Which is Best? - BMW M3 Sedan or Audi RS4 or Mercedes C63 AMG Long-Term Road Test

2009 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

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BMW M3 Sedan or Audi RS4 or Mercedes C63 AMG: Which is Best?

September 21, 2009


I put about 500 miles on our long-term 2009 BMW M3 sedan this weekend. To say I'm enamored with the machine is like saying Megan Fox looks good with her back arched.

Then on Sunday I found a rerun of Top Gear on my DVR list. It was an old episode with a comparison between the new M3, the Audi RS4 and the C63 AMG Mercedes. (If you've never seen it I've included the videos on the next page.) So I crack a beer, grab the couch and watch it.

An hour and three beers later I found myself thinking; "Which would I want?" Obviously there isn't a bad call here. These are three great cars anybody would be lucky to own, but they are quite different from one another.

At first I tell myself I would choose the M3. After all, it won over the C63 in our comparison test about a year ago and it's without a doubt the best all-arounder. But I am from Jersey, so the Benz's big cubes and billows of tire smoke are appealing.

But this time I choose beauty over burnouts. This time I choose the Audi RS4. Yes, I know they don't make them anymore and I know it's the slowest of the three. I can't help it, I still want one.

We've never compared an M3 with a C63 and an RS4 in a direct comparison test. But the RS4 has gone head to head with the BMW M5 manual and the toe to toe with the Lexus IS-F and it stands undefeated.

Fact is, for me the RS4 just has an "IT" factor that the M3 and the C63 lack. I don't know if it's the sound of its V8 or its slammed squat stance or the fact that most folks never heard of it, but the Audi pushes my buttons. Maybe it's because it was only available with a manual gearbox, unlike the M3 and C63, and it's a sedan bought only by true enthusiasts, while every wank in L.A. seems to own an M3 or an AMG.

Bottom line is; I just want one. I think it's cool. When I see a guy driving an RS4 I pang with jealousy, even if I'm driving our long-term M3.

Which one would you choose?

Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief

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