For decades, if you wanted a sporty coupe that you could drive every single day, commute to the office with in the morning and tear up twisty roads on the way home, you bought a BMW M3. It was just the car you bought because, as a daily sports coupe, it was near perfect. Now, the BMW M3 has become the BMW M4 and it has much more competition than it ever has and that competition is also better than it’s ever been. The newest rival to take the M4 on is the Audi RS5 Coupe and it’s also probably the toughest rival. So which is better? Car Advice AU attempts to find out.
In this test, the deciding factor is which car was better as an everyday sports car. Forget outright performance figures and forget lap times. Which car is more enjoyable to drive everyday, all the time? To be that, the winner needs to be fast, fun, comfortable and practical. So which is it?
First, let’s look at how each car stacks up on paper. The Audi RS5 Coupe uses a 2.9 liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 450 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. The BMW M4 Comp Pack uses a 3.0 liter twin-turbo straight-six that makes 444 hp and 406 lb-ft, a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and rear-wheel drive. So the Audi has a bit more power and more grip, thanks to its Quattro all-wheel drive system. But the BMW M4 is lighter, has wider, stickier tires at the back and has a faster-shifting gearbox.
On the road, Car Advice seems to like the Audi RS5 Coupe better. It may not be as razor-sharp as the M4 but it’s still a damn good sports car that’s engaging and fun to drive. It’s also flipping fast and far faster than the BMW M4 in the wet conditions they tested them in. The RS5’s all-wheel drive grip is tenacious and allows it to be almost absurdly rapid in any condition, without scaring the crap out of yourself. It makes speed effortless. While in the BMW M4, you have to work at it. Its engine is easily able to overpower its rear wheels, so it’s sketchy to drive quickly on wet roads. So the RS5 is the winner here, as it’s fun more of the time, while the M4 is only fun in good weather.
When driving around town or going to work, the Audi RS5 was also deemed better. Its Comfort mode is genuinely comfortable and much more so than the M4’s. No, the RS5 is never going to ride like a luxury car but there’s a suppleness to its suspension despite being firm enough for spirited driving. Audi’s done a masterful job with the RS5’s suspension. On the other hand, the BMW M4 is too stiff, too spikey and too loud on the inside. If you like that, stiff, raw, racecar-like ride, than the M4 wins for you. But, for most people, the RS5 is the better choice.
Even inside, the Audi RS5 is a large step up from the BMW M4. It’s not that the M4 has a bad cabin, far from it, but that the RS5’s is much nicer, with slicker technology and a more attractive design. In the BMW’s defense, it is older than the RS5 by many years, so the Audi should have the more high-tech cabin.
In the end, though, Car Advice chose the Audi RS5 in pretty resounding victory. It’s not only just as fun as the Bimmer but it’s fun more of the time, more comfortable and has a better interior.