I started looking for ~2011 A4 (MT), but a dealer told me about an 2011 S4 MT that is about to come off the lease, with only 13,000 miles on it.
Being a skeptic after reading about all the issues with A4 & S4 from this forum, I'm left wondering if this was a car that was serviced 70% of the time during the lease and the lessee couldn't wait till the lease was over. Or, whether it was someone's pampered second car that got driven only weekends. What does it sound like to you? Other than asking the dealer directly - which may not get the straight scoop - how would I find out? I know of one way obviously - paying for it and keeping my fingers crossed. If I take it to another shop for a pre-purchase inspection, would that reveal anything?
The reasonable side of me says
- I don't need the S4, get a cheaper A4
- Or, get another Volvo that'll last (current one at 160k and no issue other than old car smell)
- Too much car for my son to learn how to drive stick (even though Volvo will be the main car he'll learn on)
- When the Volvo becomes unreliable, I cannot give S4 to my son. I think that's too much car for him, plus I don't want that spoiled image.
- If the car lasts till my younger one can drive (another 4 years), it'll be still too much car to drive on.
- High insurance for S4!
- The red/black interior of the S4 in question says I should be ~20 years younger (I'm over 50)
- Etc. etc....
The childish side of me says
- I'm not getting younger, but having an S4 might help. It's worth a try.
If the S4 pans out and you can verify that all service was done properly, the dealer can check service history by using the VIN. You will not regret it at all.
If you are worried about insurance, I found that my premiums were not much higher. Consider buying an extended warranty for piece of mind, mileage wise the car is virtually new, but the factory warranty is about a year from the end, based on service life.
The red/black interior is stunning, don't get hung up on "acting your age", I didn't
Sounds to me like someone leased this car and didn't drive it as much as they originally thought . I personally would jump on buying that car. Unless you drive like a 70 yr old grandmother. In which case you really won't appreciate the S4 and will be better off with the A4. BTW , I have had 3 S4s with Blk leather seats. My current one has the Magma. Both my wife and I love the Magma. I'm 64 yrs old. Had an 07 335i with Coral Red seats. My wife hated that color.
Thanks for the replies - I cannot count how many times I went back and forth on this car in my mind. It's got a few more days before brought back from the lease and officially advertised.
Premium Plus S4, 2011, ~13,000 miles (or even less), the dealer mentioned that it'll be in the high 30's, so I'm guessing they'll list it for something like $39,900. How much do you think I can knock off?
The salesperson said Audi CPO prices are set by 'peer-pricing' with other dealers and they don't bargain. Is that true with Audi CPO pricing?
What's in my disadvantage is, they know I'm looking for a manual car with certain ext colors and options, which isn't very common and seems to be in a rather high demand (I missed an A4 MT to my liking listed on their website by a couple of days).
Oh, btw... S4 won't be driven by my kids on a regular basis, just to learn to drive stick on while I'm with them in the car, and only after at least 6-12 months of knowing how to drive on the Volvo. I'll have to tell them that the manual cars explode when the rpm goes over 2500. If/when the Volvo dies, I'll probably get a somewhat decent Subaru with a stick for them to drive on.
Even with low miles, $39.9 seems like a lot to me for a MY2011. Cars depreciate with age even with low miles and there might not be that much time left on the CPO warranty. The lease buyout on the car can't be much over $30K + $2K or so for the CPO warranty so I'd be thinking mid 30's.
I think prices for CPO cars can be negotiated in general but it depends on the dealer. I would agree that despite lower initial selling price, 6MT may be harder to negotiate because of their rarity. If you aren't interested in a DSG, I'm guessing but think you will have less room to negotiate despite the points in the preceding paragraph.
As noted above, my gut feeling is $39.9K is pretty high, but you can check the price guides + search this and other forums for a better idea in pricing. There is a Manheim thread started in the B8 S4 section of AZ that could give you some good information.
You will enjoy the car. Old Volvo / Subaru better idea for the kids!
Just keep in mind there have been some updates to the S4 since 2011: new front fascia and headlights, new GPS and MMI (a huge upgrade and the one I care most about), new steering wheel and shifter, new crown differential for the Quattro system, new electric steering system, and revisions to the engine and transmission software. With the deals out on 2014 cars I am not sure I would pay nearly 40k for a 2011.
Lastly about the red seats please see them in person. Everyone has their own taste and mine is as questionable as anyone's...but after always wanting red seats I took one look at the magma and walked away. They were just too loud for me. Maybe that color would work on a Ferrari or something...but I just felt they looked out of place on a 4 door family car.
Best of luck with your search. The S4 is a lovely car, regardless of year/color/mileage. The A4 is a great car as well.
Consider test driving a DSG version. There are plenty that insist on 6MT but the sales numbers indicate there have been plenty of converts too. If you like it, your options will open. If you hate it you can stick with 6MT.
I'm 50 and have had only manual transmissions in the past prior to buying this S4 with the DSG tranny. I really like using it in manual mode and don't miss the left pedal anymore. I will likely buy only dual clutch cars from now on. My current C63 has the MCT transmission which sucks in comparison to dual clutch transmissions.
Just a quick update, and to thank those that chimed in with suggestions & information -
I decided not to go for the car. I've looked at the magma interior in other cars, and it is a bit too loud for me. Curiously, I'm not seeing the car listed - perhaps the lessee decided to buy it, or it went to an auction elsewhere.
My son just got his permit and is learning how to drive in my Volvo. Yeah, learning to drive in a car like S4 would not a good thing when you're starting out. Even after several months, I think it will be too much of a car for him to handle, even if I plan to be in the car all the time with him.
I'll probably wait till he gets the actual license in the Spring to get a new car. Perhaps have him use the Volvo, and get myself either an A4 or A6 then. If we go with A4, there is still the practicality of him learning MT (other than me having it for fun commute). A6 seems like a much comfy ride, though I haven't driven it yet, at a high cost (and no MT).
Thanks to those that helped. Time to start saving money, since I plan to purchase instead of lease.