Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Audi A3 VS 2015 BMW 4 Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2015 Audi A3

Responsive image

2015 BMW 4

Safety Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan 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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the A3 Sedan and the 4 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2015, a rating granted to only 48 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Reliability Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 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 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the A3 Sedan 2.0T is faster than the 428i Gran Coupe:

A3 Sedan

4 Series Gran Coupe

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14 sec

14.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

98 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan TDI gets better fuel mileage than the 428i Gran Coupe RWD (31 city/43 hwy vs. 23 city/34 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro gets better fuel mileage than the 428i Gran Coupe xDrive (24 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/32 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The A3 Sedan stops shorter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

A3 Sedan

4 Series Gran Coupe

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

162 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The A3 Sedan’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 428i Gran Coupe’s standard 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro handles at .94 G’s, while the 428i Gran Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe xDrive’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 500 pounds less than the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

The A3 Sedan is 7.1 inches shorter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The A3 Sedan has standard seating for 5 passengers; the 4 Series Gran Coupe can only carry 2.

Ergonomics Comparison

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the A3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A3 Sedan will cost $1275 to $2375 less than the 4 Series Gran Coupe over a five-year period.

The A3 Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the A3 Sedan will retain 54.23% to 55.18% of its original price after five years, while the 4 Series Gran Coupe only retains 46.25% to 47.99%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A3 Sedan will be $10371 to $13650 less than for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Recommendations Comparison

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.