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German Lux Coupes Go Head-To-Head: BMW’s 4-Series Battles Audi’s A5 And Merc’s C-Class


Chances are, if you’re interested in a reasonably practical, reasonably sporty, 2+2 coupe, you’re looking towards Germany. In this scenario, you’re probably looking towards the Mercedes C-Class, the Audi A5, and the BMW 4-Series.

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So which should you get? The UK’s CarWow has put the three models head-to-head-to-head on a dreary British day to see which one brightens it the most for host Mat Watson.

As it turns out, the German brands know they’re competing, so the three car are really well matched. In the US, the A5 Coupe starts at $44,000, the 4-Series Coupe starts at $45,600, and the C-Class Coupe is the slight outlier, starting at $47,200.

They also make very similar amounts of horsepower. In 4-cylinder form, the BMW and the Merc make 255 hp, while the Audi has a bit more grunt at 261 hp.

If you want a little more power, though, you can opt for the 6-cylinder versions. That said, to get a 6-cylinder these days, you have spec up to the performance branded models. Either way, the S5 makes 349 hp, the M440i makes 382 hp, and the AMG C43 makes 385 hp.

In the video, though, it’s milder versions of all three and, it seems, the FWD version of the A5. In that guise, Watson calls the A5 very competent, but less than thrilling, the C-Class fun, but a little impractical and the 4-Series fun and practical.

So, it seems, the only knock against the 4-Series is that new grille. If you can stand the look of it, then you’re in store for a great car. Since we’re talking about the grille, let’s talk about Watson comparing the BMW to Lady Gaga.

His comparison calls it “not beautiful, but hot.” This is a very old car review trope that plays into a longstanding sexist tradition of comparing cars to women and vice versa. I understand that analogies are a thing, but to ignore the context of objectification and the near-constant equation of women to products for men to sit in judgment of, as if they were equally designed for our consumption and pleasure, is bad.

But I don’t disagree with Watson’s assessment that the grille isn’t wholly terrible. It’s kind of like the smell of gas. Not nice. But also appealing?

Updated: December 25, 2020 — 9:19 pm

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