2019 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon vs. 2018 Audi Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 3 Series Sports Wagon and the Allroad 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.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sports Wagon 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 Allroad.

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 Sports Wagon’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 3 Series Sports Wagon has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Allroad’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sports Wagon has a standard 900-amp battery. The Allroad’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.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 330i Sports Wagon gets better fuel mileage than the Allroad (23 city/33 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Allroad doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Allroad.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

3 Series

Allroad

 

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional 255/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Allroad’s 45 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

The 330i Sports Wagon handles at .86 G’s, while the Allroad Prestige pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The 3 Series Sports Wagon is 4.2 inches shorter than the Allroad, making the 3 Series Sports Wagon easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has 4.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Allroad (96.9 vs. 92).

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more rear headroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the Allroad.

Cargo Capacity

The 3 Series Sports Wagon has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Allroad with its rear seat up (27.5 vs. 24.2 cubic feet). The 3 Series Sports Wagon has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the Allroad with its rear seat folded (61.5 vs. 58.5 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sports Wagon’s available liftgate can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Allroad doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the 3 Series Sports Wagon 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 Allroad can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The Allroad’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

When the 3 Series Sports Wagon is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Allroad’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Allroad doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 3 Series comes in sedan, four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Audi Allroad isn’t available as a sedan or four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

The 3 Series Sports Wagon will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 3 Series Sports Wagon will retain 54.53% to 55.45% of its original price after five years, while the Allroad only retains 50.32% to 50.79%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will be $2695 to $8213 less than for the Audi Allroad.

Recommendations

The BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

3 Series

Allroad

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 24 years. The Allroad 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 22 years. The Allroad has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Audi Allroad by over 18 to one during 2017.

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

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