2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Infiniti Q50

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Q50 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Q50 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 5 years longer than the Q50’s (12 vs. 7 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. Infiniti doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Q50.

There are over 62 percent more BMW dealers than there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 4 Series Gran Coupe has a 170-amp alternator. The Q50’s standard 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Q50’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Q50 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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 14th.

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 Infiniti vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Infiniti is ranked 11th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Gran Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the Q50:

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

Q50

RWD

2.0t 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/29 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/26 hwy

AWD

2.0t 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

3.0t 3.0 turbo V6

19 city/27 hwy

Red Sport 400 3.0 turbo V6

19 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 Q50 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.) Infiniti only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Q50 2.0t.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the Q50.

Brakes and Stopping

The 4 Series Gran Coupe stops shorter than the Q50:

4 Series

Q50

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Q50’s standard 55 series tires.

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 Q50.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 4 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the Q50.

Suspension and Handling

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Q50’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is .4 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Q50.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the Q50’s (53.8% to 46.2%). This gives the 4 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.

The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the Q50 Red Sport 400 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 6.9 inches shorter than the Q50, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Q50 (17 vs. 13.2 cubic feet). The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Q50 Sport (17 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Q50 Pure doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

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 Q50 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Q50 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The 4 Series Gran 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 Q50 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Q50 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 4 Series Gran Coupe is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Q50 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Q50 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 4 Series Gran Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Q50 doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Q50 offer available heated front seats. The 4 Series Gran Coupe also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Q50.

The 4 Series Gran 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 Q50 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Infiniti Q50 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Q50 because typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Gran Coupe than the Q50, including $225 less for a fuel pump and $528 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The Q50 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The Q50 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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