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

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2017 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 3 years and 36,000 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 17 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 rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The A4 isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 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 fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th, 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:

 

 

3 Series

A4

 

RWD

Auto

31 city/43 hwy

25 city/33 hwy

 

AWD

Auto

30 city/40 hwy

24 city/31 hwy

 

On the EPA test cycle the 320i Sedan xDrive Auto gets better fuel mileage than the A4 Quattro (23 city/34 hwy vs. 24 city/31 hwy). The 330i Sedan xDrive Auto gets better fuel mileage than the A4 Quattro (23 city/33 hwy vs. 24 city/31 hwy).

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 xDrive handles at .94 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 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 330i 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.

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’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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 3 Series Sedan is less expensive to operate than the A4 because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 3 Series Sedan than the A4, including $61 less for a water pump, $125 less for front brake pads, $199 less for a starter, $90 less for fuel injection, $226 less for a fuel pump and $361 less for front struts.

Recommendations Comparison

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

 

3 Series

A4

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A4 isn’t in the top three.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 23 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 21 years. The A4 has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Audi A4/S4 by almost three to one during the 2016 model year.

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