Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW 2 Series VS 2016 Audi A3 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 BMW 2 Series

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2016 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 Cabriolet 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 Cabriolet 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 all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

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 2 Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2016, a rating granted to only 74 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A3 Cabriolet has not been tested, yet.

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 Cabriolet.

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

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series first among small premium cars in their 2015 Initial Quality Study. The A3 Cabriolet isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 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 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

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 Cabriolet 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 Cabriolet 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 Cabriolet 2.0T’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A3 Cabriolet 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 Cabriolet doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 2 Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the A3 Cabriolet:

2 Series

A3 Cabriolet

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 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 Cabriolet are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 Cabriolet doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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 Cabriolet’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 2 Series’ wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the A3 Cabriolet (105.9 inches vs. 102.2 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 Cabriolet.

Passenger Space Comparison

The 2 Series Convertible has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A3 Cabriolet (82 vs. 79).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk than the A3 Cabriolet with its top down (10 vs. 7.1 cubic feet).

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The A3 Cabriolet’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 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a memory system.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the 2 Series offers an optional remote convertible top which can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 2 Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 Cabriolet 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 Cabriolet 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.

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 Cabriolet’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 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 2 Series has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The A3 Cabriolet doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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 Cabriolet doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW 2 Series has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

2 Series

A3 Cabriolet

Consumer Reports® Recommends



Kiplinger’s Awards



J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A3 Cabriolet isn’t in the top three.

The M235i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The A3 Cabriolet has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 2 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The A3 Cabriolet has never been an “All Star.”

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