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      05-31-2012, 08:33 PM   #19
LarThaL's Avatar

Drives: 2011 M3
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: West Springfield, MA

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Originally Posted by NHman View Post
I am planning on ordering an M3 coupe with pick-up at BMW's Performance Center next spring. However the now available (to the US market) Audi RS5 is a compelling alternative. Potential drawbacks, aside from brand preference, would be DSG (i.e. DCT) only and AWD. Otherwise both use a N.A. engine developing similar power. Assuming equal equipment both are priced the same.

The RS5 has been available overseas for a few years. Perhaps some forum members have been able to drive this car and can comment the pros and cons vs. the M3.

I have owned several BMW's with my last one being a 335i vert. The M3 is on my short list of vehicles to own but it doesn't hurt me to consider other vehicles before committing $70k or so dollars on a purchase.
Well, I am a former RS4 owner, so I think I am in a pretty good position to answer this. Basically these cars are really equal on the overall balance sheet. The M3 will have some advantages, the RS5 others.

There is no question that AWD will allow you to just hammer the car with much less chance of losing control. I have to be more careful driving the M3 than I did the RS4, especially with the stability programs off, which is what you need to do to fully enjoy either car. Advantage RS5.

Looks are purely subjective, but I honestly think the old RS5 (pre-facelift) looked better than the new one. Audi is known for their interiors, but the grade of interior materials Audi is currently using is a step down from what it used to be. The M3 with extended leather really looks upscale IMO. Advantage M3, if optioned correctly.

Exhaust....RS5, hands down. Not even close. This is simply one of the nicest sounding stock exhausts. Period.

Engines are similar. Audi has a bit more mid range punch, the M3 screams more up top. Toss-up.

Where the M3 totally dominates, however, is the feel of the chassis, and steering responsiveness. By comparison, the Audi feels heavy, sluggish, with a less precise feel to the steering. This will always be the case when the front wheels are also driven.

In the end, if I lived where there was snow, and I had to have one car, I would get the RS5. If snow isn't a concern, or you have another winter vehicle, the M3 just has a more dynamic feel.

However.....and you need to be really honest with yourself here....if you are a less skilled driver, it will be easier to extract maximum performance out of the RS5 due to its AWD.
Audi S6 * Audi S3 * Porsche Cayman GTS
--Former BMW M3 owner

Last edited by LarThaL; 05-31-2012 at 08:58 PM.