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If you ask me, what is the benchmark in the upper-D segment, than I say the 3-series: it has been for years. So with the new one, we can again try to put an A4 against it, but there is another option. Because how about the Audi A5! Yes, the normal one is a 2 door coup, but the A5 Sportback is basically an A4 hatchback. easy to compare to the BMW Saloon. Also because the A5 is supposed to be a little more tough. So the first thing: how does the new 3 drive? It steers very direct and provides a lot of feedback. More then the Audi. Those Audi’s always feel a little distant. And the suspension, this is where the change is. It is much more comfortable than the previous one. Maybe even a little too soft. The springs that is, you can change the damping yourself. But because of that, it is more allround than it used to be. We saw the same thing earlier with the 1-series. In the Audi you do not wonder about the steering: same as always. Not good. Again, not good. I wonder why they still do not manage to get it right. The suspension is nice and tight, but you do not feel what is happening. The steering changes from heavy to light, from direct to indirect, but the feedback remains missing. If they manage it in a Mazda Mx5, why has Audi some much trouble with it? Is has been like his for ages. But than the suspension, that is okay. It remains more level than the BMW. In short corners it doesn’t dive as much as the BMW does. The damping is a little softer, so at high speeds, it looses grip before the BMW does. But it does provide comfort on long distances. Compared the the 3-series, the distance between them has become smaller than it used to be. So this is the 320i in in this case that actually says something about the engine. It is a 2.0 liter with turbo and 184 PS. A good engine, altough the 1.8 TFSI is even more smooth. But on itself it is very good. Same goes for the 8-speed gearbox. In comfort it takes its time, but in sport it shifts very fast and is very alert. I do not complain in here! This new 1.8 TFSI has a little less power then the 320i, but more torque. And you notice that! And this manual gearbox is good aswell. Is shift great! I do not miss the Stronic. Because of that torque, just leave it in a high gear en pull away, no problem! So how about this interior! It is like a nice lady with some naughty red night attire under her fancy grey dress. I know I like that! The dash is moved towards the driver, it resembles the 1-series. The seeting is very good, very low. The inside of the Audi is as we know it. maybe a little dull colourwise, but you can change that. The ergonomics are okay, nevertheless MMI is not as good as BMW’s iDrive is. Maybe that is something that goes for the whole car. You can experience the BMW more than the Audi. The car feels like it is build around the driver. That is something you do not feel in the Audi. That is the biggest difference. The Audi is easier to drive, the BMW is more rewarding when you get te know it. Look at that, more space than before. It isn’t better than in the Audi, but also not worse. I do think the Audi is better looking. the BMW has more edges on the front, like the Z4. I do like i more however than the previous one. I must say on total, there is very little quality difference between this cars. I would choose the BMW for its feeling. But i cannot call the BMW the better car because the Audi is so much worse. Yeah, i can understand why people would want that Audi, but I would also rather have the beemer.

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