2019 BMW Z4 vs. 2019 Ford Mustang

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Z4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Mustang doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Z4 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mustang doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Z4 and the Mustang have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Z4 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mustang’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Z4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Mustang’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the Z4 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mustang.

Reliability

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 10 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Z4 sDrive30i gets better fuel mileage than the Mustang Convertible Auto turbo 4 cyl. (25 city/32 hwy vs. 20 city/28 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Z4’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mustang doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

The BMW Z4 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Mustang.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the Z4 has larger standard rear tires than the Mustang (255/40R18 vs. 235/55R17).

The Z4’s standard 225/45R18 front and 255/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Z4 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Mustang.

Suspension and Handling

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the Mustang’s (54.7% to 45.3%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Z4’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Mustang’s (36 feet vs. 36.5 feet). The Z4’s turning circle is 5.7 feet tighter than the Mustang GT Fastback Performance Pack 2’s (36 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

The BMW Z4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 350 pounds less than the Ford Mustang.

The Z4 is 1 foot, 5.8 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the Z4’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Mustang doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 46% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Mustang Premium, the Z4 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Z4 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Mustang doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the Z4 offers an optional remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The Mustang doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

The Z4’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 Mustang’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Z4 offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Mustang doesn’t offer cornering lights.

When the Z4 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 Mustang’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Z4 has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Z4 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Mustang.

The Z4’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 Mustang doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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