Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW Z4 VS 2016 Ford Mustang Near Phoenix, AZ

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2016 BMW Z4

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VS

2016 Ford Mustang

Safety Comparison

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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.

The Z4 offers optional Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Mustang doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

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

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, lubrication and any other required 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’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 12th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in reliability, above the industry average. With 42 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 24th.

Engine Comparison

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As tested in Motor Trend the Z4 sDrive35i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. is faster than the Mustang ECOBoost 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Z4

Mustang

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.9 MPH

97.8 MPH

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

4 cyl./Manual

22 city/34 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

V6/Manual

n/a

17 city/28 hwy

V8/Manual

n/a

15 city/25 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

22 city/33 hwy

20 city/29 hwy

V6/Auto

n/a

19 city/28 hwy

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./Auto

17 city/24 hwy

15 city/24 hwy

V8

3.0 twin turbo 6 cyl./Auto

17 city/24 hwy

n/a

Regenerative brakes improve the Z4’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mustang 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 Mustang doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

Z4

Mustang

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 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.

The Z4 stops much shorter than the Mustang:

Z4

Mustang

80 to 0 MPH

206 feet

218 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

164 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

126 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The Z4 sDrive28i’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang’s standard 55 series tires. The Z4’s optional 255/30R19 rear tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Mustang’s optional 35 series tires.

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. The Mustang doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Z4 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Mustang’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better maneuverability, the Z4’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Mustang w/17” wheels’ (35.1 feet vs. 36.5 feet). The Z4’s turning circle is 4.9 feet tighter than the Mustang Performance Package’s (35.1 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW Z4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds less than the Ford Mustang.

The Z4 is 1 foot, 9.4 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Z4’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Mustang doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

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 27.2 inches, while the Mustang’s liftover is 30 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Z4’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Mustang’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or 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 Mustang 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 Mustang 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 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Mustang doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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.

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 Mustang 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 Mustang doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Z4’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Mustang Premium.

When the Z4 is put in reverse, the passenger 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 has standard 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.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Z4’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Mustang doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Z4 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Mustang Premium.

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