2019 Audi Allroad vs. 2019 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Allroad 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 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Allroad’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi Allroad are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Allroad 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 3 Series Sports Wagon 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.

Both the Allroad and the 3 Series Sports Wagon 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, all-wheel drive, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 Allroad the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 3 Series Sports Wagon has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The Audi Allroad’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s engine uses 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 Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 258) than the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Transmission

The Allroad 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 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Allroad’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 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Allroad’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Sports Wagon:

 

Allroad

3 Series Sports Wagon

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.8 inches

The Allroad stops much shorter than the 3 Series Sports Wagon:

 

Allroad

3 Series Sports Wagon

 

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Allroad has larger tires than the 3 Series Sports Wagon (245/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The Allroad’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Sports Wagon (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

The Allroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Allroad has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 3 Series Sports Wagon.

The Allroad has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 3 Series Sports Wagon; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the 3 Series Sports Wagon don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Allroad is 1.8 inches wider in the front than on the 3 Series Sports Wagon.

The Allroad Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure-Eight” maneuver quicker than the 3 Series Sports Wagon (26.3 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Allroad has .8 inches more front shoulder room and .7 inches more rear legroom than the 3 Series Sports Wagon.

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 Allroad has standard extendable sun visors. The 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Allroad Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 3 Series Sports Wagon doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Allroad owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Allroad will cost $585 to $1645 less than the 3 Series Sports Wagon over a five-year period.

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

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