Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Audi S4 VS 2013 BMW 3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Audi S4

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2013 BMW 3

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 3 Series Sedan doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-wheel Drive is standard on the S4. But it costs extra on the 3 Series Sedan.

Both the S4 and the 3 Series Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Audi S4 is safer than the BMW 3 Series Sedan:


3 Series Sedan

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 15th in reliability. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine Comparison

The S4’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 93 more horsepower (333 vs. 240) and 70 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 255) than the 328i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The S4’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 33 more horsepower (333 vs. 300) and 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (325 vs. 300) than the 335i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

As tested in Road & Track the Audi S4 is faster than the BMW 3 Series Sedan (manual transmissions tested):




Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

1.8 sec

2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

5.4 sec

5.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11 sec

14.8 sec

13 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.2 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

108.8 MPH

98.5 MPH

103 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The S4 has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Sedan ActiveHybrid’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 15 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the S4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Sedan:




Front Rotors

13.6 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

The S4 stops much shorter than the 3 Series Sedan:


3 Series Sedan

80 to 0 MPH

202 feet

225 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

124 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S4 has larger standard tires than the 3 Series Sedan (245/40R18 vs. 225/50R17). The S4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Sedan (255/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The S4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 3 Series Sedan’s standard 50 series tires. The S4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 3 Series Sedan’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S4 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 3 Series Sedan.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The S4 handles at .96 G’s, while the 328i pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The S4 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3 MPH faster than the 328i (70.1 vs. 67.1 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by AutoWeek, the interior of the S4 is quieter than the 328i:


3 Series Sedan

At idle

42 dB

51 dB


69 dB

75 dB

60 MPH Cruising

66 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The S4 has .4 inches more front shoulder room and .1 inches more rear legroom than the 3 Series Sedan.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The S4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the S4 will retain 52.96% of its original price after five years, while the 3 Series Sedan only retains 43.83% to 46.54%.

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