BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs Audi A5 Sportback

Can the new 420d Gran Coupe continue BMW's 4 Series winning streak as it meets Audi rival?

BMW 4 Series GC vs Audi A5 Sportback

Just like a well stocked golf bag with a club for every shot, BMW now seems to offer a version of its 3 Series to meet every motoring whim. 

The latest is the new 4 Series Gran Coupe, which the brand claims “offers the functionality of a saloon car with the silhouette of a coupe”. So if you want something more practical than a two-door 4 Series Coupe and think that a 3 Series saloon doesn’t stand out enough in the golf club car park, or you want hatchback functionality, but don’t need the space of a 3 Series Gran Turismo, then the 4 Series Gran Coupe might just be the car for you. 

However, BMW has come to the stylised four-door coupe sector a bit late. Audi’s A5 Sportback is well established as the class benchmark and although it’s now five years old it’s still a stylish and well rounded contender. So which of this pair will drive to victory?

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe review 

Audi A5 Sportback review 

Read the full reviews by clicking the links above, and find out the winner of this test by scrolling down...

Head-to-head

Hatch flexibility

The 480-litre boot volume of the cars in this test is identical to the A4 and 3 Series saloons. However, the coupes’ wider hatch openings make it easier to load bulky items.  

The 4 Series comes with a powered tailgate as standard, and can also be ordered with the optional smart-opener feature. This opens the boot when you sweep your foot under sensors mounted beneath the rear bumper, with the keyless fob in your pocket.

Sweeping design 

Coupe styling is defined by the sweeping roofline, and in profile these models have very similar stances on the road. The BMW’s roof is just 2mm lower than the Audi’s. Yet both cars’ hatchback tailgates have been neatly incorporated into the overall design and flow of the roof line.

Auto gearboxes 

BMW charges £1,550 for its smooth eight-speed auto, which lowers CO2 to 127g/km. The front-wheel-drive Sportback is offered with Audi’s multitronic CVT box for £1,480. Quattro versions can be ordered with the better resolved S tronic dual-clutch transmission. 

Verdict

1st place: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Unlike some niche models, the 4 Series Gran Coupe blends a really appealing mix of ingredients. It has the low running costs, engaging chassis, comfort, refinement and build quality of the class-leading 3 Series, plus it gives you the style of the 4 Series Coupe without compromising practicality. However, we’d go for the standard rear-wheel-drive version over the xDrive to curb running costs even further.

2nd place: Audi A5 Sportback

The Audi A5 has been the king of the executive coupe sector for a long time, but it’s beginning to show its age. It’s not as good to drive as the Gran Coupe, nor as smart inside, and it’s arguably not as stylish. However, the margins between these two are small, and the A5 Sportback remains an attractive proposition for those wanting a classy and more versatile alternative to a compact saloon.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs Audi A5 Sportback key specs: 

 BMW 420d Gran Coupé xDrive SE Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDI 177 SE Technik
On-the-road price/total as tested£33,295/£40,260£32,170/£36,930
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000)£16,448/49.4%£15,538/48.3%
Depreciation£16,847£16,632
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£1,396/£2,792£1,285/£2,599
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,713/£2,856£1,850/£3,084
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost29/£555/D/£10528/£495/C/£30
Servicing costs£425 (5yrs)£22pcm (3yrs)
   
Length/wheelbase4,638/2,810mm4,712/2,810mm
Height/width1,389/1,825mm1,391/1,854mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,995cc4cyl in-line/1,968cc
Peak power 181/4,000 bhp/rpm175/4,200 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 380/1,750 Nm/rpm380/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission 6-spd man/4wd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel57 litres/run flat63 litres/space saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down) 480/1,300 litres480/980 litres
Kerbweight/payload1,660/560kg1,515/550kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.3 metres/0.28Cd11.5 metres/0.29Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (unltd)/3yrs3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealersVariable/153Variable/121
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.10th/22nd12th/26th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./starsN/AN/A
   
0-60/30-70mph8.1/7.6 secs8.5/7.2 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 3.6/6.2 secs3.4/5.3 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th 6.9/10.2 secs6.3/9.1 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 147mph/2,000rpm142mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 48.7/35.1/8.9m46.0/33.6/9.6m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph67/47/61/68dB66/48/63/69dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range43.3/9.6/543 miles40.1/8.9/556 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined46.3/67.3/57.6mpg51.4/68.9/61.4mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined10.2/14.8/12.8mpl11.3/15.1/13.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket175/129g/km/21%189/120g/km/20%
   
Airbags/Isofix/rear parking sensorsSix/yes/yesSix/yes/yes
Automatic box/stability/cruise ctrl£945/yes/yes£765/yes/yes
Climate ctrl/leather/heated seats£645/yes/yes£615/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go£170/yesYes/yes
Sat-nav/USB connection/Bluetooth£1,890*/yes/yesYes/yes/yes

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