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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 Cooper Convertible 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 Cooper Convertible 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.
The Z4’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
The Z4’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Z4’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The Z4’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The Z4 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Z4 and the Cooper Convertible 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 and rearview cameras.
There are almost 3 times as many BMW dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Z4’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 12th.
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 MINI vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 26 more problems per 100 vehicles, MINI is ranked 17th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than MINI vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 1 place higher in reliability than MINI.
The Z4 has more powerful engines than the Cooper Convertible:
Z4 sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Z4 M40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.
Cooper Convertible 1.5 turbo 3 cyl.
Cooper Convertible S 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
John Cooper Works Convertible 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
The Z4 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (13.7 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The BMW Z4 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Convertible.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW Z4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Cooper Convertible.
The Z4’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Cooper Convertible are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Z4 has larger standard tires than the Cooper Convertible (F:225/45R18 & R:255/40R18 vs. 175/65R15). The Z4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:255/35R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. 205/40R18).
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 Cooper Convertible’s standard 65 series tires. The Z4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Z4 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The Z4’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 4.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.
The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (60.6% to 39.4%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.
The design of the BMW Z4 amounts to more than styling. The Z4 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Cooper Convertible (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Z4 get better fuel mileage.
The Z4 has .8 inches more front legroom and 3.3 inches more front shoulder room than the Cooper Convertible.
The Z4 has a much larger trunk than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (9.9 vs. 5.7 cubic feet). The Z4 has a much larger trunk than the Cooper Convertible with its top up (9.9 vs. 7.6 cubic feet).
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 Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The engine in the Z4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Convertible. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than MINI. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 8% lower rating, MINI is ranked 10th.
The Z4 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
When different drivers share the Z4, the memory system makes it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a memory system.
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 Cooper Convertible’s top can only be opened by remote, 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 Cooper Convertible’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Z4’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.
On extremely cold winter days, the Z4’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
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 Cooper Convertible.
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