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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, currently deciding between a F30 340i (RWD, no xDrive) and B8.5 S4 as a daily driver. I plan on getting BM3 + VRFS FMIC/DP on the 340i and equivalent (IE Stage 2) for the S4.

Won't see any track use and I'm located in CA, so luckily snow isn't an issue.
My commute is ~20mi round trip, and I occasionally go for spirited drives in the mountains..although I could probably count the number of times per year with one hand.

The 340i has: (1) M Sport Package-- non-adaptive 704 Msport Suspension (2) Tech Package (3) Driver Assistance Plus (4) Dakota Leather (5) HK Audio

Comparably, S4 is equipped with: (1) LSD (2) Tech Package (3) Nappa Leather (4) B&O Audio

Any input would be appreciated-- thanks!
 

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Same model years? Mileage?
 

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Hi all, currently deciding between a F30 340i (RWD, no xDrive) and B8.5 S4 as a daily driver. I plan on getting BM3 + VRFS FMIC/DP on the 340i and equivalent (IE Stage 2) for the S4.

Won't see any track use and I'm located in CA, so luckily snow isn't an issue.
My commute is ~20mi round trip, and I occasionally go for spirited drives in the mountains..although I could probably count the number of times per year with one hand.

The 340i has: (1) M Sport Package-- non-adaptive 704 Msport Suspension (2) Tech Package (3) Driver Assistance Plus (4) Dakota Leather (5) HK Audio

Comparably, S4 is equipped with: (1) LSD (2) Tech Package (3) Nappa Leather (4) B&O Audio

Any input would be appreciated-- thanks!
Which one did you like more when you test drove them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Same model years? Mileage?
340i: 2016, 43k miles
S4: 2015, 30k miles

Vehicle history/service records are clean, and afaik other than a potential water pump/pcv issue on the S4, I don't think there are major maintenance items that would scare me away from either(?)

Which one did you like more when you test drove them?
Hard to say-- I liked the tech on the 340, but the S4's DSG was quite nice. I didn't take any corners too hard, so I can't say for certain if the slip differential actually made a difference.
 

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The engine in the 340i is amazing. It's what is in my 540ix and I'm blown away with the performance and overall balance of the drivetrain.
Historically BMW inline 6 cylinders have been the most reliable, particularly compared to V8's. They have nuisance items like weak water pump and leaky gaskets but the packaging means they are easy to work on, parts are easy to find and relatively inexpensive compared to M engine specific parts. On top of that there will eventually be a ton of DIY info on youtube. Hopefully the B58 motor follows the path of its forebears in regards to reliability and durability.
My partner has a 4 series convertible and I'm not blown away by the interior materials. BMW really could have done better in that area particularly given the price of the car when it was new. Ours is a bit of a garage queen as it's coming up to four years (or is it five?) and 21k miles but at least everything in the interior is holding up well.

I really don't know much about Audi's as I've been happy with BMW's for quite some time now. The S4 certainly looks nice and they are usually noted for the interior materials so I would expect the interior of the S4 to be better than the 340. Incidentally that 428i came really close to being an A5 because my partner does not have the same brand loyalty I have, but the combination of Audi dealers not budging on price and one last visit to BMW dealer for a look at a 4 series swayed the pendulum.

The comment about no snow in CA made me smirk. As someone who drives up and down Donner pass a half a dozen times a month every month of every year for the past 11 years, don't tell me about not having to worry about snow in California. This is why the x with the 540ix...
 

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340i: 2016, 43k miles
S4: 2015, 30k miles

Vehicle history/service records are clean, and afaik other than a potential water pump/pcv issue on the S4, I don't think there are major maintenance items that would scare me away from either(?)

Hard to say-- I liked the tech on the 340, but the S4's DSG was quite nice. I didn't take any corners too hard, so I can't say for certain if the slip differential actually made a difference.
With mileages that close together, I'd tend to lean towards the newer model year, if all other things are equal in your mind. I assume asking prices are close to the same? Guess you'd also want to look into general reliability indexes for these two cars.

If you're not going to be tracking the car, I'm not sure that the Audi LSD is going to make that big a difference in your daily driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
-snip- The comment about no snow in CA made me smirk. As someone who drives up and down Donner pass a half a dozen times a month every month of every year for the past 11 years...
Thanks for the in depth response! Agree that the Audi's interior feels nicer, but the tech of the newer 340i is also appealing..

Haha, I should have added a disclaimer: *where I am in CA, snow isn't an issue ;)

With mileages that close together, I'd tend to lean towards the newer model year, if all other things are equal in your mind. I assume asking prices are close to the same? Guess you'd also want to look into general reliability indexes for these two cars.

If you're not going to be tracking the car, I'm not sure that the Audi LSD is going to make that big a difference in your daily driving.
Yup, prices are basically dead even, maybe a couple hundred off from each other depending on what parts I decide to use for the mods. Thanks for pointing out the reliability indexes, I'll definitely take a look at them!

From what I've read online + this post, it seems there's not one that's head and shoulders above the other (makes sense, as they're meant to be competitive with each other?), so I'll probably take a spin in each one again and make the final call
 

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While I can't speak to the B8.5 specifically, I've found stock Audis to understeer much more than BMWs when driven near the limit.
Also, I've found that regular maintenance work on modern VW/Audi vehicles to be much more of a pain in the butt than on any BMW I've ever owned (even my R53 which has the most cramped engine compartment known to man).
I'd go with the 340i, but that's me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
While I can't speak to the B8.5 specifically, I've found stock Audis to understeer much more than BMWs when driven near the limit.
Also, I've found that regular maintenance work on modern VW/Audi vehicles to be much more of a pain in the butt than on any BMW I've ever owned (even my R53 which has the most cramped engine compartment known to man).
I'd go with the 340i, but that's me.
Yeah, the (lack of) ease of maintenance is definitely common to hear about Audi :(

Personally, I like better how BMW's drive over Audi's.
Noted! Do you know if the Audi offering(s) you drove had the LSD?
 

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I drove Audis for 20+ years until last October when I got my 440. My last one was a 2014 S4 (Same car you are looking at) with the Sport Diff. It was a great car and while I prefer a manual transmission, the DSG in the Audi was amazing. On the downside, and as mentioned above, the Audi suffers from understeer. I had gotten so used to it, and the sport diff helps a lot, that it didn***8217;t bother me most of the time, however the BMW has none of it. The 440 is my first BMW (aside from an E30 race car). After most of my life living in the Midwest and east coast, I moved to Florida where snow is not an issue and wanted to switch to RWD when my work car allowance policy forced me into a newer car.

The RWD BMW is so much more fun to drive. The lack of understeer is what I noticed first. The engine feels stronger than the Audi***8217;s Supercharged V6 (it isn***8217;t) and the car feels more nimble and neutral. If you like to drive, the BMW is better. The tech is pretty much the same, however I do have CarPlay in the BMW. The interior of the BMW is my only gripe. If I could put the Audi***8217;s seats and interior trim in the BMW, I would have nothing to complain about. Also the Audi with DSG gives you some fun engine farts on upshifts***8212;I think the M Performance Kit would do the same for the BMW but lets skip the noise.

My commute is 29 miles one way through 1/3 suburban and 2/3 rural driving across central Florida. Not as many curves/hills, but at least it is nice to look at (I used to commute from Bucks County into Philly).

You cant go wrong with either car. BMW***8217;s CPO warranty is better.
 

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Great write up, thank you!! That definitely makes me feel better about leaning towards the 340.
Couple more thoughts for you. The S4 eats brakes. Granted my commute was fairly urban, I was replacing front brakes after 12,000 miles. And they are not cheap! Also the gas mileage on the S4 was not as good the 440. If the BMW is getting 28-29, the S4 was 23-24.

The S4 had real tires too. Run flats suck like wading in a bucket of cold wall paper paste.
 

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My previous car was an F30 with Msport. I like a stiff car and I liked the suspension but my wife hated it. She thought it was way too rough.

So consider both your desires and likes and also those of any regular passengers you might have (like a significant other).

If you do have a regular passenger, if possible have that person do a test drive with you. Make sure you take the test drive over variable surfaces.

They are both good cars. If things like the suspension are not a deal breaker/maker and RWD vs. FWD is not a deal breaker/maker, then if they are close, go with what your emotions tell you.
 

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The S4 had real tires too. Run flats suck like wading in a bucket of cold wall paper paste.
Good thing that changing tires is one of the easiest mods you can make.
 

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If you have not pulled the trigger my vote goes to the S4. I've owned my tuned S4 for 7 years and am about to pass 160K miles. No question one of the best cars I've owned in the past 20 years. As a comparative I also own 2 BMW's, a tuned and modded 2013 328 and a Dinan S3R E46 M3.

The tuned S4 is running somewhere around 400 wheel HP. I was lucky to find the car online after the original owner invested over $8K in mods. As this is my daily driver and business car I've left the stock suspension alone except for switching out the sway bars and finding the stiffest rear bar I could find. When the original pads and rotors wore out I moved to Giro Disc rotors and Endless MX 72 pads. This is a never fade/ minimum dust setup for street and light track use. The S4 has a lot of compliance in the stock suspension so it favors a tire with stiff sidewalls. As I also live in CA, I can run extreme summer tires year round and have come to love the RE-71R as my favorite S4 tire.

Like all Audi's it eats freeway miles and is a great distance trip car. She is also a great canyon runner. Have had a lot of fun times running Calavaras, Mines, Skyline Drive, Hwy 9, and LaHonda from Alices to Hwy 1.

The Audi requires a slightly different driving technique from a BMW. BMW's have better turn in and faster corner entry. The Audi shines with a slower corner entry but hammer it past the apex and just power out of the corner with no fear of spinning the car. On larger sweeps very easy to hit and carry triple digit stupid speeds with great confidence.

Interior Audi absolutely crushes BMW. The materials are top notch. All the controls are just in the right place and feel great. There screen is part of the dash and not some aftermarket looking thing. There are no squeaks or rattle even after 160K miles. The Audi cockpit is just a great place to be for both driver and passenger over anything BMW offers.

Engine - the supercharged V6 is a great engine. Power band is linear and pulls from 1500 RPM to Redline. Personally I love the supercharge whine as the engine spools up when pushing hard. If your just cruising, the car is very quite.

To me, I think BMW has lost it as a premium manufacturer. They are living off reputation and marketing and their products have been passed by. My next car will not be another BMW.
 

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Another comment, when the S4 tells you there are 0 miles to empty, you can drive another 30 or so. When the BMW tells you 0 miles to empty, you get 3-4 miles. Don't ask me how I know this.
In other words, BMW uses sensors in the fuel system that are more or less accurate in terms of measuring fuel level, Audi not so much.
 

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In other words, BMW uses sensors in the fuel system that are more or less accurate in terms of measuring fuel level, Audi not so much.
Perhaps. My 440 is the first car I have ever owned that is truly empty when the gauge tells you it is. And you get verbal warnings followed by a rather adamant request to call roadside assistance.

That is all followed by some slight, then very noticeable misfires and audible sputtering as the car rolls into the Sunoco.

Again, don't ask how I know this.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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