Audi recently released its B9-generation Audi A4, to compete with the new BMW 3 Series, and it proved to be a massive upgrade from the previous generation and a genuine competitor to the 3 Series. Audi’s new MLB platform is proving to be quite good and BMW’s Bavarian neighbor seems to be making some very good cars as of late. Now, the brand-new, second-generation Audi A5 has just debuted and it seems like it could be a very serious competitor to the 4 Series. So let’s take a look at how they compare.
On the outside, the new Audi A5 isn’t a massive departure from the previous generation, which is actually a good thing. The first-gen Audi A5 was always a very good looking car, even as it started to age. So this new one hasn’t strayed much from a successful formula. However, it has been nipped and tucked in a more evolutionary fashion, rather than a revolutionary one. It’s a very good looking car.
The front end as a whole slopes much lower than before and it has a sportier, more aggressive look to it. Audi’s new singleframe grille is used here and its headlights are far sharper than before. The clamshell hood now features more aggressive lines and just gives the front of the A5 an angrier look than the previous car’s somewhat boring demeanor. The BMW 4 Series is also an aggressive looking car from the front, with its angular headlights, big kidney grille nostrils and aggressive hoodline, so both cars look mean and angry, which is good for sports coupes.
At the back, the BMW 4 Series seems to have a noticeably taller butt, making it look more rear-driven than the Audi. The Audi A5’s rear end seems to droop a bit lower, likely thanks to its front-wheel drive-based nature. The taillights on the Audi A5 are sleeker and more modern looking, while the 4 Series’ are larger and aren’t as elegant.
Both cars seem to look their best in profile, where you can really see all of the body lines and the aggressive shape of each car. The BMW 4 Series has always been a beautifully designed car, one of the best looking BMWs in a very long time, and it was always more visually interesting than the previous generation A5, whose slab-sided body felt a bit uninteresting. This new one is much more interesting and is quite beautiful, giving the 4 Series a run for its money and even looking better in some areas. One thing Audi did really well was making this all-wheel drive car look rear-wheel drive in profile, by giving it a short front overhand and very muscular looking rear haunches. Both a gorgeous coupes that look sporty and aggressive, but the 4 Series seems a bit more elegant and the A5 seems more muscular. I think this one comes down to preference, to honestly cop-out.
Interiors are obviously subjective, as many people feel very differently about their car cabins. However, if you’re asking me, Audi has BMW beat in this area at the moment. While the interior of the BMW 4 Series is a very attractive one and has superb build quality and ergonomics, the Audi A5’s cabin is simply outstanding.
Having driven the new A4, which is nearly identical inside to the A5, I can say it’s the best interior in the class. It feels open and airy, with tons of natural light and outstanding outward visibility. The materials and fit and finish are all top-notch and the ergonomics are bang-on. It’s just so clean looking and modern. The center stack is also slightly canted towards the driver, much like in proper BMWs. However, as good as Audi’s new MMI is, it still isn’t as good as BMW’s iDrive.
Overall, both are outstanding looking coupes that will look great for years to come. The new Audi A5 has the benefit of being a few years newer than the 4 Series, so it’s design is fresher to our eyes, but the 4 Series is still a great looking car. The BMW 4 Series is a bit more elegant looking and the Audi A5 is a bit more muscular, so it really comes down to personal preference as it’s hard to determine which looks better. On the inside, though, I think the A5 has the slight edge, as it’s interior is more modern and is just a little bit better looking.BimmerToday]