2019 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2018 Audi A6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A6 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the A6 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 A6.

There are over 16 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2017 Initial Quality Study. The A6 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 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 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 26th, 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 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (332 vs. 325) than the A6 3.0T’s standard 3.0 supercharged V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Gran Coupe xDrive gets better fuel mileage than the A6 Quattro:

 

 

4 Series

A6

 

AWD

430i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

2.0T/Auto

 

440i/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

3.0T/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A6 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Audi A6 is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the A6 2.0T are solid, not vented.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe stops shorter than the A6:

 

4 Series

A6

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A6 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 A6’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the A6’s (53.5% to 46.5%). This gives the 4 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.

The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the A6 3.0T Premium Plus Quattro pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the A6’s (37.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The 4 Series Gran Coupe xDrive’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the A6’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 11.5 inches shorter than the A6, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive is quieter than the A6 3.0T Premium Plus Quattro:

 

4 Series

A6

Full-Throttle

73 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 2.7 inches more front headroom and .9 inches more front legroom than the A6.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the A6 (17 vs. 14.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the A6 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 4 Series Gran Coupe offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The A6 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

When the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 A6’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’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 A6 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Audi A6 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Gran Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4 Series Gran Coupe will cost $360 less than the A6 over a five-year period.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4 Series Gran Coupe will retain 44.99% to 47.5% of its original price after five years, while the A6 only retains 41.4% to 42.33%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the A6 because it costs $27 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Gran Coupe than the A6, including $7 less for front brake pads, $222 less for a starter, $1402 less for fuel injection, $72 less for a fuel pump and $35 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will be $6377 to $16576 less than for the Audi A6.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The A6 isn’t in the top three in its category.

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The A6 has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Audi A6/S6 by over two to one during 2017.

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

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