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Performance (automatic gearbox)
Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Large family car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the Audi and rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 20-valves 130hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 143hp engine designed by BMW.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. Moving further on, let's take a closer look at some additional safety-related facts. Both vehicles belong to the large family car segment, which is generally a good thing safety-wise, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. On the other hand, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, 3 Series offers a marginal difference of 1% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, when all the models are taken into account. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Audi with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the BMW badge with 4.3 out of 5. The same official information place A4 15% below average, and 3 Series 4% above the first one. We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as Audi A4 rank it on average as 4.8, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.5 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.6 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 218 kilometers per hour, 6km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be 3 Series, averaging around 7.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (39 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 10% difference compared to Audi A4.
Audi appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, 3 Series offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with BMW offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but BMW. Nevertheless, let's not forget that people have different preferences and needs, so what really counts is your personal feel. I'm only here to help. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.