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I Prefer the “Gran Coupe” and “Sportback” Models to Their Normal Counterparts

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that if you’re buying an Audi A4 or a BMW 3 Series, you should, instead, buy their hatchback versions. No, people, I am not instructing you to do the unthinkable and get a station wagon. I am merely saying you should buy the hatchback versions of these vehicles, which have been carefully named to ensure that you think they’re cool, rather than excessively practical.

The cars in question are these: the Audi A4 has a hatchback version that’s called the Audi A5 Sportback, and the BMW 3 Series has a hatchback version called the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. The reason these cars aren’t specifically called “Audi A4 Hatchback” and “BMW 3 Series Hatchback” is that Audi and BMW know hatchbacks aren’t cool. So they’ve put a lot of effort into styling these cars so they look cool, have coupe like designs and offer more versatility in a desirable way over regular hatchbacks.

The result is that they’re also better than their sedan versions.

Here’s what I mean: take a look at the Audi A5 Sportback. While the regular A4 looks just like a normal sedan, the A5 Sportback is far more attractive thanks to its handsome, unique “Sportback” design philosophy. This design also gives the A5 Sportback 35 cu ft. of cargo space, which is nearly three times what you get in the A4’s trunk. So the Sportback is more practical and better looking than the standard A4.

Then you have pricing. The A5 Sportback starts around $44,000, compared to around $38,000 for an A4. This isn’t a small delta, and it translates into higher lease prices, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you end up with an overall better vehicle, with better styling and improved practicality.

In the BMW world, the delta is even smaller: a 330i sedan starts at around $40,000, while the 430i Gran Coupe starts at $44,000. Once again, the Gran Coupe is more attractive than its sedan counterpart, and it’s also noticeably more practical, giving you the ability to throw more stuff in back when you want to go somewhere.

Unless you’re very price sensitive — and you can’t justify the $6,000 gap between Audi’s sedan and Sportback models, or the $4,000 gap for BMW’s options — then I highly recommend the hatchbacks over the sedans. You sacrifice nothing, you gain some benefits and you’re driving the cool new model.

Ahh, who am I kidding, you people are just going to get crossovers.

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  1. Wait, I thought the 4 series gran coupe was just a stretched lower headroom version of the 3. The real Bimmer equivalent of the A5 sportback is the 3 series GT.

  2. I tend to agree but primarily just with the Audi versions. 
    Sportback > Gran Coupe. 
    I find the BMW versions to be awkward and unattractive, with an exception being the 6-series version.  Whereas all the sedan-coupe cars from Audi are beautiful.  I’ve got my eye on an S5 Sportback at some point, that’s a great looking car.  Or I’ll just go with the big brother and get the A7. 
  3. I owned 2 crossovers, One of the earliest trendsetters the Buick Rendezvous while I love it it was poorly made and had a slew of electric issues and the 2015 Chevy Equinox which was a great crossover while sadly a tad smaller than the rendezvous but it was A LOT better in reliability, I had 60k of trouble free miles with it only having to have it serviced once for a CEL which was only a small part that needed to be replaced…

    But I’m never going back to CUV’s since they spell doom for cars such as sports sedans and even sport coupes….
    The Sport hatch or Gran Coupe is a great idea to keep those vehicles relevant and I think no one can argue that the Audi S4 Sportback didn’t look great in NFS Payback.
  4. Personally, I prefer the look of the regular sedan over the 4-door coupe, and the money saved could be spent on options. Each to their own I guess.

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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