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  1. #1
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    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.

    Click here to enlarge


    2012 BMW 3 Series 328i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
    Curb weight, as tested (lbs.) 3,427


    Click here to enlarge

    2012 Audi A4 2.0T Premium quattro 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
    Curb weight, as tested (lbs.) 3,662





    Click here to enlarge

    2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class C250 Sport 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 7A)
    Curb weight, as tested (lbs.) 3,525


    Click here to enlarge

  2. #2
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    Good article/ comparison.

  3. #3
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    Join the largest N5X Enthusiasts Group! 1200+ Members Strong!
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    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...?
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  5. #5
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    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.

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    The N20 is by the best move BMW has made in years.

    That engine is going to sell them A LOT of cars.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.
    Never thought I would see the day...
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Terry@BMS Click here to enlarge
    Life is so much more fun with a nemesis. I miss Shiv. Click here to enlarge
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  10. #10
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    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.

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    That's a shame that Audi doesn't have a RWD in their lineup.

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    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.

  13. #13
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    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.

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