Audi A4 vs. BMW 328

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - September 22, 2016

America got its first taste of the BMW 3 Series in 1977. Since then, it has set performance standards in the upscale sport compact class. For a few decades, Audi presented little competition. But then, in the mid-1990s, it introduced the game-changing A4.

Fast forward to the late 2010s and the redesigned Audi A4 is mentioned in the same breath as the BMW 328. But is it the Bavarian car's equal?

See a side-by-side comparison of the A4 & 328i >>

What the A4 Gets Right

The A4 starts off with a significantly lower base price and a new look that matches the stylishness of the Bimmer while retaining the timelessness for which that Audi is known. Despite its lower price, the A4 also comes with additional premium features like leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof, Xenon headlights with LED running lights, LED dynamic taillights, 17-inch wheels, three-zone climate control, and more.

The redesigned A4 gained a new powertrain, as well. This includes a new 2-liter engine that delivers a 252-horsepower blow across the BMW’s kidney grille. Pairing up with this potent four-banger is a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and available all-wheel drive. Buyers looking for more fuel efficiency instead of power can get opt for the A4 Ultra, which features a 190-horsepower 2-liter that gets up to 31 mpg combined.

Inside, the A4 also has a little extra rear-seat legroom for taking on taller passengers.

What the 328 Gets Right

The BMW 328 has an initial leg up on the A4 because of its brand cachet—there is a level of awe that comes with saying, "I drive a BMW." With the 328 also comes the true luxury sports sedan feeling that its rear-wheel-drive powertrain delivers.

While the 328 does lose the overall power battle, its available six-speed manual transmission gives drivers the connection that the Audi’s S tronic gearbox cannot.

Finally, buyers who drive primarily on the highway, the 328 is a star with its up-to 35 mpg with rear-wheel drive and 34 mpg with all-wheel drive.

For Whom is the 328 Built?

BMW is still as premium as it ever has been, but Audi is steadily improving and the A4 is a clear sign of the student teaching the teacher. The 328 still has it place in the market, however, and that is for buyers looking for that premium brand that draws "oohs" and "aahs," and those looking for the feel of a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan. The 328 definitely delivers better in these departments than the A4.

Our Verdict: Audi A4

While this is a close call, the value the redesigned A4 offers is hard to beat. Not only does it get a new, more modern style, but it also gains a more powerful engine and lots more features. What’s more, the A4 Ultra has unmatched fuel economy that adds yet another wrinkle to this competition.

Take a closer look at the Audi A4 >>

Take a closer look at the BMW 328 >>

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009, and has seen himself published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also works as editor in chief for a large performance car online publication. His specialty lays in the high-performance realm, but has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Prior to being an automotive writer, he was an automotive technician and manager for six years, but spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Google+ | Website