2019 Volkswagen Beetle vs. 2019 BMW Z4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Beetle has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Z4 doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

Both the Beetle and the Z4 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Beetle comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car. The Z4’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

There are over 89 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Beetle’s warranty.

Reliability

The Volkswagen Beetle’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Z4’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Beetle gets better fuel mileage than the Z4 sDrive30i (26 city/33 hwy vs. 25 city/32 hwy).

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Beetle uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Z4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Beetle’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Z4 (100.1 inches vs. 97.2 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Beetle’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Z4’s (35.4 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen Beetle may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the BMW Z4.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Beetle Convertible is quieter than the Z4 sDrive30i:

Beetle

Z4

At idle

39 dB

48 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

82 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

The Beetle has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Z4 can only carry 2.

The Beetle Convertible has 29.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Z4 (81.4 vs. 52).

Cargo Capacity

The Beetle’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Z4 doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics

The Beetle Convertible’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Z4’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

Model Availability

The Volkswagen Beetle comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the BMW Z4 isn’t available as a coupe.

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

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