Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series

3 Series / 4 Series
The 3 Series / 4 Series Forum. If you would like to see all new posts in all the forums, click here.

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-24-2004, 01:52 PM
verdemont verdemont is offline
Registered User
Location: Vermont, US
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: Audi
Question Help -- 05 BMW 330xi vs 04 Audi S4

Live in the Green Mountains of Vermont and have owned 3 Audis which have done well in snow but reliability has varied (one good, one bad, one in between). I coach and officiate some Cross Country ski meets during the winter so I get to drive in some cold and nasty conditions. Most of the time is on paved, plowed roads.

Considering whether to buy an 05 BMW 330xi or an 04 Audi S4, both manual. I've never owned a BMW. Why think about changing from Audi? Possibly better reliability and resale, definitely better gas mileage. So, questions for those who are knowledgeable on these two cars.

1.Is the winter AWD handling of the BMW 330xi acceptable enough to handle a Vermont winter. I know that the sensitivity of the DSC can be reduced to allow some wheel spin and not reduce power. Assuming good snow tires can you drive through your average 4-6 inch snow storm with some confidence. I would think the Audi Torsen based system would be quite a bit better but would appreciate comments from those who have tried both.
2. Your opinion on which car will handle better under normal conditions?
3. Perception of reliability and quality of the current S4 and BMW 3 series?
4. The cost difference between the two after negotiation is relatively small -- $6k. Which would you buy under these circumstances?

Thanks for your help.
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 09-24-2004, 01:56 PM
cantona7's Avatar
cantona7 cantona7 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: San Francisco
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 793
Mein Auto: 2003 Imola M3
I've never driven either car in the snow, but my inclination would be to get the S4. The AWD on the S4 is more advanced than the system used in the Xi, so I'd guess that the S4 would handle better in snowy conditions in winter. On top of that, you'd get better performance out of the S4 the other 9 months of the year than you would in the Xi. Of course, if you're willing to do RWD in the BMW, that would be a tougher debate. I'm sure you'll get many more opinions from other Festers.
  #3  
Old 09-24-2004, 02:13 PM
norihaga's Avatar
norihaga norihaga is offline
Achtun*, Spitfire!
Location: Surrey, UK
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 766
Mein Auto: '93 E30 318is Touring
Vermont...lucky you!

If you really feel that $6k is not a lot of money from your perspective, I would go for the S4. I can believe that the torsen-based system is better (Audi dealers have claimed to me that the BMW system is a lash-up - but they would, wouldn't they?) but you're also getting so much more performance for your money with the S4, as a prior poster suggested.

I don't think you will find BMW substantially more reliable than Audi - there may be a slight advantage, but BMWs are not flawless by any means. It's probably all in the length/quality of your warranty! A Subaru Legacy might be an improvement from that perspective, and the new car is much nicer than the old one. You would also have lots of company driving a Subaru in New England.

Have you also considered an S60R or V70R? Those should fall into a similar price range, and are AWD/stick shift (at least the S60 is).

Gas mileage _is_ very good on 3-series - see the current thread on this board re: 500 miles to the tank, etc. My 330ci regularly delivers 29+ on the interstate, and some claim to do even better.



Quote:
Originally Posted by verdemont
Live in the Green Mountains of Vermont and have owned 3 Audis which have done well in snow but reliability has varied (one good, one bad, one in between). I coach and officiate some Cross Country ski meets during the winter so I get to drive in some cold and nasty conditions. Most of the time is on paved, plowed roads.

Considering whether to buy an 05 BMW 330xi or an 04 Audi S4, both manual. I've never owned a BMW. Why think about changing from Audi? Possibly better reliability and resale, definitely better gas mileage. So, questions for those who are knowledgeable on these two cars.

1.Is the winter AWD handling of the BMW 330xi acceptable enough to handle a Vermont winter. I know that the sensitivity of the DSC can be reduced to allow some wheel spin and not reduce power. Assuming good snow tires can you drive through your average 4-6 inch snow storm with some confidence. I would think the Audi Torsen based system would be quite a bit better but would appreciate comments from those who have tried both.
2. Your opinion on which car will handle better under normal conditions?
3. Perception of reliability and quality of the current S4 and BMW 3 series?
4. The cost difference between the two after negotiation is relatively small -- $6k. Which would you buy under these circumstances?

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by norihaga; 09-24-2004 at 02:15 PM.
  #4  
Old 09-24-2004, 02:49 PM
gojira-san's Avatar
gojira-san gojira-san is offline
Happy Trails!
Location: N of Concord NH
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,895
Mein Auto: 330xi
Hi neighbor!

I got to drive my xi a little at the end of winter season. The first week I had it I drove from NH to Syracuse to the Massena NY area, over the top of the Adirondacks and down I-89 - most of it in blizzard conditions. I have the sport package and the "not ready for New England winters" runflat tires. Even with those the car performed very well. I plan to put some winter wheels/tires on and it should be a little tank. It gets better mileage around town than my Volvo XC70 ever did in the highway too! I usually get around 23 mpg locally and 29 to just about 31 mpg on a long highway trip.

I have not driven an S4 so I cannot comment there. Good luck with your decision!

--pete
__________________

04 BMW 330xi 6spd w/Premium,Sport,Winter & Xenon (Sold, sniff)
02 BMW K1200RS moto
06 Pontiac GTO 6MT

RIP '99 BMW 528iT
  #5  
Old 09-24-2004, 03:05 PM
WILLIA///M's Avatar
WILLIA///M WILLIA///M is offline
95NU>*
Location: Vermont
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,109
Mein Auto: '04 Imola/Cinn M3
Live in Vermont. Had an xi. Got an M3.
__________________
I'm not a race car driver, but I play one on my TV.
  #6  
Old 09-24-2004, 03:17 PM
OneLuckyPuppy OneLuckyPuppy is offline
Registered User
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 36
Mein Auto: 2004 325i
Driving a 325i (RWD) here in Canada, and no problem. Since you apparently have experience in snow, RWD with DSC is extremely reliable in the right hands!
  #7  
Old 09-24-2004, 03:31 PM
kurichan kurichan is offline
Waiting for the 135i!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,457
Mein Auto: 550 Spyder
If reliability is a concern and you need AWD, you really ought to look at Subarus too.
__________________
7/17/04 - 7/20/07: 04 Imola Red/Alcantara 330i (ZHP, 6MT, moonroof, xenon, silver cube). 135i ED next!
  #8  
Old 09-24-2004, 03:32 PM
machmeter's Avatar
machmeter machmeter is offline
Adolescent On-Call
Location: San Francisco
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,263
Mein Auto: 330i
No snow here.
Never go through snow.
Had an Audi and liked it.
S4 looks like cool fun.
I don't care about MPG.
Got the xi for wet weather.
That and the "x" on the back. Yes, I'm THAT shallow, really.
I love my 330xi!

Bottom line: Screw logic and buy what you really want! Works for me every time.
__________________
  #9  
Old 09-24-2004, 04:08 PM
kurichan kurichan is offline
Waiting for the 135i!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,457
Mein Auto: 550 Spyder
Quote:
Originally Posted by machmeter
Screw logic and buy what you really want! Works for me every time.
Good policy!
__________________
7/17/04 - 7/20/07: 04 Imola Red/Alcantara 330i (ZHP, 6MT, moonroof, xenon, silver cube). 135i ED next!
  #10  
Old 09-24-2004, 07:19 PM
Ace Ace is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 341
Mein Auto: '01 325Ci
as a prior subaru owner i can definetly vouch for the reliability and the amazing awd system.....from what i have read on the audi torsen system...it is the best out there on the market....but the subaru system is great....i have driven through 6-12 inches of snow with that car without any problems and running a great set of all-seasons (not winters)....as far as reliability is concerned...i owned that car for 7 years, and never had anything fail or need replacing on that vehicle....and the car had around 80,000miles on it....
however, the downfall of the sub is that the interior quality is not up to par with bmw or audi, also their cars are not as performance oriented as the vehicles that you are considering excluding the wrx sti of course.

that being said there have been some major improvements at camp subaru with the redesign of the subaru legacy gt.....great looking car with about 250hp under the hood.....but if you are only considering the s4 or 330xi...my vote is for the s4 purely on the basis of the torsen awd.....good luck on your choice! and keep us posted on what you decide!
  #11  
Old 09-24-2004, 08:36 PM
AudiPutz AudiPutz is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 60
Mein Auto: '06 A3 3.2 quattro DSG
If you need AWD there's only one choice between these two - quattro.
  #12  
Old 09-25-2004, 04:58 AM
oldefarms oldefarms is offline
Plywood Pal
Location: NH
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 52
Mein Auto: 325XIT
AUDI vs. XI

Quote:
Originally Posted by verdemont
Live in the Green Mountains of Vermont and have owned 3 Audis which have done well in snow but reliability has varied (one good, one bad, one in between). I coach and officiate some Cross Country ski meets during the winter so I get to drive in some cold and nasty conditions. Most of the time is on paved, plowed roads.

Considering whether to buy an 05 BMW 330xi or an 04 Audi S4, both manual. I've never owned a BMW. Why think about changing from Audi? Possibly better reliability and resale, definitely better gas mileage. So, questions for those who are knowledgeable on these two cars.

1.Is the winter AWD handling of the BMW 330xi acceptable enough to handle a Vermont winter. I know that the sensitivity of the DSC can be reduced to allow some wheel spin and not reduce power. Assuming good snow tires can you drive through your average 4-6 inch snow storm with some confidence. I would think the Audi Torsen based system would be quite a bit better but would appreciate comments from those who have tried both.
2. Your opinion on which car will handle better under normal conditions?
3. Perception of reliability and quality of the current S4 and BMW 3 series?
4. The cost difference between the two after negotiation is relatively small -- $6k. Which would you buy under these circumstances?

Thanks for your help.
I too live on the NH/ VT. border.
My wife drives an A4 wagon and I have the 325 xi Wagon.
For the 3 1/2 months that you need snow tires I would vote for the Audi.
However the balence of the year the XI wagon is a better ride and car.
I do not believe that one car is any more reliable than the next.
  #13  
Old 09-25-2004, 06:47 AM
verdemont verdemont is offline
Registered User
Location: Vermont, US
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: Audi
Do we know this is true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
I believe the new 3 series (E90) will have the X-drive AWD system, which is supposed to be far superior to the exisitng 3-series AWD.

That would be a great improvement. Has there been anything announced, disclosed, or leaked that we would know that it is fact and worth waiting?
  #14  
Old 09-25-2004, 08:03 AM
norihaga's Avatar
norihaga norihaga is offline
Achtun*, Spitfire!
Location: Surrey, UK
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 766
Mein Auto: '93 E30 318is Touring
Quote:
Originally Posted by verdemont
That would be a great improvement. Has there been anything announced, disclosed, or leaked that we would know that it is fact and worth waiting?
Well, other, wiser, heads may correct me, but since BMW usually staggers the release of different sub-models, I doubt the AWD cars will be out the first year. So more likely than not, you have to wait for a MY 2007 car.
  #15  
Old 09-25-2004, 11:33 AM
Moderato's Avatar
Moderato Moderato is offline
Praetorian
Location: New England
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 8,070
Mein Auto: 07 E92 335i 6MT
If money wasn't an issue I could only get one of those two cars, then I would get the B6 S4 over the 330xi. If money is an issue and/or you don't need the performance of the S4 then the 330xi is a great choice.
  #16  
Old 09-25-2004, 11:34 AM
equ equ is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Dogville
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 457
Mein Auto: Something or other
While I've never owned an xi, I "tried" quite hard to like it as I go skiing in New England quite a bit. I test drove it at least four times. It just doesn't handle the way sports/performance package equipped bmws do. Felt high and soft to me. It had the comfort and nice engine of a 330. I ended up with a 330ci zhp.

I've owned an A4 2.8Q for more than four years and I can only say good things about it.
  #17  
Old 09-25-2004, 07:30 PM
Ace Ace is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 341
Mein Auto: '01 325Ci
maybe someone could explain how the bmw "xi" system works a little more....i have only found very little literature on it, and from my understanding it is more of a software based system....is that not correct? meanwhile the audi is a more mechanical system comprised of 3 differentials with the center one being their patented torsen differential.....based on my experience the mechanical systems seem to be the "better" AWD systems.....
  #18  
Old 09-25-2004, 10:16 PM
AudiPutz AudiPutz is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 60
Mein Auto: '06 A3 3.2 quattro DSG
http://www.difflock.com/offroad/4x4explained.shtml

http://awd.firewebx.com/modules.php?...3&allstories=1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace
maybe someone could explain how the bmw "xi" system works a little more....i have only found very little literature on it, and from my understanding it is more of a software based system....is that not correct? meanwhile the audi is a more mechanical system comprised of 3 differentials with the center one being their patented torsen differential.....based on my experience the mechanical systems seem to be the "better" AWD systems.....
  #19  
Old 09-27-2004, 10:30 AM
F16er F16er is offline
Registered User
Location: Midwest
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: 01 330Ci
Drive the S60R

Test drives are fun, so why not at least give the Volvo S60R a try. It's a different animal than the two you're referencing, but you might be pleasantly surprised...
  #20  
Old 09-27-2004, 12:40 PM
Roadhawk Roadhawk is offline
BMW believer
Location: N. Virginia
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 215
Mein Auto: 2004 330iZHP/2001 Audi S4
Funny - on an Audiforum someone was asking abotu a 3 series vs an Audi A4 and i was recommending the 3 series...but here - i f we are talking the S4 - and not the A4 - well I think there is no comparison. The S4 is going to be a super hard charger with great road manners and awesome power. The xi versions of the 3 series loose a bit when it comes to performance driving IMO...and the S4 is basicaly superior in almost every respect (of course its probably a good $8-10K more) - but if I had the money it would be a no brainer IMO....

I also think that the S60/S70 are very legitimate alternatives - great thrills, nice ride, looks good, somewhat/quite a bit rarer and more unique (then a 3 series)...and cheaper then the S4...
__________________
Current Rides:

2004 330i Sedan - ZHP - Imola Red - alcantara, xenons, cold w/hole in roof, silver cube
2001 Audi S4 Avant - Nogaro Blue, St3, AWE ex/dp, Stptch brks, KW coilvrs, h-sport sways, EVO CAI, B & M ss, Clmster st3 LtwtFW - etc
1964 1/2 Mustang Conv - 289 4 bar V8 - Vintage Burgundy - unrestored/near mint - 53K miles
[B][SIZE=2]
  #21  
Old 09-27-2004, 02:18 PM
verdemont verdemont is offline
Registered User
Location: Vermont, US
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: Audi
Thanks for the suggestions on the Volvo and to have patience

Thanks to all those who suggested that I take a look at the Volvo S60R and V70R as an alternative. There is a good Volvo dealer in this area. Thanks also to those who have counseled patience to wait to see the new 3 series (actually suggested by my post on www.audiworld.com) and the new A4 (B7), which looks like quite an improvement from the current A4. My 03 Audi allroad can painlessly get me through the Winter months while I pursue your advice. I know that it can handle Winter.

BTW Subies are so common up here that they are boring. I know that they are reliable, but boring ........

Last edited by verdemont; 09-27-2004 at 04:05 PM.
  #22  
Old 09-27-2004, 03:24 PM
Moderato's Avatar
Moderato Moderato is offline
Praetorian
Location: New England
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 8,070
Mein Auto: 07 E92 335i 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by verdemont
BTW Subies are so common up here that they are boring. I know that they are reliable, but boring ........
That's true (I have an Outback and live in CT where they are common also), but when rocks, sand, ice and salt is blasting your car it's a lot easier to deal with in a Subaru then a Bimmer or an Audi.
  #23  
Old 09-27-2004, 05:04 PM
kurichan kurichan is offline
Waiting for the 135i!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,457
Mein Auto: 550 Spyder
Quote:
Originally Posted by rumratt
That makes no sense.
Makes perfect sense -- just an abbreviated, slightly oblique way of saying in choosing between the xi and the S4, get the S4 (w/quattro).
__________________
7/17/04 - 7/20/07: 04 Imola Red/Alcantara 330i (ZHP, 6MT, moonroof, xenon, silver cube). 135i ED next!
  #24  
Old 09-27-2004, 05:06 PM
kurichan kurichan is offline
Waiting for the 135i!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,457
Mein Auto: 550 Spyder
Quote:
Originally Posted by verdemont
BTW Subies are so common up here that they are boring. I know that they are reliable, but boring ........
My WRX was ANYTHING but boring!
__________________
7/17/04 - 7/20/07: 04 Imola Red/Alcantara 330i (ZHP, 6MT, moonroof, xenon, silver cube). 135i ED next!
  #25  
Old 09-28-2004, 05:46 AM
Moderato's Avatar
Moderato Moderato is offline
Praetorian
Location: New England
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 8,070
Mein Auto: 07 E92 335i 6MT
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurichan
My WRX was ANYTHING but boring!

I think he's refering to Outbacks, Legacys & Foresters. I have an Outback, owned an 04 STi and I agree that the WRX's are a lot of fun, but driving the Outback puts me to sleep. The ONLY time driving the Outback is fun is when there is snow on the ground.
 

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The History of the BMW 5 Series WAM 5 Series 5 08-17-2006 08:46 PM
LAWSUIT AGAINST BMW (Sept 04 Update) Named Plaintiff 3 Series / 4 Series 46 09-23-2004 05:05 PM
330i ZHP or Audi S4 sigep 3 Series / 4 Series 41 09-10-2004 10:09 AM
BMW offers Sirius as a factory option on '04 5-series... Emission General BMW 0 12-24-2003 02:12 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms