So this is an interesting comparison and thread for me. I was thinking of purchasing a weekend driver like a vette or mustang 5.0 recently, a car I never would of purchased but the new models are nice for what they are. Test drove the 5.0 this weekend and as fun as the car was, the reality is it has more straight line then I thought I could ever use most days on the road and handling is improved but nothing to compare to a beamer/audi.
So I've switched gears and plan to go out test driving the 135is, 335i/ix and finally an audi s4. The big piece of this for me is that I live in the northeast. I'd rather not buy a winter beater and so the quattro is appealing to me and I don't think the ix can keep up with the s4.
ON the other hand I don't have to work when it snows heavily but I don't want a 335i or 135is if it means I'm screwed when I'm caught out in an inch of snow or dusting one day. I can deal with winter tires but I don't want to be screwed if I get caught in a bad situation. I own a bike so a 3rd vehicle for me is unappealing and quite frankly we only get snow 2-3 days a year if that in the Philadelphia area.
At this point it seems like the 335i and S4 are comprable the big question will be test drives, insurance costs. and if winter tires work for light snow/cold weather in the northeast.
This thread's been a good read though. Prices are so comprable that the few thousand difference (depending on options) between the two car is so negligible when you are spending 50,000 on a car.