2014 Audi A4 vs 2014 BMW 328i
After years of putting in work at, say, a prestigious University or at your advertising agency, it’s your time. You’re well and truly on to better things. But how do you announce just that while still being both practical and stylish? Maybe a shiny new watch on your wrist, or a trendy new couch for your living room, perhaps a tailored suit to show some high fashion? But that suit can only show your style on certain occasions, that watch lacks the ability to guide you to the nearest coffee shop, and couches have notoriously poor handling. You’re thinking of something much, much bigger. In fact, what you need is a sedan that makes a powerful statement while still fitting in all the necessary gadgets and useful tools that will keep your busy life on the fast track to the top. The question remains, how do you enter the world of luxury in proper fashion?
Well if you’ve done your research, you’ve probably put the 2014 Audi A4 and the 2014 BMW 328i somewhere high on your list, and for good reason. These two beauties represent the most attainable entry into the world of the life of luxury driving. But which of the two is better for you? Here at AudiComparisons.com, we’ve done the leg work for you, so we can give you some insights into which to choose.
Before tucking into how these cars operate, it’s very important to note that the drivetrain you chose is going to really affect the performance of the car. If you’ve just slung a hello kitty backpack over your shoulder and are about to go get froyo, the rear wheel drive of the standard 2014 328i will probably suit you fine for an around town experience. This is opposed to the less favored front wheel drive of the standard 2014 A4. However if you plan on putting your car through its paces on all fours, that dynamic is going to shift considerably. The frame of the A4 was designed around the legendary Audi Quattro AWD system, whereas the Beemer was engineered around a 2WD system. Because a shift in the drivetrain results in a shift in the center of gravity and the car height for a 328i, it is going to result in some drive alterations. Essentially the A4 is going to respond quicker and more substantially than the 328i. Thus the driving experience of the Audi is going to be enhanced tremendously with the addition of four wheel drive. That is, if you wanna drive.
Aside from build, engine performance is going to be another factor in how you choose what to drive. In a straight line the 240 horsepower BMW 328i is is going to have an advantage over the 220 hp Audi A4. But unfortunately for the BMW, eventually you’re going to have to turn the wheel, and be it left or right you’re going to want a car that has corners on lock. If you want to maul bends and attack curves, the Audi is the clear choice. While the 328i is no slouch, the strong electronic communication between the tires and steering wheel via a specially honed suspension system is going to make the experience of steering the A4 is more tight and focused. When compiled with the aforementioned Audi Quattro this effect is amplified, giving the A4 driver a much stronger feeling of control over their asphalt environment. If braking and safety are of concern to you (And they should be), you're not going wrong wrong with either, with both cars earning notably high marks in both of these categories.
Whether you’re just entering the premium car segment or trying to find something that gives you a little more luxe for your buck, the 2014 A4 is going to edge out the 328i when it comes to value. Starting at the base price between the two cars, an A4 is going to run you about $34,000 and a 328i is going to bottom out at $38,000. If you consider many modern refinements like navigation, heated seats, or leather accents necessary, I’ve got bad news: these things don’t make the cars any cheaper. If you’re a fan of clicking the shiny boxes on the manufacturer’s websites that give you all the accouterments to make your dream car come true, it's going to cost you. But if you're going to click them anyway, you may want to read on.
In a class where most cars are going to have roughly the same options available, value becomes a factor. You go into this experience expecting all the general functionalities of an impressive automobile, and knowing that you’re not going to get the utmost in earth/space technology. You know that the appropriate price tag is going to be there, and you know neither car will disappoint on options. Power seats? Okay. Electronics plugins? Sure. Four wheel drive? It’s there. But at 57,000 for maxed out 328i, and around 53,000 for a top-of-the-line A4, the math is pretty basic: If you want it in your luxury car, you can have it for less at Audi.
To say these cars are “reasonably priced” or “affordable luxury” is not to say that corners were cut on styling or the quality of their build. As you read this, some German dude at Audi/BMW sits at his sketchpad on coffee number 6 trying to use his pencil to blow the enemy out of the water. They look and feel good. The 2014 Audi A4, with its signature LED running lights adorning the front along with its large singleframe grille, has no lines out of place. The 2014 328i, with its bifurcated front grill gives way to a lower and leaner looking front with less open space, it's well thought out. The Audi’s interior dash lends itself more to a driver-focused experience, with lines that slope down the center to cut a path for the driver to be in his element. With instrumentation that makes itself known and yet holds seamlessly to the color scheme of the interior, the layout feels stylized but appropriate. BMW, with its surgical lines crossing the dash, leaves very little room for niceties, instead opting for a very sterile look about its interior. The dashboard also seems more open towards the passenger, turning driving into more of a team experience, with less bold accenting and definition. Style is and always has been a very subjective topic, but for my money, the Audi lends itself more to a seamless and integrated driving experience.
If you think that this article is a bit of a mismatch when it comes to performance or features, you may have had a different car in mind, say A BMW 335i. There will be an article covering that up soon.