2020 Porsche 718 Cayman vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the 718 Cayman and the 4 Series 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

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 Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 15th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Engine

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The 718 Cayman has more powerful engines than the 4 Series Coupe:

Horsepower

Torque

718 Cayman 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman S 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder

350 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman GT4 4.0 GT3 6-cylinder

414 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

430i Coupe 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

440i Coupe 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

320 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Cayman lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The 718 Cayman’s optional fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Coupe (16.9 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Transmission

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The 718 Cayman offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the 718 Cayman has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift, based on a value pre-entered by the driver. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

The 718 Cayman PDK’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer launch control.

The Porsche 718 Cayman manual offers 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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 718 Cayman’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Coupe:

Cayman

Cayman opt.

Cayman GT4

GT4 opt.

430i

440i

440i M Sport

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

16.1 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

14.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

13.8 inches

15 inches

15.4 inches

11.8 inches

13 inches

13.6 inches

The 718 Cayman offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Cayman stops much shorter than the 4 Series Coupe:

718 Cayman

4 Series

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

97 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 718 Cayman has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Coupe (F:235/45R18 & R:265/45R18 vs. 225/45R18). The 718 Cayman’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Coupe (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

The 718 Cayman’s optional 245/35R20 front and 305/30R20 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 718 Cayman GTS/T has standard 20-inch wheels. The 4 Series Coupe’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The 718 Cayman handles at 1.06 G’s, while the 430i Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 718 Cayman S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the 430i Coupe (23.7 seconds @ .89 average G’s vs. 25.6 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 718 Cayman’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the 4 Series Coupe’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The 718 Cayman GT4’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the 4 Series Coupe xDrive’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Porsche 718 Cayman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 650 pounds less than the BMW 4 Series Coupe.

The 718 Cayman is 10.3 inches shorter than the 4 Series Coupe, making the 718 Cayman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 46% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The 718 Cayman’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The 718 Cayman’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 4 Series Coupe does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The 718 Cayman’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. 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.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 718 Cayman offers an optional rear wiper. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 718 Cayman 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 718 Cayman owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 718 Cayman will cost $1675 less than the 4 Series Coupe over a five-year period.

The 718 Cayman will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Cayman will retain 59.69% to 60.13% of its original price after five years, while the 4 Series Coupe only retains 43.18% to 43.76%.

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 2020/06/02

The Cayman was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 14 of the last 15 years. The 4 Series Coupe hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The 718 Cayman was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 7 years. The 4 Series Coupe hasn’t been picked since 2014.

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

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