The wife and I had the exact same criteria a couple of years ago. We decided to choose between a 3 series touring or an Audi A4. We test drove them and the BMW was a better drivers car without a doubt.
Audi plus points were a smoother engine at low speeds, more comfortable seats. Bad points were the pedals are way too off centre so a manual was out of the question. Also the steering is way too light.
BMW plus points were a better driver feel, better handling, smoother power delivery. Bad points were the engines sound like tractors at idle and there is a fair amount of vibration through the gear stick at idle but these cars are made to be driven not sat still.
our conclusion was if we were doing mega mileage on motorways then an Automatic Audi would be good but for everyday use including a better drivers car then the BMW is the one to go for so that's what we ended up getting. A woman would probably prefer a front wheel drive Audi though.