2019 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Lincoln MKZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The MKZ doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The MKZ 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 Gran Coupe and the MKZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the MKZ’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Gran Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lincoln only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the MKZ.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The MKZ isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lincoln is ranked 10th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Lincoln vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 12 places higher in reliability than Lincoln.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the 430i Gran Coupe 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Lincoln MKZ:

4 Series Gran Coupe

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ turbo 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

9.4 sec

7.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.9 sec

25.3 sec

21.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

9.1 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

17.2 sec

15.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

83 MPH

88 MPH

Top Speed

127 MPH

109 MPH

135 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

4 Series Gran Coupe

MKZ

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

24 city/34 hwy

20 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./8-spd. Auto

21 city/32 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

3.0 twin turbo V6/Auto

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

23 city/33 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./8-spd. Auto

21 city/31 hwy

17 city/26 hwy

3.0 twin turbo V6/Auto

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lincoln only offers a regenerative brake system on the MKZ Hybrid.

Regardless of its engine, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lincoln only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the MKZ Hybrid.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the MKZ Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 14 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the MKZ:

430i Gran Coupe

440i Gran Coupe

MKZ Hybrid

MKZ 2.0T/3.0T

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

11.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13 inches

11.9 inches

12.4 inches

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MKZ are solid, not vented.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe stops shorter than the MKZ:

4 Series Gran Coupe

MKZ

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s optional 255/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MKZ’s optional 40 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The MKZ’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the MKZ Hybrid pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (37.1 feet vs. 39 feet). The 4 Series Gran Coupe xDrive’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the MKZ’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 11.2 inches shorter than the MKZ, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive is quieter than the MKZ AWD:

4 Series Gran Coupe

MKZ

At idle

40 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

75 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 2 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more rear headroom than the MKZ.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 4 Series Gran Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the MKZ. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The 4 Series Gran 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 MKZ doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The MKZ doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The MKZ doesn’t offer headlight washers.

When the 4 Series Gran Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The MKZ’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Gran Coupe owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 4 Series Gran Coupe with a number “1” insurance rate while the MKZ is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4 Series Gran Coupe will retain 47.49% to 50.4% of its original price after five years, while the MKZ only retains 38.09% to 40.84%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the MKZ because typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Gran Coupe than the MKZ, including $187 less for a muffler, $159 less for fuel injection, $116 less for a timing belt/chain and $282 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The MKZ isn’t in the top three.

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

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The MKZ has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Lincoln MKZ by 58% during 2018.

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

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