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The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Maxima doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.
Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Maxima 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Maxima’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Maxima’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. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Maxima.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has a standard 170-amp alternator. The Maxima’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
The battery on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Maxima’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 10th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 6 places higher in reliability than Nissan.
The 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (322 vs. 300) and 71 lbs.-ft. more torque (332 vs. 261) than the Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6.
As tested in Car and Driver the 430i Gran Coupe 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Nissan Maxima:
4 Series Gran Coupe
Zero to 60 MPH
On the EPA test cycle the 430i Gran Coupe RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Maxima (24 city/34 hwy vs. 20 city/30 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Maxima doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Maxima doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Nissan Maxima is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.
For better stopping power the 440i Gran Coupe’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Maxima:
440i Gran Coupe
The 4 Series Gran Coupe stops shorter than the Maxima:
4 Series Gran Coupe
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
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 Maxima SR/Platinum’s 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 Maxima doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Maxima’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Maxima (110.6 inches vs. 109.3 inches).
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the Maxima’s (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the 4 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.
The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the Maxima SR pulls only .87 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 foot tighter than the Maxima’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).
The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 10.1 inches shorter than the Maxima, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe amounts to more than styling. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the Maxima (.29 to .3) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 4 Series Gran Coupe get better fuel mileage.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe has .5 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more rear headroom than the Maxima.
To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Maxima doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.
The engine in the 4 Series Gran Coupe is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Maxima. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Maxima doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 33% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.
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 Maxima doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The power windows standard on both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Maxima have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Maxima prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Maxima’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Maxima’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
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 Maxima doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 4 Series Gran Coupe offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Maxima doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Maxima SV/SL/SR/Platinum.
The 4 Series Gran 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 Maxima doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four door hatchback bodystyles; the Nissan Maxima isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.
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 Maxima only retains 36.9% to 38.7%.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Maxima because typical repairs cost less on the 4 Series Gran Coupe than the Maxima, including $199 less for fuel injection.
The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The Maxima 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 Maxima has never been an “All Star.”
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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