2020 BMW X1 vs. 2020 Audi A4 Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The X1’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the X1 and the A4 Allroad 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 and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X1 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 120 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The A4 Allroad was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 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 Allroad.

There are over 13 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the X1’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 20th in initial quality. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd.

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

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Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X1 higher (7 out of 10) than the Audi A4 Allroad (5). This means the X1 produces up to 8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the A4 Allroad every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X1, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the A4 Allroad.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The A4 Allroad’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The X1 xDrive28i handles at .87 G’s, while the A4 Allroad Prestige pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the X1’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the A4 Allroad’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the A4 Allroad (7.2 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The BMW X1 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 300 pounds less than the Audi A4 Allroad.

The X1 is 12 inches shorter than the A4 Allroad, making the X1 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The X1 has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A4 Allroad (101.2 vs. 92).

The X1 has 4.5 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the A4 Allroad.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The A4 Allroad’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The X1 has a much larger cargo volume than the A4 Allroad with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 24.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The X1’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the A4 Allroad’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

Model Availability

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The X1 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The A4 Allroad doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the X1 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the X1 will cost $800 to $1430 less than the A4 Allroad over a five-year period.

The X1 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the X1 will retain 43.17% to 43.84% of its original price after five years, while the A4 Allroad only retains 42.51% to 42.92%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW X1 will be $10499 to $14903 less than for the Audi A4 Allroad.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X1, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 4 years. The A4 Allroad has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

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