• Home
  • middle-class
  • Comparison test Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 320i Touring vs. Mercedes C 200 T

Comparison test Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 320i Touring vs. Mercedes C 200 T

Achim Hartmann
Audi A4 Avant vs. BMW 320i Touring vs. Mercedes C 200 T
Subscriptions & booklets

D Germany is sometimes a strange country. There is, for example, gluten-free beer, gender asterisks, the recommended speed or Mett-Igel. And there are proportionally more station wagons than anywhere else in the world. Nobody knows why.

In any case, between just under 60 (BMW) and over 70 percent (Audi) is the estate portion in the premium D segment. The station wagon versions of the A4, the Dreier and the C-Class form a market niche that is almost only available here in this form. And because there shouldn't be a station wagon of the Jaguar XE, apart from Volvo, it will probably remain a fairly German matter for the next few years.

The recently presented Audi A4 Avant is the latest representative, the BMW 320i Touring received a facelift in the summer, and the Mercedes C-Class was renewed a year ago. A pretty boring comparison test, one might think, after all, the old Audi A4 Avant ironed out the much newer competition shortly before it was replaced. And the A4 sedan with the entry-level petrol engine recently won over the BMW 318i and Mercedes C 180.

But the three station wagons were so close together in the respective comparative tests that the right engine-transmission combination can make the difference. This time the Audi A4 Avant competes with the new two-liter petrol engine with 190 hp and double clutch transmission. The BMW 320i Touring with 184 PS and eight-speed automatic converter and the Mercedes C 200 T with seven-speed automatic transmission and also 184 PS go well with this.

Dignified Mercedes

Nothing new is ever that Mercedes is the most expensive car in the comparison field, although the difference is smaller this time. The C 200 is in the price list as a T-model from 40,728 euros, with 7G-Tronic and avant-garde equipment it is already 42,989 euros. If you also add the essential equipment features of the test car, you suddenly see a C-Class station wagon for around 60,000 euros. But even if there is no excessive luxury on board, at least 55,000 euros can be expected if a Mercedes C 200 T with 184 hp petrol engine is configured.

After all, the paint, the polar white of the test car, is free are available free of charge, all metallic colors have an extra charge. It is similar with the competition, by the way, Audi also gives A4 buyers the choicebetween plain white and black, at BMW, on the other hand, there is only black as an additional paint free of charge.

By the way, we actually want to talk about the C-Class station wagon. It's a real success model and is largely responsible for the fact that Mercedes has caught up a lot in the competition between the three premium brands. After just a short drive in the C 200, you know why: Because with the C generation, the brand is reflecting on its core and the wishes of its regular customers. It has a pleasantly springy, comfortable chassis without looking crumple. Of course, it doesn’t run through curves as skilfully as the BMW 320i Touring, but the somewhat more sedate driving behavior goes well with the car, as does the sensitive steering, which appears a bit indirect, but works very sensitively.

Mercedes C 200 T: German workmanship

Together with the dignified quality in the interior, the clean workmanship and the quite restrained design, this car conveys that Driver that he is sitting in a real Mercedes and that he has invested a lot of money in a very valuable car. Not all of it is relevant to the points, but the C 200 also impresses with its solid qualities. It has good brakes, is quiet, safe and spacious. But there it differs only in nuances from the two German premium competitors.

A few more sentences about the drive of the Mercedes C 200 T: Objectively, you can not criticize that, but it cannot be so in any category really shine. Consumption and driving values ​​are okay, but not brilliant. And when the engine is challenged, it sounds intrusive and a bit booming. That doesn't really fit the neat ambience in the Mercedes. In addition, the automatic does not tend to be brisk gear changes.

Active BMW

Of course, there is a lot going on in the BMW better. It has the already widely acclaimed eight-speed automatic. It costs 2,150 euros extra, which means that the 320i Touring with the Sport Line package installed in the test car is equivalent to at least 41,950 euros. In terms of price, it ranks almost exactly between Mercedes and Audi, but the differences are so small that they should hardly be decisive when making a purchase decision.

The two-liter, four-cylinder turbo in the BMW 320i Touring also has 184 hp, however, he is a little more discreet about it. The driving performance is a few tenths worse. What is more important, however, is that it feels much more flabby. He is not interested in revving, liveliness and exuberant temperament. That may only bother engine gourmets, but there should be some of those among the regular BMW customers. The automatic transmission also suffers from this. The sedate engine makes it necessary to change gears more hectically than you wouldfrom other BMW models with superior engines.

BMW 320i Touring with the best operating concept

What they do against it Get it right at BMW: The Dreier has the most practical selector lever of the three test candidates. It is easy to grip, easy to use and offers good feedback. The shifter in the Audi A4 Avant feels more distant and the steering wheel selector lever in the C 200 just feels like a thick turn signal. Even if it is more a question of personal preferences: An automatic lever should offer a minimum of mechanical feedback.

Everything that works in other models of the series and the brand also works very well in the BMW 320i Touring What is known: The still superior operating concept, including the clearest and best head-up display, here the long experience of the manufacturer pays off. This certainly also applies to the chassis, although it is significantly tighter than that of Audi and Mercedes, it cushions sensitively in the comfort level. With a full load, however, it quickly becomes overwhelmed and lets large suggestions rumble through rather unfiltered. The BMW 320i Touring compensates for this with the most pronounced handiness and carefully balanced steering, which at most appears a bit fidgety when driving on the motorway. Nevertheless, the BMW 320i Touring is the driver's car in this comparison. However, that doesn't change the fact that it is third, a few points behind the C 200 T.

Balanced Audi

Because the Audi collects the most points in this comparison A4 Avant. Now it would be easy to say that the Audi has almost no weaknesses and is very good in almost all disciplines. But the new generation of the mid-range Audi also has a number of distinct strengths to which the competition has not yet found an entirely suitable answer - least of all to the engine. The new two-liter turbo gasoline engine produces 190 hp, and in this test it shows that it is actually better than the engines of the competition. To do this, it uses a technical trick that is perhaps best described as a virtual small displacement.

Because in the partial load range, i.e. practically constantly in everyday operation, the intake valves close much earlier than on a conventional four-stroke engine. In addition, the pressure in the intake tract is higher. In the compression phase, comparatively little fresh gas is compressed, about as much as with the 1.4 TFSI. Due to the shortened compression phase, a very high compression is possible, it is 11.7: 1, which ensures high combustion pressure in the expansion phase of the four-stroke cycle, and thus greater efficiency. The Audi A4 Avant engine not only feels much more powerful, it also pulls through better in the partial load range and runs more refined.

It is also more economical. in theTest equipment it got by with 0.2 liters less than the Mercedes, the BMW at least 0.6 liters more. In addition, it is hardly difficult to push consumption in the Audi A4 Avant towards the seven-liter limit. The very useful predictive efficiency assistant, which is part of the tour package that costs 1,640 euros, also helps. From the collected sensor data, it calculates the future path of the vehicle and uses the accelerator symbol to warn people to exercise restraint. The BMW 320i, like all BMWs, has a similar system with EcoPro driving mode, but it is based purely on navigation data and is activated much less frequently.

Audi A4 Avant is one step ahead

The new gasoline engine in the Audi A4 Avant is allowed to work with an attentive, quick-reacting dual clutch transmission, which is also a very harmonious cooperation. In the old A4, the four-cylinder petrol engines were often equipped with the unpopular Multitronic, that's over.

What else sets the Audi A4 Avant apart and makes it the test winner here? Like its limousine brother A4, it is extremely comfortable, offers enough space and decent seats as well as an excellent quality interior. However, some not-so-nice aspects are not left unmentioned: The steering, for example, has little feedback, which makes the Audi A4 Avant less precise when cornering quickly. And operation has become more complex with MMI Touch. In addition, the Avant tends to react to load changes when the driver aids are switched off, but with ESP it is of course an exemplary manageable car. He wins clearly in the end. Then a gluten-free beer. Or a Mett hedgehog.


Leave a reply

Name *