Hot wagons are something of an unknown, here in the ‘States. While Europeans love their fast wagons, the North American market is devoid of them. It’s a shame, really, as we could be driving around in cars like the Audi S4 Avant and ALPINA D3 Biturbo Touring. Instead, we’re driving around in things like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Bleh. Anyway, the Evening Standard decided to put those two aforementioned wagons to the test to see which is better. To say we’re jealous is an understatement.
First up is the ALPINA D3 Biturbo Touring. Based on the BMW 3 Series Touring, ALPINA takes it and cranks it up to eleven. The interior is completely redone with ALPINA’s traditionally superb build-quality, impressive leather and overall feeling of specialness. ALPINAs are quite rare, even more so on this side of the pond, which makes their design and style feel even more special. On the outside, it gets the traditional ALPINA blue paint job, unique body work and those stunning 20″ wheels. Under the hood is a reworked version of BMW’s 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 diesel engine, making 350 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That allows it to get from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, which is damn quick for a diesel wagon.
By comparison, the Audi S4 Avant is purely developed by Audi but that doesn’t make it feel any less special. In fact, it actually feels more solid and better put together. Though, that’s more of a complaint about BMW’s current 3 Series being a bit old now, not ALPINA’s build quality. The cockpit of the S4 is also far sportier and more exciting, as the ALPINA is designed more for comfort and luxury. One the outside, though, the S4 Avant is the sleeper of the two, lacking the ALPINA’s flashier wheels and styling. Under the hood of the Audi S4 Avant is a 3.0 liter turbocharged petrol engine that makes 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. That allows it to get from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which is a bit slower than the ALPINA thanks to its significantly lower torque figure.
According to the Evening Standard, the ALPINA D3 Biturbo is the car to get, though. While the ALPINA is the faster car and the more luxurious one, that’s not what gets it the win. It just feels more special than the Audi S4 and more exciting. Its torque pull is monstrous and its cabin is truly something special. The Audi S4 Avant is actually the better sports car of the two, but it lacks steering feel and a bit of specialness. If you want something more premium feeling, sharper driving and with better technology, ES claims the Audi S4 Avant is the better car. But the ALPINA feels more special, is faster and can get up to 60 mpg. So that’s sort of tough to argue with.