2019 BMW Z4 vs. 2019 Nissan 370Z

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 370Z doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Z4 has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 370Z doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 370Z’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 370Z’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. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 370Z.

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 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.

Engine

The Z4 sDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 25 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 270) than the 370Z’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6. The Z4 sDrive30i’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 276) than the 370Z NISMO Coupe’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6. The Z4 M40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 32 more horsepower (382 vs. 350) and 93 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 276) than the 370Z NISMO Coupe’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Z4 sDrive30i gets better fuel mileage than the 370Z Roadster (25 city/32 hwy vs. 16 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Z4’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 370Z 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 370Z.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW Z4, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 370Z.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Z4’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 370Z (255/35R19 vs. 245/40R19).

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 370Z’s standard 50 series front and 45 series rear tires. The Z4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the 370Z Sport/Sport Touring’s 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Z4 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The 370Z’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Z4 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 370Z’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is 2.3 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 370Z.

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the 370Z’s (54.3% to 45.7%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The design of the BMW Z4 amounts to more than styling. The Z4 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the 370Z (.3 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Z4 get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

The Z4 has a much larger trunk than the 370Z Roadster (9.9 vs. 4.2 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 370Z 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 Nissan. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 33% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 20th.

Ergonomics

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 370Z 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 370Z doesn’t offer a memory system.

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 370Z 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 370Z 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 370Z’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Z4 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 370Z doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 370Z 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 370Z’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 370Z has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 370Z doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Z4’s 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. The 370Z doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Z4 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The 370Z doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Standard smartphone integration for the Z4 allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The 370Z doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

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 370Z doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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