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

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author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2018

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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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
I Prefer the "Gran Coupe" and "Sportback" Models to Their Normal Counterparts - Autotrader