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      09-01-2010, 08:47 AM   #45
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I recently was in the same position as the OP. I couldnt decide between M3 or S4
A good friend of mine bought the new S4 and I have to say that audi's interior is very impressive. They are two completely different cars tho. In the end I went with the M3
because I personally find it more aggressive. In the end like mentioned before you can't
go wrong with either. Both are amazing vehicles.
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      09-01-2010, 02:20 PM   #46
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This thread is bugging me.... are we honestly comparing a M3 against a 335i competitor for almost the same $$ as the M3? You lease guys are switching to an inferior Audi (vs M3)?

A S5 I might understand....but a S4?
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      09-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GnokGnik View Post
This thread is bugging me.... are we honestly comparing a M3 against a 335i competitor for almost the same $$ as the M3? You lease guys are switching to an inferior Audi (vs M3)?

A S5 I might understand....but a S4?
The S4 is actually a closer competitor to the M3 because of the new engine. The S5 is based off the older 4.2 V8 but the new S4 is the supercharge V6. While the rated numbers are not quite as high, real world performance has been reasonably close to M3 like numbers and the tunability of the blown V6 makes it more attractive.

I agree that they shouldn't be directly compared but the performance numbers and the odd pricing makes it an attractive comparision.
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      09-01-2010, 03:33 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by 808MGuy View Post
I agree that they shouldn't be directly compared but the performance numbers and the odd pricing makes it an attractive comparision.
I'm not sure the numbers are as close as you say - all the numbers I've seen make it seem a tad faster than the 335i - on par with the 335is if you want.

In terms of acceleration the M3 records 1/4 mile speeds between 111-116 mph, all stock. The S4 is nowhere near that. The S4 (and 335i for that matter) may seem fast by the seat of the pants but that doesn't mean they are faster.

What you feel during a regular test drive is far from the true potential of the M3 - it leads some to think it's a little overhyped. But when this happens, you're not even scratching 50% of the performance envelope. When the S4 and 335i are reaching the end of their reserves and capabilities, the M3 is just getting started. It may sound elitist or snobbish, but it's the pure truth - when driven really hard, the M3 is frighteningly fast and can do things that are not in the S4/335i repertoire.


I agree with you on S4 pricing though - it's on the high side.
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      09-01-2010, 06:39 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 808MGuy View Post
The S4 is actually a closer competitor to the M3 because of the new engine. The S5 is based off the older 4.2 V8 but the new S4 is the supercharge V6. While the rated numbers are not quite as high, real world performance has been reasonably close to M3 like numbers and the tunability of the blown V6 makes it more attractive.

I agree that they shouldn't be directly compared but the performance numbers and the odd pricing makes it an attractive comparision.
+1

The S5 Coupe still has the crappy old 4.2 V8.

The S4 outperforms the S5 in all but sound of engine.
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      09-01-2010, 06:40 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc View Post
I'm not sure the numbers are as close as you say - all the numbers I've seen make it seem a tad faster than the 335i - on par with the 335is if you want.

In terms of acceleration the M3 records 1/4 mile speeds between 111-116 mph, all stock. The S4 is nowhere near that. The S4 (and 335i for that matter) may seem fast by the seat of the pants but that doesn't mean they are faster.

What you feel during a regular test drive is far from the true potential of the M3 - it leads some to think it's a little overhyped. But when this happens, you're not even scratching 50% of the performance envelope. When the S4 and 335i are reaching the end of their reserves and capabilities, the M3 is just getting started. It may sound elitist or snobbish, but it's the pure truth - when driven really hard, the M3 is frighteningly fast and can do things that are not in the S4/335i repertoire.


I agree with you on S4 pricing though - it's on the high side.

Base S4 starts at 51k here in Canada and base M3 at 71k... Not even close here.
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      09-01-2010, 09:02 PM   #51
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Yeah I'm not sure how an S4 is only a few thousand less. It's only like that in the US if you get a fully loaded S4 against a stripper M3. I priced out a fully loaded S4 (with discount) at 51k. Comparably equipped M3 is no where near that.
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      09-01-2010, 09:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Scoobe View Post
Yeah I'm not sure how an S4 is only a few thousand less. It's only like that in the US if you get a fully loaded S4 against a stripper M3. I priced out a fully loaded S4 (with discount) at 51k. Comparably equipped M3 is no where near that.
(cribbed from my post over at AW)

Here's the breakdown:

2011 S4 (MSRP) -
Prestige S4 with S-tronic - $54,300
Phantom Black Pearl Paint - $475
Two-tone Nappa Leather - $1000
Audi Drive Select - $3950
Rear side airbags - $350
Destination - $875
Total (without TTL) - $60,950
Total less 5% for ED (without TTL) - $57900

2011.5 M3:
Base Sedan ED Invoice - $47,400
Jerez Black Metallic Paint - $500
Competition Package - $2250
Convenience Package - $2640
Premium Package 2 - $2275
M DCT - $2640
Heated Front Seats - $455
Moonroof - $955
Destination - $875
Gas Guzzler - $1300
Total (without TTL) - $61290
Total (less $500 discount for being BMW CCA member + $500 quoted dealer fee for processing deal) - $61290

Difference - $3390

Granted, if I decide to add in the Premium sound package for the M3, it will add an additional $1730 to the bill and widen the gap some.

There's more though. Finance or lease, either way it evens the tally more. The residual on the BMW is 54% (36 month with 12k/yr allocation) and the Audi is 47%, with roughly equivalent MF. The finance rates are 1.9% for BMW (or if you're willing to do less than 36 month, 0.9%), and 3.9% for Audi. If you go with an independent finance company, the APR gets a little closer for the Audi with 2.99%.

So running the finance option through a loan calculator, the monthly payment for each is (assuming 5 year loan @ 1.9% for the M3 and 2.99% for S4):

S4 - $1102.54
M3 - $1134.23

My lease calculations were giving me monthly payments on the order of:

S4 - $1010.XX
M3 - $918.00

But assuming we go with the loan, that's roughly $30 a month less for the S4. So I would say the prices are close. Adding in the Premium sound option for the M3 would widen it another $30/month or so, but it's still not that compelling. I wouldn't call the M3 a stripper by any stretch as it currently is, either, it's pretty well loaded really. And we haven't completely loaded the S4 either (no lane change warning feature, Titanium package, inlays, etc).

Addressing the comment about how the S4 and M3 aren't competitors for a moment, I've never cared much about what car companies or automotive rags consider proper competition. I'll grant that I didn't actually take the cars to the track, but I definitely went on some very thorough test drives in which I put the cars through their paces pretty well. I'm definitely no expert, but I've got about 10-15 track events under my belt and I typically run in the advanced groups (though it's been a couple years), so I'm not totally ignorant (just mostly ) of how to drive a car. My honest opinion is that two people in these two cars running on back roads would have to be operating at vastly different skill levels for either one to pull ahead. And with that said, driver skill could easily put the S4 in the lead.

Even talking about the rest of the car (which I've already done in detail I suppose), though I feel that the S4 interior materials appear and feel slightly inferior to the M3, overall it's pretty competitive there too.

On the track during a time trial, sure, the M3 wins hands down. And even when it's doing it's thing on the back roads, it _feels_ a hell of a lot better, but to me, I still think the S4 offers at least _reasonable_ competition to the M3. In fact, after test driving the MB C63 AMG tonight, I think the S4 is a better competitor than the real competition.
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      09-01-2010, 09:40 PM   #53
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Incidentally, I've decided on the M3.
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      09-02-2010, 09:06 AM   #54
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Quote:
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Incidentally, I've decided on the M3.
Congrats!!


It was a no brainer anyway.
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      09-02-2010, 09:19 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Neon01 View Post
In fact, after test driving the MB C63 AMG tonight, I think the S4 is a better competitor than the real competition.
Would you mind sharing your impressions of the C63? I'm curious...
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      09-02-2010, 10:30 AM   #56
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A dark black tinted out S4 stepped up to me late afternoon yesterday at a red light. I am not through my break in period so I did not want to push it hard. It didn't take pushing it hard much to shame the S4. With the road winding up ahead and some traffic around, the handling on the M3 was a clear win vs the S4. Either that or the other driver was a completely and utter failure.
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      09-02-2010, 10:51 AM   #57
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Quote:
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Would you mind sharing your impressions of the C63? I'm curious...
No problem. Here you go

Overall it was a great car, but not adequate next to the M3 or even S4., imo.
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      09-02-2010, 03:12 PM   #58
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Did you consider lightly used RS4?
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      09-02-2010, 08:51 PM   #59
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Very detailed writeup; I've agreed with just about everything you've said neon.

I recently joined this forum, as I'm also considering a s4 or a used m3 to replace my beloved b5 s4. I'm crazy about the shape of the s5, but I'm not really interested in it's v8, thus my interest in another s4. However, the s4 does seem somewhat pedestrian in the wow department compared to the s5, and certainly the m3. Easy solution: have Audi finally put the s4 engine in the s5, add APR's new tune to give it what she's lacking up top, and an exhaust to wake it up.


The m3 is a visceral animal. What has me still unsure is the low rpm torque difference you mentioned. I like the low lump of torque; my current stage 2 s4 is similar to your previous 335 setup. When the m3 is pushed, there is no doubt its a performer...but I don't know how often I'd get to take full advantage of her (or if I did, my license would be in jeopardy).

I'm also considering a used Cayman S, but that's another story...
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      09-03-2010, 02:33 PM   #60
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What? Nobody's yet mentioned the RS5? Oh, yeah, you wanted four doors.

Still, it's something I'd consider if you can wait until it comes to the US. (It is coming, isn't it?) The S4, even though Audi's done a good job of masking it, is still too nose heavy. Perhaps it only comes out during very "spirited" driving so maybe its not a very valid point. Good luck.


Cheers.
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      09-03-2010, 06:54 PM   #61
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Quote:
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What? Nobody's yet mentioned the RS5? Oh, yeah, you wanted four doors.

Still, it's something I'd consider if you can wait until it comes to the US. (It is coming, isn't it?) The S4, even though Audi's done a good job of masking it, is still too nose heavy. Perhaps it only comes out during very "spirited" driving so maybe its not a very valid point. Good luck.


Cheers.
The RS5 is going to approach $100k so its not really something that you would compare to an M3. For that kind of money, there's much better options.
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      09-03-2010, 09:11 PM   #62
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nice post
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      09-03-2010, 09:13 PM   #63
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Be warned, this will be long and very detailed.

For background, I'm currently driving a '09 335i coupe, which I do love, but now that I'm able to afford a little more car, I've got the bug again. I'd also like something with 4 doors to make the change really worth it too.

So I spent the entire weekend test driving a few M3s and S4s back to back to back to get as much experience as I can. I'm going to give an account of both, but keep in mind these are my opinions, and I'm not implying that they are necessarily correct. Don't be offended if I've said something in contradiction to the way you feel.
First, the M3 sedan:

Interior: Quality of materials is top notch, everything laid out perfectly, despite the somewhat "austere" appearance. Part of this could be that I'm accustomed to my 335i, and it's essentially identical in form and function. What few minor differences that existed were generally positive (like the added bluetooth functionality on 2011.5 models, the center armrest extender, and other bits). The one thing I didn't care for was the soft touch plastic trim around the shifter. I actually like the aluminum in my 335i better, and it found me wishing that that piece had received the same trim as the dash, since over time the plain black plastic will probably show wear quickly. Seats couldn't be more comfortable. Grip you and swaddle you at the same time. Just incredible. Back seat was comfortable too, just enough room without being too big. My biggest gripe is that they don't have Coral Red for the interior. I thought I wanted Fox Red until I saw it in person. Now I don't care for it. It's more like brick, really. Too much brown for my tastes. I'm not sure what that leaves me with. I guess black, but that seems so mundane. Hate silver, and I've never seen Bamboo. It seemed that the coupe seats actually felt better than the sedan, but I guess that doesn't make sense, since they're the same exact seats, right? I don't like the fact that they essentially make you purchase the hi-fi sound system for a whopping $2k now, since the base system just sucks..bad. Wish they had a L7 system for $800ish like the 3er.

Exterior: What's not to like. It's an M3. A perfect 10 imo. It's got that mean, aggressive look (especially the comp package that I'd plan on ordering) that I love.

Handling: Wow, just wow. It was hard for me to get a good idea of what aspect of the M Drive was really making the difference (power, EDC, steering), but when you set that car up for spirited driving, it just feels like heaven going through the twisties. Oddly enough, the coupe I drove seemed to feel better than the sedan, though they weren't back to back, so its hard for me to assert that the difference is real. Anyone have input on the comparison between coupe and sedan?

Transmission (M-DCT): Incredible. _Insert other superlative_. The only fault I could find with the system was that it didn't like to downshift in D mode. Even in D-5, downshifts required substantial throttle application to occur. This is not at all the case with my 335i. I'm sure this is to pump up the EPA figures...sadly. I don't know that there's anything I can do about it either, unfortunately.

Engine: The sound is pure bliss. I could literally listen to it all day long. Unfortunately, the power plant doesn't exactly scratch me where I itch. After driving my 335i, the power delivery of the M3 just isn't immediate enough for me. I know it's actually fast, it just doesn't _feel_ fast until I get it at least 4-5k rpm. The power and torque are definitely there, I just had to work a lot harder to find them than in the 335i. Luckily the M-DCT makes the job much easier. I know many have said it, but the lack of torque in the lower rpm band (below 3k rpm) is really a detractor for me. When this is coupled with the transmission's resistance to downshifting unless you really goose it (in D mode), this definitely makes the car feel a little less than the supercar than it is. I definitely feel like I could learn to drive this car in such a way that it would feel really fast all the time (i.e. keep revs up much more than I do now), but it would probably result in terrible gas mileage. Then again, it'd be an aural delight.

Overall: The package was great, I truly loved it. Handling was extremely crisp and controllable, the engine sound was ecstasy, and the interior was comfortable and solid. However, if I'm honest, the lack of torque did dampen the experience for me. I was also put off by the fact that I couldn't stand Fox Red (which leaves me limited interior color options), and the _perceived_ difference between the sedan and the coupe. For whatever reason, the coupe just _felt_ better. I'd love it if someone came in here and (honestly) told me I was nuts, and that they both should feel virtually identical while driving.

Now the S4 (this will have some comments referring to the M3 for comparison, since it occurred afterward):

Interior: I used to think Audi was far and away BMW's better in interiors, and there are quite a few things I _do_ like better about the B8 S4 interior than the M3, but it's certainly not so cut and dry. The overall quality of materials in the Audi definitely felt subpar. For example, there is a large piece of silver plastic trim that surrounds the MMI display that looks like it's something that should have been rejected from an Infinity. This piece should match the material in the inlays (aluminum, carbon fiber, etc). Also, little things like the complete lack of armrest pads on the doors in the Audi made it feel a little cheaper and less comfortable. On the other hand, many things about the Audi trounced the BMW, like the seat aesthetics (the black and red nappa leather seats with red contrast stitching for seats and steering wheel was to die for), the info vie w on the gauge cluster is multi-color and conveys much more information, the little dials for volume and selection on the wheel are very ergonomically pleasing, the tach and speedo that sweep from 6 oclock position instead of the standard 7:30 position like a Ferrari, the interior lighting scheme is a nice cool white/red instead of a (imo) garish orange/red, and others. The seats in the Audi were very nice (better than my 335i), but I'd put them just a peg below the M3 in comfort, plus they don't have the adjustable bolsters like the M3 (a trifle, but nonetheless). I didn't like the diminutive second cupholder in the Audi, but I do like that the first one is deep and located in the center console, not on the dash. Still, have to give the edge to BMW for the cupholders. I missed the small storage compartment under the armrest in the S4. I kept trying to "open" the armrest, as it feels thick enough that it should open. Also unusual since I recall my 2000 S4 had an armrest that would open. I did like the fact that it was height adjustable. A major letdown in the S4 was the height of the door armrest. I felt that it was too low to use for anything but the lowest seat height setting. Maybe it's just me. Also, it could use a thicker steering wheel. I liked the MMI system a lot, and the B&O sound system was great (though it could really use an EQ), but I think I'd give the nod to the BMW Nav system/interface. After getting used to using the Idrive system in my '09 335i, it's hard to beat the efficiency you can achieve with the 7-button system on the BMW. The Audi system was nice, but I think even with a lot of use I'd probably have to look down to find most of the buttons that are farther from the knob. The glove compartment in the S4 was nice and spacious, but seemed to hit my knees when I sat in the passenger seat even with the seat moderately far back. The rear of the S4 was very nice, and had little elastic map pockets on the front seatbacks (something conspicuously absent on the M3). I also missed the M3 (and 335i) interior "club" lighting. Maybe I just couldn't see it though as it wasn't fully dark yet - does the S4 have ambient lighting in the door areas like BMW?

Exterior: The S4 is one classy car. It's the best looking S4 to date, by FAR. This certainly says a lot. However, aside from the cool LED daytime running lights, it just doesn't have the "mean" factor that the M3 has. It looks more proportionate as a sedan than the M3 does though, I think. I like the aluminum mirrors and the rear of the S4 definitely looks better than the M3. From some of the other angles though, it appears a little plain compared to the M3. I would have liked some fender flares over the somewhat slab sided A4, but I guess they reserve those for the RS-series only. Just a few more cues to the fact that you're getting more than an A4 with the S-line package would be nice. The wheels were the biggest weakness IMO. The standard split 5-spoke on the prestige package are a little ho-hum, and the Ti "sweep" 5-spokes if you get the $400 Ti Sports package looked dreadful in photos (though I admit they might be better in person).

Handling: The S4 I drove did not have Audi Drive Select or even the sport differential, so this may change if those are added, but I really felt that the S4 handled extremely well. Actually, much better than I thought it was going to. It did resist rotation a little when I really pushed it, but it took a lot to get to that point. It felt so planted and surefooted that it was extremely confidence-inspiring in the twisties I took. Didn't feel quite as _good_ as the M3 dynamically, but felt like it would handle a short spirited drive with just as little drama and just as much fun as the M3. On the track, I'm confident the S4 would do very well, though it might not feel as good as the M3 while doing so. The ride in the S4 was perhaps a touch more rough (again, without ADS) than the M3 in comfort or normal settings, and maybe on par with the M3's sport EDC setting.

Transmission: Loved the S-tronic about as much as the M-DCT. It felt a little closer to a true automatic since I didn't get the slight feeling of a slipping clutch at low speeds like the M3, but it felt superb when up/downshifting while moving along. Shifts were clean and extremely quick, just like the DCT in the M3. Auto mode left something to be desired, as it was also saddled with a logic that demanded short shifts at 1500 rpm (I'm told you can adjust this if you use the dynamic setting with ADS, but again, this car didn't have it). Just like the M3, you really needed to get into it in order to wake the car up. Also like the M3, the auto mode was smooth as butter on accel and decel. A major gripe of mine with the S4 was the "farting" noise that accompanies upshifts under heavy throttle. I'm told this is normal and is a byproduct of extreme rev reduction by the ECU to rev match for the next gear. It doesn't sound _that_ bad, but I'm sure I'll have to answer questions about it any number of times when I carry passengers. Unfortunately it gets louder with an aftermarket exhaust too (which the S4 could really use). Another gripe I had was that the S4 doesn't indicate which gear it's in when in Auto mode, making downshifts for passing something of a best guess.

Engine: Ohh, lord. Man, did Ingolstadt do this one right. _If_ I have anything bad to say about this engine, it's that it isn't loud enough. Sadly, I'm not sure I could ever put an aftermarket exhaust on for fear of louder "farts". The engine in the S4 is just fantastic. Pulls HARD at all points of the tach; there is _always_ power when you want it. Until I drove this, I actually thought my 335i had very little lag. In truth, I still do, for a turbo, but this is truly lag-less. The only other nit is that the power band seems to flatten after about 6k rpm, which effectively reduces your redline even further. Still, with the flat torque curve on the S4, that's at least 4500 _very_ useable rpms. I've read that some tuners are opening up that power from 6k up too, so there may be more to the story eventually.

Overall: The S4 does about 95% of what I want it to do extremely well. It feels fast (much faster than I expected), it handles well, it feels very planted and secure, it has a great interior with few faults and a phenomenal aesthetic, it has a very smart looking exterior, and it can do everything I could conceivably want it to do with aplomb. Unfortunately it didn't give me the emotional connection I got with the M3. I never felt like I was driving a $60k sports car, I felt like I was driving a very fast and sporty looking luxury car.

The decision: Unfortunately, after some real reflection and a lot of test driving, I'm still not sure which car I'm going to go for. I really hate to admit it, but I'm actually somewhat biased toward the BMW since I've been a BMW guy for the last 6 years and they've always treated me right. The last Audi I owned I loved to death (2000 S4 2.7 T), but it did leave me with a big repair bill on account of failed turbos, and I always felt like the ugly duckling when I would show up to the DC metro area BMW car club meets with my S4 (they met far more regularly than the Audi group at the time). I know that the S4 has come a LONG way since then, and I shouldn't let this affect my decision, but if I'm honest to myself, it does a little. Despite everyone saying that the S4 is a competitor to the 335i, and the M3 is more competition to the RS4, I disagree. It may be that an M3 could spank an S4 at the track, but in my experience, both handle much better than my 335i, and both have similar features and benefits for a _roughly_ similar cost. My brain is telling me to just forget the M3 since the daily drivability (read: torque) of the S4 beats the M3 pretty substantially. And I probably spend 70% of my miles commuting, so that's a strong selling point for the Audi. Plus it has AWD and an interior aesthetic that I'm going to appreciate more than the M3 on a day to day basis. However, at the end of the day, I'm not getting into an M3, and the emotional attachment of the M3 just won't allow me to move on and forget it. Right now I'm about 60/40 in favor of the S4, but I can't seem to truly make up my mind. Oh well, I suppose I could have worse things to worry about.

Any thoughts?

I think you deserve some kind of award if you read all of this, btw.
s4 is not in M3 class. M3 sedan hands down sorry about that. M3 defeats easily the RS4 which is superior to the s4. sorry about that
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      09-03-2010, 09:15 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon01 View Post
(cribbed from my post over at AW)

Here's the breakdown:

2011 S4 (MSRP) -
Prestige S4 with S-tronic - $54,300
Phantom Black Pearl Paint - $475
Two-tone Nappa Leather - $1000
Audi Drive Select - $3950
Rear side airbags - $350
Destination - $875
Total (without TTL) - $60,950
Total less 5% for ED (without TTL) - $57900

2011.5 M3:
Base Sedan ED Invoice - $47,400
Jerez Black Metallic Paint - $500
Competition Package - $2250
Convenience Package - $2640
Premium Package 2 - $2275
M DCT - $2640
Heated Front Seats - $455
Moonroof - $955
Destination - $875
Gas Guzzler - $1300
Total (without TTL) - $61290
Total (less $500 discount for being BMW CCA member + $500 quoted dealer fee for processing deal) - $61290

Difference - $3390

Granted, if I decide to add in the Premium sound package for the M3, it will add an additional $1730 to the bill and widen the gap some.

There's more though. Finance or lease, either way it evens the tally more. The residual on the BMW is 54% (36 month with 12k/yr allocation) and the Audi is 47%, with roughly equivalent MF. The finance rates are 1.9% for BMW (or if you're willing to do less than 36 month, 0.9%), and 3.9% for Audi. If you go with an independent finance company, the APR gets a little closer for the Audi with 2.99%.

So running the finance option through a loan calculator, the monthly payment for each is (assuming 5 year loan @ 1.9% for the M3 and 2.99% for S4):

S4 - $1102.54
M3 - $1134.23

My lease calculations were giving me monthly payments on the order of:

S4 - $1010.XX
M3 - $918.00

But assuming we go with the loan, that's roughly $30 a month less for the S4. So I would say the prices are close. Adding in the Premium sound option for the M3 would widen it another $30/month or so, but it's still not that compelling. I wouldn't call the M3 a stripper by any stretch as it currently is, either, it's pretty well loaded really. And we haven't completely loaded the S4 either (no lane change warning feature, Titanium package, inlays, etc).

Addressing the comment about how the S4 and M3 aren't competitors for a moment, I've never cared much about what car companies or automotive rags consider proper competition. I'll grant that I didn't actually take the cars to the track, but I definitely went on some very thorough test drives in which I put the cars through their paces pretty well. I'm definitely no expert, but I've got about 10-15 track events under my belt and I typically run in the advanced groups (though it's been a couple years), so I'm not totally ignorant (just mostly ) of how to drive a car. My honest opinion is that two people in these two cars running on back roads would have to be operating at vastly different skill levels for either one to pull ahead. And with that said, driver skill could easily put the S4 in the lead.

Even talking about the rest of the car (which I've already done in detail I suppose), though I feel that the S4 interior materials appear and feel slightly inferior to the M3, overall it's pretty competitive there too.

On the track during a time trial, sure, the M3 wins hands down. And even when it's doing it's thing on the back roads, it _feels_ a hell of a lot better, but to me, I still think the S4 offers at least _reasonable_ competition to the M3. In fact, after test driving the MB C63 AMG tonight, I think the S4 is a better competitor than the real competition.
Great breakdown! I never test drove the S4, only the C63 and the ISF. I must say that the C63 was pulling on me but the looks of the E92 M3 won me over along with the overall driving feel. I still can't believe the S4 is that close in price to the M3 ha made your decision pretty easy. Congrats!
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      09-03-2010, 09:37 PM   #65
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Hey Neon,

Your posts got me very curious about the S4. I was wondering if this car was really that special for you to have so much difficulty choosing between it and the M3. Well, today I went to the Audi dealership and took one out for a spin.

Within a few moments of driving it I said to myself WTF is so special about this car that someone would seriously debate choosing this over the M3 for the same kind of monthly payment?? In all honesty, I could not find the answer to that question. There was absolutely nothing in the S4 that made me think the M3 was inferior in any way. Nothing......

FWIW, I think you chose the right car in the end but damn you should consider working for Audi..... or do you already?

Last edited by TailHappyM3; 09-04-2010 at 11:11 AM.
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      09-04-2010, 08:43 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neon01 View Post
There was another poster that mentioned that too. I meant to reply - just to be sure, I'm not talking about the back side of the shifter itself. I'm talking about the large black piece of trim that surrounds the shifter, the EDC/power buttons, the Idrive knob/buttons, etc. In the 335i it gets the same inlay material that the dash panel gets.
.
I should finish the thread first, but alas. Great post, on this point, I agree. If you can twist BMWNA's arm a bit the Individual program trims include matching this to the piano or wood finish you choose. In Canada this is a fairly simple process. I just can't justify paying the $3900 CDN for that piece of trim. I was all set to choose Azurite Black, as the individual paint option _just_ so I could improve the interior look.

The boys on the S4 forums have the same complaints about the plastic dash trim. One guy trimmed it to match the alcantera in the base seats. Not my cup of tea, but I am sure there will be aftermarket options to fix that on the Audi. The M3 however, incorporating the EDC buttons etc, the only solution is going to come from BMW, and I bet dollars to doughnuts they will only sell those replacement parts to people with Individual VIN's.

I'm still ridding the fence on the same decision as you. In Canada ED has no discount, and the price difference for me similarly equipped is $12,000.

Those who say there is no comparison, have a very clear idea in their minds of their personal requirements in a car, and one fits like a glove, the other may feel like a kids mitten.

I agree that the S4 and the M3 are worthy of comparison, at the end of the day there are only so many "sports sedans" we can choose from, especially in North America.

For me I want a quality, fast, fun, luxury sports sedan. How far up the scale you go, or down which path your journey is skewed is a personal choice.

In truth, if I ask myself the no regrets question. The M3 is the only car that meets that criteria.
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