2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible vs. 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/22

The 4 Series Convertible offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 4 Series Convertible’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 4 Series Convertible offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 718 Boxster only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the 4 Series Convertible’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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the 4 Series Convertible and the 718 Boxster 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 and rearview cameras.

The BMW 4 Series Convertible weighs 901 to 1384 pounds more than the Porsche 718 Boxster. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Convertible for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the 718 Boxster (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 4 Series Convertible’s warranty.

Reliability

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 4 Series Convertible’s reliability 29 points higher than the 718 Boxster.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Convertible first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The 718 Boxster 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.

Engine

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The 440i Convertible’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 13 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 317) than the 718 Boxster GTS’ optional 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Convertible gets better fuel mileage than the 718 Boxster:

MPG

4 Series Convertible

RWD

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

718 Boxster

RWD

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

The 4 Series Convertible has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 718 Boxster’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The BMW 4 Series Convertible comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 718 Boxster.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 4 Series Convertible, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 718 Boxster.

All wheel drive, available in the 4 Series Convertible, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Porsche 718 Boxster is not available with all wheel drive.

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 4 Series Convertible can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4 Series Convertible’s wheelbase is 13.2 inches longer than on the 718 Boxster (110.6 inches vs. 97.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Convertible is 1 inch wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 718 Boxster.

The 4 Series Convertible’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49% to 51%) than the 718 Boxster’s (45.5% to 54.5%). This gives the 4 Series Convertible more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

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The 4 Series Convertible’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Passenger Space

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The 4 Series Convertible has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 718 Boxster can only carry 2.

The 4 Series Convertible has 41 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 718 Boxster (90 vs. 49).

The 4 Series Convertible has 1.1 inches more front headroom and 3.8 inches more front shoulder room than the 718 Boxster.

Ergonomics

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The 4 Series Convertible 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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Convertible the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 718 Boxster can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4 Series Convertible’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 718 Boxster’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 4 Series Convertible to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The 4 Series Convertible’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 718 Boxster’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The 4 Series Convertible has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the 718 Boxster.

The 4 Series Convertible’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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/22

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Porsche 718 Boxster isn’t available as a coupe or four-door.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/22

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Porsche Boxster by almost 15 to one during 2018.

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

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