2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe vs. 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

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

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

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

Both the 4 Series Coupe and the 718 Cayman 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 Coupe weighs 487 to 883 pounds more than the Porsche 718 Cayman. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 440i Coupe has a standard 210-amp alternator (170-amp - 430i Coupe). The 718 Cayman’s 120-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 Coupe’s reliability 29 points higher than the 718 Cayman.

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

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

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the 718 Cayman:

MPG

4 Series Coupe

RWD

Manual

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/33 hwy

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Manual

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

18 city/28 hwy

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

718 Cayman

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 Coupe has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 718 Cayman’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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

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

All wheel drive, available in the 4 Series Coupe, 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 Cayman is not available with all wheel drive.

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Coupe is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 718 Cayman.

The 4 Series Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the 718 Cayman’s (44.7% to 55.3%). This gives the 4 Series Coupe more stable handling and braking.

Chassis

The design of the BMW 4 Series Coupe amounts to more than styling. The 4 Series Coupe has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the 718 Cayman (.3 to .31). A more efficient exterior helps the 4 Series Coupe go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 4 Series Coupe get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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

The 4 Series Coupe has 42 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 718 Cayman (90 vs. 48).

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Coupe has a larger trunk than the 718 Cayman (15.7 vs. 14.9 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The 4 Series Coupe 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 Cayman doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Coupe w/Comfort Access the driver can close them all 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 718 Cayman can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4 Series Coupe’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 Cayman’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

The 4 Series Coupe 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 Cayman.

The 4 Series Coupe’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 Cayman doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 4 Series Coupe will be $4149 to $6926 less than for the Porsche 718 Cayman.

Recommendations

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Porsche Cayman by almost 10 to one during 2018.

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

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