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Which would you choose?

  • 2001.5 Audi S4

    Votes: 3 21.4%
  • 1999 Mercedes C43

    Votes: 2 14.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 9 64.3%
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,

So I'm going to hopefully be buying my first car sometime in the next couple of weeks and I have narrowed it down to a couple of options from the cars that I found online. The two cars I'm stuck between are the 2001.5 Audi S4 and a 1999 Mercedes C43 AMG. I have found both and stayed within my own budget so now I'm torn on which I should get. Both are in good shape, the Audi has 192,000km and the Mercedes is only at 141,000km. One thing about the C43 however is that it isn't manual which is something that I was looking for. Just wanted to get some other opinions and wanted to see if you guys had some pros and cons for either car or if you would recommend something else entirely. Any input is appreciated!

Thanks!
 

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Not the audi. My friends with B5 S4s (3 different S4s) have had constant issues. I can't speak about the Mercedes. You may want to look into a 3 series. There was a recent thread on here about how reliable e46 3 series were. My friends 325ci has had zero issues after he replaced the headgasket from being beat on by the previous owner. After that, it's been ticking great.
 

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Ill assume that you account for maintenance in your budget because each other those cars will not be cheap. I can speak first hand on the B5 S4. I had one a long time ago and if you can find one that hasnt been molested or abused...they are decent cars. But now that they are older, and 'affordable' all the young idiots are picking them up, abusing them and when they break, they mickey mouse it together and sell them. IF you decide on an S4, it would be wise to go through the whole motor, top to bottom. You want to look for any smoking out the exhaust or a dentist drill sound under boost. Either of those present and youll need to replace the turbos or at the very least, rebuild them. Check the coolant for any milky-ness to see if the headgasket is leaking. The 2.7tt is a good motor if properly maintained.
 

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Get an E46.. If you can't afford an M3 then 330ci.. It may not be that fast, but it's fun/reliable.
 

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I prefer Mercedes. But I sure hope you plan on doing the maintenance yourself unless you have fairly deep pockets for it. I would look into a domestic muscle car if I were you. They have a few less bells and whistles but they are cheap to maintain unless you get the mod bug.
 

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Hi all,

I'd also go for a E46 3 or a Merc E55 W211 maybe, they are good daily cars.
But research is the key, it took me ~5 months to find my 1st car, a 944 in good condition, but it's been a year now and I know I saved money (for the next one :) ) by researching.

Hope my first post here helped you !
 

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Another vote for skipping the B5 S4. I had one and it was always needing something. One morning the PCV system froze up and forced the cam seals out of the back side of the passenger side head. Oil dumping down the exhaust, turbo, and most of the passenger side firewall in 17 degree weather with a James Bond smoke screen going on was not one of it's finer moments. $1,200 for that one. What's even better is that the shop had an allroad with the 2.7t that had done the same thing earlier in the week.

They are great when they run right it was just a 50/50 chance in my experience. As a daily it's not a great idea as a toy and money pit they are great fun.

Enough fun that I will probably buy another one eventually.
 

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Get a 3-series if possible. It's probably more reliable than the C43 and definitely more reliable than the S4. With the S4 you also have the added complexities of the turbo system. Last but not least, if you plan on getting your hands dirty the 3-series is much more thoroughly documented than the S4 and definitely more thoroughly documented than the C43
 

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The May issue of Star (magazine for MBZ Club of America) has a nice article on the C43. I'd personally go that route, assuming all of the above cautionary advice regarding making sure it was well maintained and not abused is followed.

Full disclosure: I'm a MBZ junkie, now on my 7th one. Never had a BMW or Audi, so I'm not the best to provide comparison advice between the two brands. Been driving them since I was 17 and have never had a problem in nearly 30 years with them.
 
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