What will they cost?
No premium-badged executive car is going to be cheap, let alone one with a dose of extra style and four-wheel drive. We’d stick to second-rung Sport specification on both cars, because that gets you plenty of equipment, including climate control, heated front seats, cruise control, Bluetooth and parking sensors all round.
The A5 also adds sat-nav and electric front seats with adjustable lumbar support, items that help to offset its higher sticker price. As for finance, you’ll pay £30 extra per month to lease the A5. However, it’s the other way around if you’re buying on a PCP, with a three-year deal on the 4 Series costing £14 more at £446 per month. That’s assuming a £5000 deposit and a maximum of 10,000 miles a year.
If you’re buying outright, the 4 Series will relieve you of less money initially, but running costs sway in the A5’s favour. It costs less to service, drinks less fuel and is predicted to hold on to 5% more of its value after three years and 36,000 miles. Insurance is a bit higher, but for a private buyer, the A5 will cost almost £1300 less to run than the 4 Series over three years.
Both will be popular company cars, and here the A5 once again comes out cheaper, costing nearly £700 less than the 4 Series in benefit-in-kind tax over a three-year period. Just bear in mind that if you fit larger-than-standard alloys to the A5, its CO2 emissions rise and push it into a higher tax bracket. Considering it’ll almost certainly ride more smoothly on smaller wheels, we’d save our money and stick to the standard 17in rims.
The A5 certainly shows it’s the newer car when you look at standard safety features. All versions get automatic emergency braking that can prevent, or at least reduce the severity of, an impact at speeds of up to 52mph. Automatic braking is available on the 4 Series, but it costs £370 and only works at up to 9mph. Both cars come with a raft of airbags and score equally well for security, according to the experts at Thatcham Research.
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