Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2010 Porsche BOXSTER VS 2010 BMW Z4 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2010 Porsche BOXSTER

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2010 BMW Z4

Safety Comparison

Both the Boxster and the Z4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2009 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 second in initial quality. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 15th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 9th in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

The Boxster has more powerful engines than the Z4:


Boxster S 3.4 DOHC 6 cyl.

310 HP

Boxster Spyder 3.4 DOHC 6 cyl.

320 HP

Z4 sDrive30i 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

255 HP

Z4 sDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

As tested in Road & Track the Boxster S is faster than the Z4 sDrive35i (manual transmissions tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

4.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.3 sec

11.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

13.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

110.2 MPH

106.7 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the Boxster lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The Z4 doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Boxster SMG with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the Z4 sDrive30i Auto (20 city/29 hwy vs. 18 city/28 hwy).

The Boxster’s standard fuel tank has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Z4 (16.9 vs. 14.5 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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


Boxster Spyder

Z4 sDrive30i

Z4 sDrive35i

Front Rotors

12.52 inches

13.78 inches

11.8 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

11.77 inches

13.78 inches

11.8 inches

12.8 inches

The Boxster S/Spyder 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 Z4 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Boxster stops much shorter than the Z4:



80 to 0 MPH

187 feet

206 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

153 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Boxster’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Z4 (F:235/40R18 & R:265/40R18 vs. F:225/45R17 & R:255/40R17).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Boxster S handles at .97 G’s, while the Z4 sDrive35i pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Boxster Spyder goes through Road & Track’s slalom 8.4 MPH faster than the Z4 sDrive35i (74.6 vs. 66.2 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche Boxster may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 pounds less than the BMW Z4.

The design of the Porsche Boxster amounts to more than styling. The Boxster offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .31 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is significantly lower than the Z4 (.34 to .35) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Boxster get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Boxster has a much larger trunk than the Z4 with its top down (9.9 vs. 6.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Boxster’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 Z4 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

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

The Boxster’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Z4 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

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