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Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the A4 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.
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 A4.
There are over 13 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.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has a standard 170-amp alternator. The A4’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The A4 isn’t in the top three.
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.
The 430i Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (248 vs. 188) and 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 236) than the A4 40 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 74 more horsepower (322 vs. 248) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (332 vs. 273) than the A4 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Audi A4 is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A4.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A4’s standard 50 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the A4.
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 A4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is 1.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the A4.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the A4’s (56% to 44%). This gives the 4 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.
For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the A4’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).
The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 3.4 inches shorter than the A4, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive is quieter than the A4 Prestige Quattro (40 vs. 42 dB).
The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 1 inch more front headroom and .9 inches more front legroom than the A4.
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 A4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.
The A4’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’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.
A power rear sunshade is optional in the 4 Series Gran Coupe (except 320i) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A4 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.
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 A4’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 A4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Audi A4 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.
Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Gran Coupe owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 4 Series Gran Coupe with a number “1” insurance rate while the A4 is rated higher at a number “5” rate.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the A4 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 A4, including $152 less for a starter, $142 less for fuel injection, $87 less for a fuel pump and $430 less for front struts.
The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The A4 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.
The 4 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The A4 has never been an “All Star.”
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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