2019 BMW 4 Series Coupe vs. 2018 Porsche 911

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 4 Series Coupe’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 911 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 4 Series Coupe offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 911 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the 4 Series Coupe and the 911 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Coupe for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the 911 (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 81 percent more BMW dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 4 Series Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 4 Series Coupe has a standard 210-amp alternator. The 911’s standard 204-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Porsche vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 8 places higher in reliability than Porsche.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the 911 Coupe:

 

 

4 Series

911

 

RWD

430i/Manual

21 city/33 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

Base/Manual

 

 

n/a

20 city/29 hwy

S/Manual

 

430i/Auto

24 city/34 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

Base/Auto

 

440i/Auto

21 city/32 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

S/Auto

AWD

430i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

22 city/28 hwy

Base/Auto

 

440i/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

21 city/28 hwy

S/Auto

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW 4 Series Coupe higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Porsche 911 (1). This means the 4 Series Coupe produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 911 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The BMW 4 Series Coupe comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 911.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 4 Series Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 911.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 4 Series Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 911 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4 Series Coupe’s wheelbase is 14.1 inches longer than on the 911 (110.6 inches vs. 96.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Coupe is 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 911.

The 4 Series Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the 911’s (39.3% to 60.7%). This gives the 4 Series Coupe more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The design of the BMW 4 Series Coupe amounts to more than styling. The 4 Series Coupe has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the 911 (.29 to .32). A more efficient exterior helps the 4 Series Coupe go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 4 Series Coupe get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 4 Series Coupe a Compact car, while the 911 Coupe is rated a Minicompact.

The 4 Series Coupe has 20 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 Coupe (90 vs. 70).

The 4 Series Coupe has 1.8 inches more front headroom, 4.5 inches more front shoulder room, 5.1 inches more rear headroom, 8.7 inches more rear legroom and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 911 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat up (15.7 vs. 5.1 cubic feet). The 4 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat folded (15.7 vs. 9.1 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Coupe’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 911 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The 4 Series Coupe offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 911 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Coupe w/Comfort Access the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 911 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Comfort Access standard on the 4 Series Coupe allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Porsche 911’s available Porsche Entry and Drive doesn’t unlock the trunk.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 4 Series Coupe to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 911 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 4 Series Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The 911 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the 4 Series Coupe has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 911 doesn’t offer rear vents.

The 4 Series Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 911 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Porsche 911 isn’t available as a four door.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4 Series Coupe will cost $835 to $11780 less than the 911 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 4 Series Coupe will be $33914 to $102752 less than for the Porsche 911.

Recommendations

The 4 Series Coupe was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The 911 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Porsche 911 by over four to one during 2017.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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