This new generation of BMW 4 Series is arguably the most controversial BMW since the E65 7 Series, thanks to its massive new grille design and GT-like driving style. However, it is the newest car in the segment and comes packed full of new goodies, so it certainly has a bit of an advantage over its competition. In this new three-way comparison test from Auto Express, you get to see if those advantages are enough to both outweigh its controversial styling and take down its competition.

In this test, we see the new BMW 4 Series take on the Audi A5 and the Lexus RC, two of the 4er’s biggest competitors in the segment. The only car missing from the test is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe but publications can’t always get the cars they want, scheduled for when they want. So we get it.

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All three cars in this test are fitted with their least-powerful four-cylinder engines. That means the BMW is a 420i, the Audi A5 a ’40’ TFSI (whatever that means) and the Lexus is the RC 300h. The Audi is the most powerful in the test, with 201 horsepower, versus the 181 horsepower of the BMW and Lexus. The Bimmer gets an eight-speed torque-converter automatic while the Audi uses a dual-clutch seven-speed and the Lexus a CVT. Of the three cars, the Lexus is the only hybrid.

Due to being the most powerful and the lightest, the Audi A5 is the fastest car in the test, getting from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 7.1 seconds, versus 7.5 seconds for the other two. It also has the snazziest interior but smallest back seat. The BMW 4 Series, however, is both the sportiest to drive and the most comfortable. The Lexus is the odd man out, not really excelling over the other two at anything except for fuel efficiency but it’s also the most expensive car in the test, offsetting that efficiency gain.

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We won’t spoil the victory order here, as you should read Auto Express’ comparison, but the 4 Series does compete well, despite its visual handicap.

[Source: Auto Express]