2019 BMW Z4 vs. 2019 Porsche 911

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 911 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Z4’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 911 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

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 911 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 911 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Z4 and the 911 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the Z4 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the 911 (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 82 percent more BMW dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Z4’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Porsche vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 3 places higher in reliability than Porsche.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Z4 gets better fuel mileage than the 911 Cabriolet:

MPG

Z4

RWD

Auto

sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

M40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

24 city/31 hwy

911 Cabriolet

RWD

Manual

3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

S 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

GTS 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

18 city/26 hwy

Auto

3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

S 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

GTS 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

Manual

3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/28 hwy

S 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/28 hwy

GTS 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

18 city/26 hwy

Auto

3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

S 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

GTS 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

Turbo 3.8 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

Transmission

The BMW Z4 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 911.

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 911.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 911.

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the 911’s (40.1% to 59.9%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The Z4 is 6.4 inches shorter than the 911, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 911 (.29 to .32) 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 911 Cabriolet (9.9 vs. 5.1 cubic feet).

With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Z4 offers cargo security. The 911’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

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 911 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 911, 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 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 911 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the Z4 the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the 911 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 911 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 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 911 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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