2020 BMW Z4 vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Z4 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Both the Z4 and the C-Class Cabriolet have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.


The Z4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the C-Class Cabriolet’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the Z4 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 C-Class Cabriolet.


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.


The Z4 sDrive30i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 22 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 273) than the C 300 Cabriolet’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Z4 gets better fuel mileage than the C-Class Cabriolet:




sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

M40i 3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

24 city/31 hwy

C-Class Cabriolet


300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy


300 2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

AMG 43 3.0 turbo V6

18 city/25 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Z4’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

The Z4 stops much shorter than the C-Class Cabriolet:



70 to 0 MPH

146 feet

158 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Z4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Cabriolet (F:255/35R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18).

The Z4’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s optional 40 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is 1 inch wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the C-Class Cabriolet.

The Z4 sDrive30i handles at 1.00 G’s, while the C 300 Cabriolet pulls only .94 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Z4’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the C 300 Cabriolet’s (36 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The Z4’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s (36 feet vs. 39.7 feet).


The BMW Z4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 750 pounds less than the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet.

The Z4 is 1 foot, 1.8 inches shorter than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Z4 has .1 inches more front headroom and .2 inches more front legroom than the C-Class Cabriolet.

Cargo Capacity

The Z4 has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Cabriolet with its top down (9.9 vs. 7 cubic feet). The Z4 has a much larger trunk than the C-Class Cabriolet with its top up (9.9 vs. 8.8 cubic feet).

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

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