2019 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2020 BMW 2 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Corvette and the 2 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Corvette 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 2 Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 2 Series ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corvette’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

Engine

The Corvette has more powerful engines than the 2 Series:

Horsepower

Torque

Corvette 6.2 V8

455 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z51 6.2 V8

460 HP

465 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z06 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 lbs.-ft.

Corvette ZR1 6.2 supercharged V8

755 HP

715 lbs.-ft.

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Corvette Z06 is faster than the M240i (automatics tested):

Corvette

2 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

3 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.8 sec

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

11.1 sec

12.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

127 MPH

111 MPH

Top Speed

185 MPH

155 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Corvette (except ZR1)’s fuel efficiency. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Corvette uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The 2 Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Corvette has 4.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the 2 Series (18.5 vs. 13.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Corvette 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 2 Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A seven-speed manual is standard on the Chevrolet Corvette, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a 6-speed manual is available for the 2 Series.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the Corvette offers an optional up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The 2 Series doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Corvette’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 2 Series:

Corvette

Corvette ZR1

230i

M240i

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.5 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

15.3 inches

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 2 Series doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Corvette stops much shorter than the 2 Series:

Corvette

2 Series

80 to 0 MPH

167 feet

209 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

127 feet

155 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

96 feet

125 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corvette has larger standard tires than the 2 Series (F:245/35R19 & R:285/30R20 vs. 205/50R17). The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 2 Series (F:285/30R19 & R:335/25R20 vs. F:225/40R18 & R:245/35R18).

The Corvette’s standard 245/35R19 front and 285/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 230i’s standard 50 series tires. The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s 285/30R19 front and 335/25R20 rear tires have a lower 30 series front and 25 series rear profile than the 2 Series’ optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 230i. The 2 Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Corvette has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Corvette flat and controlled during cornering. The 2 Series’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 3.5 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 2 Series.

The Corvette Grand Sport Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the 230i Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Corvette Z06 Coupe goes through AutoWeek’s slalom 7.6 MPH faster than the 2 Series Coupe (53.7 vs. 46.1 MPH).

The Corvette Z06 Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 3.3 seconds quicker than the 230i Coupe (22.3 seconds @ 1.06 average G’s vs. 25.6 seconds @ .77 average G’s).

Chassis

The design of the Chevrolet Corvette amounts to more than styling. The Corvette has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is lower than the 2 Series (.29 to .37). A more efficient exterior helps the Corvette go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the Corvette get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Corvette Coupe has 1.5 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more front shoulder room than the 2 Series Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The Corvette Coupe has a much larger trunk than the 2 Series Coupe (15 vs. 13.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The Corvette 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 2 Series doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Corvette’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 2 Series doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Corvette’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 2 Series has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The Corvette 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 2 Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Corvette’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 2 Series 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.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Corvette has standard extendable sun visors. The 2 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Corvette keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 2 Series doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Corvette owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Corvette will cost $715 to $7505 less than the 2 Series over a five-year period.

The Corvette will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Corvette will retain 50.97% to 60.61% of its original price after five years, while the 2 Series only retains 47.46% to 51.69%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corvette is less expensive to operate than the 2 Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Corvette than the 2 Series, including $463 less for a water pump, $266 less for a starter and $79 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Corvette was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 15 of the last 22 years. The M235i/M240i hasn’t been picked since 2017.

The Corvette was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2014 Car of the Year. The 2 Series has never been chosen.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Corvette as the 2014 North American Car of the Year. The 2 Series has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Corvette outsold the BMW 2 Series by over two to one during 2018.

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

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