2019 BMW Z4 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette

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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Z4’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Corvette doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Z4’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Corvette doesn’t offer a cross-path 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 Corvette doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Z4 and the Corvette have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 Corvette’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 Corvette’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 Corvette (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 the engines in the Corvette.

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 Corvette Auto with its standard engine (25 city/32 hwy vs. 15 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Z4’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Corvette 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 Corvette.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the Z4 uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Corvette, which uses transverse leafs springs. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For better maneuverability, the Z4’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Corvette’s (36 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis

The Z4 is 6.2 inches shorter than the Corvette, making the Z4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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 Corvette 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 system optional at extra cost in the Corvette, 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 Corvette’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 Corvette’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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Z4’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corvette’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

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 Corvette doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Corvette 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 Corvette doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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

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