Sedans & Coupes

The 2021 Audi A4 Beats the BMW 3 Series in Every Area That Counts

In the luxury sedan market, there are some big-name cars in competition. One a rising star and one a fairly consistent star, the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series, respectively. The Audi A4 is definitely one to watch, but is the 2021 model a better choice than the incredibly popular BMW 3 Series? Even though the 3 Series has many devoted fans, and even added Android Auto (finally), the A4 might be the better choice this year.

The Audi A4 vs the BMW 3 Series . . . contenders to your corners

MotorTrend laid out the pros and cons of both luxury cars to try and determine which car is better. In interior design and tech, the clear winner was Audi. They were impressed by the streamlined interior versus BMW’s somewhat dated design, as well as Audi’s higher quality trimmings. And it was no contest in the tech department.

The A4 is a marvel of technology and has even been dubbed the “Virtual Cockpit.” BMW just can’t compete. As far as driving experience, in terms of engine and transmission, both are comparable, but the A4 provides a much more comfortable ride. The BMW 3 Series is the winner, though, in terms of full-out acceleration. 

As far as cost, the Audi A4 is a little cheaper while still offering a lot of features. If you are looking for a plug-in hybrid model, your only choice is the BMW 3 Series, as Audi does not offer an A4 hybrid model. The 3 Series also offers better efficiency. The four-cylinder models are roughly the same, with BMW being slightly better, but in the six-cylinder models, BMW is clearly more efficient. In terms of space, both cars have similar space for passengers, but the 3 Series offers more cargo space with a 17 cubic-foot trunk compared to Audi’s 12 cubic-foot trunk. 

The BMW 3 Series does not win where it counts

While the BMW 3 Series offers a hybrid model, is more efficient, and has more cargo space, none of these factors are really deal-breakers. If you are buying a luxury car, you are generally more concerned with the luxury part rather than cargo space or efficiency. And BMW just really does not measure up in these areas.

The technology really lacks when compared to other luxury sedans, but particularly when compared to the Audi A4. And while the 3 Series is going to give you a more comfortable ride than a Jeep Wrangler, compared with another luxury sedan, it is not quite as smooth.

The Audi A4 – winner for 2021

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The clear winner for MotorTrend is the Audi A4. In fact, MotorTrend is not alone in feeling this way. We reported earlier on the Audi A4’s runaway victory from Consumer Reports. Car and Driver and Kelly Blue Book both rave about handling, speed, and interior style. Nothing is perfect, though, and the A4 has a few weaknesses. Even though the safety system is extensive, other luxury sedans offer a little more. And it does have a smaller interior that really is not built for taller people, though most compact sedans, luxury or not, have this issue as a common complaint.

The 2021 Audi A4 really has it all. Luxury touches, great handling and power, and superb tech combine to provide an equally sporty and luxurious sedan. Add in the fact that is also not as hard on your pocket as the BMW 3 Series, and it is clear that this year the Audi A4 is the best choice for a luxury car.