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View Poll Results: And the winner is...
Buy the M4 now, take the beating when she gets home
1
14.29%
Buy the S4 now and get an M4 down the road.
4
57.14%
Buy the M4 in the fall and everyone is happy.
2
28.57%
Fix your A6 up, sell private party, and hope you can find cheap F82
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Looking to buy a s4 or m3/4, such an emotional roller coaster

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Old 04-18-2017, 07:30 AM
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Default Looking to buy a s4 or m3/4, such an emotional roller coaster

I've done some amount of research, and more importantly, done some test drives. Right now I have a 2006 A6 4.2, and it's been a very solid car but not entirely without some of the more common issues.

In any case, I drive about 9k miles a year, and haul my two boys (12 and 8) to and from school and games a fair amount.

I drove a '16 s3 and a '14 s4, and liked the s4 way better. I afford the s4 no problem. I really enjoyed the s4, it felt like my car except better in most every way. What I didn't like was that it was black (clean for 30 seconds after you wash it), and it didn't have the Black Optic package. Pretty minor things, really. My big issue is that I think most every Audi looks like the other over the last 10 years. Plus they are getting to be more popular so I see more and more of them. I drove a pretty generic German sedan for the last seven years, so it's kind of put me in the mindset I want something that is more apt to turn heads.

I went and drove a '15 M4, and it was fantastic. I had an e36m3 before my A6, so it was fun getting into something that makes your heart thump a little quicker. It is perfectly optioned, but costs ~$13k more than the S4. I can technically afford it, but it's a fair bit over the car budget and I'm married to a CFO, who runs a TIGHT ship. The dealer (a friend) made an initial offer of $53k all in (trade-in of $4k with all the A6 issues, it didn't have a working stereo (it does now), no NAV, CEL, headlight errors, and 99.6k miles). That includes sales tax of $4500. I could probably get the overall deal down to $51k.

My head is going roundabouts since the A6 just started throwing CELs and auto-leveling headlight errors. Not huge things to fix, but I'm growing a little weary of it. I just want the car to greet me with a pleasant ding, not a grocery list of parts and warnings.

I thought I'd wait until this fall to snag a M4 coming off of lease, and they are depreciating at about $800-1k/month, so it'd be a easier pill to swallow. And my primary concern is that if I get the s4, I'd be jonesing for the m4 down the road. I keep cars a long time (5-7 years), so there's that.

I realize this is an Audi forum, but I'm sure some of you have ran into this on one level or another, if not with these specific cars. Any insight/consolation would be appreciated! Thanks for sticking with me here, I'd guess this is a long read.

Last edited by mperfct; 04-18-2017 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:25 PM
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Here's my $.02. The M3/M4 is a great car. But in stock condition, it is a better track car than the S4. It also drives like you are in a race car. The S4 is a much better daily driver. It can be a track car, but it never really feels like it is going fast even whan it IS going like hell! In stock form, the S4 holds it own against the M3/M4 up to 100 mph, where the M4 gets the advantage. BUT, seeing you are buying used, adding a tune to the S4 can give the S4 a performance advantage over the M4. The AWD is a great thing to have in certain area of the country. Plus the S4 is less expensive. I agree with you about the black car situation. My current S4 is black, but I bought it used and I liked everything else about the car. The M4 is track car you can run on the street. The S4 is an all weather car that you can track and can easily upgraded to M4 performance levels. These B8/B8.5 cars have been very reliable in demand and seem to be holding their values better than expected. Im now on my 3rd one since i can't find anything better in the price range. If I were to total my B8 S4 today, I would be buying another one. Love the M4/M3, just like the S4 better for my needs. But if you decide the M3/M4 is better for you, that is certainly not a bad decision. BTW, should you decide to get the S4, make sure it has a sport differential. IMHO, it is THE option that makes the S4 special. Since you are considering the M4, the sport dif is a must have. If you want something that turns heads, I suggest you get an S4 in red( Brilliant, Misano or Volcano)) Imola yellow, Sprint Blue, Sepang Blue, Estoril Blue, or Nogaro Blue. Those colors will stand out and IMHO, all look great.

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Old 04-18-2017, 07:14 PM
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Thanks DrGP. That is some great feedback, certainly better than one would typically get on a Bimmer-centric forum.

It's tough to get this out of my mind though...


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Old 04-19-2017, 02:52 AM
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Life is short. Buy the car that inspires you. Sounds like that is the m4. On the other hand, i moved from an m car into my s4. No regrets.
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Old 04-19-2017, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mperfct View Post
Thanks DrGP. That is some great feedback, certainly better than one would typically get on a Bimmer-centric forum.

It's tough to get this out of my mind though...


I like the look as well. You might be better off with the 2013 or newer S5 or an RS5. They would have a look closer to the M4 but the S5 is basically just a 2 dr S4. Much better lines. You need to compare apples with apples. http://www.autoblog.com/2012/11/23/2...k-spin-review/ https://www.autogespot.com/audi-rs5-b8-2012/2015/01/19

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Old 04-19-2017, 11:22 AM
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If you say you will use your car to haul your two boys (12 and 8) around, they'll quickly learn to hate the M4, well at least one of them because of the back seat (access and space). My perception is the M4 is a 'want to have' car and the S4 is a 'need to have' car that is a good compromise of space and performance over the M4.

Before deciding to purchase my S5, I have compared it to the BMW 435ix. I test drove both and I find both will be fine by me but a few things turned me off on the BMW: (1) Run-flat tires. Not a big fan. I still believe in having a spare tire. Also, the debate of whether a puncture can be repaired is still raging on and inconclusive. (2) The area where I live is quite opposite of yours. Here, BMW's are a dime a dozen due to BMW's aggressive lease incentives and programs. When I see a BMW, there's no sense of excitement that registers within me. It is just another BMW. The occasional M4 sighting makes me turn my head but that's it. No other emotions get turned on. (3) That grille is so see-through that I always notice the silvery intercooler and radiator behind it. I think this was not a well-thought design for an upscale car like the 4-series. (4) Plain seats. Just plain. The S4's Super Sport Seats are different. Certainly something one does not see everyday from where I live.

My love affair with the S5 started early. It was during year #3 of my owning a 2011 VW GTI. My head keeps turning whenever I see an Audi A5 or S5 drive by. And, I still do it even after year #6 of owning the GTI. By then, I knew that my next car will be an Audi S5. Audi knows a winning formula that's why they retained most of the styling and carried it over for the B9 series. For me, the styling is not something that would easily fade away. I find it elegant and stylish. It suits me quite right.

My advise for you is to sleep over it and consider all your priorities. Identify the 'wants' and the 'needs'. And, strike a compromise that will work for the family and not just you unless the car is and will be your personal toy of sorts. You have family, a wife and kids, they also count. Whatever decision your make will affect them in one way or another. Good luck!
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:16 PM
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One of the things that bothers me about the S5 is that the sunroof doesn't open fully, it just tilts. I love to open up the sunroof on warm days. Others might think this is not a problem for them. It is one of the main reason I have an S4 rather than an S5 other than not wanting the V8 engine in the pre 2013 units. I don't really need the rear seat room.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:47 AM
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I agree with plat27265. The boys are the deciding factor. I was looking into the A5/S5 until I tried to get into the back seat. It is a royal PITA. I haven't been in an M4 so I cannot comment but it sure looks crowded.
I just bought a 2012 S4 and couldn't be happier. My wife is happy because I'm happy. I will be tracking the car and I'm happy with all the mods that are available. My vote is S4 now and M4 when the boys are off to college.
I live in NY so all wheel drive is a must for our winters. You may not have that requirement. Good luck. It's a fun dilemma
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:18 PM
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I'm in a similar situation and have been test driving the M3 and M4 as my S4 is coming off lease. At this point I'm leaning toward buying the S4 and getting an M3 down the road. The S4 is such the perfect sporty daily driver. Especially if you live in the Midwest like I do.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:29 AM
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Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I think with all the mods available for the S4, it wouldn't be hard to make it stand out a bit more, while still not having every Mustang in the metro trying to goad me into a race.

I live in the KC metro, so usually foul weather isn't an issue. Even still, I'd have to sink another $2k into winter wheels for the M4 since it has MPSS tires. I know what the practical choice is...that's always been easy.

As far as the backseat goes, the M4's back seat is really pretty spacious. Getting into it is a chore for me at 6' and 210#. My 8 year old at 70 pounds probably wouldn't think twice about getting in to it.

There's been some interest from other buyers on the M4 so I guess I had better **** or get off the pot and get something figured out. I'll keep you all posted.
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