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Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 vs. BMW 3-Series Reliability Comparisons

You won't find Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 or BMW 3-Series reliability information like this anywhere else. Actual repair frequencies, not just vague dots, to make it clear how much the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 and the BMW 3-Series truly differ in reliability.

These stats are promptly updated four times a year, to much more closely track Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 and BMW 3-Series reliability as the cars age. Others tell you how reliable the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 and the BMW 3-Series were a year ago, when the cars were a year younger and had 12,000 fewer miles on them. Only TrueDelta tells you how reliable the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 and the BMW 3-Series have been recently.

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See reliability results for all Sedans, Wagons, and Convertibles.

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Year Make/Model Repair Frequencysuccessful repair trips per 100 cars per year Compared to all models for the same year  
2014 Audi A4 / S4 39 A4 / S4s, 6.1 months of data per A4 / S4, average 5600 miles5
0% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2014 BMW 3-Series 58 3-Series, 5.9 months of data per 3-Series, average 6000 miles

Includes 4-Series.
28
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2013 Audi A4 / S4 100 A4 / S4s, 9.6 months of data per A4 / S4, average 13100 miles

Refreshed for this model year.
11
10% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2013 BMW 3-Series 4dr 75 3-Series 4drs, 9.7 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 14100 miles20
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2012 Audi A4 31 A4s, 9.0 months of data per A4, average 29600 miles26
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2012 Audi S4 45 S4s, 9.3 months of data per S4, average 26700 miles46
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2012 BMW 3-Series 2dr and wagon   15 3-Series 2dr and wagons, 10.8 months of data per 3-Series 2dr and wagon, average 19900 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2012 BMW 3-Series sedan 29 3-Series sedans, 8.2 months of data per 3-Series sedan, average 20400 miles

First year for F30 3-Series sedan.
46
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Audi S4 51 S4s, 9.6 months of data per S4, average 38800 miles49
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 Audi A4 38 A4s, 9.8 months of data per A4, average 38700 miles55
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW M3   21 M3s, 9.3 months of data per M3, average 32600 miles

* Small sample size.
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2011 BMW 335 43 335s, 8.1 months of data per 335, average 35700 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
38
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2011 BMW 328 105 328s, 8.5 months of data per 328, average 34500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
46
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2010 Audi A4 32 A4s, 9.2 months of data per A4, average 54800 miles

Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated valves and piston rings.
37
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2010 Audi S4 58 S4s, 9.4 months of data per S4, average 49700 miles

Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated valves and piston rings.
53
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2010 BMW 328   23 328s, 9.8 months of data per 328, average 49900 miles

* Small sample size.
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2010 BMW 335   14 335s, 9.1 months of data per 335, average 44100 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2009 Audi A4 2.0T 40 A4 2.0Ts, 10.7 months of data per A4 2.0T, average 56400 miles

First model year of the B8 A4. Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated valves and piston rings.
56
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 Audi A4 3.2 39 A4 3.2s, 9.1 months of data per A4 3.2, average 53000 miles

First model year of the B8 A4. Multiple reports of excessive oil consumption for the 2.0T engine. Some engines rebuilt with updated valves and piston rings.
61
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW 335 26 335s, 9.2 months of data per 335, average 47500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
35
20% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW 328 48 328s, 9.8 months of data per 328, average 50300 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
41
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2009 BMW M3   14 M3s, 9.9 months of data per M3, average 38200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2008 Audi A4 42 A4s, 9.5 months of data per A4, average 69300 miles45
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2008 Audi S4 / RS4   10 S4 / RS4s, 9.9 months of data per S4 / RS4, average 53700 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2008 BMW M3 27 M3s, 9.7 months of data per M3, average 41500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
50
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 335 47 335s, 9.4 months of data per 335, average 59900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
95
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2008 BMW 328 38 328s, 9.2 months of data per 328, average 67900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3. Non-M repair frequency spiking, possibly because CPO warranty ending.
96
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2007 Audi S4 / RS4   19 S4 / RS4s, 11.2 months of data per S4 / RS4, average 62100 miles

* Small sample size.
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2007 Audi A4 44 A4s, 10.3 months of data per A4, average 80300 miles72
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 335 50 335s, 9.5 months of data per 335, average 75400 miles61
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2007 BMW 328 54 328s, 10.1 months of data per 328, average 73200 miles68
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 Audi A4 66 A4s, 8.7 months of data per A4, average 99300 miles

Includes 2005.5. First model year of the B7 A4.
73
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2006 Audi S4   16 S4s, 10.1 months of data per S4, average 76700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2006 BMW 3-Series 2dr   19 3-Series 2drs, 9.9 months of data per 3-Series 2dr, average 67400 miles

* Small sample size.
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2006 BMW 3-Series 4dr 69 3-Series 4drs, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series 4dr, average 91600 miles

First year for the E90 4-door.
79
60% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2005 Audi S4   18 S4s, 9.2 months of data per S4, average 78000 miles

* Small sample size.
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2005 Audi A4   17 A4s, 9.0 months of data per A4, average 96700 miles

* Small sample size.
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2005 BMW M3   13 M3s, 9.2 months of data per M3, average 70200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2005 BMW 3-Series 27 3-Series, 8.8 months of data per 3-Series, average 90800 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
61
30% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 Audi S4   21 S4s, 9.8 months of data per S4, average 96400 miles

* Small sample size.
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2004 Audi A4 28 A4s, 9.7 months of data per A4, average 116600 miles115
80% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2004 BMW M3   14 M3s, 9.9 months of data per M3, average 95500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2004 BMW 3-Series 61 3-Series, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series, average 106200 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
87
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2003 Audi A4   23 A4s, 8.3 months of data per A4, average 132500 miles

* Small sample size.
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* Small sample size.
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2003 BMW M3   10 M3s, 7.5 months of data per M3, average 77200 miles

* Very small sample size.
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* Very small sample size.
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2003 BMW 3-Series 33 3-Series, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series, average 103900 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
125
90% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs

 

2002 Audi A4 30 A4s, 8.3 months of data per A4, average 148100 miles

First model year of the B6 A4, very high repair frequency. S4 still B5.
202
100% Fewest Trips Most Trips
see reported repairs
2002 BMW M3   13 M3s, 8.8 months of data per M3, average 97600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2002 BMW 3-Series 35 3-Series, 9.4 months of data per 3-Series, average 118500 miles

Average odometer reading much lower for the M3.
88
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2001 Audi A4 / S4   11 A4 / S4s, 11.3 months of data per A4 / S4, average 118500 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2001 BMW 3-Series 43 3-Series, 9.0 months of data per 3-Series, average 140100 miles84
40% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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2000 Audi A4 / S4   11 A4 / S4s, 8.3 months of data per A4 / S4, average 145600 miles

* Very small sample size.
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2000 BMW 3-Series 29 3-Series, 7.7 months of data per 3-Series, average 140100 miles97
50% Fewest Trips Most Trips
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What People Are Saying about Reliability and the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the Audi A4 / S4 / RS4

Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr Wagon turbocharged 211hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
65,000 miles and not a single problem other than routine oil changes and tires. My BMW 335i is always in the shop and is a maintenance nightmare.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed manual AWD
This car is bullet-proof. End of story. The B7 A4 is the evolution of B6/B7 platform and most of the kinks are ironed out in the final years. No worries here.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Like that I can drive an Audi for 6+ years/100k+ miles and still feel safe.
2006 4dr Sedan 255-horsepower 3.1L V6
6-speed manual AWD
So far, perfect
2005 2dr Convertible 220-horsepower 3.0L V6
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
so far so good, but I have only had the car less than a month, too soon to tell
2002 4dr Sedan turbocharged 170hp 1.8L I4
5-speed manual AWD
120k miles + and counting, no major issues
Audi A4 / S4 / RS4 Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr Sedan turbocharged 211hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Very expensive to fix and not with the same history of reliability as Benz.
2007 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
My second A4 is better than the last, but I am glad I leased instead of buying. Reliability is just not world class.
2006 4dr Sedan turbocharged 200hp 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Not reliable, lots of dealer visits,
2006 4dr Sedan 340-horsepower 4.2L V8
6-speed manual AWD
Do not buy one of these used unless the timing chain pre-tensioners have been replaced. There are a lot of complaints of these breaking at 100,000 miles. Mine went at 99,100 miles and the dealer quoted me $10,000 to fix. I had to sell this car at a loss. What a waste!
2005 4dr Sedan turbocharged 170hp 1.8L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
In the shop 10 times during last seven months. Towed 4 times because not drivable
2005 4dr Sedan 340-horsepower 4.2L V8
6-speed manual AWD
The two cars I looked at were low mileage 2005s, CPO, and both had full service history, of which there was a lot. Both cars noted cooling issues and problems with the steering system repaired under warranty. Also numerous electrical problems.
2004 4dr Sedan turbocharged 170hp 1.8L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Reputation for mechanical problems and expensive repairs
2003 4dr Wagon turbocharged 170hp 1.8L I4
5-speed manual AWD
The car is not reliable - sensors, electrics, etc.
2002 4dr Sedan 220-horsepower 3.0L V6
6-speed manual AWD
Had to have many repairs before all the bugs worked out - now seems reliable (knock on wood)
2002 4dr Sedan turbocharged 250hp 2.7L V6
6-speed manual AWD
The high tech nature of these cars requires somewhat more attention to maintenance.
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability and Durability of the BMW 3-Series

BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan turbocharged 240hp 2.0L I4
8-speed shiftable automatic RWD
I traded in a 2005 BMW with 92,000 miles on it, if the realiability of the old one is any indication to the experience I hope to have with the 2012, then I have little to nothing to worry about.
2008 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
The car has a BETTER THAN AVERAGE frequency of repair record with Consumer Reports.
2008 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
History is promising.
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Have owned this car for 5 years; have had two replacement high pressure fuel pumps; replaced steering rack; new turbo gaskets (both turbos); replaced articulating hard top cables - all in the first 3 years and all under warranty! Nothing has gone wrong in the past two years so perhaps this was relatively new model growing pains.
2008 2dr Hardtop conv. turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Have owned this car for 5 years; have had two replacement high pressure fuel pumps; replaced steering rack; new turbo gaskets (both turbos); replaced articulating hard top cables - all in the first 3 years and all under warranty! Nothing has gone wrong in the past two years so perhaps this was relatively new model growing pains.
2008 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, reliable
2008 2dr Coupe 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
7-speed automated manual RWD
Not yet tested to a full extent on my M3 under review, bust as previous BMW owner I enjoyed minimal component failures after many years of ownership.
2007 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
This vehicle has a great performance record.
2007 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Tried & true technology
2007 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
The car is now one year old with 12,000 miles and there have been no issues what so ever - whether mechanical or interior/exterior. Never any issue with things working as they should.
BMW 3-Series Reliability and Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2011 2dr Hardtop conv. 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Glovebox won't open.
2010 4dr Sedan 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
I'm a little nervous about repair costs and frequency. I keep reading about 4-figure repair bills, but there are others who say they've done well with just normal maintenance. Consumer Reports gives the 2010 328i a lot of red dots which is a goo
2009 4dr Sedan 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
6-speed manual RWD
More prone to breakdowns than the Japanese competition.
2009 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Fuel pump, oil cooler, and run flat tire issues on the 335i turned me off. Will likely be covered by warranty, but met multiple people who had week long+ repairs for these issues. After warranty, 1,200+ for each of these issues is apparently common.
2009 4dr Sedan turbocharged 265hp 3.0L I6 Diesel
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Always a glitch or two.
2008 4dr Wagon 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Average is not good enough for a $40K+ car.
2008 2dr Coupe turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed manual RWD
not as reliable
2008 2dr Coupe 414-horsepower 4.0L V8
6-speed manual RWD
I have never had major problems with my BMW's, but I have never kept them out of warranty either. M cars are ridiculously expensive to repair. The only car company where the coolant is designed to outlast the radiator. When they break, they brea
2008 4dr Sedan turbocharged 300hp 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic RWD
Does not require explanation.
2008 2dr Coupe 230-horsepower 3.0L I6
6-speed shiftable automatic AWD
Historically, these cars have had their share of electronic gremlins.