The Germans absolutely boss the bunched affluence auto market, and now there’s a new big-grilled best on the market: the 2021 BMW 4 Series. BMW has called to acknowledge the car in abject 430i anatomy and hotter M440i xDrive trim. Because no bean is anytime larboard unturned by the German competition, this car already has competitors that are creepily agnate to it from about every aspect.
Homogeneous is the best way to call the three cars we’re pitting adjoin anniversary other. Some things are acutely different, like the design, but award a bright champ from the numbers is no accessible task. Alike as the 2021 BMW 4 Series is absolutely new, both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Auto and Audi A5 Auto are contempo designs. That agency everybody is on a about alike basement activity into this.
And aloof to be clear, we’ve kept this allegory to the accepted versions of the 4 Series and its competition, because the M4 hasn’t been appear yet. Back it does, we’ll accept affluence to allocution about amid the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Auto and the Audi RS 5 Coupe. Without added ado, here’s the allegory chart. Some abstracts are accent so as to point out a win for that archetypal over the others.
Every distinct car in its abject anatomy uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. BMW ties with Mercedes in application at 255 horses, but Bavaria takes a acceptable advance with its stout 294 pound-feet of torque. The 21 pound-foot advantage over both the C 300 Auto and A5 Auto is acceptable abundant to be apparent in acceleration, and the 0-60 mph times appearance absolutely that.
BMW is faster than everybody to 60 mph, according to the architect estimates, advancing in at 5.5 abnormal with rear-wheel drive or 5.3 abnormal with all-wheel drive. The advantage over Mercedes is rather large, but the Audi is appropriate abaft BMW. They use altered transmissions to get there. BMW uses one of our favorites, the ZF 8-speed automatic; Mercedes uses its own nine-speed automated transmission, and Audi uses a dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, which is additionally an central job. All of them behave a bit abnormally in practice, but the BMW and Mercedes should be inherently smoother than Audi’s sportier dual-clutch transmission.
We don’t yet accept ammunition abridgement for either BMW engine, but Audi is durably advanced of Mercedes in this category. We’ve been afflicted with the real-world ammunition abridgement out of the 3 Series so far, and we brainstorm the 4 Series will action analogously absorbing results.
BMW manages to differentiate itself with its M440i xDrive. While the Mercedes and Audi competitors use V6 engines, BMW has put its accomplished 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six beneath the hood. We’ve apprenticed assorted cars with this agent (including the 2021 Supra), and it’s baroque in sound, ability commitment and arduous thrust. The 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical arrangement is a accurate bonus, too.
Despite all of that, the Mercedes-AMG C 43 still wins from a numbers perspective, as the twin-turbo V6 produces a beard added application and 20 pound-feet added torque. It additionally has Mercedes’ multi-clutch automated transmission, admitting the added two accomplish do with acceptable eight-speed automatics. That doesn’t assume to advice in the 0-60 mph department, though, as BMW still estimates its M440i is quicker than both the Mercedes and Audi S5. As these cars are alone a tenth or two altered from anniversary other, though, the aberration is negligible.
All three of these cars are boss similar, but if we’re activity to accredit a achievement champ on paper, it’s activity to be the BMW. Both versions of the 4 Series are quicker to 60 mph than the others, and the candied inline-six agent is abundant to accept us aptitude its way. The gap is close, though, and active all of them back-to-back could calmly amplitude us in a altered direction.
BMW: top; Audi: basal left; Mercedes-Benz: basal right
Here’s area BMW has befuddled a action in this baby auto battle. The 4 Series is about three inches beyond than both the C-Class Auto and A5 Coupe. It’s additionally added than the others, and avalanche in the average back it comes to all-embracing height.
That added breadth leaves the 4 Series as the bright champ in the all-important rear bench legroom category. It’s a abounding 2.5 inches beyond than the Mercedes and 1.8 inches beyond than the Audi. It’s still about baby at 34.5 inches, but backseat cartage will absolutely be added adequate in the BMW than the others. Unless they’re abnormally tall, because BMW comes in aftermost abode for rear headroom. Audi leads the way actuality with 36.1 inches. Coupes are inherently attached in arch amplitude for rear bench passengers, so it’s no abruptness to see a agglomeration of low numbers in this category.
When it comes to block space, the numbers say BMW has a bright advantage. However, as we begin in our BMW 3 Series baggage test, the numbers aren’t cogent the accomplished story. BMW’s way of barometer the amplitude appears to be altered in some way compared to others. Until we can physically alpha advance baggage into this coupe, we’re activity to burden from declaring it the ultimate account coupe.
BMW has priced both the 430i and M440i to about altogether band up to Mercedes. At $46,595, the 430i is aloof $350 cheaper than the C 300. The A5 Auto is the cheapest of the agglomeration at $43,895.
The S5 is additionally the cheapest achievement variant, advancing in about $6,500 cheaper than the M440i and C 43.
For the budget-conscious, the S5 Auto is a abundant way to get into a hot German car for less. However, maybe you’re a fan of the grille. If so, the new M440i could be your affectionate of vehicle. It absolutely stands out added than the others and makes a above (for bigger or for worse) access than any of its peers. We’ll additionally agenda the actuality of the Lexus RC and Infiniti Q60 alternatives, both of which action solid achievement variants but don’t absolutely antagonism to the Germans. If there were a Japanese wildcard in this fight, it’s the RC F and its absorbing 5.0-liter artlessly aspirated V8 engine.
Now, analysis them all out in photos.
2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe
See Abounding Image Gallery >>
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
See Abounding Image Gallery >>
Audi A5 Coupe
See Abounding Image Gallery >>
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