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      01-08-2013, 11:48 PM   #45
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Trust me I am not the type that takes by feelings into these discussions. Your points above make sense re awd vs rwd. The point I was trying to make is the marketing strategy that Audi has did not work. As I pointed out given the sales numbers the S4 did not impact the 3er. If someone is getting a 328i for 54k that's an active decision against the S4.

I think the problem with the S4 is not even its relationship with VW, but the A4. In the US the A4 is just not special and most people who are not in the know will just think the S4 is the 4 banger brother. Contrast this with the 328i, now that car is special in its own right, which is why people are prepared to go all the way to S4 money for it. It wins every comparo here, dare I say it it may win against the M3, lol. The reviewers here are just mental about it. So even if the 335i is confused with the 4 banger, in most cases you are still in a good place.

So sales for the 3er were much higher even with Audis change in strategy, now BMW is returning the favor with the 4 series etc so you can already tell this Audi strategy will not work going forward.

Make the A4 special, that's the right strategy
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      01-09-2013, 12:46 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by 300hp View Post
I think the problem with the S4 is not even its relationship with VW, but the A4. In the US the A4 is just not special and most people who are not in the know will just think the S4 is the 4 banger brother. Contrast this with the 328i, now that car is special in its own right, which is why people are prepared to go all the way to S4 money for it. It wins every comparo here, dare I say it it may win against the M3, lol. The reviewers here are just mental about it. So even if the 335i is confused with the 4 banger, in most cases you are still in a good place.

So sales for the 3er were much higher even with Audis change in strategy, now BMW is returning the favor with the 4 series etc so you can already tell this Audi strategy will not work going forward.

Make the A4 special, that's the right strategy
Spoken like a true BMW fan Seriously though, Im not following your perspective that is not "A4 is not special" or on par with the 3 series, that an S4 is not considered any different than the A4, or that Audi's strategy is not working? Your argument is the opposite of most in this thread so Im wondering what its based on.

I am in a small market, but these cars are significant players in that market, and I see most people shopping them as equals.
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      01-09-2013, 04:30 AM   #47
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Their marketing works on SOME people. The "Lets not bring the RS models and make ppl who buy the the S models (at //M prices) think they have an awesome car" model. Hell 90% of enthusiasts on here get it wrong. How many threads do have I seen s4 vs m3 and then someone has to say no, s4 vs 335, rs4 vs m3 and then someone else says no, youre wrong, its S4 VS M3. Lol.

For some reason when i was shopping for cars i kept thinking to myself - dont even consider an s4 its a glorified evo. Didnt want an evo again.
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      01-09-2013, 07:59 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by mrunner
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You got me wrong, a 328i can be had with the same m sport stuff save for a few things and that sweet smooth inline 6. I know guys who paid 54k for the 328i m sport, you can get an S4 with nav for that.

The guys spending at the S4 levels are smart enough to know the S4 is no M3, it's right there at the 3er level. Even the RS5 has bean beaten in every comparo by the E90 M3. One of my neighbors who has the f30 328i thought mine was a 5 series, probably she was thinking M5 due to the color, if these types of comments give me a high then I am lost.
This might be so, but we're talking about marketing, this is how this all started, and how Audi has seemingly been sucessful in making the S4 out to be the competitor to the 335 and the M3. Rightfully or not, sticking S4 on an audi has the same effect as sticking M, or SS, or GT,GTR, GTS etc... on various cars, and is what the marketing hopes to, and has largely achieved with buyers in the market for an Audi or BMW. Eventhough, maybe it is true, that in terms of where it sits, performance wise it probably sits where the 335sits.

And I'm not going to take away from your enjoyment of your 335. You got the proper car. Tell you what. I went to see an A4. I sat it in it in the show room, I didn't even take it out on a test drive, I just didn't want it, it tries too hard to be the cool kid, I went back to the BMW dealer and bought one. It makes me happy. BMW is, THE CAR. It doesn't need to try to be cool,figuratively, it just is. Crappy cup holders and all. Audi is the current trend, and I don't want to follow it.

Now if we step away from what marketing wants us to believe, for me, what I said before was, that I think that a AWD 335 should be the comparison, not as what I usually see as the comparisons to be between a RWD 335 or M3 and and S4 on internet reviews/comparisons or videos. Again not because RWD is bad, and the RWD does well vs the S4. But you can't compare them properly. They don't behave the same way. You get enthousiastic reviewer comments for the S4 like "you just can't get this car loose, it's like it is riding on rails" and for the M3, "You really can get the rear loose, i'm fighting it, it takes every skill I have to race it, i wonder if I will make it out alive" but then again maybe that is the whole point of the M3.

But If the reviewer likes the RWD M3 type of sports car, then maybe the comments, for the S4 could be "you just can't get this car loose, it's like it is riding on rails, how boring" and for the M3 "everytime I take a corner the rear gets loose, i'm fighting it, it really makes you feel alive"

But if you are reviewing 2 AWD cars, or 2 RWD cars then it is a comparison of apples to apples. And now you can really pick out the nuances between the 2. But you don't have a RWD Audi, so audi really has no comparative competitor.
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      01-09-2013, 08:24 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by pkim1079
Their marketing works on SOME people. The "Lets not bring the RS models and make ppl who buy the the S models (at //M prices) think they have an awesome car" model. Hell 90% of enthusiasts on here get it wrong. How many threads do have I seen s4 vs m3 and then someone has to say no, s4 vs 335, rs4 vs m3 and then someone else says no, youre wrong, its S4 VS M3. Lol.

For some reason when i was shopping for cars i kept thinking to myself - dont even consider an s4 its a glorified evo. Didnt want an evo again.
Exactly, how can you claim enthusiast status if you think S4 is in the same league as an M 3. E90 M3> RS5, that should give one some perspective
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      01-09-2013, 08:34 AM   #50
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[/quote]

Spoken like a true BMW fan Seriously though, Im not following your perspective that is not "A4 is not special" or on par with the 3 series, that an S4 is not considered any different than the A4, or that Audi's strategy is not working? Your argument is the opposite of most in this thread so Im wondering what its based on.

I am in a small market, but these cars are significant players in that market, and I see most people shopping them as equals.[/quote]

Yes you got my point very well. My logic is based on car sales numbers and what the reviewers say. Now bear in mind I am in the US and my views probably apply most here.

Firstly the 328i is special here, there is no question about that, the reviewers say this and the public votes with their dollars en masse. The A4 sells less units than the Infiniti G37 and the reviewers rank it above the A4 too. The C class comes second to the 3er every year. So right there BMW has the better offering.

My other point is there are two sets of people, those who know stuff and those who don't. Those who don't will see an S 4 and just thinks its an A4. Those who do know will never confuse S4 for an M3 competitor, I would be ashamed to say this in public.

Maybe I left another set of people those who think they know but actually don't, maybe this is where the strategy works.

This brings the S4 where it belongs, with the 335i where reviewers on one hand say its better but the money still votes for the 335i. I think BMW would rather have the money.
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      01-09-2013, 11:29 AM   #51
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The point I was trying to make is the marketing strategy that Audi has did not work. As I pointed out given the sales numbers the S4 did not impact the 3er. If someone is getting a 328i for 54k that's an active decision against the S4.
OK. Now I see what you were trying to say.
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      01-09-2013, 11:36 AM   #52
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bmw sales numbers say different
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      01-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #53
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bmw sales numbers say different
I was going to say the same things. BMW sales number would indicate Audi is doing it wrong and BMW is doing it correct.

However, if the lease rates on the S4 wasn't so terrible I would have leased an S4 over my 335 >.>
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      01-09-2013, 03:28 PM   #54
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Firstly the 328i is special here, there is no question about that, the reviewers say this and the public votes with their dollars en masse. The A4 sells less units than the Infiniti G37 and the reviewers rank it above the A4 too. The C class comes second to the 3er every year. So right there BMW has the better offering.

My other point is there are two sets of people, those who know stuff and those who don't. Those who don't will see an S 4 and just thinks its an A4. Those who do know will never confuse S4 for an M3 competitor, I would be ashamed to say this in public.

Maybe I left another set of people those who think they know but actually don't, maybe this is where the strategy works.

This brings the S4 where it belongs, with the 335i where reviewers on one hand say its better but the money still votes for the 335i. I think BMW would rather have the money.
Agreed BMW does have higher sales, what Im saying is Audi is on the rise in the US and globally.

Agreed the 328i is currently better than its competitors, what Im saying is I wouldnt call it "special". Look at how close the Cadilliac compared to it and wait tilll the new Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes and Audi models come out. The gap is narrowing.

Agreed the S4 is not an M3 competitor, what Im saying is that it is considered more "special" than a 335i by most non-enthusiast consumers because of Audi's strategy, even if the actual performance numbers are pretty equal.
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      01-09-2013, 07:18 PM   #55
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Are you in Germany? Nice

I think we are in agreement for the most part. I still think the 328i is special though, can you imagine driving a car that gets tons of accolades almost every month and wins comparo after comparo after comparo. That has to make the 328i feel special right. That's BMWs strategy, start with an incredible base car. The numbers prove this works.

I was just trying to bring a different perspective to this thread, hopefully I did not offend anyone
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      01-10-2013, 04:46 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 328inGE
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Originally Posted by 300hp View Post
Firstly the 328i is special here, there is no question about that, the reviewers say this and the public votes with their dollars en masse. The A4 sells less units than the Infiniti G37 and the reviewers rank it above the A4 too. The C class comes second to the 3er every year. So right there BMW has the better offering.

My other point is there are two sets of people, those who know stuff and those who don't. Those who don't will see an S 4 and just thinks its an A4. Those who do know will never confuse S4 for an M3 competitor, I would be ashamed to say this in public.

Maybe I left another set of people those who think they know but actually don't, maybe this is where the strategy works.

This brings the S4 where it belongs, with the 335i where reviewers on one hand say its better but the money still votes for the 335i. I think BMW would rather have the money.
Agreed BMW does have higher sales, what Im saying is Audi is on the rise in the US and globally.

Agreed the 328i is currently better than its competitors, what Im saying is I wouldnt call it "special". Look at how close the Cadilliac compared to it and wait tilll the new Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes and Audi models come out. The gap is narrowing.

Agreed the S4 is not an M3 competitor, what Im saying is that it is considered more "special" than a 335i by most non-enthusiast consumers because of Audi's strategy, even if the actual performance numbers are pretty equal.
I dunno. I wouldnt want bmw to NOT bring the m3 to the states, rename the 335i to m335i or m35i or whatever you want to call it , then make you finally think its "special" only because there is no m3 available. Most of the ppl with s4 dont even know there is an rs4. Hardcore audi guys look for a used rs4. But i wish the m135i was here. Did i totally throw my comment out the window by wanting an m135i? Lol.
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      01-10-2013, 09:27 PM   #57
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First off, from everything I've read, it appears that Audi is much more focused on emerging markets etc. It is well known that profit margins for vehicles in the USA are much lower driven by domestic OEM pricing. Just look at what someone pays for a 3 series in Asia. I was just in S. Korea and I noticed an abundance of German luxury cars, with BMW and Audi more or less equal in number. When I spoke to an Audi CA, he said that allocations are very hard to come by for NA dealers because they are all going oversees. See this article.

IMO, Audi's marketing is simpler and more straight forward, in the sense that you don't need to know the details to recognize what "category" a car is. The A4 << S4 < RS4 is a simple comparison while for BMW it varies year to year etc. Of course, a 2005 S4 has a V8 compared to the 2013 supercharged V6, but to most this is negligible. IME, no one outside of internet forums really knows of or cares about the package difference of an M-Sport 3 series or A4 S line...it's the same as if someone said they had a Zl1 Camaro...do you know what that means?

The S4 can only be compared with the M-Sport 335i xdrive...and base prices aside, they are very similarly priced when optioned well. BMW has an optioning ability to add almost 14K to a base price, while the Audi's have less room but start higher. Performance wise, IME they are not in the same boat when comparing AWD models. I think the powertrain on the S4 is just much more equipped to put the power down. It drives harder and is faster from my experience. I cross shopped both a lot, even ordered a 3er, but ultimately went S4 because I wanted something that did better in the snow (live in midwest), liked the Audi interior, and most importantly liked the more conservative exterior - driving an EBII Msport to work at a US OEM would probably look bad when 90% of the cars on the lot are domestic.
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      01-11-2013, 01:07 AM   #58
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335xi and S4 in my garage

Not sure if I posted in the correct thread, I could not start a new thread as I only have 2 posts. Sorry if this is the wrong area.

For me the correct comparison is 335xi vs s4

I own a 2013 335xi M sport and a 2013 S4. Both cars were within $1500 dollars of the other, I consider price differential to be insignificant for my own analysis.

The following is my personal opinion.

1) The bmw exterior styling is way sportier and not like a loaf of bread as my wife explains, but still very nice in an executive formal way, cool looking, whereas the 335 is all about sport.

2) Estoril Blue is a very special colour, Audi had no special colour.

3) Interior of both are equal in terms of quality, fit and finish, with a slight edge to bmw. The smooth leather of the S4 feels and looks cheap when compared to the bmw. The texture of the bmw leather to me feels and looks better and more substantial.

The dash of the S4 again is very nice but it looks like it could be in any nice and proper sedan that my dad would drive, with the exception of the carbon look trim. The bmw is of equal quality in fit and finish, but is again much more dynamic and sporty, with the lines of the dash and hexigon etched trim.

The seats in the bmw do a better job to hold you from shifting side to side with adjustable sidle bolsters that the S4 does not have. There is also more adjustability in the seats overall. The overall impression is that the bmw fits you like a glove, whereas in the s4, it is like floating on top of a leather love seat. Futhermore, the head rests are adjustable up and down, and tilt forward and back, while the s4's does not.

4)Both cars are automatic. The Audi and 335 are equal in acceleration as far as I can tell. The transmissions in both are on par with each other with audi having a slightly more aggressive tranmission especially when in sport mode as it blips the throttle when down shifting. The sound of the engine and exhaust is again more sporty and agressive, whereas the bmw's sound is more reserved and less boy racer.

5) In the electronics such as navigation, stereo, dvd, iphone integration department, both are on par, with navigation better in bmw, iphone integration better in bmw, the dvd playback better in audi because it will play when you are in drive mode but stopped, whereas in the bmw, you have to be in park for it to play the movie. Overall, I would say that the bmw has more technology.

6)There is snow here for 6 months of the year and there so far as I can tell is no advantage of one over the other. I have had the Audi for longer and when I got the bmw wanted to see if it was as good and I would say definitely. Both systems are very good.
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      01-11-2013, 08:34 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by f30ca
Not sure if I posted in the correct thread, I could not start a new thread as I only have 2 posts. Sorry if this is the wrong area.

For me the correct comparison is 335xi vs s4

I own a 2013 335xi M sport and a 2013 S4. Both cars were within $1500 dollars of the other, I consider price differential to be insignificant for my own analysis.

The following is my personal opinion.

1) The bmw exterior styling is way sportier and not like a loaf of bread as my wife explains, but still very nice in an executive formal way, cool looking, whereas the 335 is all about sport.

2) Estoril Blue is a very special colour, Audi had no special colour.

3) Interior of both are equal in terms of quality, fit and finish, with a slight edge to bmw. The smooth leather of the S4 feels and looks cheap when compared to the bmw. The texture of the bmw leather to me feels and looks better and more substantial.

The dash of the S4 again is very nice but it looks like it could be in any nice and proper sedan that my dad would drive, with the exception of the carbon look trim. The bmw is of equal quality in fit and finish, but is again much more dynamic and sporty, with the lines of the dash and hexigon etched trim.

The seats in the bmw do a better job to hold you from shifting side to side with adjustable sidle bolsters that the S4 does not have. There is also more adjustability in the seats overall. The overall impression is that the bmw fits you like a glove, whereas in the s4, it is like floating on top of a leather love seat. Futhermore, the head rests are adjustable up and down, and tilt forward and back, while the s4's does not.

4)Both cars are automatic. The Audi and 335 are equal in acceleration as far as I can tell. The transmissions in both are on par with each other with audi having a slightly more aggressive tranmission especially when in sport mode as it blips the throttle when down shifting. The sound of the engine and exhaust is again more sporty and agressive, whereas the bmw's sound is more reserved and less boy racer.

5) In the electronics such as navigation, stereo, dvd, iphone integration department, both are on par, with navigation better in bmw, iphone integration better in bmw, the dvd playback better in audi because it will play when you are in drive mode but stopped, whereas in the bmw, you have to be in park for it to play the movie. Overall, I would say that the bmw has more technology.

6)There is snow here for 6 months of the year and there so far as I can tell is no advantage of one over the other. I have had the Audi for longer and when I got the bmw wanted to see if it was as good and I would say definitely. Both systems are very good.
I think this is the least biased assesment I have ever seen. However you left one thing, looks like you have the HK s/ system so that's maybe why, the base system in the BMW is rubbish. That's what I have, picked mine off the lot and this is the one option I wanted but could not get. That base audio has no business being in a Kia in my view but its in the BMW.

My 335i looks just like yours from the outside, I also have the 19s. I have all options except for auto cruise, Hk, rear shades and the driver assist plus option

Your views are very close to mine though, sorry for the rant above
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      01-11-2013, 08:56 AM   #60
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2) Estoril Blue is a very special colour, Audi had no special colour.
Did you not see Volcano Red or Sprint Blue? Both are amazing colors. I was going to buy a Volcano Red S4 but the lease worked out $150 more than my S4. I can afford that but I did not like the idea of paying more for a car that was equal to the BMW. I love my 335 and I am very happy with choice.

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      01-11-2013, 10:23 AM   #61
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All new Audi models released in 2008 or later were built only with AWD in mind. Only the A3 and the TT suffer the FWD-based Haldex design. Yes, many Audi models are offered with FWD in many countries, but their designs are not forward-biased. This began officially with the B8 A4.
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      01-11-2013, 10:34 AM   #62
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All new Audi models released in 2008 or later were built only with AWD in mind. Only the A3 and the TT suffer the FWD-based Haldex design. Yes, many Audi models are offered with FWD in many countries, but their designs are not forward-biased. This began officially with the B8 A4.
The B8 A4 can be bought in FWD variant in the US.

Both the BMW and Audi AWD systems right now is RWD bias (40:60) split.
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      01-11-2013, 10:47 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by juddholland View Post
All new Audi models released in 2008 or later were built only with AWD in mind. Only the A3 and the TT suffer the FWD-based Haldex design. Yes, many Audi models are offered with FWD in many countries, but their designs are not forward-biased. This began officially with the B8 A4.
The B8 A4 can be bought in FWD variant in the US.

Both the BMW and Audi AWD systems right now is RWD bias (40:60) split.
I'm well aware, thank you.
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      01-11-2013, 11:14 AM   #64
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I know many people disagree, but I just don't see the S4 and 335i as real competitors. Granted, they are comparable in many respects and you can spec out the cars for a similar price so they fit in the same category for the so-called enthusiast.

My objections are twofold:

1. I've found it tough to find S4/5s to test drive, never had a problem going to my dealer and driving a 335i prior to purchase. The greater likelihood of having to order a car vs. being able to buy off the lot means that we're looking at two potentially very dissimilar customer pools.
2. The starting MSRP difference between the S4 and 335i is roughly 5,000. Not that most people are buying base models, but a difference of over 10 percent in starting price is not insignificant.

Obviously, I'm just speculating, but the above factors make me think that, given the non-enthusiast nature of the average consumer, there are a decent amount of people who would consider a 335i and not want to look at an S4/5.
Common Man. The 335i doesn't even come standard with real leather.The reason why the S4 cost more than the 335i is because it starts off with more premium features. You still have to pay for heated seats (in a 335) and other things as well.

http://www.caranddriver.com/comparis...omparison-test
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      01-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by newbmwuser View Post
Have to admit, the S/RS was genius on Audi's part.
To everyone else, a 335 is 'just' a 3 series, while S4 is perceived as a ///M rival. Even on the forums, Ive read of people comparing S4 with the M3 (In some thread about track times). Hell, I don't blame them, even the S4 has 4 exhaust tips, while a 335i only has 2. (not saying more exhaust is necessarily good, but it gives it a higher perceived value)

The A5 is also a great example, while technically being a 3-series/c-class coupe competitor, the higher numerical value makes the impression of a higher-end car. Luckily BMW has realised this and is now naming it the 4-series instead.

I like how BMW has named the M135i, not quite an 1M, but still an "M" nonetheless, it would have been interesting if they named the 335i the M335i..
+1
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      01-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #66
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to fight BMW's Motorsport division they have taken the "sandwich approach": provide one model slightly below and one slightly above.
+1

Adding to this. I would also add that the way Audi markets themselves here in U.S they are not trying to be #1. You can tell with the way they lease their car (about 70% of all luxury cars are sold). Payments for somewhat compareable cars will have the Audi A4 $100+ more than a similar 328i. They're not trying to win with the number game and they certainly don't have the volume in the U.S like BMW, so they'll try to make more per car for offering more. IMO, Audi is A lot like a Mac OS and BMW is like top of the line Windows Computer as far as marketing is concerned.

Outside of the F30/F32, BMW was never really known for their interior. But their listening I'm sure. Competition is good for consumers and BMW knows they have to protect their reputation. F30/F32 interiors have made huge jumps compared to previous gen MY.

Lastly, I love/hate how BMW and Audi doesn't come out with the same car at the same time. The Audi S5 (4.2) came out with 350+ HP over the BMW 333HP. Then came new M3, and followed by the RS5 (Europe)...With the new M3 coming up for '14/15, we can only guess what Audi has positioned for their next RS5? Possibly using the 4.0 twin turbo? Who knows, but its exciting to see the constant battles.

On forums, it seems like there are more bashing from BMW owners against Audi vs the other way around. I don't know what it is. If you like/love your car, it should speak for itself. People usually talk smack, to make up for things they lack. The OP (Economist) did a great job of touching on the marketing part and staying in the middle without bias.

Great thread again.
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