Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2007 BMW Z4 VS 2007 Ford Mustang Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2007 BMW Z4

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VS

2007 Ford Mustang

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the BMW Z4 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 Ford Mustang doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

The Z4 has standard four wheel antilock disc brakes for quicker stops and controlled steering ability, especially under poor traction conditions. Antilock brakes cost extra on the Ford Mustang.

The Z4 has standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), which uses the antilock brake hardware along with powerful software and additional sensors to detect the beginning of a skid. DSC then intervenes by automatically applying the brake at one appropriate wheel, preventing a skid. The Mustang doesn’t offer skid prevention. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showed that skid control systems reduced single-vehicle car crashes by 30%.

The BMW Z4 has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Mustang doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Compared to metal, the Z4’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Ford Mustang has a metal gas tank.

The Z4 offers optional BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Mustang doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the Z4 and the Mustang have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags and front seatbelt pretensioners.

Warranty Comparison

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The Z4 comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Mustang’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Z4’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Mustang’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the Z4 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mustang.

Reliability Comparison

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The battery on the Z4 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the Z4’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Mustang’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics which show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 9th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 12th.

Engine Comparison

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The Z4’s standard 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 5 more horsepower (215 vs. 210) than the Mustang’s standard 4.0 SOHC V6.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Z4’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Mustang:

Torque

Z4 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

2750 RPM

Z4 3.0si 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

2750 RPM

Mustang 4.0 SOHC V6

3500 RPM

Mustang GT 4.6 SOHC V8

4500 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Z4 gets better fuel mileage than the Mustang:

Z4

Mustang

3.0i/Manual

20 city/29 hwy

19 city/28 hwy

V6

3.0si/Manual

20 city/29 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

V8

3.0i/Auto

21 city/30 hwy

18 city/26 hwy

V6

3.0si/Auto

21 city/30 hwy

17 city/23 hwy

V8

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Z4’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Mustang:

Z4 3.0i Roadster

Z4 3.0si

Mustang

Mustang GT

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.8 inches

11.5 inches

12.4 inches

The Z4’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Mustang are solid, not vented.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Z4 has a standard Dynamic Brake Control to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Mustang doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Z4 with its standard antilock brakes stops much shorter than the Mustang with antilock brakes:

Z4

Mustang

80 to 0 MPH

191 feet

233 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

189 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

126 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

126 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Z4 has larger standard tires than the Mustang (225/45R17 vs. 215/65R16).

The Z4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang’s standard 65 series tires. The Z4 3.0si’s optional 225/40R18 front and 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Mustang GT’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Z4 has standard 17 inch wheels. Smaller 16 inch wheels are standard on the Mustang.

The Z4 has a standard tire pressure monitoring system, which uses the ABS sensors to measure slight differences in wheel speed to alert the driver to a drop in tire pressure before damage to the tire or an accident might occur. The Mustang doesn’t offer a low tire pressure warning system.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Z4 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Mustang doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For superior ride and handling, the BMW Z4 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Mustang has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Z4 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Z4 flat and controlled during cornering. The Mustang base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Z4 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Mustang doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the Mustang’s (53% to 47%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

The Z4 3.0si Roadster handles at .95 G’s, while the Mustang Convertible pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Z4 3.0si Roadster goes through Motor Trend’s slalom 6.9 MPH faster than the Mustang GT Convertible (70.3 vs. 63.4 MPH).

For better maneuverability the Z4’s turning circle is 5.5 feet tighter than the Mustang GT’s (32.2 vs. 37.7 feet). The Z4’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Mustang V6’s (32.2 vs. 33.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW Z4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Ford Mustang.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Z4 has standard flush composite headlights. The Mustang has recessed headlights which spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Z4 easier. The Z4’s trunk lift-over height is 27 inches, while the Mustang’s liftover is 31 inches.

With its coupe or roadster body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Z4 offers cargo security. The Mustang’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics Comparison

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To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Z4 has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Mustang doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

When three different drivers share the Z4, the optional memory seats make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Mustang doesn’t offer memory seats.

If the windows are left down on the Z4 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the Mustang can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Z4’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Mustang’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Z4 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Mustang doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Z4’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Mustang’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Z4 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Mustang doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Z4 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Mustang doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Z4’s outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Mustang doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

When the Z4 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Mustang’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Z4 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Z4’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Mustang doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Z4’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Mustang doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the Z4 has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The Mustang doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Wireless connectivity is optional on the Z4, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Ford doesn’t offer a wireless connectivity on the Mustang.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Z4 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Z4 will cost $362 to $2280 less than the Mustang over a five year period.

The Z4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that the Z4 will retain 49.71% to 49.87% of its original price after five years, while the Mustang only retains 40.68% to 44.44%.

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