2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The CTS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the CTS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the CTS’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Gran Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Cadillac only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the CTS.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The CTS isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 12th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 20 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Gran Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the CTS:

MPG

4 Series Gran Coupe

RWD

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

CTS

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/29 hwy

V-Sport 3.6 turbo V6

16 city/24 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/26 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CTS doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CTS V-Sport doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the CTS.

Suspension and Handling

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The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the CTS Premium pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 1 foot shorter than the CTS, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive is quieter than the CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury:

4 Series

CTS

At idle

40 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

84 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

66 dB

Cargo Capacity

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The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the CTS (17 vs. 13.7 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 CTS can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4 Series Gran 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 CTS’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CTS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Gran Coupe owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 4 Series Gran Coupe with a number “1” insurance rate while the CTS is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 4 Series Gran Coupe will retain 47.49% to 50.4% of its original price after five years, while the CTS only retains 39.07% to 55.18%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the CTS because it costs $225 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Gran Coupe than the CTS, including $333 less for a muffler, $10 less for front brake pads, $617 less for a fuel pump and $86 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will be $6485 to $25002 less than for the Cadillac CTS.

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 Cadillac CTS by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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