2020 Lincoln MKZ vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/30

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Lincoln MKZ are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The rear seatbelts optional on the MKZ inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The MKZ’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the MKZ and the 4 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, 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, available all wheel drive and front parking sensors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MKZ the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 169 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Lincoln’s powertrain warranty covers the MKZ 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 4 Series Gran Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 4 Series Gran Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 2 times as many Lincoln dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the MKZ’s warranty.

Reliability

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The MKZ has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 2 places higher in reliability than BMW.

Engine

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The MKZ has more powerful engines than the 4 Series Gran Coupe:

Horsepower

Torque

MKZ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

245 HP

275 lbs.-ft.

MKZ 3.0 turbo V6

350 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

MKZ AWD 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

400 lbs.-ft.

430i Gran Coupe 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

440i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

320 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the MKZ Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the 430i Gran Coupe RWD (42 city/39 hwy vs. 23 city/34 hwy).

The MKZ AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (18 vs. 15.8 gallons).

The MKZ has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lincoln MKZ higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe (3 to 7). This means the MKZ produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 4 Series Gran Coupe every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The MKZ Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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

MKZ

4 Series Gran Coupe

70 to 0 MPH

168 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the MKZ has larger tires than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18). The MKZ’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

The MKZ (except Hybrid) has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 4 Series Gran Coupe; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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The MKZ’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the MKZ’s wheelbase is 1.6 inches longer than on the 4 Series Gran Coupe (112.2 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MKZ is 1.3 inches wider in the front than the average track on the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Chassis

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The front grille of the MKZ Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The MKZ uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the MKZ a Mid-size car, while the 4 Series Gran Coupe is rated a Compact.

The MKZ has 4.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4 Series Gran Coupe (96.6 vs. 92).

The MKZ has 2.1 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, 3.3 inches more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lincoln service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 18% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The MKZ has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The MKZ’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The MKZ’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the MKZ’s exterior PIN entry system. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the MKZ has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the MKZ Reserve keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The MKZ Reserve offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 4 Series Gran Coupe.

The MKZ offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The 4 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the MKZ owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the MKZ will cost $1780 less than the 4 Series Gran Coupe over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MKZ is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Gran Coupe because it costs $263 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the MKZ than the 4 Series Gran Coupe, including $419 less for a water pump, $54 less for front brake pads, $359 less for a starter, $117 less for fuel injection, $288 less for front struts and $22 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lincoln MKZ will be $3798 to $8075 less than for the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/30

Consumer Reports® recommends the Lincoln MKZ, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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