Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW 2 Series VS 2015 Audi A3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 BMW 2 Series

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2015 Audi A3

Safety Comparison

The 2 Series has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 2 Series and the A3 Sedan 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, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A3 Sedan.

There are over 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 2 Series’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the 2 Series’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The .’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the A3 Sedan’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the 2 Series is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 2 Series’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The A3 Sedan’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in reliability. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 19th.

Engine Comparison

The 228i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 70 more horsepower (240 vs. 170) and 55 lbs.-ft. more torque (255 vs. 200) than the A3 Sedan 1.8T’s standard 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The 228i’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (240 vs. 220) than the A3 Sedan 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The M235i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 100 more horsepower (320 vs. 220) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 258) than the A3 Sedan 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the M235i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. is faster than the A3 Sedan 2.0T 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

2 Series

A3 Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

4.4 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13 sec

14 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106.6 MPH

98.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 2 Series gets better fuel mileage than the A3 Sedan:

2 Series

A3 Sedan


2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd Auto

23 city/36 hwy

23 city/33 hwy

1.8 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd Auto

23 city/35 hwy

24 city/33 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 2 Series’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the M235i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Sedan:


A3 Sedan

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.4 inches

10.7 inches

The 2 Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the A3 Sedan are solid, not vented.

The 2 Series stops much shorter than the A3 Sedan:

2 Series

A3 Sedan

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

123 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The M235i’s 245/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A3 Sedan’s optional 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the BMW 2 Series has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The A3 Sedan TDI has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The 2 Series offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The A3 Sedan’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 2 Series’ wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer than on the A3 Sedan (105.9 inches vs. 103.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 2 Series is 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the A3 Sedan.

The 2 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.4% to 49.6%) than the A3 Sedan’s (58.1% to 41.9%). This gives the 2 Series more stable handling and braking.

The M235i handles at .97 G’s, while the A3 Sedan 2.0T Quattro pulls only .92 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 2 Series is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the A3 Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The 2 Series has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Sedan (90 vs. 86).

The 2 Series has 3.5 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the A3 Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The A3 Sedan’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the 2 Series, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a memory system.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the A3 Sedan.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 2 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 2 Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 2 Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The 2 Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Audi charges extra for heated mirrors on the A3 Sedan.

When the 2 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The A3 Sedan’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

On extremely cold Winter days, the 2 Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 2 Series has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the A3 Sedan.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A3 Sedan doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW 1 and 2 Series outsold the Audi A3/S3 by over eight to one during 2013.

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