about as many A4's as I do BMW's, but I don't see too many S4's. I kind of like having a car that not everyone owns. I love my S4 and it suits my needs quite well. I test drove an M3 on the advice of a BMW-loving friend of mine, but the fact that it was a 2WD as well as a 2 door were major reasons why I didn't go for it. The ride was also not as pleasant and the I6 whined where as the V8 in the S4 growled. Practically identical gas mileage as well which kind of surprised me given the 2 extra cylinders in the S4.

    So if you live where it never snows, and you absolutely must own a car that can beat an S4 to 60mph by a measely half a car length, and you don't mind seeing your old mum struggle trying to get into the back seat then the decision between the two cars may be tough. Of course, if you already suffer from manufacturer bias then none of what I said means anything anyway. Keep an open mind everyone and at the very least test drive both vehicles before you decide to bash one of them.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    The Audi S4 enthusiaists on here are capable of talking intelligently about the S4 and the M3. We've all complemented the M3 as being a very nice car and give credit where credit is due.

    But it only takes (1) BMW guy to start calling the S4's lemons and saying they're inferior cars. We all know that isn't true.

    You never know who you're talking to on the internet. It could be some 15 year old kid who doesn't even have a drivers license, let alone a M3.

    Just take the high road and talk to sensible people. :)
  • bcze1bcze1 Posts: 1
    Look, we all have brand bias, whether its due to a great experience with a car, or a bad one. We should all be able to agree that both the S4 and the M3 represent some of the most entertaining and high quality cars on the market today. But, if you only own one car, you must be realistic. I own an S4 Avant for a few reasons: It has space for both my dogs in back. I ski a lot, and there is no better way to get to the mountains in a hurry. Lastly, that V-8 sounds so sweeeet.
    But seriously, the S4 is just more practical, not necesarily better.
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    Let me see if I understand you. You want to take a $50,000 S4 out driving in the snow as opposed to not wanting to put chains on a car? Who in their right mind would drive an expensive car in the snow where there are drivers (regardless of where you live) who cannot drive, drive too fast for the conditions and simply don't pay attention are out and about driving? All wheel drive or snow chains mean nothing to in these conditions. I have never disputed the benefit of all wheel drive in snow conditions, but thats not the issue. Most people in their right mind would not take piece of junk out in the snow let alone a $50,000 car. Common sense dictates that one should wait for better road conditions rather than risk ones safety just because you have all wheel drive. In the mid west we get a decent amount of snow and ice each year. Experience has taught many to let the road crews do their job and clear the roads if snow and ice. When the roads are cleared rear wheel drive or all wheel drive becomes meaningless. I get the impression that so many S4 (or is it RS4?) owners can only afford one car. If thats true then your point is made about putting passengers in the back seat. However, could it be that most people who can afford an M3 possibly own other cars more suited to carrying around passengers?. This " best all around one car" attitude is a weak argument for defending the S4. I could see you now making that same argument to a corvette or porsche driver. Not that it's anyones business but I own more than ONE CAR. If quality, resale values, and popular demand makes me biased then so be it.
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    After I sat here for a few days and read posts from BMW lovers claiming that Consumer Reports bashed the S4 and praised the M3, I decided to find out the real truth for myself. I forked over $6 for a Consumer Reports New Car Preview 2006 at the grocery store today and I'm going to summarize what the magazine said. Just a note, I didn't include every single comparison, but I didn't leave out anything that would skew the results and mislead anyone. I left out body dimensions and such which I don't think is relevant to the point I'm trying to make anyway. This comparison is based on the newest model of each car that was tested by CR, so I'm assuming the rest of you are using the same data.

    Price as tested: S4=$50,870. M3=$56,495.
    Road test score: Both cars scored the highest rating of 99/100. CR was extremely impressed with the road capabilities of both cars.
    Accident avoidance: Both cars tied for the best possible rating.
    Side air bags: S4 got a best rating. No data for the M3.
    Overall MPG: S4=20. M3=19. Shocking, since the S4 is a V8 an the M3 is an I6. Overall, CR gave the S4 an average rating for fuel economy while the M3 got a below average rating.
    Safety Features: Both cars tied for Traction/Stability, ABS, Air Bags and head protection. The M3 offers daytime running lights as an available option, where the S4 does not. Both were pretty much tied on safety belts except that the rear safety belts in the S4 have Pretensioners while those in the M3 do not.
    Crash and Rollover Tests: The S4 scored a good or best rating in every category (no surprise). There was no data for the M3 in any of the categories.
    Acceleration: 0-30mph: S4=1.7 M3=1.9. 30-60mph: S4=5.3 M3=5.1.
    1/4 mile: S4=13.9 @ 101mph. M3=13.8 @ 103mph.
    Performance Convenience and Comfort: In the 12 categories, the cars tied in 8 of them. Of the other 4 categories, the S4 edged out the M3 in all of them except one, the M3 got a slightly better rating in emergency handling.
    Depreciation: Both cars scored 5/5, so you BMW owners who claim that the M3 runs circles around the S4 when it comes to this category are mistaken according to CR. In fact, this has been one of your main gripes about the S4 and I just found out today that your claim is a little dubious according to CR.
    Reliability History: This is the big one which is why I saved it for last. In the 15 categories, the M3 got a below average or worst rating in 5 of them including Transmission (worst); Electrical, Body Integrity, Power Equiptment, Body Hardware (below average). As for the S4, it got a below average rating in only one of the 15 categories, Power Equiptment, and no worst ratings. The overall scores for reliability were 57/75 for the M3 and 63/75 for the S4.

    The last comparison has to do with predicted new car reliability and this is the category that I question the most, and not because I'm trying to defend the S4. The M3 scored -17% which barely falls into the "average" rating. Average included everything from +20% to -20%. The S4 scored
    -46% which barely falls into the "worst" rating. Anything -45% or lower is given a "worst" rating. The problem with this category is the word "Predicted". That means CR is basing their predicting on older models and they use owner surveys as the basis for these predictions. It is a fact that the older S4's from 2000 and 2001 with the V6 engines were problematic. I see no reason why this should be used as a basis to knock the new S4's which have a completely different engine, as well as a more reliable engine according to CR. I don't know what kind of engine BMW was using in it's 2002 and 2003 M3's, but CR gave those engines a "worst" rating as well. The bottom line here is that the BMW lovers in this thread who have been bashing the S4 claiming it's reliability sucks are mistaken acoording to the very source they have been using to defend their claims. In fact, the M3 is the vehicle that gets an overall lower reliability rating and CR's main knock on the S4 is based on nothing but a prediction using data from older and dissimilar model. That is the ONLY reason they do not recommend the S4. Sorry for the long post, but I feel that this info is very important and should be considered by all.

    Do any of you BMW lovers out there have any issues with these facts?

    In hindsight, both of these cars appear to be almost a virtual tie according to CR. They recommend the M3, but only barely and they don't recommend the S4 based only on past issues, not present issues. Those who say the S4 is inferior are only stating their opinion which doesn't seem to have any basis in fact at this point. It comes down to nothing more than buyer preference, and from what CR says, buyers of either vehicle will be happy with what they get.
This discussion has been closed.