Ultimate Comparison: BMW M3 vs. Audi RS4 vs. Cadillac CTS-V vs. Lexus IS-F vs. Mercedes C63 AMG

BMW M3 | February 26th, 2009 by 6

Well, aren’t we having fun these days with all the comparisons? We started yesterday with the unusual comparison between BMW 135i vs Nissan 370z, Mazda …

Well, aren’t we having fun these days with all the comparisons? We started yesterday with the unusual comparison between BMW 135i vs Nissan 370z, Mazda RX-8 and the Pontiac Solstice GXP, then continued today with 2011 BMW 5 Series versus the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and now, we have the most common comparison we have seen in the past year or so: BMW’s M3 going against the Audi RS5, Cadillac CTS-V, Lexus IS-F and Mercedes C63 AMG.

The fellows at TheTruthAboutCars are responsible for it.

thumb M3sedan 2 Ultimate Comparison: BMW M3 vs. Audi RS4 vs. Cadillac CTS V vs. Lexus IS F vs. Mercedes C63 AMG

M, RS, V, F, AMG. The alpha alphabet represents five manufacturers’ best efforts to create something unique, exciting and memorable from their more prosaic mainstream motors. The resulting “performance tuned” sports sedans are so powerful, so capable, so versatile, that they’re the ground based equivalent of the all-weather fighter jets that battle for control of the skies. While the shibboleth “there’s no such thing as a bad car” applies here, there are always going to be winners and losers. And it’s our job to sort the wheat from the chaff.


The BMW M3 was pipped to the post by the Cadillac CTS-V for one main reason: too much technology. I’m a man whose world is defined by acronyms, who depends on computers to keep me alive. Yet I got lost in the e-gadgetry foisted upon the Bimmer’s 414 hp (@ 8,300 rpm) V8 chassis. iDrive, MDrive, handling nannies, traction nannies and an ECU smart enough to clone dinosaurs on its own—the Bimmer’s brain created a corner carving concert that made it a the consummate sports sedan. But somewhere along the line it lost some it its character.

No question: that spark of genius remains buried deep within the M3’s box of tricks; the spirit of the original E30 M3 struggles to get out. When I stopped fiddling with all the gadgets, set everything to automatic and let loose the dogs of war, I could just about recapture those glory days, glory days, glory days.

Despite the other reviews we have seen, according to their review, our lovely BMW M3 takes the second spot, just a bit short of the 1st place taken by…..the Cadillac CTS-V.
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  • Giom

    I don’t know the CTS-V… we don’t have them here. So it’s hard for me to judge the outcome of this comparo.

    But just from a historical point of view, the German cars (I’m now talking Merc and BMW), have the consistency and innovation (and now I’m talking BMW), to have started this whole trend and segment. Audi is catching up with a good effort. Lexus is Johnny come lately, but with a concept all unique to itself.

    The CTS-V has learned from the Germans. You take the competition, you learn you study, you copy. It’s like, ‘thats what I want to be when I grow up.’ kind of thing. It’s got no heritage, it’s got an uncertain future.

    I choose to back the company with the heritage and the future. The company with a sum is greater than all its parts (and are those parts great!)

    I hope I’m explaining myself correctly here…

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.
  • Hori

    Too bad the sales of the CTS-V is not going to save the the company. When I was at the LA Auto Show last year not a single person was looking at the CTS-V. The interior is bad and the overalll quality is not the same as a BMW. Yes, the CTS-V outperforms the BMW M3, but at the end its still a GM.

    We can challenge the M3 with any brand but at the end it is always the standard that the challengers measure up to.

    I agree with Goim, I too would choose a car whose company has heritage and a future.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tom-Hegedosh/8204311 Tom Hegedosh

    yeah but the cts-v is gonna be a great buy in 5 years :)

  • Jordan

    Comparing an audi with a bmw is like comparing chocolate and vanilla, it depends on preferences, if you like having a million buttons and a complicated iDrive thingy with great performance and amazing handling then bmw, but if you realize you wont be going over 70mph often and want something that gets the job done and looks better doing it, go for the audi

  • Kai

    c’mon… let’s be fair… I’m a german car guy myself, but let’s give credit where credit is due. The CTS-V is a marvel of engineering, and a drastic shift from the gm/cadillac cars in recent memory. I highly doubt you saw the car Hori, b/c I test drove it, and I am an avid audi owner, and the interior quality is very comparable (design language is different, but the execution of this badass caddy is very impressive).