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Discussion Starter #1
hey everyone,
I have been following the board for a few months now and am in the market for a new car. I love the styling and speed of the m5, but I live in Chicago and the winters are pretty bad. Lately, I have been looking into the 2004 and up S4, which is a a gret automobile as well. I realize that the board will be somewhat biased, but in your honest opinion, which would be the better buy? I am looking at 01-02 M5's and 2004+ S4's. Any input would be greatly appreciated
 

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If it's going to be your daily driver, I would go with the S4, mainly because you are in Chicago. That's not to say that the M5 wouldn't be good with a set of great snow tires, but not as good as AWD. S4 prices probably aren't moving too much, though. Didn't seem like they made that many of the B6?7? platform. If you were down here in Florida I would go M5 all the way. There's no subsitute for a normally aspirated V-8.. especially M-powered.
 

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New S4 (B7 chassis) is around $52-54K loaded, you could buy a used M5 for mid-40s and a SUV beater and still have some money left for mods.....

S4 is a great car, but its not an M5.
 

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My random thoughts...

I live in Chicago and drive all of my cars through the winter. If you are going to run dedicated snows on your car, then buy the M5. If you aren't, get the Audi.

I had a 98 Audi A4 1.8tq that I drove through several winters without putting snow tires on it. It basically sucked, it was all over the road and understeered like a pig but at least it got moving. It sure was fun doing four wheel drifts with all of the wheels spinning wildly though. Oh, it didn't stop worth a ****.

I live in a rural area with 3 miles of unplowed roads between my house and the expressway. My M5, M3 and 330i all perform flawlessly with snow tires, starting, stopping and turning all work as advertised.

My F250 4x4 is OK in the snow. The reason is that it has 3 year old stock tires on it that are worn out (45K miles) and sucked even when they were new. I would rather take my M5 in the snow unless the snow is more than 6" deep when the F250 wins out because it has much greater ground clearance.

The bottom line is that winter driving any car is all about the tires. Decide which car you want the most or fits your needs better and just put snows on it during the winter. If you don't want to go the snow tire route, buy the Audi and you will have a lesser car in all conditions than an M5 with appropriate tires.

Regards
 

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If you live in the city and will be just driving city streets in the winter, my guess is that the M5 will be manageable in the winter. If you live outside of the city where there are hills and the roads won't get plowed/salted immediately, I think you would be better off with the S4. Snow tires and traction control doesn't come close to snow tires and AWD.

More importantly, though, how do you like the S4 compared to the M5 in terms of driving enjoyment, and how much pain and suffering are you willing to put up with in the winter? If you like the S4 just as much as the M5, then the winter PITA isn't worth it - get the S4. If you like the M5 much more than the S4, and the S4 would just be the "practical" choice, then ask yourself whether you'd be happy in the long run with the S4, or if you'd always be wishing you got the M5.

With respect to the V8 issue, the '04's and on (B6) have a normally aspirated V8 (340hp), although there's no consensus as to whether or not it's better than the prior turbo because the turbo was easily modded whereas the V8 is not.

VROOM5 said:
hey everyone,
I have been following the board for a few months now and am in the market for a new car. I love the styling and speed of the m5, but I live in Chicago and the winters are pretty bad. Lately, I have been looking into the 2004 and up S4, which is a a gret automobile as well. I realize that the board will be somewhat biased, but in your honest opinion, which would be the better buy? I am looking at 01-02 M5's and 2004+ S4's. Any input would be greatly appreciated
 

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I drove both cars before I bought my M5 last year. You're right they are both great cars, but I chose the M5. It's faster and has more room in the back for the kids. Living in Chicago, I may have made a different choice. Good Luck!


Dennis
 

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I am sorry but do not agree fully with some of the above posts.

TIRES OR NOT, an AWD car like the audi will be better suited for the snow. PERIOD. :D

An M5 with snow tires will not be better in the snow then an AWD with Winter tires. PERIOD :D
 

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DIPLOMAT said:
I am sorry but do not agree fully with some of the above posts.

TIRES OR NOT, an AWD car like the audi will be better suited for the snow. PERIOD. :D

An M5 with snow tires will not be better in the snow then an AWD with Winter tires. PERIOD :D
You are somewhat correct. An AWD car WITH SNOW TIRES will be better in the snow than a non AWD car WITH SNOW TIRES in regards to accelerating ONLY. Stopping and cornering will be based upon vehicle dynamics and available traction and are unaffected by AWD (except that AWD cars understeer by default).

An AWD car with all season tires or summer tires will not necessarily be better on snow than any other car which is equipped WITH SNOW TIRES. In most cases it will be much worse.

AWD helps a car accelerate better in poor traction conditions, it doesn't help it stop better or turn better. Snow tires help with acceleration, deceleration and turning.
 

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jhowton said:
You are somewhat correct. An AWD car WITH SNOW TIRES will be better in the snow than a non AWD car WITH SNOW TIRES in regards to accelerating ONLY. Stopping and cornering will be based upon vehicle dynamics and available traction and are unaffected by AWD (except that AWD cars understeer by default).

An AWD car with all season tires or summer tires will not necessarily be better on snow than any other car which is equipped WITH SNOW TIRES. In most cases it will be much worse.

AWD helps a car accelerate better in poor traction conditions, it doesn't help it stop better or turn better. Snow tires help with acceleration, deceleration and turning.
agreed, but would you rather have an AWD car with stock tires in the snow or an M5 with snow tires?
 

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DIPLOMAT said:
agreed, but would you rather have an AWD car with stock tires in the snow or an M5 with snow tires?
The one that I have, an M5 with snow tires. I sold my Audi A4 with quattro and stock tires three years ago. It wasn't very good in the snow because the tires had almost no traction. I will never winter drive any car without snow tires again (rentals excluded), they make all the difference.

Regards
 

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My M5 is a daily driver as well. I have snow tires on too. I have had no issues driving in the snow.

Plus - if it did snow or will snow pretty hard, I just fire up the laptop and work from home.
 

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jhowton said:
The one that I have, an M5 with snow tires. I sold my Audi A4 with quattro and stock tires three years ago. It wasn't very good in the snow because the tires had almost no traction. I will never winter drive any car without snow tires again (rentals excluded), they make all the difference.

Regards
interesting, thank you
 

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They are very different cars, so IMO drive both and see which one fits you better. My only S4 experiance was an older B5, so it doesnt really apply. Great car though.
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the input everyone. I guess what it boils down to is that if I purchase the S4, I do not plan on buying winter tires, whereas if I opt to buy the M5, I do. My main reasoning is because the S4 has the quattro system, which I thought would be a lot better than the M5 even if the M5 had winter tires. So, do you guys feel that an M5 with winter tires will perform as well as an S4 with stock tires? Btw, I do live in the city and I realize that the main streets are usually cleared out relatively quickly. IMO, I think that i will be able to get around with either an M5 with snow tires, or an S4 with stock tires with no problem. And if that is the case, i will be leaning a lot more towards the M5 until I get a good feel for both of them. The only other thing that bothers be about the M5 is the "dated" look as some people are now starting to refer to the body style with the new 5-series being released. Personally, I like it :wroom:
 

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Driving an S4 in the snow without winter tires is not a good idea. As others have said, the AWD will help you with forward traction, but not much else. You'll be able to get around, but you'll have to be very slow and careful. If not wanting to buy winter tires is a cost issue, bear in mind that by putting winter tires on, you'll be prolonging the life (at least in terms of duration as opposed to mileage) of your regular tires, which means you'll be buying new tires less often.

As for the "dated" looks of the e39 M5, if you like it, who cares what anyone else thinks?

VROOM5 said:
Thanks for the input everyone. I guess what it boils down to is that if I purchase the S4, I do not plan on buying winter tires, whereas if I opt to buy the M5, I do. My main reasoning is because the S4 has the quattro system, which I thought would be a lot better than the M5 even if the M5 had winter tires. So, do you guys feel that an M5 with winter tires will perform as well as an S4 with stock tires? Btw, I do live in the city and I realize that the main streets are usually cleared out relatively quickly. IMO, I think that i will be able to get around with either an M5 with snow tires, or an S4 with stock tires with no problem. And if that is the case, i will be leaning a lot more towards the M5 until I get a good feel for both of them. The only other thing that bothers be about the M5 is the "dated" look as some people are now starting to refer to the body style with the new 5-series being released. Personally, I like it :wroom:
 

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PLease see the related thread, "M5 sucks in snow" before you decide. And snow tires are critical. It is an unfair comparison of M5 with snows to S4 on summer tires. quattro is a huge traction aid, but you still need to put the proper rubber down.
If it were me, I would go with the M5 and a winter beater. As much as I love my Audis ( I have 3, 1 quattro), the M5 just rocks!!
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Greco said:
Wait for the B7 RS4....
AWD and 450hp.lovelove :cheers:
 

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My M5 with snow tires is my daily driver and is great in the snow:M5launch:
 
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