2020 Mercedes E-Class Coupe vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe

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 E-Class Coupe have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The BMW 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The E-Class Coupe’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes E-Class Coupe 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 Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The E-Class Coupe’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 Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the E-Class Coupe and the 4 Series Coupe 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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 E-Class Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the E-Class Coupe has a 180-amp alternator. The 4 Series Coupe’s standard 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

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 E-Class Coupe’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 114 more horsepower (362 vs. 248) and 111 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 258) than the 430i Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The E-Class Coupe’s 3.0 turbo V6 produces 42 more horsepower (362 vs. 320) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 330) than the 440i Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The E-Class Coupe has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Coupe (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes E-Class Coupe, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 4 Series Coupe.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the E-Class Coupe’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Coupe:

E-Class Coupe

4 Series Coupe

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

11.8 inches

The E-Class Coupe stops much shorter than the 4 Series Coupe:

E-Class Coupe

4 Series Coupe

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the E-Class Coupe has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Coupe (245/45R18 vs. 225/45R18). The E-Class Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Coupe (F:245/45R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

The E-Class Coupe’s optional 245/35R20 front and 275/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 440i Coupe’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the E-Class Coupe offers optional 20-inch wheels. The 4 Series Coupe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The E-Class Coupe has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The E-Class Coupe’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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The E-Class Coupe’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 Coupe doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the E-Class Coupe’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the 4 Series Coupe (113.1 inches vs. 110.6 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the E-Class Coupe is 2.3 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than on the 4 Series Coupe.

The E 450 Coupe 4MATIC handles at .90 G’s, while the 430i Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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The E-Class Coupe has standard seating for 5 passengers; the 4 Series Coupe can only carry 4.

The E-Class Coupe has .8 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear legroom than the 4 Series Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the E-Class offers cargo security. The 4 Series Coupe’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the E-Class Coupe 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 4 Series Coupe 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 E-Class Coupe 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 Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the 4 Series Coupe, the E-Class Coupe 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 E-Class Coupe’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The E-Class Coupe’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series 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.

The E-Class Coupe’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 4 Series Coupe’s power windows.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the E-Class Coupe to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The 4 Series Coupe 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 E-Class Coupe has standard extendable sun visors. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes E-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. Wireless charging costs extra on the 4 Series Coupe.

The E-Class Coupe 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 Coupe doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The E-Class Coupe’s optional Active Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The 4 Series Coupe’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes E-Class comes in coupe, convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the BMW 4 Series isn’t available as a station wagon.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the E-Class Coupe is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Coupe because typical repairs cost much less on the E-Class Coupe than the 4 Series Coupe, including $63 less for front brake pads, $277 less for front struts and $62 less for a timing belt/chain.

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 Coupe hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The Mercedes E-Class outsold the BMW 4 Series by 84% during the 2019 model year.

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