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The M2 Competition has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Mustang doesn’t offer a front parking aid.
Both the M2 Competition and the Mustang have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.
The M2 Competition comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mustang’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
The M2 Competition’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Mustang’s (12 vs. 5 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M2 Competition for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mustang.
The battery on the M2 Competition is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the M2 Competition’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Mustang’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 10 places higher in reliability than Ford.
The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 95 more horsepower (405 vs. 310) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 350) than the Mustang’s standard 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the M2 Competition Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Mustang GT Fastback Manual (18 city/25 hwy vs. 15 city/24 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the M2 Competition’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mustang doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M2 Competition’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 Mustang doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The M2 Competition offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Mustang doesn’t offer an SMG.
For better stopping power the M2 Competition’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Mustang:
For better traction, the M2 Competition has larger tires than the Mustang (F:245/35R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. 235/55R17).
The M2 Competition’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang’s standard 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M2 Competition has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Mustang.
The M2 Competition is 1 foot shorter than the Mustang, making the M2 Competition easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the M2 Competition a Compact car, while the Mustang Fastback is rated a Subcompact.
The M2 Competition has 6.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mustang Fastback (89.7 vs. 82.8).
The M2 Competition Coupe has 2.5 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mustang Fastback.
The M2 Competition Coupe has a larger trunk than the Mustang Fastback (13.8 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).
With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M2 Competition offers cargo security. The Mustang’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.
The M2 Competition uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mustang uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
If the windows are left open on the M2 Competition 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 Mustang can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The M2 Competition has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Mustang doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.
The M2 Competition’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 Mustang’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M2 Competition has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Mustang doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M2 Competition also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
The M2 Competition’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Mustang Premium.
When the M2 Competition is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Mustang’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The M2 Competition has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The M2 Competition 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 Mustang.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the M2 Competition has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Mustang doesn’t offer rear vents.
The M2 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Mustang has never been an “All Star.”
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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