Audi A5 vs. BMW 4-Series

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

, Automotive Editor - October 11, 2018

The luxury-car game has gotten confusing – and we mean really confusing. Models that were once just coupes and convertibles now have oddly named four-door options and cargo-friendly sportback bodies. The BMW 4-Series and Audi A5 fit these descriptions perfectly, and both recently went through redesigns. Which of these redesigned do-it-all luxury coupe-sedan-convertibles does it best? Keep reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the 4-Series & A5 »

What the A5 Gets Right

With a base price of $43,575 for 2018 models (all prices include destination fees), the Audi A5 kicks things off with a $720 price advantage over the base 2018 BMW 4-Series model. Despite its price advantage, the A5 offers basically everything the 4-Series does, plus some extras goodies like a seven-inch driver information center, a seven-inch infotainment screen, real leather upholstery, a 10-speaker audio system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, LED daytime running lights and taillights, and more.

On top of its array of standard features, the Audi A5 received a complete redesign in 2018, giving is the latest take on the brand’s timeless styling. This new look is far more modern and inspired than the 4-Series’ almost unnoticeable redesign.

While the A5 loses the base-engine shootout, the S5’s 4.4-second sprint to 60 mph thanks to its 354-horsepower turbocharged V6 takes care of business against the 4.8-second BMW 440i and 4.6-second 440i xDrive.

The BMW 4-Series’ front seats are comfortable, but the A5’s beat it with their real leather upholstery and additional padding. In the rear, neither vehicle is comfortable in coupe or convertible form, but the A5 Sportback offers an extra 1.4 inches of leg room, pushing it to a tolerable 35.1 inches. Cargo room also goes to the A5 Sportback at 21.8 cubic feet with the seats up.

What the 4-Series Gets Right

While Audi is positioned firmly in the luxury-car segment, there's something more impressive about piloting a Bimmer. There's no monetary value to put on this extra brand cachet, but it's there nonetheless.

The BMW 4-Series sits atop a true rear-wheel-drive platform and comes standard with power heading to the aft wheels. This delivers a more classic luxury sports-sedan experience than the all-wheel-drive-only A5. Plus, its 248-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and slick eight-speed automatic sprint the base 430i to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds – 0.2 seconds quicker than the base A5.

Like the A5, the 4-Series has an alternative body known as the Gran Coupe. Much like the A5 Sportback, the 4-Series Gran Coupe offers a liftback rear end in place of the trunk. While the Gran Coupe cannot match the Audi’s cargo room with the seats up, it wins the seats-folded battle with 45.9 cubic feet of room.

The Value of a Name

It’s clear the Audi A5 has officially surpassed the BMW 4-Series, but there are buyers who must have that classic premium nameplate. These buyers will likely prefer the 4-Series regardless of what the specs say, and they’ll be rewarded by a fine luxury rig.

Verdict: Audi A5

The Audi A5 has plenty of advantages over the BMW 4-Series, including its roomier Sportback model, additional standard features, and performance-oriented S5 that makes up for its slight performance deficiency from the base A5.

Take a closer look at the BMW 4-Series »

Take a closer look at the Audi A5 »

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

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

Privacy Policy|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer
COPYRIGHT 1999-2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com