2019 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Subaru BRZ

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camaro (except LS) offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The BRZ doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Camaro’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 BRZ doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Camaro’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 BRZ doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Camaro has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The BRZ doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Camaro and the BRZ have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

The Chevrolet Camaro weighs 499 to 1359 pounds more than the Subaru BRZ. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Chevrolet Camaro Coupe is safer than the BRZ:

 

Camaro

BRZ

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

21 cm

22 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

.9/.9 kN

4.5/1.6 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

2%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Tibia index R/L

.55/.45

.97/.72

Tibia forces R/L

2.5/1.4 kN

4.8/2.1 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Camaro is safer than the Subaru BRZ:

 

Camaro

BRZ

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Camaro’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the BRZ’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Camaro. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the BRZ.

There are almost 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

The battery on the Camaro is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Camaro’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The BRZ’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Camaro has more powerful engines than the BRZ:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Camaro 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

275 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Camaro 3.6 DOHC V6

335 HP

284 lbs.-ft.

Camaro SS 6.2 V8

455 HP

455 lbs.-ft.

Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 lbs.-ft.

BRZ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. Auto

200 HP

151 lbs.-ft.

BRZ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. Manual

205 HP

156 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Camaro Turbo is faster than the Subaru BRZ (manual transmissions tested):

 

Camaro

BRZ

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

6.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.7 sec

10.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.7 sec

16.4 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.7 sec

3.3 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

95.5 MPH

As tested in Road and Track the Camaro ZL1 is faster than the Subaru BRZ (manual transmissions tested):

 

Camaro

BRZ

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

11.7 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

124 MPH

94 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Camaro V6 is faster than the Subaru BRZ (automatics tested):

 

Camaro

BRZ

Zero to 60 MPH

5.3 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.9 MPH

91.5 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Camaro ZL1 is faster than the Subaru BRZ (automatics tested):

 

Camaro

BRZ

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

7.7 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

125 MPH

91.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The BRZ doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Camaro uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The BRZ requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 5.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the BRZ (19 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Camaro has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The BRZ doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is available on the Chevrolet Camaro, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the BRZ.

The Camaro’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The BRZ doesn’t offer launch control.

The Chevrolet Camaro manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The BRZ doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Camaro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the BRZ:

 

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro 1LE

Camaro SS

Camaro SS 1LE

BRZ

BRZ Performance Package

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

11.6 inches

12.8 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

13.3 inches

11.4 inches

12.4 inches

The Camaro stops much shorter than the BRZ:

 

Camaro

BRZ

 

80 to 0 MPH

192 feet

233 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

91 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

119 feet

126 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the BRZ (245/50R18 vs. 215/45R17). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the BRZ (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. 215/45R17).

The Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the BRZ’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro has standard 18-inch wheels. Only 17-inch wheels are available on the BRZ. The Camaro offers optional 20-inch wheels.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The BRZ doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Camaro offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The BRZ’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 9.5 inches longer than on the BRZ (110.7 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the BRZ.

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the BRZ Limited pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.7 seconds quicker than the BRZ Limited (22.9 seconds @ .91 average G’s vs. 26.6 seconds @ .67 average G’s).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Camaro Coupe a Compact car, while the BRZ is rated a Minicompact.

The Camaro Coupe has 16.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the BRZ (93 vs. 76.5).

The Camaro Coupe has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front legroom, 1.4 inches more front hip room and .5 inches more front shoulder room than the BRZ.

Cargo Capacity

The Camaro Coupe has a much larger trunk than the BRZ (9.1 vs. 6.9 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Camaro. The BRZ doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The Camaro uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The BRZ uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The Camaro has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The BRZ doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

An Oil Life System is standard on the Camaro to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Subaru doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the BRZ.

Ergonomics

The Camaro Auto has a standard 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 BRZ doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Camaro, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The BRZ doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Camaro’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The BRZ doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Camaro’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The BRZ does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Camaro offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The BRZ doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Camaro has standard extendable sun visors. The BRZ doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Camaro with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The BRZ’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Camaro offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The BRZ offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Camaro keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The BRZ doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Camaro’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The BRZ doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Camaro has a standard center folding armrest for the driver and front passenger. A center armrest helps combat driver fatigue. The BRZ doesn’t offer a front seat center armrest.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Camaro comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Subaru BRZ isn’t available as a convertible.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The BRZ isn’t in the top three.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The BRZ hasn’t been picked since 2013.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The BRZ has never been chosen.

The Camaro was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2010 Car of the Year. The BRZ has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Subaru BRZ by over 13 to one during 2018.

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

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