In Reply to: According to my brother, 323i vs. A4 test on C&D.. posted by Alex on March 02, 1999 at 20:01:10:
I've done some comparison shopping between the 323i Sport and Audi A4 1.8t. Personally, I think the 323i w/ Sport Package is the hands down winner. It has a better interior compared to the A4. The handling of the 323i is also better than the A4. I'm put off by the standard plastic wheel covers. BMW could atleast use the cast alloy 15" wheels from the 323is. Plastic wheels don't belong on a car of the BMW's caliber.
Sure, the A4 has an attractive price, but it doesn't include the great features like Double VANOS, Cornering Brake Control, six standard air bags and Car and Key Memory. Not to mention, the BMW wins in over all looks also and is rwd.
The only fault I've found on both of these cars, more so on the A4, is that the options are somewhat pricey. Also, I'd expect that cruise control and split-folding rear seats would be standard. I figured out that to get a decently equipped 323i would cost around $30,000, not including the Sport Package. But hey, no car is perfect and those are just MSRP's. You can always talk a dealer down. I saw a 328is with leather, cd, and sport package for $28,000! Good deal if you ask me. I might consider the 328is if the back seat wasn't so small. I much prefer the new sedan's looks--can't wait for the redesigned coupe to debut.