2017 Audi A4 vs BMW 3 Series Comparison Review

Ever since we picked up the Audi A4 for our long-term test, this is the comparison I’ve been itching to do.

While the Mercedes C-Class claimed the sales crown last year, the BMW 3 Series is a perennial bestseller and the undisputed benchmark in the compact luxury segment.

It’s the obvious choice to see how far the A4 has come in this generation, and whether it can match the 3 for luxury, quality, refinement, technology and driving dynamics. So which of these two sporty luxury sedans has the goods and the balance to deserve your attention?

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Dynamic Duo

Although it’s nearing the end of its life cycle, the 3 Series continue to sell well, and it’s not hard to see why. The heart and soul of the 3 Series is its driving dynamics, and though time and technology have robbed it of some of its analog magic, it’s still a joy to drive.

While the steering may pale compared to previous generations for pure visceral feedback, it has a substantial weight in the two Sport modes and offers direct, immediate responsiveness that makes piloting the 330 both effortless and rewarding.

SEE MORE: 2017 Audi A4 vs 2017 Mercedes-Benz C300

In the standard Comfort mode or Eco mode, the steering is lighter and more parking-lot friendly. Unfortunately, our test car was not equipped with any of the driving aids that make commuting a little less stressful, but thanks to good visibility, excellent stability, and control at any speed, it’s not a chore at all even crawling through rainy, rush-hour traffic. While piloting the 330 is effortless, the ride can be a bit choppy at times even on this 17-inch winter tire package, almost as much as the A4 with the Sport suspension and big 19-inch wheels.

Equipped with the Sport package as it is, the A4 2.0T Quattro is a fully fledged sport sedan.

Beyond the power getting off the line, the evolution of Quattro has banished understeer except in the most extremely ridiculous corner entries. Coming out of corners, power shifts to the rear and it feel like a giant hand is gently shoving the tail of the car back in line. The steering itself isn’t as natural or as heavy as the 3 Series, but it is quick, so it does the job admirably.

Simply put, with the 19-inch wheels and sport suspension, the Audi stays flatter and grips better in corners.

Compare Specs

Vehicle 2017 Audi A4 2.0TFSI quattro Advantage 2017 BMW 330i xDrive
Engine 2.0L I4 turbo 2.0L I4 turbo
Layout All-wheel drive All-wheel drive
Power 252 hp @ 5000-6000 A4 248 hp @ 5200
Torque 273 lb-ft @ 1600-4500 A4 258 lb-ft @ 1300-4000
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch 8-speed automatic
0-60 mph 5.7 sec. 330i 5.5 sec.
0-100 km/h 6.0 sec. 330i ~5.8 sec.
Weight 3,626 lb/1,645 kg A4 3,706 lb/1,681 kg
US Fuel Economy (city/hwy/comb.) 24/31/27 mpg 23/33/26 mpg
CAN Fuel Economy…

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