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Compare the2024 BMW Z4VS 2024 Ford Mustang

2024 BMW Z4
2024 Ford Mustang

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 Mustang doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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, 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, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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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 or 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 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, air filter replacements, cabin filter replacement, brake fluid replacement, inspections, and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mustang.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2023 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. With 9 fewer problems per 100 vehicles, JD Power ranks BMW higher than Ford.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2022 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 above average in long-term dependability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles in the first three years of ownership, Ford is rated lower.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ January 2023 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW third in overall reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Z4 gets better mileage than the Mustang Convertible:

MPG

Z4

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

3.0 turbo 6-cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

Mustang Convertible

Manual

GT 5.0 V8

14 city/23 hwy

Auto

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/33 hwy

Performance 2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

5.0 V8

15 city/24 hwy

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.

Regardless of its engine, the Z4’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. If the conditions warrant or the driver wishes, the system can be manually disabled at any time for the duration of a trip. Ford only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the Mustang EcoBoost.

The Z4 has a standard locking fuel door which locks and unlocks with the power locks. The fuel filler door is not lockable on the Mustang. A locking fuel door helps prevent fuel theft and vandalism, such as sugar in the tank.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Z4

Mustang

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction and acceleration, the Z4 has larger standard rear tires than the Mustang (255/40R18 vs. 235/55R17).

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 Mustang EcoBoost’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Z4 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Mustang EcoBoost.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Z4 is 1.1 inches wider in the front than the average track on the Mustang.

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.2% to 48.8%) than the Mustang’s (55% to 45%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Z4’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the Mustang’s (36.1 feet vs. 36.5 feet). The Z4’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Mustang GT/Dark Horse’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.8 feet).

Chassis

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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 Ford Mustang.

The Z4 is 1 foot, 6.7 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 28% lower rating, Ford is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Mustang, the Z4 has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Z4 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed, tachometer, warning and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Mustang doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the Z4 the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Mustang can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the Z4 offers an optional remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. On a hot day the Z4 offers an optional remote opening feature, to lower the top from outside. 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.

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

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Z4 offers optional 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/Convertible/Dark Horse.

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’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Mustang offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 Mustang.

The Z4’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Mustang doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW Z4, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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