2020 Porsche 911 vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2019/11/21

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 911 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the 911 and the 4 Series Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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.

Engine

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The 911’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 131 more horsepower (379 vs. 248) and 73 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 258) than the 430i Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The 911’s 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 59 more horsepower (379 vs. 320) and 1 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 330) than the 440i Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder. The 911 S’ standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 123 more horsepower (443 vs. 320) and 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (390 vs. 330) than the 440i Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 911 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 911’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Coupe (16.9 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 911 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Coupe (17.6 vs. 15.8 gallons).

Transmission

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A seven-speed manual is standard on the Porsche 911, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a 6-speed manual is available for the 4 Series Coupe.

The 911 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.

The 911’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.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 911’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Coupe:

911

911 S

911 opt.

430i

440i M Sport

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

16.1 inches

12.3 inches

14.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13.8 inches

15.4 inches

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

The 911 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 911 stops much shorter than the 4 Series Coupe:

911

4 Series Coupe

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 911 has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Coupe (F:235/40R19 & R:295/35R20 vs. 225/45R18). The 911’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Coupe (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R21 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

The 911’s standard 235/40R19 front and 295/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4 Series Coupe’s standard 45 series tires. The 911’s optional 245/35R20 front and 305/30R21 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the 440i Coupe’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 911 has standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 4 Series Coupe. The 911’s optional 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the 440i Coupe.

Suspension and Handling

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The 911 S offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 911 is 1.7 inches wider in the front than the track on the 4 Series Coupe.

For better maneuverability, the 911’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the 4 Series Coupe’s (36.8 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The 911’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the 4 Series Coupe xDrive’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

© 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 2019/11/21

The 911 is 4.8 inches shorter than the 4 Series Coupe, making the 911 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the 911 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 Coupe doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

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

© 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 2019/11/21

The 911’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 911’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 911 offers an optional rear wiper. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the 911 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.

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