2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Lexus GS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The GS Series 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.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the GS Series 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the GS Series’ (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. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the GS Series.

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the GS Series’ camshafts. If the GS Series’ belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 GS Series’ 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 GS Series was rated third in its category.

Engine

The 430i Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 more horsepower (248 vs. 241) than the GS 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (320 vs. 311) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 280) than the GS 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

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

GS Series

RWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

300 F Sport 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

350 3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

350 F Sport 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

350 3.5 DOHC 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 GS Series doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The GS Series doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Lexus GS Series is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

The 4 Series Gran Coupe stops much shorter than the GS Series:

4 Series

GS Series

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

174 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 GS 300’s standard 50 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 GS 300.

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. The GS Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the GS Series’ (53% to 47%). This gives the 4 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.

The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the GS 350 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 9.4 inches shorter than the GS Series, 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 GS 350:

4 Series

GS Series

At idle

40 dB

40 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

79 dB

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The GS Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GS Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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

A Condition-Based Service Display is standard on the 4 Series Gran Coupe to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, spark plug replacement and brake pad replacement, vehicle inspection based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Lexus doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the GS Series.

Ergonomics

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 GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Gran Coupe owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 4 Series Gran Coupe will cost $1055 less than the GS Series over a five-year period.

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 GS Series only retains 40.38% to 44.69%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Gran Coupe is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Gran Coupe than the GS Series, including $227 less for a starter, $241 less for fuel injection, $195 less for a fuel pump, $612 less for a timing belt/chain and $765 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 $5697 to $16694 less than for the Lexus GS Series.

Recommendations

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2014. The GS Series 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 GS Series has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Lexus GS Series by almost five to one during 2018.

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

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