• German turbo four cylinder showdown - 2012 BMW N20 328i vs. 2012 Audi A4 2.0T vs. 2012 Mercedes C250 M271

      With the major German luxury players all having turbo direct injected four cylinder motors in their entry level cars it was only a matter of time before we got this comparison. Finally, an N20, 2.0T, and M271 battle royal thanks to Insideline who continues to do the best comparisons in the industry (until they let GermanBoost start testing cars). So who comes out on top? Well, read below to find out.

      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. 15.3@90.7? 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


      This article was originally published in forum thread: German turbo four cylinder showdown - 2012 BMW N20 328i vs. 2012 Audi A4 2.0T vs. 2012 Mercedes C250 M271 started by Sticky View original post
      Comments 12 Comments
      1. fastgti69's Avatar
        fastgti69 -
        Good article/ comparison.
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        +1
      1. FLYING X5's Avatar
        FLYING X5 -
        Would be interesting to see the 328xi (with n20) vs Audi A4 2.0T and if the BMW trounces the Audi again, or if they are dead even... Good comparison, but comparing a RWD to AWD, not entirely fair... Does anyone know if BMW will release the 328xi with the 2.0 engine, because it's still listing with the 3.0 on the web...?
      1. fundahl's Avatar
        fundahl -
        Well said, and the N20 is awesome. I have great hopes for it once the Valve-Tronic tuning is understood and it has a better sized turbo and exhaust manifold.
      1. M3_WC's Avatar
        M3_WC -
        The N20 is by the best move BMW has made in years.

        That engine is going to sell them A LOT of cars.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by FLYING X5 Click here to enlarge
        Good comparison, but comparing a RWD to AWD, not entirely fair...
        Audi is the one who chooses Quattro, their deal.
      1. maxnix's Avatar
        maxnix -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by FLYING X5 Click here to enlarge
        .. Good comparison, but comparing a RWD to AWD, not entirely fair...
        Has to be or Audi's would be plowing every corner with FWD layout.
      1. Forced Air's Avatar
        Forced Air -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by maxnix Click here to enlarge
        Has to be or Audi's would be plowing every corner with FWD layout.
        They plow every corner anyway. No one mounts their engines forward of the front axle line other than Audi as far as I know.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Forced Air Click here to enlarge
        They plow every corner anyway. No one mounts their engines forward of the front axle line other than Audi as far as I know.
        And this is why BMW builds a better driver's car.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        That's a shame that Audi doesn't have a RWD in their lineup.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sorena Click here to enlarge
        That's a shame that Audi doesn't have a RWD in their lineup.
        Tried to refute this and was surprised I couldn't. No AUDI rwd but we have BMW fwd's... Interesting.
      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Tried to refute this and was surprised I couldn't. No AUDI rwd but we have BMW fwd's... Interesting.
        Yeah, nothing RWD. I always though A8 is RWD but just a few days ago i realized it's a god damn FWD too.