2019 Porsche 718 Cayman vs. 2019 BMW 4 Series Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 718 Cayman and the 4 Series 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

Engine

The 718 Cayman has more powerful engines than the 4 Series Coupe:

 

Horsepower

Torque

718 Cayman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

350 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. Manual

365 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. Auto

365 HP

317 lbs.-ft.

430i Coupe 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

440i Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

322 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Cayman lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

The 718 Cayman’s optional fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Coupe (16.9 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Transmission

The 718 Cayman offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the 718 Cayman has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift, based on a value pre-entered by the driver. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The 718 Cayman PDK’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

The Porsche 718 Cayman manual offers a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 718 Cayman’s optional brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Coupe:

 

Cayman

430i

440i

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

The 718 Cayman offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Cayman stops much shorter than the 4 Series Coupe:

 

Cayman

4 Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

99 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 718 Cayman has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Coupe (F:235/45R18 & R:265/45R18 vs. 225/45R18). The 718 Cayman’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Coupe (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

The 718 Cayman’s optional 245/35R20 front and 305/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 440i Coupe’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 718 Cayman GTS has standard 20-inch wheels. The 4 Series Coupe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The 718 Cayman S handles at 1.04 G’s, while the 430i Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 718 Cayman S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the 430i Coupe (23.7 seconds @ .89 average G’s vs. 25.6 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 718 Cayman’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the 4 Series Coupe’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The 718 Cayman’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the 4 Series Coupe xDrive’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The Porsche 718 Cayman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 750 pounds less than the BMW 4 Series Coupe.

The 718 Cayman is 10.3 inches shorter than the 4 Series Coupe, making the 718 Cayman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 17% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

The 718 Cayman’s optional 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 Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The 718 Cayman’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 Coupe does not have an oil pressure gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 718 Cayman offers an optional rear wiper. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 718 Cayman keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Recommendations

The Cayman was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 12 of the last 13 years. The 4 Series Coupe hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The 718 Cayman was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 5 years. The 4 Series Coupe hasn’t been picked since 2014.

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

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