Test Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3-series Touring: they may never get better …

It’s definitely not the bonus offers of the week, let alone the D-segment hit-and-misses. Equipped with all kinds of tasty options, the prices of the Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI Quattro and BMW 330i xDrive Touring shown here go very fast towards 70,000 euros. Sorry, maybe we should have warned you in advance …

‘Yes, but then they are premium!’, Both brands will argue in defense. It is certain that this fast A4 Avant and 3-Series Touring will take your life as a motorist to the next level (read our test notes on the engine and handling). But even then, in exchange for 70,000 euros, we expect extraordinary performance from both cars in terms of luxury, comfort and build quality.

Who would have thought: the BMW offers more space than the Audi!

Of course there are cheaper ways to drive a D-segment station wagon – such as a Mazda 6 Sportbreak or a Volkswagen Passat Variant – but for the almost 70 grand you pay for this Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI Quattro and BMW 330i xDrive Touring, you do get a lot of tasty in return. Such as a spacious interior that is constructed from the finest materials with a keen eye for detail. You will not find a better finish in the middle class.

In their current form, the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3-series Touring have been thoroughly washed out. In the middle class of Audi you were never short of space, in the 3-series from BMW usually. But that is definitely a thing of the past: the 3-Series Touring offers even more head and legroom in the rear than the A4 Avant.

The trunk of the BMW fits 500 to 1510 liters of luggage. He trumps the Audi with that too. Not that the A4 Avant is tight, because with a load volume of 495 to 1495 liters, the difference is not great. If the maximum towing capacity is important to you, know that the BMW can tow a trailer with a braked weight of 1800 kilos. The Audi is at its maximum at 1700 kilos.

Lover of comfort? Then choose the Audi

If we look at the chassis of both cars, they follow different paths. The BMW 330i xDrive Touring that we tested is equipped with the M Sport package, in combination with sporty tuned adaptive shock absorbers and a limited slip differential. Altogether good for almost 7,000 euros in options. The narrow sports seats and 19-inch wheels with sticky Michelin Sport Pilot 4S tires – which are wider at the rear than at the front – are included in the M Sport package.

The good listener understands that the test BMW is much more focused on sportiness than on pleasant suspension comfort. In this configuration, the Dreier you constantly keep your nose on the sporting facts: even on the most beautiful asphalt, the car finds no rest. The rear suspension in particular shows itself unshakably on unevenness. Only when you pack the car up to its maximum load capacity, the stiff suspension can be moved to some flexibility.

The chassis of the Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI Quattro is no more slack than a dishcloth. The test car is equipped with adaptive shock absorbers, which is described in Audi’s price list as Comfort suspension. Rightly so, because short bumps, sharp ridges and bumps in the asphalt are absorbed formidably. Even at high speed, the A4 Avant does not lose any of its excellent directional stability. Even if you opt for the Sport program, the chassis retains its supple spring character.

Conclusion: two cars, two characters

The Audi A4 Avant 45 TFSI Quattro and the BMW 330i xDrive Touring offer an enormous dose of driving pleasure for the (much) paid money. The cars are very well matched in many ways. In the tested configuration, the Audi emphatically looks for the comfortable corner. If you often cover long distances, then you will greatly appreciate its balanced, adaptive damped chassis.

The BMW tested takes a completely different course. Equipped with a complete package of options with M Sport decals, the 330i Touring is the perfect car for the petrolhead that has unfiltered driving pleasure at the top of the wish list.

Curious about the full test from Auto Review 4/2021? Order this edition in our webshop.

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