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I have been thinking about putting the ol' Lude out to pasture and have been researching both these cars. I really love the S4 (My friend just got his.). It's fast and after chipped is a screamer. However, I also like the IS300. It's a nice looking car. If you had to pick one, which one and why? I'm leaning towards the S4 for it's power, quattro, and it does really well at the SCCA events here (ala Corey Smith). However, not sure if I want to spend the extra 10K if I could get the IS300 and still have a quick and nimble car.
 

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Hmm, if time (time for frequent maintenance) & money is of no issue, get the S4, if else, get the IS300.

------------------
An Ecstatic Owner of a Fully-Loaded Graphite Gray 2001 Lexus IS 300
 

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Well that's a tough choice considering the large price difference. If you lived in an area with harsh winters and planned on driving the car all year round, then the choice is obvious.. The S4.... The S4 was new for 2000, however it's based on the current A4's aging platform (from 1996). The S4 is a limited production car that will maintain its exclusivity especially since it will have a relatively short production run (2-3 years until all new S4). Also with the S4 you have a choice between a Tiptronic Auto and a 6 speed transmission (currently unavailable with the IS300.) Another advantage is that the S4 is available with a host of features and amenities unavailable on the IS300 (like NAV (go to www.lexus.com and then to go "competive comparisons"). Lastly the S4 is a Biturbo that makes 250hp and an exorbitant amount of torque available under 2000 RPM's. In other words you can run circles around most cars in it's class (including 330i and IS300). Notice I didn't say M3 because a loaded 330i is significantly pricier than an S4. On the other hand the IS300 is brand new for the 2001 model year. It has more aggressive styling and more personality (in my opinion). It's priced signifantly lower and worth every penny. Other point is that the S4 looks too similar to the A4 which can be good or bad depending on whether you want a stealth machine or you are looking to attract attention. You'll turn more heads driving an IS300 than the all too familiar S4/A4 shape....so that's it
Eric...
 

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S4 should be very reliable, since A4 is very reliable, except turbo, but you'll have 4 years you don't have to worry. IS300 is a Lexus, but it's the first model year, so I wouldn't count on reliability.
Why is the S4 $10k more? It comes pretty loaded at around $40,000, and they will discount about $2000.
 

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Actually, this is not the first model year for the IS. They've been selling it in Asia and Europe since 1998.

By the way, the A4 is getting redesigned for 2002, so if you buy a current S4, you'll be driving an outdated model in a few months.


QUOTE]Originally posted by ckolsen:
S4 should be very reliable, since A4 is very reliable, except turbo, but you'll have 4 years you don't have to worry. IS300 is a Lexus, but it's the first model year, so I wouldn't count on reliability.
Why is the S4 $10k more? It comes pretty loaded at around $40,000, and they will discount about $2000.
[/QUOTE]



[This message has been edited by viggen (edited September 23, 2000).]
 

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yeah audi is doing the same thing as bmw did...they're pulling the s4 off for a year or something after the redesign and then releasing it after the design has been out for a yaer or so
 

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The S4 at MSRP 40.6K is pretty much loaded and the comporable equipped IS300 will run you around 35/36K so you are only paying and additional 4/5K. There are dealers willing to sell the S4 at 3% to 4% above invoice which will put you around 37.4 to 37.8 which includes the premium pkg and shipping. At that price you would only be paying 1.5/3k above the loaded IS.

In addition the audi carries a 4year 50,000 mile warranty that covers pretty much everything including scheduled maintenance.About the only thing not covered by the warranty is tire wear.

With the quattro, comming out of a turn is shear pleasure. You can really get on the power much sooner and the quattro really pulls you through.Reminds me of the tiger in the old ESSO commercials with the tiger claws pulling him through the turns.

With the tiptronic you have the option of shifting at the stick or on the wheel(and both the toggles to upshift/downshift are on the front of the wheel rather than one on the front and one on the back ala IS). The S4 tiptronic can also be programed to shift much quicker if you so desire. Stock the S4 is plenty fast but add a chip and boost the HP to 307HP and torque to 366

The guages on the IS looked real nice but in actual use with my aging eyesite were not as practical as those on the S4. Could not just glance up to see the performance indicators as I could in the S4

The S4 is also more stealth in that it does not appear real aggressive.
 

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If money and reliability are not an issue, go for the S4. Don't get me wrong, I'm a loyal IS300 owner and I love my car. But the S4, at least for now, is the best performer of the bunch. And if you can manage to get one for $38K, nothing like it. Quattro, Biturbo, Six speed, and a host of options...it's a great car.
Me, I'll stick to my IS.
On the down side, the new A4 (platform shared by S4) is due in less than a year...so you will be driving the older shape. Nothing wrong with that, your choice.
Good luck.

black/ivory
17"
 

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A few other things to consider are service and availability.

In the Seattle area the local Audi dealers are marginal at best, each in their own way. Based on what people say from audiworld.com (plus what friends have told me) at the University branch the service is awful, and at Barrier they have no cars to sell. So I'd advise figuring out the situation in your area.

Another point is right after I got my IS 300 (blue/black) a friend of mine got a TT convertible. The service and attention I got in buying a Lexus was WAY WAY better than at Audi. Your mileage may very, but I have a hunch that on average Lexus is going to treat you better.

I was somewhere between an S4 and an IS 300. I really liked the fold down rear seat, quattro, and general polish of the S4, but wasn't excited by the bland exterior styling. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. Also I felt the S4 appealed to a slightly older crowd than the IS 300.

Assuming you can find an Audi dealer who will give you good service, and also that you can get the features/color you want, I don't think you'd go wrong either way--both are fine cars.
 

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IS 300 sucks, especially the Silver one!
Buy Anything other than IS 300. Also the service at Lexus really bad. They almost treat you like a king!

Sean
Silver IS 300
 
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