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      12-27-2012, 08:24 PM   #1
PurM3
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Test Drove B8 S4, E60 550i, F10 550i

Background:
I have owned the E93 M3 (08) for over a year now and i love the car (i dont track). As the car's warranty just expired a few weeks ago, i thought that i might find a different car. Living in LA has to deal with a lot of bumper to bumper traffic, I dont have many chances to Rev up M3, and i want something more comfortable (still fun) and better interior as a daily driver. Thus today i went to drive the S4, E60 550 F10 550i. (dont want C63 cuz i want a manual). Here are a few pros and cons that i feel comparing to M3.

S4
pros:
-better low end torque(this thing feels faster than my M3)
-much nicer interior(my m3 has the old idrive, so i like the audi's system better)
-more fuel efficient
-More relaxed to drive
-better build quality (My initial impression as my M3 has quite a bit rattles)
-better sound system (Bang & Olufsen)
-Under Warranty
-more space

cons:
-no more open top fun
-chassis doent feel as composed as M3
-not such raw feeling as M3
-exhaust is not as nice
-handling is surprisingly good but still not as good as M3
-does not look nearly as good as M3

Feelings for E60 (m sport),F10 550i
E60 feels much sportier than F10 as the F10 feels like seriously disconnected from road despite that it is stupidly fast. E60 handles better but still feels big compare to the S4 and M3. F10 interior is really nice as the interior of E60 feels a little dated. Overall F10 is really disappointing as the car just does not feel sporty any more and E60 feels a little dated.

Overall I feel like s4 is very likely to be my next car as I like it as the complete package.I know m3 s4 and 5 series are not in the same class, but as I cross shop them, i want to hear some opinions. (Their price all from 40k to 50k)

thanks
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      12-27-2012, 08:50 PM   #2
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S4 is a fantastic alternative for daily driver duties. The interior with nav and B&O is and the engine is definitely putting out more power and torque than the specs show.
Just keep it under warranty.
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      12-27-2012, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Transfer
S4 is a fantastic alternative for daily driver duties. The interior with nav and B&O is and the engine is definitely putting out more power and torque than the specs show.
Just keep it under warranty.
I heard the carbon buildup issue about the engine. What kind of serious problems can be caused by that? Any other long term issues with that car?

Thanks
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      12-27-2012, 11:05 PM   #4
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I have the F10 535i.
Yes it's true about what you said. It's not very sporty.
But I also live in LA with only bumper to bumper traffic.
In my case, the car will never go above 35 mph so sportiness is not that important.
The comfort of the F10 though is unbelievable! I don't think there is another car on the market right now that have more comfortable seats, smoother ride, more quiet cabin.
It is perfect for my needs.
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      12-28-2012, 12:04 AM   #5
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You should try driving the new 335i with the Msport package. I have one in manual with the Msport exhaust. For day to day driving its great, the motor has a lot of midrange power, the breaks are good, exhaust sounds great and I'm sure with summer tires it would be even better. I have the all seasons at the moment and the weather here is awful. I have the suspension which lets you choose modes and is perfect for areas with crappy pavement.

I drove it back to back the same day, S4 vs. the 335, and I chose the 335.

I didn't get the S4 because the steering was really disconnected and slow, I didn't like the sound of the motor, and I didn't think it was as balanced in the corners as the 335

My 2 cents for you
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      12-28-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
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Just buy a 2011 e92 M3 with the Performance exhaust, it will have the new idrive and I'm pretty sure you'll be addicted to drive a lighter and faster M3 that sounds like a million dollar!!
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      12-28-2012, 01:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashhell View Post
I have the F10 535i.
Yes it's true about what you said. It's not very sporty.
But I also live in LA with only bumper to bumper traffic.
In my case, the car will never go above 35 mph so sportiness is not that important.
The comfort of the F10 though is unbelievable! I don't think there is another car on the market right now that have more comfortable seats, smoother ride, more quiet cabin.
It is perfect for my needs.
thanks for the reply.
I will definitely go test drive again and make decision from there.
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      12-28-2012, 01:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmazzu View Post
You should try driving the new 335i with the Msport package. I have one in manual with the Msport exhaust. For day to day driving its great, the motor has a lot of midrange power, the breaks are good, exhaust sounds great and I'm sure with summer tires it would be even better. I have the all seasons at the moment and the weather here is awful. I have the suspension which lets you choose modes and is perfect for areas with crappy pavement.

I drove it back to back the same day, S4 vs. the 335, and I chose the 335.

I didn't get the S4 because the steering was really disconnected and slow, I didn't like the sound of the motor, and I didn't think it was as balanced in the corners as the 335

My 2 cents for you
thanks for the input.
I will definitely go drive a 335i in my local dealer.
whats your thoughts in terms of comfort for these 2 cars?
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      12-28-2012, 01:30 AM   #9
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In day to day driving in the traffic, low end torque is more important as you will never get to that high of a rev until the next traffic lights.
This is where the M3 lacks. (Just look at the other thread "why did you leave M3" down below. A ton of people have this problem)
Sorry if this offend anyone, but a F10 550 with a software tune will outrun M3 in a straight. The 550 have a great engine where a simple chip will get you 500 hp and 580 lb torque!
What really sell me on the F10 though, is the interior luxury and comfortable which I believe cannot be match by any other cars right now. It's so quiet and smooth that I could just fall asleep behind the wheels if I am not careful.

(To your other question, I have the new F30 335i as well, it is pretty good in comfort, but in my opinion it goes like this S4<-F30<-F10)
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Last edited by smashhell; 12-28-2012 at 06:47 PM.
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      12-28-2012, 01:40 AM   #10
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Why anyone would consider an S4 over a 335 is beyond me.
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      12-28-2012, 02:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smashhell View Post
In day to day driving in the traffic, low end torque is more important as you will never get to that high of a rev until the next traffic lights.
This is where the M3 lacks. (Just look at the other thread "why did you leave M3" down below. A ton of people have this problem)
Sorry if this offend anyone, but a F10 550 with a software tune will outrun M3 in a straight. The 550 have a great engine where a simple chip will get you 500hp and 500lb torque.
What really sell me on the F10 though, is the interior luxury and comfortable which I believe cannot be match by any other cars right now. It's so quiet and smooth that I could just fall asleep behind the wheels if I am not careful.

(To your other question, I have the new F30 335i as well, it is pretty good in comfort, but in my opinion it goes like this S4<-F30<-F10)
In that range of car I'd get the S6, almost as good as an M5, with a 550i price tag!!

edit: if you have'nt seen this, it's pretty interesting, just the fact that they compare it to the M5 and E63 tells a lot!

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...omparison-test

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      12-28-2012, 02:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Why anyone would consider an S4 over a 335 is beyond me.
performance, design, AWD, engine, plenty on the used market and this:







That would be my choice
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Name:  2013 s4 2.jpg
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      12-28-2012, 02:14 AM   #13
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Wouldnt u want auto/DCT in bumper to bumper traffic?
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      12-28-2012, 02:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex07M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashhell View Post
In day to day driving in the traffic, low end torque is more important as you will never get to that high of a rev until the next traffic lights.
This is where the M3 lacks. (Just look at the other thread "why did you leave M3" down below. A ton of people have this problem)
Sorry if this offend anyone, but a F10 550 with a software tune will outrun M3 in a straight. The 550 have a great engine where a simple chip will get you 500hp and 500lb torque.
What really sell me on the F10 though, is the interior luxury and comfortable which I believe cannot be match by any other cars right now. It's so quiet and smooth that I could just fall asleep behind the wheels if I am not careful.

(To your other question, I have the new F30 335i as well, it is pretty good in comfort, but in my opinion it goes like this S4<-F30<-F10)
In that range of car I'd get the S6, almost as good as an M5, with a 550i price tag!!

edit: if you have'nt seen this, it's pretty interesting, just the fact that they compare it to the M5 and E63 tells a lot!

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...omparison-test

I wouldn't say it's as good as a M5. AWD and Launch control will only get the S6 0-60 in 4.5 sec, where as the F10 M5 does 0-60 in 3.7 sec and 1/4 mile 11.78 sec.

On a personal note, I did consider the S6 though. What drove me away from it was the styling(you can't tell the difference between A4,A6,A8) and the lack of interior space. As big as the car it is, it's pretty small on the inside. It also can't match the comfort of the F10 series.
Still it's a nice alternative never the less.
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      12-28-2012, 08:48 AM   #15
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OP, if you like the S4, consider the S5 cab as well. It has the same 3.0T engine. Until the current model year, only the S5 coupe had the 4.2 (V8) engine.

Not sure how you have prioritized specifics like fuel economy, styling, design, technology, etc. The S4/S5 competes more with the 335i/is model. However an argument can be made that it has (roughly) 80-85% of the ability of the M3 but better for DD. Being in LA, do you really need a AWD vehicle?

The cabin in the S4/S5 is nice but IMO not as user friendly as the "dated" cabin in the M3. However compare this against the current A6/S6 both in-terms of exterior and interior styling. Now this starts to look dated (especially when the 6's have the LED headlights).

Perhaps hold-on to your current M3 and wait until next year for the new model.
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      12-28-2012, 10:23 AM   #16
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I've always liked the S4's and I have a super soft spot for the B7 V8 S4.. The only thing is, I always never felt it really amounted up to a M3 rather a notch below in all performance aspects. I drove the B8 v6T and while it was quick, It never really could compare to a M3's agility.

What is contradicting is you want manual in a highly congested area but still want something fun.. If i were you, maybe try out something brawly like a C63 auto or a CTSV auto or man..
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      12-28-2012, 11:43 AM   #17
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I've always liked the S4's and I have a super soft spot for the B7 V8 S4.. The only thing is, I always never felt it really amounted up to a M3 rather a notch below in all performance aspects. I drove the B8 v6T and while it was quick, It never really could compare to a M3's agility. What is contradicting is you want manual in a highly congested area but still want something fun.. If i were you, maybe try out something brawly like a C63 auto or a CTSV auto or man..
That's cause the S4 is the 335 rival, in price and performance!
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      12-28-2012, 12:09 PM   #18
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I wouldn't say it's as good as a M5. AWD and Launch control will only get the S6 0-60 in 4.5 sec, where as the F10 M5 does 0-60 in 3.7 sec and 1/4 mile 11.78 sec.

On a personal note, I did consider the S6 though. What drove me away from it was the styling(you can't tell the difference between A4,A6,A8) and the lack of interior space. As big as the car it is, it's pretty small on the inside. It also can't match the comfort of the F10 series.
Still it's a nice alternative never the less.
I did'nt say it's as good as the M5 but ALMOST AS GOOD and for A LOT CHEAPER. If you want to know why, just read the review against the M5 and E63! Also you will be surprise to learn that the S6 also does the 0-60 in 3.7 and the 1/4 mile in 12.1 at 115mph, that is fast, A LOT faster then the 550i! Even with a tune the 550i would not match that trap speed so imagine a tune on the S6!! It's well known that Audi underated their engines, just look at the S4 and S8 performances!

As far as styling, it's all subjective but to me the S6 looks more like a special bread of car compered to the 550i which just look like a normal 5 series. Everything from the seats, the trims, the S6 badge all over the car makes you feel like you're in something really exclusive!

And for the interior space, I'm pretty sure they are both similar, you know the germains, Merc E, BMW 5 and audi 6, all similar!!

I'm not bashing your car but it's obvious that Audi has done something more special with the S6 then BMW with the 550i, if seing it compared to the M5 does'nt convice you, I don't know what will!
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      12-28-2012, 12:47 PM   #19
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A lot of nice choices out there... have you looked at this? I really like the new S4 but when I saw this F30 M Sport I was happy to see there was competition in the looks department










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      12-28-2012, 05:39 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex07M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by smashhell View Post
I wouldn't say it's as good as a M5. AWD and Launch control will only get the S6 0-60 in 4.5 sec, where as the F10 M5 does 0-60 in 3.7 sec and 1/4 mile 11.78 sec.

On a personal note, I did consider the S6 though. What drove me away from it was the styling(you can't tell the difference between A4,A6,A8) and the lack of interior space. As big as the car it is, it's pretty small on the inside. It also can't match the comfort of the F10 series.
Still it's a nice alternative never the less.
I did'nt say it's as good as the M5 but ALMOST AS GOOD and for A LOT CHEAPER. If you want to know why, just read the review against the M5 and E63! Also you will be surprise to learn that the S6 also does the 0-60 in 3.7 and the 1/4 mile in 12.1 at 115mph, that is fast, A LOT faster then the 550i! Even with a tune the 550i would not match that trap speed so imagine a tune on the S6!! It's well known that Audi underated their engines, just look at the S4 and S8 performances!

As far as styling, it's all subjective but to me the S6 looks more like a special bread of car compered to the 550i which just look like a normal 5 series. Everything from the seats, the trims, the S6 badge all over the car makes you feel like you're in something really exclusive!

And for the interior space, I'm pretty sure they are both similar, you know the germains, Merc E, BMW 5 and audi 6, all similar!!

I'm not bashing your car but it's obvious that Audi has done something more special with the S6 then BMW with the 550i, if seing it compared to the M5 does'nt convice you, I don't know what will!
I agree as far as performance, the S6 is superior than the 550.
However the S6 is also price higher than 550, $72000 S6 vs $62000 for 550.
Is the S6 a $10k better car than 550? I for one don't think so.
The S6 can't even compare to the 550 in the luxury, comfort, and interior roominess(S6 feels very small inside) departments. Although some of you might see this as a bad thing ...
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      12-28-2012, 10:31 PM   #21
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I agree as far as performance, the S6 is superior than the 550.
However the S6 is also price higher than 550, $72000 S6 vs $62000 for 550.
Is the S6 a $10k better car than 550? I for one don't think so.
The S6 can't even compare to the 550 in the luxury, comfort, and interior roominess(S6 feels very small inside) departments. Although some of you might see this as a bad thing ...
here's an extract from the Car and driver arcticle:

The twist gets distributed to all four wheels, and even with the extra Quattro driveshafts, the Audiís curb weight still lands between those of the E63 and the M5. The S6ís back seat was judged the roomiest for two, its instrument panel the most attractive, and its navigation and radio interface the easiest to use.

What are we missing here? Why do the other cars need 18 to 20 grand more in cash due at signing?
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      12-29-2012, 09:44 AM   #22
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did the car you drove have the sport diff? the one i test drove did not, and i really really did not like the car. the steering was very light and the car had a lot of body roll and felt huge.

it is very very different than the m3 imo. a c63 kinda feels like a split between the two cars.

i would also recommend you try a 335i because i personally find the steering much better and the fun factor of a RWD car much higher than the awd audi. the audi is too big and loose imo

ALSO, if you plan on modding, think again. the TD1 deal with audis is apparently the real deal, and they are automatically voiding warranties on any aftermarket work done at all. any aftermarket software etc automatically triggers a code they call TD1 and is flagged on your account which results in the warranty being pulled

TBH, id say your best option is to keep waiting for the new m3 to come out. it will be much more fun to drive than the audi.
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