2015 BMW 340i vs 2016 Audi S4

3-Series | July 17th, 2015 by 11
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Recent driving impressions have just come out for the upcoming BMW 340i. For the 2015 model year, the F30 3 Series gets a refresh, known …

Recent driving impressions have just come out for the upcoming BMW 340i. For the 2015 model year, the F30 3 Series gets a refresh, known as an LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) in BMW speak. The 340i is replacing the current 335i, which is already as fast as the current Audi S4. The 340i gets a brand new 3.0 liter Turbocharged inline-six engine, making 326 hp. It’s also gotten chassis tweaks and a refresh of both the exterior and interior. So how does it stack up against the upcoming Audi S4?

Well, for starters, the 340i is rumored to have less power than the 2016 S4. The upcoming S4 is said to make somewhere around 350 hp, compared to the 326 hp of the 340i. However, BMW is notorious for underrating its engines, which is why the less powerful 335i is just as fast as the current Audi S4. Weight is also a factor, as the Quattro system in the S4 adds a significant amount of weight. However, the upcoming A4 and S4 will be significantly lighter than the outgoing models and will be built on an entirely new chassis, using the MQB platform, while the 340i still remains on the current F30 3 Series platform.

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In terms of handling, the BMW 335i was always a formidable opponent to the S4, though many recent comparisons have favored the S4. This might change, however, as the 340i is said to be the sharper handling car than the 335i and has had serious revisions to the chassis and suspension. Though, to combat that, the 2016 S4 should have some serious handling chops as well, as Audi has gone through great lengths to improve on steering and chassis dynamics. So we’ll have to wait and see how they compare in the twisties, as it will be close.

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Audi RS4 Rendering

In terms of looks, it’s a bit of a wash. The 340i has been updated and does look better than the 335i it replaces, however, the F30 3 Series was never the best look 3 Series. In fact, after only three years, it’s starting to show its age. While the upcoming S4 will be wearing a brand new suit, I feel as if Audi was a bit too tame with the styling of the B9. So while the new S4 will look like the newer fresher car, it might not be the more exciting looking of the two.

The interior is where the S4 might take it, though. While the 340i is an improvement over the already nice 335i, in terms of interior look and quality, the Audi’s interior have historically looked fantastic. Obviously, we won’t know how it really feels until we can sit in it, but Audi has always been at or near the top of its class, in terms of interior design and quality. It’s also a much newer design, as the current 340i is just a revision of the older model. However, having driven the F30 Series several times, I can tell you that it also has a quality interior with excellent materials and ergonomics. It might not be as aesthetically pleasing as the A4’s, but it’s definitely on par in terms of quality and feel.

We won’t know how these two stack up until the S4 makes its debut. But until we can speculate and things look pretty good for Audi. The S4 is significantly newer, will be built on an entirely new chassis and should be a large improvement over the outgoing model, which was already the preferred car. However, this new 340i means business, so it will be a very interesting and fun battle to watch.

[Source: QuattroDaily]

11 responses to “2015 BMW 340i vs 2016 Audi S4”

  1. Autopal says:

    Some of your statements are contradictory. You correctly say we won’t know how the Audi’s interior feel until you can sit in it, even though you suspect it will be first class, then you end by saying the BMW’s interior is “definitely on par in terms of quality and feel.”

  2. rpasea says:

    This article would have been more credible if the author had waited until both cars are out. Too much speculation IMO.

  3. Giom says:

    Nico, I disagree with you on the F30 styling. I think after four years of seeing it, we got used to it, but in no way is it dating. I do agree about the Audi styling being way too conservative. These days, like BMW, Audis look much better in the flesh – it’s just that, you’re never sure if it’s the new model or the old one. That’s a little sad.

    • As a standalone product, the F30 looks fine, it just seems to be a bit dated looking in comparison to some of its competition, like the Jag XE, IMHO. But not bad at all.

      But yea, as much as I like many Audis, they are all far too conservative. I’d rather Audi take some chances with the styling and end up with something too extreme rather than be too boring. At least too extreme is interesting and has a charm if its own.

      • Autopal says:

        My big problem with the F30 3 series is the interior. The fit and finish and quality of materials are ok, it’s just the design, particular the center stack, just look dated. Very dated. I emailed BMW Canada about the availability of leather covered dash on the 340xi, and I was shocked to learn it’s not available in North America. That’s the main reason I am leaning heavily towards the C450 AMG

        • The fit and finish isn’t perfect in the F30, but I never found it appalling either. It’s still extremely ergonomic and will hold up over many years. However, admittedly, the new C Class’ interior is outstanding and class leading. So the desire to switch to MB for the interior is understandable. However, maybe wait until test driving the post LCI 3 Series and M3 before making the decision. It’s said to have considerably upgraded materials. Worth a test drive first.

          • Autopal says:

            You are 100% correct, it make sense to wait and test drive both. BMW better step up their game on the next 3 series in 2018 though, as I saw a rumour that the next C class will not only be sporting a 9 speed transmission, but also Mercedes will be switching to a new straight six engine. If those rumours are correct, the dominance of the 3er could be under serious threat!

          • I’ve read these rumors as well, and if they’re true, you’re absolutely correct, the 3 Series will be in trouble. Though I assume the new 3er will be excellent as it will be built on BMW’s latest CLAR architecture, which utilizes some incredible lightweight technology. So it should be much improved. But this is just my assumption.

        • B-Man says:

          Just Saying when the F30 came out it was miles better than the current C class in my opinion. The new model is always going to shine a little brighter than a model that came out 3+ years ago.

          The one thing that BMW will always have is the 6 speed manual and smooth inline 6 mated to the rear wheels only. That drive train is why i chose the BMW 340i.

  4. pdqgp says:

    “However, BMW is notorious for underrating its engines, which is why the
    less powerful 335i is just as fast as the current Audi S4”

    The 335i has slightly less power but it also doesn’t have the same power loss as the AWD S4. That said though, Audi’s 3.0T is also under rated. Actual BHP is closer to 370. In the case of mine, bone stock it laid down 325awhp.

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