BMW 3 SERIES VS. THE AUDI A4 AND S4 – BATTLE OF THE SPORT SEDANS
In concept, a sport sedan is simple: a sedan that offers a sporty driving character more akin to a coupe. In practise however, it’s not so simple. Trying to blend the dissimilar principles of sport, luxury, comfort, and driving thrills into one cohesive package is something many automakers have tried to do over the years – and failed.
BMW however, has made its name by imbuing these characters into a single excellent package: the legendary BMW 3 Series. But there are many contenders looking to take the 3 Series’ crown, the latest being the new Audi A4 and its performance variant – the Audi S4.
So can the BMW hold on to its title against the latest sports sedan from Ingolstadt? Bavaria BMW finds out.
NEW BMW 330I VS. NEW AUDI A4
Representing the mainstay of these two brands, the 2017 BMW 330i and the 2017 Audi A4 both sport turbocharged 2.0L engines, attractive four-door shapes, and a wealth of comfort and luxury items within. The Audi seems to pull ahead thanks to its lower base price of $38,500 and standard all-wheel drive (a boom for Albertan road), but where the BMW truly has it beat is choice.
The Audi is available only as an automatic, four-wheel drive sedan – whereas the BMW offers a multitude of transmission and body styles. Rear-wheel drive is standard with the 328i, while the snow-conquering xDrive AWD system is available to ensure all-weather traction. A manual transmission is standard for the enthusiast, while a smooth 8-speed automatic is also available for those less inclined to row their own gears.Want a wagon? Meet the 330i Touring. Prefer a hatchback? The 330i Gran Turismo is on hand. There’s even the 330e plug-in hybrid for those who want the smallest fuel bill possible.
Don’t settle with the Audi A4, choose the BMW 330i and get the car you really want, the way you really want it.
NEW BMW 340I VS. NEW AUDI S4
Germany has always been at the forefront of putting hot engines in practical sedans, these two represent the latest sports sedans to arrive on our shores. Just as with their smaller-engined brethren, there are remarkable similarities between the two. Both use turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder engines, both offer stiffer suspension and beefed-up brakes, and both promise fun-to-drive characters. But which one comes out on top?
While the Audi slightly out guns the BMW with 354 horsepower to its name, with the BMW deploying a sturdy 320 horsepower, Audi expects you to pay handsomely for this extra power. A base price of $62,990 puts it just over ten thousands dollars more than the BMW 340i’s $52,550 base price.
And yet, in spite of its higher price tag, the S4 doesn’t have a manual transmission option like the BMW does. Nor does it offer alternative body styles like the 340i Gran Turismo. And while its all-wheel drive and advanced torque-vectoring differential does its best, the S4 can never quite overcome its Volkswagen-based MBQ architecture. Ultimately the S4 ends up feeling more like a fast luxury sedan, than a true sports sedan like the BMW 340i.
The new BMW 340i offers better driving characteristics, more body styles, and a plethora of performance-enhancing options – all for less than the S4. Plus, the available xDrive system ensures that your 340i performs regardless of the weather outside!
In the end, with the new A4 and S4 make some good leaps in technology and luxury, ultimately Audi didn’t do enough to truly differentiate their sports sedan in the market. While a good all-weather luxury car, the A4 doesn’t have the breadth of ability that the 330i does, and the S4 simply doesn’t offer enough sport to justify its $60,000+ base price.
In the end, the 3 Series remains the quintessential sport sedan. Its combination of powerful yet efficient engines, engaging driving character, and multiple body styles – all at a lower price tag – keep it on top.
So visit Bavaria BMW in Edmonton, AB today, and discover the beauty and excitement that can only come from driving a 3 Series BMW.