New BMW 4 Series Convertible vs Audi A5 Cabriolet: costs
Audi and BMW are old hands at making classy four-seat convertibles that are refined enough to use all year round. Let’s see if BMW’s latest 4 Series drop-top can upstage its toughest rival...
Buying and owning
Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security
In their respective test specs, the Audi A5 Cabriolet is pricier than the BMW 4 Series Convertible to the tune of more than £7000. And that gap only increases when you factor in discounts; while you can get around £3000 off the A5, BMW dealers will already knock almost £4000 off the 4 Series.
We also found the 4 Series to be the more efficient car, with it averaging 34.0mpg on our fuel economy test loop, compared with the A5’s 29.2mpg. Plus, it’s cheaper to service and insure and is expected to hold on to its value better. In fact, if you add up all of the costs you can expect to face over a three-year, 36,000-mile ownership period, choosing the 4 Series over the A5 is likely to save you more than £9000.
Things aren’t much closer if you take out a PCP finance deal, instead of buying outright. Put down a £5000 deposit and sign up to a four-year contract with a 10,000-mile annual limit and the A5 will set you back £860 per month – £303 more than a 4 Series on the same terms.
True, there are cheaper versions of the A5, but these don’t come with the Vorsprung’s adaptive suspension. Besides, the A5 does have an ace up its sleeve in Vorsprung form: an equipment list that’s longer than the wait to see your GP. For example, while both cars come with three-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, leather upholstery and heated, electrically adjustable front seats, the A5’s seats also feature a massage function.
What’s more, the A5 gives you keyless entry, incredibly powerful laser headlights and a head-up display that projects important information such as your speed and the prevailing speed limit onto the windscreen, so you don’t have to glance away from the road. Adding these features to the 4 Series will set you back £4550, because they’re available only as part of pricey option packs.
The A5 hasn’t been assessed by the safety experts at Euro NCAP, but the 4 Series received its maximum five-star rating, while both cars come equipped with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance to help you avoid getting into an accident in the first place.
BMW finished 13th out of 30 brands in the 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, whereas Audi was down in 18th. However, the A5 was one of its better-performing models, receiving a creditable 95.8% score. The latest 4 Series was too new to be included.
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