Photo Comparison: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs Audi A5 Sportback

4-Series, News | September 7th, 2016 by 11
Bild Vergleich BMW 4er F36 Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback 2016 01 750x500

Making “Coupes” out of nearly anything seems to be all the rage in Germany, these days. Anything from four-door sedans to SUVs can be called …

Making “Coupes” out of nearly anything seems to be all the rage in Germany, these days. Anything from four-door sedans to SUVs can be called “Coupes” now, so long as it has a more aggressive rear end and a sweeping roofline. Technically, the word coupé means “cut” in French and has nothing to do with the amount of doors. So, technically, the Germans aren’t necessarily wrong. But it still feels wrong.

Nevertheless, some of these four-door coupes have actually been quite good. Both of BMW’s attempts, the 6 Series and 4 Series Gran Coupes, have been rather excellent, actually. Other automakers have struggled, but are doing alright. Audi, for example, first attempted the four-door coupe with the original Audi A5 Sportback. Similar to the 4 Series Gran Coupe, the A5 Sportback was a four-door variant of a two-door car that came with a hatchback-style trunk. While it was a fine car, it didn’t quite look right and didn’t drive as well as the coupe variant. Fast forward to today and Audi is giving it another go.

Bild Vergleich BMW 4er F36 Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback 2016 04 750x562

Based on the new, second-generation Audi A5/S5, the new Sportback looks much better than it did before. In comparison to its main competition, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, it’s tough to pick a favorite. Both cars have some very good angles and some very nice touches, as well as some bad angles and touches.

From the front, it’s business as usual for both cars, so there’s really nothing new to see. It’s from the B-pillar back that interests us today. Personally, I actually feel that the A5 Sportback is the better looking car in profile. It looks more like it was designed for four-door use from the beginning, whereas the 4 Series GC sort of looks forced. The 4 Series GC also looks a bit taller and less sporty, while the A5 Sportback looks lower and sleeker. The Audi also has a more muscular set of rear haunches.

Bild Vergleich BMW 4er F36 Gran Coupe Audi A5 Sportback 2016 03 750x750

At the rear, though, I think the 4 Series GC is the better looking car. There’s just something a bit off about the rear of the A5 Sportback. Its taillights are a bit too boring and the way that rear decklid joins with the taillights just looks strange. However, looking down the side of the Audi from the rear three-quarters view, it does look very good. That flowing shoulder line is how to do a flowing line correctly (maybe Infiniti should take notice).

On the inside, it’s business as usual, yet again. Both cars have tremendous cabins, but I think the edge goes to the Audi again. It’s just more modern and filled with better technology. That single-piece horizontal vent looks great and the ergonomics are superb. The 4 Series cabin is still a triumph of substance over style, with near-perfect ergonomics, fantastic build quality and the best steering wheel (M Sport) in the business. However, the Audi A5 combines a lot of that substance with more style and more interesting technology. The Virtual Cockpit with Google Maps is really quite incredible to use and fascinating. Although, BMW’s iDrive still trumps Audi’s MMI, even if the folks in Ingolstadt are catching up.

Bild-Vergleich-BMW-4er-F36-Gran-Coupe-Audi-A5-Sportback-2016-06

Overall, I’m personally a fan of the new Audi A5 and the Sportback variant does look pretty good to these eyes. We’re still big fans of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and its driving dynamics are likely still superior. We’ll see, when the Audi A5 Sportback finally debuts, which is the better car. But for now, if both were presented to us with the keys, it’d be a hard choice to make.

[Source: BimmerToday]

11 responses to “Photo Comparison: BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs Audi A5 Sportback”

  1. Fritz says:

    They could’ve picked out a more flattering color for the 440i.

  2. John says:

    The Audi is just really weird looking. There’s something very wrong about how angular the lights are, next to the swoop curves on the hood. It just doesn’t go together. The back looks strange too. The BMW has a nicer rear, but the front looks like something that was used to ward off evil spirits centuries ago.

    • Kaisuke971 says:

      Idk what happened, the first A5 was a beauty. It looked muscular and elegant at the same time, and by far the best looking car of its category in all versions. Now it’s just weird…

  3. seancorr says:

    Two good looking cars but BMW’s interior is starting to show its age. Can’t wait to see the next gen 4GC but man these cars a asking for top dollar over their sedan counterparts. Where I live the 428i GC can be bought for the same amount as a 528i which has almost all the optional boxes ticked…so much so it has become a rare species compared to the 5er which is everywhere on the road now.

  4. TheBingoBalls says:

    Eh. Of the three, I think BMW does the Gran Coupe design the best because they played it safe and didn’t try to reinvent anything – take the coupe variant and add 2 additional doors. It also helps that the model it’s based on is already a looker.

  5. CDspeed says:

    To be honest I don’t like the 4-Series, it just looks way too much like a 3-Series. If your going to pass off the 4-Series, especially the 4 Gran Coupe as a different model it should look different. And I have seen a new A5 on the road, its styling is different enough from the A4 that you can instantly tell them apart.

    • John says:

      Agreed. I was really confused when I saw the 4 series for the first time. Remember how the 3 series coupe had a different front that was more aggressive and sporty (and beautiful IMHO)? I still can’t tell the 3 and 4 apart from a distance from the front. I bet you most people can’t tell the 3 series from the 4GC apart either from many angles. Very very disappointing design from BMW.

      • CDspeed says:

        I still can’t get used to saying M4, there has been an M3 coupe for several generations the E46 didn’t even come in a sedan, but suddenly it’s different. Even numbers they said were supposed to be for coupe and convertibles, but then almost instantly added the Active Tourer to the 2-Series range. If the AT is a 2-Series, I don’t see why they had to mess with tradition on the 3-Series coupe and convertible.

  6. Alexander S says:

    Audi is too boring….And I never thought that Audi could copy front bumper from its main competitor BMW!))) PS This one particular on 4 series at sport pack.

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