wow, given all that was said by former RS4 drivers, I have to say I dodged a big bullet when I was in the market buying my M3.
I seriously considered an RS4, and the ONLY thing that stopped me was the lack of a good valued RS4 (<$50k) that had less than 20k miles.
It appears the DRC issue is a huge maintenance headache. I would not have been a happy camper paying $800 every 50k miles. My M3 so far has had zero issues. I have to say the only attractive feature of the RS4 to me were:
2. exhaust sound
3. interior styling (I no longer think this is superior anymore after owning the M3, M3 has better nav and better leather)
4. some cost savings and more options in buying square setup tires. (the M3's 264/40/18 is really hard to match up with a 245/40/18)
Obviously, I chose the M3, but over time, I believe the M3 is superior based on my following views:
1. Exterior styling is very subjective, the RS4 is not THAT MUCH better looking than the M3, if at all at this point, IMO, it might be a factor similar to a mother always thinks her children are beautiful, I think the M3 looks equally as good.
2. I seriously love the M3 interior. Although it appears to be boring, the i-drive is superior (even the CCC & can be upgradable), the leather feels great, and my car came with all the options that makes it a luxury car.
3. M3 just has overall better performance (weight, EDC, MDM, balance). No debates here, all magazine/tv tests shows the M3 is faster than the RS4.
4. fun factor, yes it doesn't sound as good as RS4, but come on, it still sounds fantastic when you ride your way up to 8400.
5. Generally, worry free maintenance. No carbon issue, known issues are idle air control valve, and if you're really unlucky, you may have issues with the throttle actuator, random misfires, or bent/stuck valves.
Last edited by mdosu; 03-13-2013 at 10:07 AM.