2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe vs. 2019 Audi S5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 4 Series Coupe and the S5 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series 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 S5.

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 Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 440i Coupe has a standard 210-amp alternator (170-amp - 430i Coupe). The S5’s standard 110-amp alternator and largest (optional) 150-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The S5 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’ 2019 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 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the S5 Coupe:

MPG

4 Series Coupe

RWD

Manual

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/33 hwy

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

S5 Coupe

AWD

Auto

3.0 turbo V6

21 city/30 hwy

Transmission

The 4 Series Coupe offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and enjoyment. The S5 doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 4 Series Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The S5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4 Series Coupe’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the S5 Coupe (110.6 inches vs. 108.8 inches).

The 4 Series Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the S5’s (56.7% to 43.3%). This gives the 4 Series Coupe more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Coupe’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the S5’s (37.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

The BMW 4 Series Coupe may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 400 pounds less than the Audi S5.

The design of the BMW 4 Series Coupe amounts to more than styling. The 4 Series Coupe has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the S5 (.29 to .3). A more efficient exterior helps the 4 Series Coupe go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 4 Series Coupe get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 4 Series Coupe a Compact car, while the S5 Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The 4 Series Coupe has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S5 Coupe (90 vs. 84).

The 4 Series Coupe has .8 inches more front headroom, .9 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the S5 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the S5 Coupe (15.7 vs. 11.6 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 4 Series Coupe offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The S5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Model Availability

The 4 Series Coupe is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The S5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4 Series Coupe will cost $3785 less than the S5 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 4 Series Coupe will be $13323 to $15130 less than for the Audi S5.

Recommendations

The 4 Series Coupe was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The S5 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 4 Series Coupe was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The S5 has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Audi A5/S5/RS 5 by 21% during 2018.

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

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