2019 Audi A4 vs. 2019 Honda Accord

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A4 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 Honda Accord doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Accord doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A4 has a standard Audi Backguard System that uses 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. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Accord doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The A4 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Accord doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The A4 45 TFSI has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The A4 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Accord only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the A4 and the Accord have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Audi A4 is safer than the Honda Accord:

 

A4

Accord

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

308 lbs.

431 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

277

386

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

62 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

13 inches

Hip Force

666 lbs.

756 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The A4 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The A4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Accord’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi A4’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Accord’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 a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A4’s reliability 12 points higher than the Accord.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 8 places higher in reliability than Honda.

Engine

The A4 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (236 vs. 192) than the Accord’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the A4 40 TFSI is faster than the Honda Accord 1.5T (automatics tested):

 

A4

Accord

Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

7.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.9 sec

12.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.7 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91 MPH

89.3 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the A4 45 TFSI is faster than the Honda Accord 2.0T (automatics tested):

 

A4

Accord

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

2.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5 sec

5.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.5 sec

9.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.6 sec

15.1 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.7 sec

2.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.7 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100.4 MPH

97.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A4 gets better fuel mileage than the Accord 2.0 Turbo:

 

 

A4

Accord

 

FWD

 

n/a

22 city/32 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Manual

 

40 TFSI/Auto

27 city/34 hwy

23 city/34 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

 

 

n/a

23 city/32 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto Sport

AWD

45 TFSI/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

n/a

 

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the A4’s 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 Accord doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The A4 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Accord doesn’t offer an SMG.

The A4 Auto’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Accord doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Accord:

 

A4

A4 Quattro

Accord

Accord 2.0T/Sport/Touring

Front Rotors

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

11.5 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

The A4’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Accord are solid, not vented.

The A4 stops much shorter than the Accord:

 

A4

Accord

 

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Accord (245/40R18 vs. 235/40R19).

The A4’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord Sport/Touring’s 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The A4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56% to 44%) than the Accord’s (58.9% to 41.1%). This gives the A4 more stable handling and braking.

The A4 Premium Plus Quattro handles at .92 G’s, while the Accord EX pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The A4 Premium Plus Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the Accord EX (25.3 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

The A4 is 6.1 inches shorter than the Accord, making the A4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the A4 Prestige Quattro is quieter than the Accord Sport:

 

A4

Accord

Full-Throttle

70 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

63 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity

The A4’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Accord LX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the A4 has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Accord doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Servicing Ease

The A4 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the A4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Accord. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 62% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the A4 and the Accord have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the A4 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Accord prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The A4’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The A4’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Accord’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Accord doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A4 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Accord doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the A4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Accord doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The A4’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring.

The A4 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Accord offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the A4’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the A4 and the Accord offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the A4 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Accord doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A4 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the A4 with a number “5” insurance rate while the Accord is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A4 is less expensive to operate than the Accord because typical repairs cost much less on the A4 than the Accord, including $115 less for fuel injection and $487 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Both are recommended, but Consumer Reports® chose the Audi A4 as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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