2019 BMW Z4 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Camaro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Camaro doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Z4 has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Camaro offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Z4 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Camaro doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Z4’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Camaro doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Z4’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Camaro doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Z4 and the Camaro have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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 Camaro’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Z4’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Camaro’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the Z4 for 1 year and 12000 miles longer than Chevrolet pays for maintenance for the Camaro (3/36,000 vs. 2/24,000).

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Z4 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Camaro.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 15 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Z4 sDrive30i gets better fuel mileage than the Camaro Auto turbo 4 cyl. (25 city/32 hwy vs. 22 city/31 hwy).

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

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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 Camaro LS/LT are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction and acceleration, the Z4 has larger standard rear tires than the Camaro (255/40R18 vs. 245/50R18).

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 Camaro’s standard 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Z4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.9% to 50.1%) than the Camaro’s (51.9% to 48.1%). This gives the Z4 more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Z4’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Camaro’s (36 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The Z4’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the Camaro ZL1’s (36 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Z4 is 1 foot, 5.6 inches shorter than the Camaro, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Z4 has standard flush composite headlights. The Camaro has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

The Z4 has a much larger trunk than the Camaro Convertible (9.9 vs. 7.3 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the Z4’s available trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The Camaro doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Chevrolet. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 8% lower rating, Chevrolet is ranked 10th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors optional at extra cost in the Camaro, 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.

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. The Camaro’s top can only be opened by remote, 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 Camaro’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Camaro doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Camaro doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 Camaro.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Z4 offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Camaro doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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