2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo vs. 2019 Audi A5 Sportback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 3 Series Gran Turismo and the A5 Sportback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is safer than the Audi A5 Sportback:

 

3 Series

A5

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Leg Forces (l/r)

321/434 lbs.

431/395 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

150

236

Chest Compression

.6 inches

1 inches

Neck Stress

115 lbs.

119 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

47 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

174/298 lbs.

324/341 lbs.

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

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 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is safer than the Audi A5 Sportback:

 

3 Series

A5

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Hip Force

184 lbs.

308 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

688 lbs.

777 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

291

333

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

513 lbs.

666 lbs.

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

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Gran Turismo for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A5 Sportback.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 3 Series Gran Turismo has a standard 170-amp alternator. The A5 Sportback’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Gran Turismo has a standard 900-amp battery. The A5 Sportback’s 420-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

Engine

The 340i Gran Turismo’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 74 more horsepower (322 vs. 248) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 273) than the A5 Sportback’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A5 Sportback.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Gran Turismo can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s wheelbase is 3.8 inches longer than on the A5 Sportback (115 inches vs. 111.2 inches).

The 3 Series Gran Turismo’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the A5 Sportback’s (54.8% to 45.2%). This gives the 3 Series Gran Turismo more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

The 3 Series Gran Turismo has 1.9 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more rear headroom and 4.1 inches more rear legroom than the A5 Sportback.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s rear seats recline. The A5 Sportback’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The 3 Series Gran Turismo has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the A5 Sportback with its rear seat up (24.6 vs. 21.8 cubic feet). The 3 Series Gran Turismo has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the A5 Sportback with its rear seat folded (56.8 vs. 35 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the 3 Series Gran Turismo w/Comfort Access the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A5 Sportback can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Gran Turismo offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 3 Series Gran Turismo offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The A5 Sportback doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 3 Series Gran Turismo also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 3 Series Gran Turismo owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 3 Series Gran Turismo will cost $10 to $2630 less than the A5 Sportback over a five-year period.

Recommendations

The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

3 Series Gran Turismo

A5 Sportback

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 25 years. The A5 Sportback has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 23 years. The A5 Sportback has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Audi A5/S5 by 72% during 2018.

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

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