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Compare the2024 BMW Z4VS 2024 MINI Cooper Convertible

2024 BMW Z4
2024 MINI Cooper Convertible

Safety

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The Z4’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Z4’s optional blind spot warning system uses sensors to alert the driver to objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the Z4’s optional Cross Traffic Warning uses sensors in the rear to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a rear cross-path warning system.

Both the Z4 and the Cooper Convertible have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available lane departure warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

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There are over 3 times as many BMW dealers as there are MINI dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Z4’s warranty.

Engine

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The Z4 has more powerful engines than the Cooper Convertible:

Horsepower

Torque

Z4 sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

255 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Z4 M40i 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

382 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Cooper Convertible 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder

134 HP

162 lbs.-ft.

Cooper Convertible S 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

189 HP

206 lbs.-ft.

John Cooper Works Convertible 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

228 HP

235 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Z4 sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the MINI Cooper Convertible turbo 3 cyl. (automatics tested):

Z4

Cooper Convertible

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.2 sec

24.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.1 sec

9.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.3 sec

4.4 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.8 sec

5.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102 MPH

85 MPH

Top Speed

155 MPH

124 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Z4 has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Cooper Convertible (13.7 vs. 11.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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The BMW Z4 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Cooper Convertible.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Z4 sDrive30i

Z4 M40i

Cooper Convertible

John Cooper Works Convertible

Front Rotors

13 inches

13.7 inches

11.1 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.8 inches

10.2 inches

11 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 on the Cooper Convertible are solid, not vented.

The Z4 stops much shorter than the Cooper Convertible:

Z4

Cooper Convertible

70 to 0 MPH

146 feet

163 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Z4 has larger standard tires than the Cooper Convertible (F:225/45R18 & R:255/40R18 vs. 195/55R16). The Z4’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Cooper Convertible (F:255/35R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. 205/40R18).

The Z4’s standard 225/45R18 front and 255/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Cooper Convertible’s standard 55 series tires. The Z4’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Cooper Convertible’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Z4 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Cooper Convertible. The Z4’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Cooper Convertible.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 4.4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Cooper Convertible.

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.2% to 48.8%) than the Cooper Convertible’s (61.9% to 38.1%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

The Z4 M40i handles at 1.02 G’s, while the Cooper Convertible pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

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The design of the BMW Z4 amounts to more than styling. The Z4 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .31 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is significantly lower than the Cooper Convertible (.36 to .37) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Z4 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Z4 sDrive30i is quieter than the Cooper Convertible S (70 vs. 71 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Z4 has .8 inches more front legroom and 3.3 inches more front shoulder room than the Cooper Convertible.

Cargo Capacity

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The Z4 has a much larger trunk with its top down than the Cooper Convertible with its top down (9.9 vs. 5.7 cubic feet). The Z4 has a much larger trunk than the Cooper Convertible with its top up (9.9 vs. 7.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Z4 easier. The Z4’s trunk lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the Cooper Convertible’s liftover is 31.5 inches.

With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Z4 offers cargo security. The Cooper Convertible’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Z4 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Cooper Convertible. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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The Z4 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Z4, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Cooper Convertible doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Z4’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Cooper Convertible has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Cooper Convertible’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Z4’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW Z4 and the MINI Cooper Convertible, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1999 - 2023 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.