2020 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 Porsche 911

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 2 Series’ 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.

The 2 Series’ 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 2 Series and the 911 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 all wheel drive and rear parking sensors.

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 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 911 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series 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 2 Series’ warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The 911 isn’t in the top three in its category.

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 2 Series Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the 911 Coupe:

MPG

2 Series Coupe

RWD

Manual

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

911 Coupe

RWD

Manual

3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

S 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

GTS 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

18 city/26 hwy

GT3 4.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

13 city/21 hwy

Auto

3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 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.

20 city/28 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.

21 city/28 hwy

GTS 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

Turbo 3.6 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/24 hwy

On the EPA test cycle the 2 Series Convertible gets better fuel mileage than the 911 Cabriolet:

MPG

2 Series Convertible

RWD

Manual

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Auto

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 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/26 hwy

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW 2 Series higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Porsche 911 (1). This means the 2 Series produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 911 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The BMW 2 Series 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 2 Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 911.

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 911 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 230i’s wheelbase is 9.4 inches longer than on the 911 (105.9 inches vs. 96.5 inches). The 230i’s wheelbase is 9.2 inches longer than on the 911 GT3 (105.9 feet vs. 96.7 inches).

The 2 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the 911’s (40.1% to 59.9%). This gives the 2 Series more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 2 Series Coupe a Compact car, while the 911 Coupe is rated a Minicompact. The EPA rates the 2 Series Convertible a Subcompact car, while the 911 Cabriolet is rated a Minicompact.

The 2 Series Coupe has 20 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 Coupe (90 vs. 70). The 2 Series Convertible has 13.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 Cabriolet (81.7 vs. 68).

The 2 Series Coupe has 2.1 inches more front headroom, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, 5.5 inches more rear headroom, 8 inches more rear legroom and 5.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the 911 Coupe.

The 2 Series Convertible has 2.5 inches more front headroom, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room and 6 inches more rear headroom than the 911 Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity

The 2 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat up (13.8 vs. 5.1 cubic feet). The 2 Series has a much larger trunk than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat folded (13.8 vs. 9.1 cubic feet).

The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the 911 Cabriolet (9.9 vs. 5.1 cubic feet). The 2 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the 911 Cabriolet (11.8 vs. 5.1 cubic feet).

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The 911’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

If the front windows are left open on the 2 Series w/Comfort Access the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. 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 2 Series 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 911 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 911 doesn’t offer rear vents.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 911 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 2 Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 2 Series will cost $5550 less than the 911 over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 2 Series will be $63379 to $97722 less than for the Porsche 911.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW 2 Series and the Porsche 911, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 911 isn’t in the top three in its category.

The M235i/M240i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 5 years. The 911 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

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

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