As it turns out, traditional coupes are becoming less and less popular. In fact, most buyers are shying away from traditional two-door coupes, thanks to the influx of more coupe-like vehicles. Mercedes-Benz was really the first car company to launch one of these coupe-like four-door cars, with the original CLS-Class. Ever since, zee Germans have been in love with them. Audi has two, in fact, with the A7 and A5 Sportback. The latter of which is one of the brand’s most popular cars in Europe (though, it just launched here in America). But BMW has its own popular four-door coupe that competes with the A5 Sportback, the 4 Series Gran Coupe. So which of them is better? The Independent finds out in this latest comparison.
Being that the test was conducted in the UK, both cars were equipped with their four-cylinder diesel engines and all-wheel drive. For the Audi, that means a 2.0 liter turbocharged diesel with 187 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. As for the Bimmer, that means a 2.0 liter turbo-diesel with the exact same power figures. The only real difference between the two is that the Audi has its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic while the BMW has a six-speed manual (though, the BMW does have an optional eight-speed auto). The faster-shifting ‘box helps the A5 Sportback be just a few ticks quicker to 60 mph, doings the spring in 7.5 seconds compared to the Bimmer’s 7.9.
However, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is more of a sports car than the A5 Sportback. Its steering is sharper and its chassis is just a touch more dynamic. While the Audi’s steering is good, it’s just a bit more numb and less tactile than the Bimmer’s. The A5 Sportback has a few different drive modes but none of them feel right. Though, the Audi has a better ride over rough surfaces and is the smoother car. So there’s a trade off for either car.
In terms of cabin quality and technology, both cars have their advantages but the Audi has the edge. The A5 Sportback’s interior quality and design is far better than the BMW’s. While we wouldn’t equate the cabin of the 4 Series to be a Turkish prison, it’s getting a bit old. Whereas the Audi A5 Sportback sports a brand-new interior with a fresh new design. The materials in the Audi are better as well. As far as technology, it’s a bit of a wash. BMW’s new iDrive system is a but easier to use and slightly better than Audi’s MMI. However, MMI has a better screen and some more functionality, like Google Maps and Android Auto. Plus, you can get the Audi A5 Sportback with its brilliant Virtual Cockpit.
The Independent declares the Audi A5 Sportback the winner just for doing more things well. It’s the more comfortable car, almost as fun to drive, has a better cabin and a bit more technology. It’s also cheaper to buy, own and run. So it’s the better car overall. Although if it’s pure sports car-handling you’re looking for, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe is the one for you.