Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW 3 Series VS 2017 Audi A4 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2017 Audi A4

Safety Comparison

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Both the 3 Series Sedan and the A4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan 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 A4.

There are over 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 3 Series Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 900-amp battery. The A4’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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

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The 340i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 68 more horsepower (320 vs. 252) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 273) than the A4’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

The 3 Series Sedan’s 2.0 turbo diesel produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (280 vs. 273) than the A4’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 328d gets better fuel mileage than the A4 2.0T:

3 Series Sedan

A4

2WD

Auto

32 city/42 hwy

25 city/33 hwy

AWD

Auto

30 city/40 hwy

24 city/31 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the A4:

3 Series Sedan

A4

2WD

320i/Manual

23 city/36 hwy

n/a

320i/Auto

24 city/36 hwy

25 city/33 hwy

2.0T/Auto

AWD

320i/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

24 city/31 hwy

2.0T/Auto

328i/Auto

22 city/34 hwy

n/a

340i/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

n/a

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the A4’s (56% to 44%). This gives the 3 Series Sedan more stable handling and braking.

The 340i handles at .91 G’s, while the A4 Prestige Quattro pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 3 Series Sedan’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the A4’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Audi A4.

The 3 Series Sedan is 3.3 inches shorter than the A4, making the 3 Series Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the 328i is quieter than the A4 Prestige Quattro (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has 4.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 (96.2 vs. 92).

The 3 Series Sedan has 1.4 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The A4 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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If the windows are left down on the 3 Series Sedan w/Comfort Access the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the A4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The A4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A4 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the 3 Series Sedan 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 A4’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s 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 A4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

3 Series Sedan

A4

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

Kiplinger’s Awards

2

n/a

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 22 years. The A4 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 20 years. The A4 has never been an “All Star.”

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