2019 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Audi S4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the S4 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 S4.

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.

Reliability

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 S4’s 150-amp alternator isn’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 S4 isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 440i Gran Coupe xDrive 6 cyl. gets better highway fuel mileage than the S4 (21 city/31 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The S4 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The S4 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 S4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the S4.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the S4’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 4.1 inches shorter than the S4, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 1 inch more front headroom and .9 inches more front legroom than the S4.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The S4 doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.

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 S4 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

The S4’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 S4 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 S4’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 S4 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Audi S4 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S4 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 S4 isn’t in the top three.

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The S4 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 S4 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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