Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2016 BMW Z4 VS 2016 Mercedes SLK-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2016 BMW Z4

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2016 Mercedes SLK-Class

Safety Comparison

Both the Z4 and the SLK 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, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and available rear parking sensors.

Warranty Comparison

The Z4’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the SLK’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the SLK.

There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Z4’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Z4 sDrive35i is faster than the SLK350 (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.9 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.9 MPH

102.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Front Rotors

13 inches

12.7 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 SLK300 are solid, not vented.

The Z4 stops shorter than the SLK:



60 to 0 MPH

102 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Z4’s 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 SLK’ optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Z4 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The SLK’ 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. The SLK doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Z4’s wheelbase is 2.6 inches longer than on the SLK (98.3 inches vs. 95.7 inches).

The Z4 sDrive35i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the SLK350 (25.2 seconds @ .74 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Z4 has a larger trunk with its top up than the SLK with its top up (10.9 vs. 10.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

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 SLK’ rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

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

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 SLK 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 costs extra on the SLK.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Z4 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Z4 will cost $150 less than the SLK over a five-year period.

The Z4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Z4 will retain 46.86% to 48.89% of its original price after five years, while the SLK only retains 42.53% to 46.24%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW Z4 will be $2357 to $12108 less than for the Mercedes SLK.

Recommendations Comparison

Intellichoice recognized the BMW Z4 as a “Best Value of the Year” for the 2015 model year.

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

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