2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Mercedes E-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the E-Class Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the E-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the E-Class Sedan.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The E-Class Sedan 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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the 430i Gran Coupe is faster than the E 300 Sedan:

4 Series

E-Class

Zero to 30 MPH

2 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.9 sec

17.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

7.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.6 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.3 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.3 sec

15 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

98 MPH

92 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Gran Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the E-Class Sedan:

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

E-Class Sedan

RWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/30 hwy

AWD

300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

450 3.0 turbo V6

20 city/28 hwy

AMG 53 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. Hybrid

21 city/28 hwy

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Mercedes only offers a regenerative brake system on the E-Class Sedan 53 AMG.

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 Mercedes E-Class Sedan is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Tires and Wheels

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 E-Class Sedan.

Suspension and Handling

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the E-Class Sedan’s (54.2% to 45.8%). This gives the 4 Series Gran Coupe more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the E-Class Sedan’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.2 feet). The 4 Series Gran Coupe xDrive’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the E 450 4MATIC Sedan’s (38.7 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The 4 Series Gran Coupe is 11.1 inches shorter than the E-Class Sedan, making the 4 Series Gran Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive is quieter than the E 300 Sedan 4MATIC (73 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 2.5 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more front legroom than the E-Class Sedan.

Ergonomics

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 E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe and the E-Class Sedan offer optional 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 E-Class Sedan.

Economic Advantages

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 E-Class Sedan only retains 38.57% to 39.14%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe will be $12771 to $27065 less than for the Mercedes E-Class Sedan.

Recommendations

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

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

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