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Styling Size-Up: Audi A5 Sportback vs. BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/9/2016 Motor Trend Staff
2018-Audi-A5-Sportback-front-end-1.jpg Styling Size-Up: Audi A5 Sportback vs. BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Just when we thought BMW had the market cornered on small and sexy four-door fastbacks, Audi announced it would bring the A5 Sportback to the U.S. We'll let you decide the style winner: Does the A5 Sportback have what it takes to compete with the 4 Series Gran Coupe?

Let's take a look at the front styling of both models. Horizontal lines dominate the modern A5 Sportback, from the slats in the Singleframe grille to the silver bar just below it, and the lighting signature inside the headlights. Angular forms abound, from the grille frame and the overall shape of the headlights. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has an older design, featuring circular headlights. While the Audi may look more modern, the BMW looks more menacing, thanks to the headlights attached to the kidney grille and the design of the lower inlets.

Judging from the side profiles, both Audi and BMW get the fastback formula right. The cars have long hoods, attractive character lines that run across the body, dramatic rooflines, and slightly raised rumps. We'd argue the Audi has the softer look, though, with upscale window dressing, thin body lines, and a small emblem instead of a bold air vent ahead of the front door.

Audi A5 Sportback v BMW 428i Gran Coupe© Motor Trend Staff Audi A5 Sportback v BMW 428i Gran Coupe

The Audi's backside also looks a bit softer than the BMW's. Sporting thin taillights and modern exhaust outlets, the rear complements the rest of the car. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe sports comparatively chunky taillights and exhaust pipes that jut out.

Peek inside the A5 Sportback, and you'll notice a free-standing infotainment screen. Below that, climate and other functions are stacked horizontally in layers. The Gran Coupe is laid out similarly, although the screen is more embedded into the dash and there are no digital displays in the instrument cluster area like the Audi.

Do you prefer the look of the Audi A5 Sportback or the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe? Let us know in the comments below.

Last week, we asked for your thoughts on the design of the 2018 Toyota C-HR compared to its many rivals. The Toyota's polarizing look elicited polarizing responses.

"Nothing can compete with C-HR's frigid ugliness," opined RoadKillHeaven.

"C-HR is easily the best looking one of the bunch. Interior though, goes to the Mazda," wrote Iny.

Rjgonzo pointed out one car that seemed to be quite popular among commenters: "Best looking subcompact is the 500X."

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