Originally Posted by NugeMobile
Having the unique perspective of driving both the S5 and the M3, I'd be curious to get your reactions.
Ok, here's the skinny on both cars from my perspective. The first time I drove the S5 I kept thinking, "I can't believe how good this car is." The first time I drove the M3 I kept thinking, "I'm leaving in a week to get my S5, do NOT like this car..."
The Audi is fast, smooth and sexy. In Europe, I was literally gawked at everywhere I went. The interior of the S5 is like a cockpit, and all of the controlls and features are well thought out. Once I got to the Nurburgring, I noticed the suspension was soft, the brakes fade and the steering felt slightly vague. Also, the car felt very heavy and underpowered, or at least the power was not in the right spot for the track. It's all down low in the RPM band. None of this was apparent on regular roads, however. The Audi is extremely capable and a joy on long trips. 12 or 13 hour days are easy in this car. The sound system is the best stock system I have ever heard, and it's better than a lot of aftermarket ones I've heard. When you turn off the traction control, this car really comes to life, and you can push surprisingly hard (I didn't turn it off at the ring - I'm a sissy, I know). Much more fun than when it's on. The AWD is outstanding in normal driving conditions, and it allows for more care free daily driving, especially in traction deficient conditions.
The M3 is aggressive, and more sharply focused. The 09 interior is decent, but it doesn't hold a candle to the Audi interior. The human interface is ok, but some of the controls are a bit pedestrian. The stereo sucks. All of that changes once you start driving it. The steering inputs are spot on, the handling on and off the throttle is excellent, and the engine has over-rev capabilities that are perfect for racetrack or spirited street driving. My motorcycle racing background has conditioned me to a certain feel exiting corners, and the Audi's low redline gets in the way constantly. The M3 just keeps going. The overall package at speed leaves me
, and that is the difference between the cars. The M3 exudes immediacy and power like a young German Sheppard, and it constantly urges you to run with it, or it want's to play catch (i.e. Vettes, Cobra's etc...).
I love them both, but as a mere public servant, I can't have both in the garage. At the end of the day, performance wins me over. The Audi is a better GT car and the M3 is a a sharper tool. Time will tell how the M3 feels on the long haul, but, I feel much more in control of the M3, and it leaves me grinning like an idiot, as opposed to the smug satisfaction I feel with the Audi.
I hope this is what you were looking for.