2019 Nissan Maxima vs. 2019 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Maxima are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Maxima are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Maxima (except S/SV/SL) offers optional Rear Automatic Braking which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Maxima SL/SR/Platinum’s 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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Maxima’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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Maxima and the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Maxima the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Maxima 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 4 Series Gran Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Maxima’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

Engine

The Maxima’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 52 more horsepower (300 vs. 248) and 3 lbs.-ft. more torque (261 vs. 258) than the 430i Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Maxima has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (18 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Maxima has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Maxima’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

 

Maxima

4 Series Gran Coupe

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.13 inches

11.8 inches

The Maxima stops much shorter than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

 

Maxima

4 Series Gran Coupe

 

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Maxima has larger tires than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18). The Maxima’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

The Maxima has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Maxima offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the 4 Series Gran Coupe don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Maxima is 1.4 inches wider in the front than the average track on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Chassis

The Maxima SL/SR/Platinum uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Maxima a Mid-size car, while the 4 Series Gran Coupe is rated a Compact.

The Maxima has 6.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (98.5 vs. 92).

The Maxima has 2.8 inches more front legroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the Maxima offers cargo security. The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s hatchback body style defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The Maxima has a standard 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 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Maxima Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Maxima’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 4 Series Gran Coupe does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Maxima has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Maxima SR/Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Maxima is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Gran Coupe because it costs $117 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Maxima than the 4 Series Gran Coupe, including $356 less for a water pump, $207 less for a muffler, $68 less for front brake pads, $258 less for a starter, $43 less for a fuel pump, $157 less for front struts, $178 less for a timing belt/chain and $230 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Maxima will be $1337 to $2081 less than for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Maxima, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Maxima second among large cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 4 Series Gran Coupe was rated third in its category.

The Nissan Maxima outsold the BMW 4 Series by 51% during the 2018 model year.

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

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