2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Mercedes A-Class

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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To help make backing safer, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The A-Class doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the A-Class have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the A-Class’ (12 vs. 5 years).

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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the A-Class.

Reliability

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The battery on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The A-Class’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The A-Class 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The 430i Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (248 vs. 188) and 37 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 132 more horsepower (320 vs. 188) and 109 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 221) than the A-Class’ 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the 430i Gran Coupe is faster than the Mercedes A 220:

4 Series

A-Class

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.9 sec

16.9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the A-Class (15.8 vs. 13.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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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 A-Class.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 440i Gran Coupe’s brake rotors are larger than those on the A-Class:

440i

A-Class

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.6 inches

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 on the A-Class are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has larger standard tires than the A-Class (225/45R18 vs. 205/55R17). The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the A-Class (F:225/45R18 & R:255/40R18 vs. 205/55R17).

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 A-Class’ standard 55 series tires. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s optional 225/40R19 front and 255/35R19 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the A-Class’ 55 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 A-Class.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the A-Class (110.6 inches vs. 107.4 inches).

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 A-Class.

Passenger Space

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe has .4 inches more front legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the A-Class.

Cargo Capacity

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the A-Class (17 vs. 8.6 cubic feet).

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 A-Class doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the 4 Series Gran Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the A-Class. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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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 A-Class 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 A-Class doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 4 Series Gran Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The A-Class doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the A-Class offer optional heated front seats. The 4 Series Gran Coupe also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the A-Class.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/20

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

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

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