Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 BMW Z4 VS 2014 Lexus IS Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 BMW Z4

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VS

2014 Lexus IS

Safety Comparison

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

Both the Z4 and the IS C 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 and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The Z4’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the IS C’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the Z4 for 3 years and 40,000 miles longer than Lexus pays for maintenance for the IS C (4/50,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 77 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Z4’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Z4 third among compact premium sporty cars in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The IS C isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine Comparison

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The Z4 has more powerful engines than the IS C:

Horsepower

Torque

Z4 sDrive28i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

Z4 sDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

Z4 sDrive35is 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

IS 250 C 2.5 DOHC V6

204 HP

185 lbs.-ft.

IS 350 C 3.5 DOHC V6

306 HP

277 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Z4 sDrive35i is faster than the IS 350 C (automatics tested):

Z4

IS C

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.9 MPH

101.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Z4 sDrive28i Auto gets better fuel mileage than the IS 250 C (22 city/33 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Z4’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The IS C doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Z4 sDrive28i Manual’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The IS C doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

Z4 sDrive28i

Z4 sDrive35i

IS 250 C

IS 350 C

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

11.6 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

12.8 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The Z4 stops much shorter than the IS C:

Z4

IS C

80 to 0 MPH

206 feet

236 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

133 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

130 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The Z4 sDriver35i/sDrive35is’ optional 225/35R19 front and 255/30R19 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 IS C’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Z4 sDriver35i/sDrive35is offers optional 19-inch wheels. The IS C’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard 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. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the IS C.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Z4 offers an optional. The IS C’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the IS C.

The Z4 sDrive35is handles at .91 G’s, while the IS 350 C pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The Z4 sDrive35is goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3.3 MPH faster than the IS 350 C (67.8 vs. 64.5 MPH).

The Z4 sDrive35i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the IS 350 C (25.2 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 26.7 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW Z4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 550 pounds less than the Lexus IS C.

The Z4 is 1 foot, 3.5 inches shorter than the IS C, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Z4 has a much larger trunk with its top down than the IS C with its top down (6.4 vs. 2.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Z4’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The IS C’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

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

In case of a sudden change of weather, the Z4 has a standard remote convertible top which can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The IS C doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

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 IS C’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Consumer Reports rated the Z4’s headlight performance “Fair,” a higher rating than the IS C’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Z4 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The IS C doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Z4 has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The IS C doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 $1115 to $2945 less than the IS C over a five-year period.

The Z4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Z4 will retain 54% to 56% of its original price after three years, while the IS C only retains 52%.

Recommendations Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Z4 second among compact premium sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The IS C isn’t in the top three.

 The Z4 is ranked first in its class and received the 2012 “Total Quality Award.” The IS C is not ranked.

The Z4 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The IS C has never been an “All Star.”

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