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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. It might be time to unload my S4 as I'm having a few quality ssues. Anyway I've done some reading and it appears the changes to the 2011 model improved this car over the previous years. So I'm leaning towards a 2011. Not too many of these available in Ontario so not much leverage when haggling over pricing. This car will be my daily driver less summer days with my S2000. Anyway I just wanted some feedback on overall ownership costs ie brakes, dealer service, etc. The costs associated with S4 were not too bad. I will be test driving a car tomorrow. I am most interested to feel the comparison of the two cars as mine has the Stronic tranny. I think this 8 speed tranny will be the deal breaker. I appreciate any feedback from any of you especially former Audi Stronic owners. Cheers!
 

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While I am not a former S4 owner I did cross shop the two before deciding to go with an IS-F (hopefully picking one up this week...). When you get a chance, can you let us know a little more about your S4 experience?

As for my reasons to go with the F. Appreciation for the overall package, running costs, and reliability.
The package - while the early cars are a little stiff, I love the balance of handling, braking, and acceleration in the stock F.

Running costs: insurance is comparable; the F brakes felt better stock (probably just perception or a difference in tires on the street) and are up for track duty with a pad change; You have ~ 80 hp more with the F out of the box;

Reliability - while the IS-F isn't inexpensive to maintain, after PMing people on forums for both cars and speaking to a few local enthusiasts, I was pretty confident that the F would be less expensive to maintain over the long run.

Here are a few pluses, imho, for the S4 though. Better fuel economy, AWD, and the ability to tune the engine if you aren't worried about a warranty. Yes, Stasis will give you a warranty with their tune, but that won't cover you with a CPO car or extended warranty - I plan to keep my F beyond 60k miles.

Finally, in terms of transmissions, they are both fantastic imho. The IS-F auto is one of the best transmissions I have had the pleasure of driving around on the street. Hands down the best true automatic I have driven, and on the street I think it would perform as well or better than most DCT's. I hope to provide a review of its on track performance in the coming weeks!

The DSG in the B8 Audi's is an amazing unit, and I really enjoyed driving the S4 with it. That said, I have read about a number being replaced, and the local Audi dealers and independent mechanics here said it would be difficult to rebuild (i.e. they would only put in a new or rebuilt unit). I think there have been only one or two IS-F's with transmission problems across all of the Lexus and F forums. That is a phenomenally low rate of complaints in the internet era, and is especially impressive when you consider that people drag the IS-F with N2O, track it, and even turbo the car without a proper tune.

For any S4 fans out there I have nothing but respect for the car. If I hadn't tested a 2010 Lexus IS-F I would be driving an S4 (or a tuned Evo MR but that is another discussion for another time).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have had steering wheel shudder since new, unresolved. Let's see my 2010 S4 had the water pump fail, glovebox latch fell off in my hand, sunroof deflector replaced, numerous flashes for the tranny. My car is just out of warranty by 2,000 km and now a warning pops up to say "gearbox failure, okay to keep driving". The tranny seems to be working fine. The warning light came on each time for a few minutes and soon went away. The dealer said not to worry about the warning as long is it doesn't stay that is the warning light.

Positives for the S4 an absolute beast in the snow and wet. Unbelievable traction.

Positives ISF engine, and overall quality. Negatives? Possibly the eight speed tranny and dated styling. I'm gonna test one this Saturday. If I'm not impressed with the tranny I may wait for the 2014 ISF. I'll keep ya posted.
 

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If your test drive is like mine, you will discover yourself smiling after a few upshifts and sweeping turns. Remember, gears 7 and 8 are overdrive settings for fuel economy. The first six are what you would use for performance.
 

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I have had steering wheel shudder since new, unresolved. Let's see my 2010 S4 had the water pump fail, glovebox latch fell off in my hand, sunroof deflector replaced, numerous flashes for the tranny. My car is just out of warranty by 2,000 km and now a warning pops up to say "gearbox failure, okay to keep driving". The tranny seems to be working fine. The warning light came on each time for a few minutes and soon went away. The dealer said not to worry about the warning as long is it doesn't stay that is the warning light.

Positives for the S4 an absolute beast in the snow and wet. Unbelievable traction.

Positives ISF engine, and overall quality. Negatives? Possibly the eight speed tranny and dated styling. I'm gonna test one this Saturday. If I'm not impressed with the tranny I may wait for the 2014 ISF. I'll keep ya posted.

I'm pretty close for to an ISF ownership, but I can tell you that it will be hell of a lot more reliable than the S4 is, especially after what you mentioned. I would sell the S4 ASAP, last thing you want is to own this thing out of warranty.

The ISF is an absolute animal. At 4,000 RPM's (my last test drive) the car is already FLYING.

The styling is a matter of taste, you could wait for the 2014, but there is always a chance they will build something that you may not like styling wise.
 

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The only blemish for me with the ISF is that it's more expensive to insure. But it certainly won't break the bank if you can afford the car in the first place.

This was an interesting report (from 2009) which had the ISF as the #8 most expensive to insure performance/sports car: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a1pcn7MTHYBA

I'm not sure if that's still the case but my insurance did take a large jump upwards.

And I liked my ISF test drive quite a bit but after having more seat-time I've come to enjoy the car even more. During the test drive I felt like the tranny was "weird" (maybe just not being used to so much power and/or the shifting being so quick!). It took me awhile to get a feel for the car as a while but now I can't think of any other car I'd rather be driving right now.
 

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I got a quote from my State Farm agent and the price for insuring the ISF was the same as for a regular IS. I have found over the years State Farm doesn't charge extra for performance models, my Mazdaspeed 3 costs the same as a Mazda 3, my 5.0 Mustang was the same as a 6 cyl.
 

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I think you will be happy. My buddy has the RS4, another friend has the S5, two days ago, I traded my 08 M3 for the ISF, and I couldn't be happier. I loe the car so much more then my M3. I think it drives better then my buddy's RS4 and S5 too. This is just my opinion. You need to drive them and see what you think. Your paying for it so you have to be happy with it.
 

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I used to have an Audi A4 and before that a Mercedes C280. Beside the power and performance of the IS-F, one of the main reason why I went Lexus is that I don't want to go home riding in a tow truck again...
 
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