For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The A5 has a standard Audi Backguard System, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Audi Backguard System moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A5. But it costs extra on the 4 Series Coupe.
Both the A5 and the 4 Series 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, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.
The Audi A5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the 4 Series Coupe’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.
A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the A5’s reliability will be 52% better than the 4 Series Coupe.
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.
For better traction, the A5 has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Coupe (245/40R18 vs. 225/50R17). The A5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Coupe (255/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).
The A5’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 4 Series Coupe’s standard 50 series tires. The A5’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 435i Coupe’s optional 40 series front tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A5 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 4 Series Coupe.
The A5 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 4 Series Coupe, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 is 1.8 inches wider in the front than on the 4 Series Coupe.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A5 has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A5, based on reliability, safety and performance.