I used to own a 330ci (2001) and loved this car, I fancied a change though
and for the last 12 months have owned an Audi A4 3.0 Quattro, also a very
nice car but not quite as fun to drive as the BMW.
Now I'm looking at changing and I can't decide on an M3 or an S4, I've
driven both a while back and I favoured the BMW, seemed like a more
aggressive drive and had a lot of brute force.
But now when I look inside the BMW it all looks very dated, suppose that's
why they're changing the 3 series, even if the Coupe / M3 won't be out until
2007 :-(. The Audi looks a lot more up to date but I don't know if the S4
is available with the face lift yet (do you know when?)
Has anybody owned both these cars, any advice would be welcome!
Have you looked at the 05 Infinity G35 coupe? I've been looking real hard
for the past several months and I've just about decided this is the new
standard. Driving performance right there with the BMW, more power and
torque, more room, cheaper, resale as good as the BMW, better looks (IMO),
I think BMW really screwed up the back of the new 3. Looks like they ran
out of parts and stuck a Hyundai rear end on a BMW. Or better yet, it looks
almost identical to the old civic back rear ends. Interior styling is good,
but not great and getting a bit dated. And, when in the world is BMW going
to recognize all of their cars should have leather seats as standard
Just some food for thought!
(Off topic, perhaps, but I'd still like to know...)
Food for thought indeed - but would you please be so kind as to explain why
you would like to have leather seats as standard? I for one would pay extra
to remove them, I never understood why people would buy leather seats.
Just curious to why you would want them - and whether or not the majority of
the owners buy leather (any figures, anyone?).
Leather is easier to clean, so if you have small kids or if you let people
eat/drink in your car, then the cleanup process may be easier.
But I'm with you - I prefer cloth. It grips your body better, and it also
doesn't feel as hot/cold in hot/cold weather.
I personally prefer the feel of cloth to leather, and in a street
application I would rather have it. For stuff like offroading, I prefer
leather just because it's easy to clean. I had velour seats in my '73
2002, and those would have to be my alltime favorite, at least as far as
I've sat on every kind of leather around, and I still prefer good cloth
seats. Leatherette or vinyl simply being an abomination -- none of the
virtues of cloth, but not as good as leather. Cloth is cooler in the
summer, warmer in the winter, and grips you better in the corners. Why
modern luxury cars don't even offer it as an option I can't figuure out...
I'd pay to upgrade from leatherette to good cloth...
I guess it's a personal preference, but I don't know of many people who
would choose not to have leather if cost was not an issue. I've had it in
several cars and find it very comfortable and easy to maintain, not to
mention the most that it looks much better (IMO). Having said that, I would
like to hear from those BMW owners who have the leatherette, which is the
standard for BMW. To be honest I looked at the leather and leatherette side
by side and didn't notice a difference until I read about it and found that
some of the cars I was looking at didn't have real leather. I'm thinking
this might not be a bad thing if the leatherette is easier to take care of
and more durable than real leather.
I have leather in 2 of my BMWs (540i and Z3) and leatherette in another
(325i) which is the car my wife drives mostly. The leatherette is no
more or less comfortable than real leather. People that claim otherwise
may never have owned a BMW with it. IMO, it looks much better (even
new) than the PLeather substitutes from other manufacturers. It holds
up to wear better and is far easier to care for than real leather.
For a car that gets a lot of daily / family use I would highly recommend
it over real leather.
FWIW heres my thoughts, I have an M3 and I test drove an S4 some time back.
Seen a few old style 03/4 RS6's etc around quite cheap and Audi website has
a new RS4 and S4 on it.
BMW, M3 residuals will take a knock when date for new one confirmed although
this is (according to most) at least 12-18 month away. General feeling on M3
boards is they have already taken a slight knock with the E90 being
As you have discovered Audi is not as involving to drive but it is a more
relaxed and possibly refined drive. M3 can be a bit harsh but depends what
Looks... IMO Audi doesn't look as sporty or dynamic. It looks like a cruiser
where as M3 is a bit more agressive. But BMW looks are diluted by the number
of 318 Sports with 18" alloys. M3 doesn't look any different to to
Exclusivity... I live in the back of beyond yet I saw 3 other M3 cabs
yesterday, didn't see and Audi S4.
Performance... BMW is quicker but not*that* much on the road plus V8 is a
bit lazier in its drive to the BMWs racier 6. Top Gear did a good comparison
and the S4 came out a bit quicker round the track but the M3 was quicker in
a straight line. They chose the M3 overall because they liked it hooligan
approch with DSC off. Audis aren't very good hooligans.
I think that the S4 sits somewhere between the 330 and the M3, the RS4 is
between an M3 and a CSL. Its difficult to make an even comparison. I'd say
an M3 is aimed at a 30 something work-hard, play-hard. The S4 is for the 30
something whos workd-hard and played-hard and needs a rest.
I can't see BMW doing an M3/M4 tourer as its not part of the M heritage so
my next car is likely to be an RS4 or RS6 Avant due to growing kids etc plus
I'm reaching the "need a rest" stage ;-)
You should write for a magazine, excellent comparison, thanks!!!
I think I'm at the work-hard, play-hard stage, M3 for me!!
I know the value will drop but I'd hope it would still be a decent deposit
on a new M3 when they start taking orders, in fact I might see if they'll
give me a guaranteed value...
The only way I know of to get a guaranteed value at trade in is to lease it.
If you're going to be getting the e90 M3 when they come out and won't go
over mileage, this is the way to go.
As long as your ready for a financial kick in the goolies at trade in go fo
it. Like you say though, a deposit on an E90 may help but a good low mileage
car is the best seller.
Before you buy have a look at www.bm3w.co.uk for a lot of UK support and
tips on buying an M3 and what to expect in the way of "service bulletins".
Well if you live by this motto, why bother with an M3? To me, they
look cheap; like a giant plastic toy. Hardly something to drive around
in when you "play hard" Why not go with an M5, M6, or better... why
not go with a Ferrari?
What about one of these:
Now, there's a good definition of "work hard, play hard stage", since
you are in this stage, I think these cars fit better. And with that
crazy torque coming in less than 2000 rpm on that Brabus, your neck can
also live up to your claim.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.