2020 Mercedes AMG E-Class Cabriolet vs. 2020 BMW M4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes AMG E-Class Cabriolet have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW M4 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The M4 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The M4 doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

To help make backing safer, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The M4 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’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 M4 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the AMG E-Class Cabriolet and the M4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The Mercedes AMG E-Class Cabriolet weighs 401 to 941 pounds more than the BMW M4. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid produces 4 more horsepower (429 vs. 425) than the M4’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The AMG E-Class Cabriolet has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the M4 (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Mercedes AMG E-Class Cabriolet higher (5 out of 10) than the BMW M4 (3). This means the AMG E-Class Cabriolet produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the M4 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes AMG E-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the M4.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet offers an optional up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The M4 doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

All-wheel drive, available in the AMG E-Class Cabriolet, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all-wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The BMW M4 is not available with all-wheel drive.

Tires and Wheels

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The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s standard 275/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the M4’s standard 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the AMG E-Class Cabriolet has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the M4.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the AMG E-Class Cabriolet can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The M4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the AMG E-Class Cabriolet uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the M4, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The M4 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’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 M4 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the M4 (113.1 inches vs. 110.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the AMG E-Class Cabriolet is 1.9 inches wider in the front than on the M4.

For better maneuverability, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the M4’s (37.5 feet vs. 40 feet).

Cargo Capacity

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The AMG E-Class Cabriolet has a much larger trunk with its top down than the M4 Convertible with its top down (9.5 vs. 7.8 cubic feet).

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The M4 Convertible’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The M4 doesn’t offer a power trunk, so its trunk has to be closed manually.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The AMG E-Class Cabriolet 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 M4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the M4, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The M4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The M4 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.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the M4’s power windows.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The M4’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the AMG E-Class Cabriolet to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The M4 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. Its standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet has standard extendable sun visors. The M4 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the AMG E-Class Cabriolet keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The M4 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the AMG E-Class Cabriolet offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The M4 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes AMG E-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the M4.

The AMG E-Class Cabriolet’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The M4’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes AMG E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the BMW M4 isn’t available as a sedan or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the AMG E-Class Cabriolet owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the AMG E-Class Cabriolet will cost $1625 to $5875 less than the M4 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/11/20

The E 450/E 53 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 2 years. The 4 Series hasn’t been picked since 2014.

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