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Audi S4 vs BMW M3



  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    You step children of BMW just don't get it. To say that Audi has had "some" quality issues in the past is an understatement. The resale value reflects what the public things of Audi and it's permanent state as a "catch up brand". BMW has NEVER compared itself to ANY car to make it's point. BMW is the industry standard. It's Audi who constantly needs to pick a fight with a superior brand to feel relevant. Remember, step children need to feel relevant and what better way do do so than to challenge the company who sets the standard. We can go on and on for eternity about this debate. I just came here to add substance to this twilight zone fantasy about S4's being superior to the ruling king A.K.A M3. Someone asked if I have ever driven an S4. I'll put it this way; why would I stay at a motel 6 when I can stay at the Waldorff? I own the best, pass the less and dominate the rest. When Consumer Reports (A non profit/Unbiased Consumer Product Agency) States " We cannot recommend the S4 due to reliability problems" Why would anyone in their right mind test drive let alone purchase a S4? Tell me S4 owners, which car did Consumer Reports recommended in the comparison test between the M3 and the S4? Believe me if the S4 was recommended this page would be flooded with those facts. S4 owners remember, all wheel drive doesn't mean a car drives or handles better. In my next post I'll explain to you drivers of Audi's how all wheel drive is not always a good thing. I have posted many facts in setting the story straight. When and where do you challenge or refute the evidence of poor quality and substandard resale values? Do I care if you think I'm arrogant? NO. The Audi slogan says "Never Follow". Consumer Reports, Resale values, and my M3 will say different. Tell me...How does BMW Exhaust smell?
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    1. You are aware of the fact that the current inline 6 in the M3 will dominate the V8 in the S4. I find it interesting that S4 owners never comment on this point.
    2. The new M3 will sport a 400hp V8 that will easily make quick work of the RS4 and any other Audi product on the market. In fact I will take on any RS4 with my current M3 and I promise you that a Dinan M3 will never lose to an Audi. :surprise: :surprise: :surprise:
  • 1. Are you aware the current rs4 makes the current m3 inhale Audi exhaust?
    2. The new m3 just might come with a 400hp 4.0l but it will weigh more and the Rs4 will make quick work of it.
    3. Back to my s4, ko4 upgrade distorys the dinan, Im sorry but that is just a fact. I know it is because after racing one, into second gear I could see the dinan m3 on my side view mirror.
    4. This a forum, just because you read an article in your favor doesn't mean much. Audi doesn't compare its self to bmw, you do, and any brand of car that threatens you. All cars have there ups and downs.
    -- M3's are rwd coupes, the S4 is awd 4 door sedan "diffrent class."
  • m3_r1m3_r1 Posts: 32
    TALK IS CHEAP. Anyone can make a claim about beating a M3. Actually doing it is another matter. Every S4 I have ever encountered on the open highway NEVER challenged my M3. You S4 owners do your challenging here on TALK FORUMS. And when you comment you side step or flat out ignore the independent sources that tell the truth about the S4. ONCE AGAIN! ALL NON SUBJECTIVE SOURCES place the S4 far behind the M3. If the S4 is so great then; 1.why the pathetic resale value? 2. Why is the S4 NOT RECOMMENDED by Consumer Reports? I know it's hard to admit it, but you own an inferior car. This is why the S4 crowd constantly avoids dealing the facts. Honestly , I don't blame you. If I were foolish enough to buy an S4, I would either drive it off a cliff or come to sites like this one and pretend I out run BMW's. Next time spend your money on a quality car and you won't have to defend a lemon :lemon: .
  • So I have only one question? Have you had your e46 m3 engine replaced under recall yet? Please. When an entire production line of current vehicles need to have their drivetrains replaced, you really should get off your soap box and stop with the step child jokes. Both are nice cars. I own both. The Audi has much MUCH better fit and finish. The BMW has a much harder performance edge. Both are a blast to drive. AWD wins hands down.
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    Every S4 I have ever encountered on the open highway NEVER challenged my M3.

    That has nothing to do with the car and everything to do with the driver, bro. Cars can only go as fast as the driver, not the other way around. If I saw you and your M3 on the open road I'd challenge you, and unless your willing to push it to 150 you wouldn't stand a chance. You may own an M3, but do you REALLY know how to drive it? Do you know how to drift? Do you have the guts to push that car to it's limits? If you put 2 good drivers who are equally skilled behind the wheel of each car, the S4 would win. It's a lighter car with AWD and it has a more powerful engine.

    Why is the S4 NOT RECOMMENDED by Consumer Reports?

    I would imagine that some of it has to do with the bad gas mileage. If you can afford this car though the gas mileage should not be an issue at all. Consumer reports also bases much of their opinion on value for the money. We're talking about a sports sedan here though, not a friggin value. If you want a value go get one of those stupid looking new Volvo's. If I was looking for a new washing machine I would definitely consult Consumer Reports, but there's too much opinion factor and manufacturer loyalty with high end vehicles to make Consumer Reports the last word in this case. Audi has greatly improved their reliability issues as of late as well. Any poor reliability claims are based on older models and as we all know the 2004+ S4's are completely different from their older counterparts.

    1) With options the M3 costs at least $10,000 more than the S4.
    2) The S4 has several basic standard features that end up costing an extra $3,000 in the BMW.
    3) The S4 gets maybe 2 less mpg on the highway, but it's V8 has more horsepower and much more torque which translates to a faster car if the driver knows what he/she is doing.
    4) 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.
    5) Both care have great handling and nice interiors. I test drove both and decided on the S4.
    6) I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

    There are some facts for ya.

    Bottom line though, some people prefer BMW M3's and some prefer Audi S4's. Both are nice cars, so stop making dubious comparisons and be lucky that you're in a good enough financial space to be able to afford either of them. If you still have an inferiority complex just go buy an M5. They cost nearly 100K with options and taxes, but they can beat an S4. The M3 cannot.
  • rjlaerorjlaero Posts: 659
    I think that's the main difference between Audi and BMW customers. BMW folks think they own the world and have such an attitude just because they drive a BMW and have a propellar emblem on the hood. Who cares?

    I buy what I like to impress myself and be happy with my car.

    I'm willing to give up 1/2 sec 0-60 to get an AWD car like the S4. It rides much better. The M3 is a very harsh riding vehicle to drive year around.

    The interior on the S4 is much nicer, IMO as well. Those silk nappa leather seats are impeccable, and the whole interior vibe is better on the S4. Nobody can beat Audi for their interiors, and that's where you spend most of your time.

    And the sound of Audi's 4.2 is glorious. Just starting the engine and hearing that V8 purr makes all the difference to me.

    You guys can pick apart numbers all day long from Car & Driver, Motor Trend, etc, etc, about who's 1/2 second quicker here and there on the track. It's the everyday driving characteristics that make the difference for most people.
  • I had a chance to drive both of these a@? kickers the other day. I spent about 45 minutes in each on the highway as well as some twisty's behind the dealerships.
    I will start and end with this. BOTH CARS ARE "AWESOME"
    The bimmer was first. Amazing balance {no suprise there} and great acceleration. I think maybe a hair quicker in the first 20 or 30 yards than the S4. The sound of this mighty V6 is enough to stear one towards the the 4 rings. {the word ghastly, and strangling a cat come to mind} However this car is amazing. I think a better track car for sure. As someone intersted in autocross racing, this one get's the nod for :) that.Good seats great gearbox, clutch felt a mile long. Like I had to eat my knee to get it disengaged after upshift. The back end slid out in an absolutely delicous manner, never without letting you know ahead of time that was going to happen, and always so balanced. The ride was fairly quiet however, I would recommend re-gluing down any dentures that the pilot may have before entring vehicle.
    I had previously driven the 04 S4 and came away un-inspired. Not so with 06. Power comes without the tortured animal sounds and without fuss. There does seem to be a slight lag right off the line {even at high rpm launch} but it doesn't last long. Handling is great and very buttoned down. This to me is more of a GT car in the traditional sense. Better interior, smoother power, just not quite the out and out track car the bimmer is.
    I have come to the conclusion that I will autocross maybe once a month, but will drive the car every day. For me the winner is the Audi. BOTH CARS ARE AWESOME however and you can't go wrong with either. JMHO.
  • From your previous posts I gather you have never driven an S4. I have test driven both the 05 M3 and the 05 S4. I found the S4 to be more enjoyable(as well as flat out blazingly fast). Why do you find it necessary to insult buyers of a car that you have not even driven? Please drive an S4 and then come back to this forum with objective analysis. Until then, you will seem to the rest of us to be a bit wet behind the ears, kiddo.
  • _matty_matty Posts: 28
    True, the Audi does have a better ride and would seem to be much more comfortableon a long road trip. I only test drove an M3 for about 20 minutes, but I could tell that a road trip in that car would be murder. I have taken my S4 on a few road trips and loved every minute of it. The sound of the V8 is spectacular and even more so at high rpm. There were things about the M3 that I liked, but the S4 trumps it in just about every way. About the only thing the M3 has over the S4 is that it's maybe 0.3 seconds faster when going 0-60. Big deal. I can't justify spending an extra 10K on the M3 (14K if you want the spiffy gearbox) and I sense that some of you here are simply blinded by product loyalty.

    I encourage everyone to test drive both vehicles and use your own judgement. See for yourself. I'm trying to go light on the opinion factor and just give facts about the #'s. The extra cost for the M3 over the S4 is significant, but you're NOT getting more for your money. To all you BMW loyalists- Test drive an S4 before you rag on them. I know it's hard to do in this country sometimes but keep an open mind because that's the only way good decisions can be made.
  • 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.
This discussion has been closed.