The BMW N20 in the 328i has 2.0 liters of displacement and is rated at 240/255 horsepower/torque. The 2.0T in the A4 is also obviously at 2.0 liters of displacement and it is rated at 211/258 horsepower/torque. The C250 M271 has the smallest motor out of the three with 1.8 liters and also the least powerful at 201/229 horsepower/torque.
As you can imagine, the BMW 328i takes this comparison easily both in acceleration and overall as rated by Insideline. They pick the A4 second and the C250 third which coincidentally is exactly how the cars finish acceleration wise. BMW has really upped the ante with the N20 and it is on a whole different level in stock form versus the M271 and 2.0T.
With the Audi there would always be a difference favoring the BMW simply because it is sending power to all four wheels. With less horsepower to begin with and greater losses, it would always be at a disadvantage. The Merc entry level offering lags behind both though and should not be as weak as it is. firstname.lastname@example.org? It's over a second slower than the 328i it is set to compete against. That is pretty much a beatdown, a huge gap.
This comparison is exactly how it is supposed to be. Oddly, the 328i seems to be the car in the BMW lineup that best shows what BMW used to be about. It's the lightest car in this comparison. It has the best motor in this comparison. It is the best balanced car in this comparison. It sends its power to the rear wheels and wins based on being the best all around package. Kind of amusing when the best representation of "Efficient Dynamics" and the "Ultimate Driving Machine" ideals is embodied in BMW's entry level sport sedan. At this point we are just happy BMW still produces at least one car that truly represents brand ideals and shows them in comparison to the competition, which it blows away. This is BMW at its best and this is what we used to see throughout the lineup from top to bottom.
2012 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
|Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)||3,427|
2012 Audi A4 2.0T Premium quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
|Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)||3,662|
2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 Sport 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 7A)
|Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)||3,525|