THESE ARE ALL very resolved vehicles and all are onpoint in terms of their chances of luring buyers away from SUVs. Yes, the BMW is a bit more expensive than the others (though not once you load up your A4 45), but in monthly lease-payment terms (especially when comparison rates are in the cellar as they are now) there won’t be a lot in it. The major differences come down to niceties, at which point the BMW is just a bit, er, nicer. Kind of everywhere. It has 95 percent of the Lexus’s steering alacrity, 95 percent of the Audi’s interior appeal and transmission brilliance, and either runs the other cars too close to call in most other aspects of its design or actually trumps them (rear-seat accommodation; outright performance).
The A4, meanwhile, is firmer to ride in and lacks the last few grams of steering feel, but we reckon both those elements would soon evolve into just part of the deal. The Lexus’s shortcomings, meanwhile – notably its uncooperative transmission and unsparkly engine – are more likely to devolve, to actually become elements that might frustrate you on a more regular basis. So the win goes to BMW.