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S4 vs CLA 45 AMG

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B8 Chassis)' started by elpeterol, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. elpeterol
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    elpeterol Member

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    [Mar 7, 2014]
    HI all hope that this is of interest! I currently own a Merc E350CDI but was attracted by the performance of the CLA - being sensible(!) I thought that I ought to look at all alternatives and hence found the S4. I test drove the S4 first and found it an almost ideal mix of performance, space, quality and cost. It was very responsive (supercharged) growled when pushed and quietly got on with cruising at 70ish.
    In contrast the CLA was dissapointing it probably had better performance but with a noticeable delay in throttle response, the finish was in a lower class and the engine drone at cruising speed awfull. If you want a bit of a weekend hooligan go for the cla - maybe but for everyday fun and use the S4 is in a different class and considerably cheaper (cheap being relative!!).

    I just have to wait 3 months for mine to be delivered!!
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  3. ScottishS3
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    ScottishS3 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 7, 2014]
    The Merc is a nice car but personally I would have an S4. There are plenty of S4 owners on here and I'm sure one of them will be along shortly to help answer any questions you might have.
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  4. DieselJake
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    DieselJake God Mode

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    Asking a very biased forum :ermm:
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  5. ScottishS3
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    ScottishS3 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    I know! Lol. There are quiet a few people on here who aren't blinded by brand loyalty and have swapped between makes. I'm not biased, had Subaru's BMW's, Honda's etc. all good in their own way. The thing that attracts me, personally, to modern Audis is their look, build quality, and the interiors, which are the best on the market. Mercs are also nice but just depends what you fancy yourself really. I would love an S4/RS4 if I could afford it. Great engines in both. I hope some of the S4 owners on here can share their thoughts and experiences of ownership for you.
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  6. trick971
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    trick971 Tricky

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    I almost bought the c63 amg before getting the s4. Glad I went for the latter due to all round driving pleasure versus the amg where u just have to hoon about everywhere to hear the gorgeous engine note!

    Ie s4 keeps me a balanced driver which is kinder to the wallet!
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  7. elpeterol
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    elpeterol Member

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    I don't mind bias! I have had 5 Mercs of various types and thought time for a change - I did not like the CLA AMG and as stated the C63 is a real handful - must be fun in the snow!! The S4 just seemed a good compromise and I couldn't find anything not to like. I expect the MMI will take a bit of learning and I hope not to go through as many rear tyres- on second thoughts perhaps I will!
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  8. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    What a mad comparison: the CLA 45 is pitched against the A3 saloons, not the A4's... there's a 350bhp version of the A3 that is due to go up against the CLA later in the year.

    The S4 is in a different class in so many ways: especially in terms of engine (3.0 V6 supercharged vs turbo'd 4-pot) and drivetrain (proper Torsen quattro vs a Haldex part-time awd system), the size and interiors would be a bit more subjective, but I'd still go with the S4 on both of those.... plus a responsive revvy V6 with some induction note compared to turbo + synthesizer..

    And if there's ANY doubt on the performance, the Merc is thoroughly wrung out already, but the S4 is DEtuned so it doesn't embarrass the RS4, so you can just remap it to match a RS4 (due to the extra low-down torque):

    Audi S4 v Audi RS4. Does Supercharging Rule? - /CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS - YouTube

    Bear in mind that the S4 in that vid is an OLD one, the newer ones are slightly more tunable (albeit with a harder to crack ECU) and with some mild fettling (intercooler, pulley, streamlined induction), you are looking at WELL over 400bhp and 0-60mph around 4.0 sec!

    If they released one, an AMG C55 would be a closer comparison to an S4 (i.e. C Class with a 5.5. V8).... I love that V8 (even if I've only ever driven it in a R500) and I was really impressed with the new C class when a recently had one for a few weeks as a rental, but I'd still take the S4 every time....
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  9. elpeterol
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    elpeterol Member

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    Agree with most of this but size and price would put the CLA in direct comparison to the S4, actually with similar spec the CLA would be several £k more. As I was only really considering a mercedes or Audi and wanted 4wd of some sort rather than the rwd C63 (my E350 is bad enough when it is slippery!) it seemed a fairish match. Having said that I also thought the S4 was the better bet and ordered one!
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  10. ScottishS3
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    ScottishS3 Well-Known Member

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    You ordered the S4 then?
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  11. elpeterol
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    elpeterol Member

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    Yep :)
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  12. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    The price is at a crazy premium, but all brands have some crazy priced limited run editions: £41k Audi A1 quattro anybody?... So a Mini-sized hatchbock for S4 money and especially crazy now that there's an S1 for £25k which is nearly identical, albeit with a 20bhp penalty.... sorry, I digress - ignore the price when looking at the size of a car, it is beyond meaningless.

    Are you sure about the C class underpinnings... I thought the CLA was a stretched A-class, hence the ungainly front end and large overhangs? In the Evo article from a few months ago, the AMG CLA45 was repeatedly compared to the S3 and BMW 135ci: evo AMG CLA45 review.

    Further backed up by the CLA180 review (evo link), where they state,
    Not meaning to harp on, I'm just following up in case this article gets picked up up at a later date and somebody thinks they should compare CLA's to A4's and BMW 3 series, when they're actually mostly closely linked to the A3 saloon, with the CLA45 being pitched as a more powerful alternative to the S3 saloon (if/when that comes out), but probably the poorer cousin to the RS3 saloon, which will hopefully have the 2.5 V5 twin turbo from the TTRS (fingers crossed!).

    Good to hear you went with the S4 though. You'll be more than happy with the handling of a proper Torsen 4wd system versus the Haldex... it's a LOT easier to balance the car through fast corners on the throttle - just a shame that the grip is so good you're either doing that in the wet or at license-losing speeds. The S4 has the same engine that's in my A6 and I know my A6 feels decently rapid, despite having a less aggressive ECU map than the S4... all the more reason why a little APR re-tune to put it into RS4 territory wouldn't go amiss ;)
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
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  13. elpeterol
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    elpeterol Member

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    You're right the CLA is based on the A class (and it shows) but it is actually both longer and wider than the current C class - hence some confusion!!
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  14. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    Wow! That does explain the confusion!

    I still wouldn't mention a CLA (with the A class wheel base and fwd setup chassis with a Haldex clutch sending power to the back) in the same breath as 3 series / A4's... granted the CLA45 is the THE top A series... and trumps the 335ci / S4 on power and price... but both of those cars are detuned as they have models above them in their respective ranges and can easily be remapped to WAY over the A45 AMG.... and they have a less compromised drivetrain.

    *edit: a few years back, I remember seeing my old E30 BMW (1991) and my friend's new Pug 306 (2000) next to each other and was stunned how much bigger and fatter it looked (and felt to drive).... the current 1 series is a lot bigger than the older 3 series (definitely the E30 and probably the E36 too!).

    edit2: and response to your comment:
    I managed to sell the A6 equivalent to the S4 to the missus, bearing in mind I had an old TDI A4 beforehand, but the fact that my insurance halved probably helped to sell it to her that a 3.0 supercharged family wagon was "sensible"... just wait until I get those APR upgrades :)
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
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  15. elpeterol
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    elpeterol Member

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    [Mar 8, 2014]
    Same here in many respects mine never liked the E class and liked the S4, on the test drive I drove gently(ish) and then explained that although the mpg was a bit worse petrol is cheaper as well as the tax and insurance = good result all round.
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  16. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 9, 2014]
    E class is a nice big motor, but I went for the A6 - I know the boot is a bit smaller in the A6, but it just looks so much sleeker and sportier next to the ungainly E class (plus quattro vs rwd in winter!)... once the kids have less junk to haul around, I reckon I'll look at an S5 Sportback as a sporty looking compromise, but that's some way off (kids are only 1 and 3!) so I think I'll hang onto the A6 for a while and just getting something else for when I don't need the space: I'm not going to do it this summer (still finishing a huge house extension and refurb), but I'm after a BMW E46 convertible for my fun driving, an M3 if I can find a well maintained one...

    I think I'll always have an Audi as my main car, but unless they sort out the steering feel, which is getting worse and worse every generation and until I can afford an R8 Spider (some way off*), I think my "fun car" will have to be something else... I'd love something like another E30 Beemer, but I think the E46 should give me a good compromise of modern safety and driver involvement, especially if I have a nice big quattro Avant available too :)

    * with the kids needing to be slotted in if I want to be able to justify it, my "fun car" needs to be a 4 seat convertible and I'd prefer a cloth-top, the newer tin-top BMW's seem a bit bloated. The Audi S5 would probably do it, but if I've already got a nice quattro at home, I might as well go for a rwd that's a bit more fun (and cheaper)... cue the BMW.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
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