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      04-10-2009, 01:52 PM   #1
Mondrian
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BMW M3 vs. Audi S5

Hey everyone! I search these forums often marveling at the pictures of all the M3s on the images/gallery section, but just recently made an account. I was wondering what your thoughts were on a BMW M3 vs. an Audi S5? Now these aren't the best two cars to have for comparison, but they're close enough. I love the aesthetics of the Audi way more over the BMW. To me the BMW is just far too dull and reserved, which in my opinion it shouldn't be considering the price and power. The M3, however, dominates in speed which makes it a tough choice. Your thoughts?
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      04-10-2009, 02:15 PM   #2
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maybe you should wait for rs5 if you like audi!!!
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      04-10-2009, 03:52 PM   #3
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I saw an S5 on the road for the first time today, I must say a beautiful car. They are going back to the turbo six next year unless I am mistaken.
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      04-10-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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I was looking into the S5 as well before I ordered my M3. Go drive em both...that made my decision. S5 looks nice and AWD is cool, but the M3 definitely has more balls and was more fun to drive.
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      04-10-2009, 04:22 PM   #5
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I changed from a S5 to an M3 so I might be able to explain how each are good in their own way and which points are better for each.

I completely agree with you that on looks the S5 is better, if you didn't know much about cars I bet such people would place the Audi that more exotic and probably the quick car based on looks alone. Inside again it's the Audi hold all the cards, it's the one which feels the more expensive and special.

Driving each is remarkably similar below 6/10th, and if anyway I would rate the S5 the more enjoyable for the daily duties of urban/motorway driving, it's remarkably comfortable and has the better engine note until the M3 hits it's highs over 6.5k.

The real thing that separates the M3 is when you really start to push both cars, then the better steering feel is noticed, plus the connection between throttle and brake seems better balanced. We all know it's quicker but this again is only noticed when you use all of the revs in the M3 when it really starts to fly. The chassis in the M3 can cope better with bumps at speed and doesn't suffer understeer at anything remotely close to legal speeds, where as the S5 will start to understeer slightly but it counters this with much better wet weather ability.

Both are great cars but totally different but each are very appealing to own with the Audi better suited to the cruising and the M3 for the blast through the mountains.
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      04-10-2009, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirploppy View Post
I saw an S5 on the road for the first time today, I must say a beautiful car. They are going back to the turbo six next year unless I am mistaken.
It will get the supercharged six for either MY '10 or MY '11 -- same as the new S4.
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      04-10-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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From a driving dynamics standpoint, here is an interesting comparison that Edmunds ran...

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do...ticleId=125265
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      04-10-2009, 07:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by footie View Post
I changed from a S5 to an M3 so I might be able to explain how each are good in their own way and which points are better for each.

I completely agree with you that on looks the S5 is better, if you didn't know much about cars I bet such people would place the Audi that more exotic and probably the quick car based on looks alone. Inside again it's the Audi hold all the cards, it's the one which feels the more expensive and special.

Driving each is remarkably similar below 6/10th, and if anyway I would rate the S5 the more enjoyable for the daily duties of urban/motorway driving, it's remarkably comfortable and has the better engine note until the M3 hits it's highs over 6.5k.

The real thing that separates the M3 is when you really start to push both cars, then the better steering feel is noticed, plus the connection between throttle and brake seems better balanced. We all know it's quicker but this again is only noticed when you use all of the revs in the M3 when it really starts to fly. The chassis in the M3 can cope better with bumps at speed and doesn't suffer understeer at anything remotely close to legal speeds, where as the S5 will start to understeer slightly but it counters this with much better wet weather ability.

Both are great cars but totally different but each are very appealing to own with the Audi better suited to the cruising and the M3 for the blast through the mountains.
perfectly said! i dont think you could go wrong with either car. both have benefits and drawbacks. but both are solid cars!
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      04-11-2009, 10:48 PM   #9
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I almost bought the S5. The car is stunning from the outside, and the interior is beautiful. Just a great car through and through.

Performance wise just doesn't compare to the M3...and looks only get you so far. For a DD I would prefer the S5, for a weekend fun car you can't beat the MT E92 M3.
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      04-12-2009, 02:44 AM   #10
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As someone i met driving an S5 and previously owned an E92 M3 said

"The S5 is sick but it doesnt have the high range kick the M3 has"

if you dont get an M3, wait for the RS5, that will be ur best choice
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      04-12-2009, 03:56 AM   #11
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I think the S5 is the most beautiful normal coupe this side of an AM V8 Vantage.

But even my ex stock 335i was faster in any way... (a friend of mine has a white S5)
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      04-12-2009, 07:17 AM   #12
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i used to own an Audi A5, had it for only 6 months then got my E92 M3
audi looks way better
interior feels several classes higher
but driving feel sucked!
it is in no way sporty
you feel completely isolated from the mechanical bits
when i turned the steering wheel i had no idea of how muh grip i had
zero feedback, which is why i sold the car so quickly

4wd rocks
i could accelerate through an entire corner
something i can't do in the M3
but the engine in the M3 is miles better
and the feedback from the steering, brakes etc is much more noticable

rear seat room in the M3 is bigger than the A5/S5
but the trunk is bigger in the A5/S5

in the end it boils down to if you want a sporty ride , that goes like stink
or do you want the comfort and luxury and the interior in the A5/S5

also note the A5/S5 has more toys to play with since its a newer car
so it has some options you can't get in the M3
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      04-12-2009, 02:57 PM   #13
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The M3 is much more fun to drive (and learn its nuances). The Audi is beautiful but the thing that absolutely killed it for me was the dead steering. Dead in the S5, Dead in the TT-S.

In the end however even the M3 was too comfortable....ended up with a Z4M and love its back to basics rawness.

Seriously if you love feeling the undulations of the road through your seat and front end grip through the steering wheel then forget the Audis (except R8). I hold a small shimmer of hope for the TTRS/RS5.
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      04-12-2009, 05:32 PM   #14
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I'll chime in since I've owned both. I bought an S5 used last summer from a guy that was in a bind on buying a house. It was in CA, and I had never even driven one. Like you, I LOVED the looks of the S5. I had sold my BMW 335 coupe a few months before. I flew in, picked the car up, and started the drive back to TX. The ride was pretty harsh on rough/bumpy roads. The S5 suspension, combined with AWD, made for an unreal setup for cornering! It was an absolute blast to pitch into corners. I immediately drove the car hard to see how fast it was, and I was disappointed. The car certainly has a bigger feel vs. the BMW, and it just wasn't that fast. It had a melodic sound, and I loved listening to the engine with some RPM. The steering was too loose IMO, and it just felt sloppy. The backseat was much smaller than my 335, and even though the car was bigger it had less legroom and headroom in the back. I bought the car for a good enough deal that I was able to sell it six weeks later and put some money in my pocket. It was a nice car, but it just wasn't for me.

Now that I have an M3, I would buy it over an S5 without hesitation. With EDC, the suspension can be comfortable for road trips yet stiffened up when I want to play. It's quite a bit quicker than the S5, and I personally like the interior better. The steering is 1000% times better, and it has more of a sports car feel. To each his own, but for me it's an M3.

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      04-12-2009, 09:58 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies! I expected to get flamed for this possibly being a repost I'm honestly pretty shocked that a quite a few of you previously owned an Audi S5 and now own the M3. I've always had my sights on an M3, but the looks of the S5 are so gorgeous that it gave some competition (even though M3 wins in the total package . Any idea of when a newly redesigned M3 will be out? Thanks again!
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      04-12-2009, 10:06 PM   #16
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i wonder if anyone had an M3 and went to S5
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      04-13-2009, 12:55 AM   #17
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The S5 looks amazing, provided you get it in any color other than white (hides all the lines, regardless of the lighting). The interior is in another league compared to the 335i, and I think the materials are like those of the M3's, although I still like the S5's driver-oriented cockpit much more.

Driving-wise, there's absolutely no comparison imo. The S5's steering is laughably light at low speeds (especially in comparison to my 335i's), and is Novocain numb in relative to the M3's.

I wasn't a fan of the throws in the S5 I drove. They weren't very precise. That was the most annoying flaw next to the steering. If Audi manages to keep the weight down and turn up the steering weight/feel in the RS5 then I'm pretty sure they'll have an M3 killer.
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      04-13-2009, 04:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer Loyalist View Post
I wasn't a fan of the throws in the S5 I drove. They weren't very precise. That was the most annoying flaw next to the steering. If Audi manages to keep the weight down and turn up the steering weight/feel in the RS5 then I'm pretty sure they'll have an M3 killer.
I would reckon that the RS5 will improve on all the elements of the RS4 but doubt it will be any lighter than the S5. One element that may give the RS5 the edge on handling and cornering ability is it's torque vectoring diff, it's the one piece of the jigsaw that was always missing in Quattro to eliminate or greatly reduce understeer and provide the car with some form of throttle adjust-ability.

As for the steering in the S5 being awful, it only lack feel to the point that the finest of differences in the surface and the exact amount of available grip are not there in all their glory but I personally don't rate the M3's steering to give you that either, sure it's much better but you really have to look to a Porsche or Lotus to name only two that can provide the thing that you say the S5 lacks the most. I personally prefer a steering that doesn't dance in your hands, after all we aren't driving on an ultra smooth race track every moment of the day, in fact, when you have too much feel you are less likely to push as hard down a bumpy back road. All I look is for a precise steering that doesn't kick too much and steering consistently through the turn of the wheel without too much slack at the centre, to me the M3 hits the nail on the head for this but to me at least the Audi isn't that far behind.

If the RS5 even match the finer elements of the RS4 but give it's chassis the adjust-ability that seems to be there with the new S4 when combined with the SportDiff then I reckon it will be the finer car to own and drive. It comfortably beats the BMW on appearance both inside and out, I always preferred the note of the RS4 and if it retains the same type of engine then little should change there, it's DSG gearbox doesn't suffer any of the flaws present in M-DCT plus it's manual has a more precise throw than the manual in the M3 and unless rear space is paramount then there little reason for choosing the M3 over the RS5 unless price is hugely different (probable in the US).

My only argument is that based on how the S4 is and how well the S5 will be with the smaller V6 unit and DSG combined with SportDiff then is there really much call for spenting all that extra dosh on the RS5?
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      04-13-2009, 11:46 AM   #19
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Here is lastest footage of the RS5 caught testing at the Nurburgring.



That doesn't sound much like a turbo engine to me, in fact it sounds a lot like the RS4 but with a slightly more metallic edge, probably due to an increase in peak revs.
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      04-13-2009, 12:29 PM   #20
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Great thread guys, I was wondering the same thing! Thanks for the input.
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      04-13-2009, 10:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorD View Post
I'll chime in since I've owned both. I bought an S5 used last summer from a guy that was in a bind on buying a house. It was in CA, and I had never even driven one. Like you, I LOVED the looks of the S5. I had sold my BMW 335 coupe a few months before. I flew in, picked the car up, and started the drive back to TX. The ride was pretty harsh on rough/bumpy roads. The S5 suspension, combined with AWD, made for an unreal setup for cornering! It was an absolute blast to pitch into corners. I immediately drove the car hard to see how fast it was, and I was disappointed. The car certainly has a bigger feel vs. the BMW, and it just wasn't that fast. It had a melodic sound, and I loved listening to the engine with some RPM. The steering was too loose IMO, and it just felt sloppy. The backseat was much smaller than my 335, and even though the car was bigger it had less legroom and headroom in the back. I bought the car for a good enough deal that I was able to sell it six weeks later and put some money in my pocket. It was a nice car, but it just wasn't for me.

Now that I have an M3, I would buy it over an S5 without hesitation. With EDC, the suspension can be comfortable for road trips yet stiffened up when I want to play. It's quite a bit quicker than the S5, and I personally like the interior better. The steering is 1000% times better, and it has more of a sports car feel. To each his own, but for me it's an M3.

Trevor
Good post. Nice to hear from someone who's actually owned both. I've only test driven the S5, and liked it very much. Still bought the M3 though...
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      04-16-2009, 09:05 AM   #22
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