2019 Audi A5 vs. 2019 BMW 4 Series Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A5 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 BMW 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The A5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The A5 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 4 Series Coupe 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.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A5. But it costs extra on the 4 Series Coupe.

To help make backing safer, the A5’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the A5 and the 4 Series Coupe 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A5 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4 Series Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The Audi A5’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the 4 Series Coupe’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 1 place higher in reliability than BMW.

Engine

The A5’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the 430i Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A5 gets better fuel mileage than the 430i Coupe xDrive (23 city/34 hwy vs. 23 city/33 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi A5 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 4 Series Coupe requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

The A5 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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG.

The A5 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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A5’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Coupe:

 

A5

4 Series

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A5 has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Coupe (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R18). The A5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Coupe (255/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The A5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4 Series Coupe’s standard 45 series tires. The A5’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 440i Coupe’s optional 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A5 is 1.6 inches wider in the front than on the 4 Series Coupe.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 14% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A5 has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the A5 and the 4 Series Coupe offer optional heated front seats. The A5 Premium Plus/Prestige also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the 4 Series Coupe.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the A5 Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the A5 is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Coupe because typical repairs cost much less on the A5 than the 4 Series Coupe, including $53 less for a water pump, $76 less for a muffler, $19 less for front brake pads, $345 less for a timing belt/chain and $479 less for a power steering pump.

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

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