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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The S4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi S4 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
Both the S4 and 4 Series Gran Coupe have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S4 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.
The S4 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the S4. But it costs extra on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
Both the S4 and the 4 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than BMW.
The S4’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 101 more horsepower (349 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the 430i Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The S4’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 29 more horsepower (349 vs. 320) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 330) than the 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Audi S4 uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 4 Series Gran Coupe requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The S4’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.
For better stopping power the S4’s brake rotors are larger than those standard on the 4 Series Gran Coupe:
For better traction, the S4 has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (245/40R18 vs. 225/45R18). The S4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (255/35R19 vs. 225/45R18).
The S4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard 45 series tires. The S4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s optional 40 series front tires.
The S4 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
The S4 has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S4 offers cargo security. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 10% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.
The S4’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S4 has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the S4 to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
Optional air-conditioned seats in the S4 Premium Plus/Prestige keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
The S4 has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 4 Series Gran Coupe.
The S4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the S4 will retain 47.19% to 47.48% of its original price after five years, while the 4 Series Gran Coupe only retains 43.43% to 44.26%.
The Audi A4/S4 outsold the BMW 4 Series by 42% during 2019.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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