2019 Audi S4 vs. 2019 BMW M2 Competition

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 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 M2 Competition doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 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 M2 Competition doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The S4’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The S4 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 M2 Competition 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 S4 has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S4 Prestige has a standard Top and Corner View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The M2 Competition 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.

The S4’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the S4’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 M2 Competition doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the S4 and the M2 Competition 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available lane departure warning systems.

Reliability

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

The S4 has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the M2 Competition (15.3 vs. 13.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi S4 higher (5 out of 10) than the BMW M2 Competition (3). This means the S4 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the M2 Competition every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The Audi S4 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the M2 Competition.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Audi S4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the M2 Competition.

Suspension and Handling

The S4 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The M2 Competition’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S4’s wheelbase is 5.2 inches longer than on the M2 Competition (111.2 inches vs. 106 inches).

Chassis

The design of the Audi S4 amounts to more than styling. The S4 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the M2 Competition (.35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S4 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The S4 has standard seating for 5 passengers; the M2 Competition can only carry 4.

The S4 has 2.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the M2 Competition (92 vs. 89.7).

The S4 has 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 2.7 inches more rear legroom and 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the M2 Competition.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S4 easier. The S4’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the M2 Competition’s liftover is 27.3 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the S4’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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

The S4 Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The S4’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the M2 Competition’s power windows.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The M2 Competition 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 S4 has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S4 has standard extendable sun visors. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The S4’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The M2 Competition’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

Both the S4 and the M2 Competition have standard heated front seats. The S4 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the M2 Competition.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the S4 Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The S4 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the S4 Prestige has a standard Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The M2 Competition doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

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