2020 BMW M4 vs. 2019 Porsche 718 Boxster

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The M4’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The M4 offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 718 Boxster only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the M4 and the 718 Boxster 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

The BMW M4 weighs 489 to 1221 pounds more than the Porsche 718 Boxster. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.


BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M4 for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Porsche pays for maintenance for the 718 Boxster (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 82 percent more BMW dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the M4’s warranty.


To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the M4 has a standard 209-amp alternator. The 718 Boxster’s 175-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the M4 has a standard 900-amp battery. The 718 Boxster’s 450-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Porsche vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 3 places higher in reliability than Porsche.


The M4 has more powerful engines than the 718 Boxster:



M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

425 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

444 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

350 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Boxster GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

317 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Road and Track the BMW M4 (base engine) is faster than the 718 Boxster S (manual transmissions tested):


718 Boxster

Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

1.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.3 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114.9 MPH

111.4 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M4 (base engine) is faster than the Porsche 718 Boxster (automatics tested):


718 Boxster

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.6 sec

9.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.2 sec

5 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

4.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.9 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

12.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

119 MPH

112 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The M4 has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 718 Boxster’s standard fuel tank (15.8 vs. 14.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.


The BMW M4 manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 718 Boxster:


M4 opt.


Boxster opt.

Front Rotors

15 inches

15.7 inches

13 inches

13.8 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

15 inches

11.8 inches

13.8 inches

The M4 stops shorter than the 718 Boxster:


718 Boxster

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

112 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M4 has larger standard tires than the 718 Boxster (F:255/40R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. F:235/45R18 & R:265/45R18). The M4’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 718 Boxster (265/30R20 vs. 245/35R20).

The M4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 718 Boxster’s standard 45 series tires. The M4’s optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the 718 Boxster’s optional 35 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M4’s wheelbase is 13.3 inches longer than on the 718 Boxster (110.7 inches vs. 97.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M4 is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 718 Boxster.

The M4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.1% to 51.9%) than the 718 Boxster’s (45.5% to 54.5%). This gives the M4 more stable handling and braking.


The M4’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Passenger Space

The M4 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 718 Boxster can only carry 2.

The M4 Convertible has 40.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 718 Boxster (89.9 vs. 49).

Cargo Capacity

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M4 offers cargo security. The 718 Boxster’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.


The M4 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 718 Boxster doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the M4 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 718 Boxster can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The M4’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 718 Boxster’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the M4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The M4’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The 718 Boxster’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

The M4 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 718 Boxster.

The M4’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 718 Boxster doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW M4 comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Porsche 718 Boxster isn’t available as a coupe.

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

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