2019 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Corvette and the 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible:

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.

430i Convertible 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

440i Convertible 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Corvette has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Convertible (18.5 vs. 15.8 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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Corvette offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The Corvette’s 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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Corvette’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Convertible:

Corvette

Corvette ZR1

430i

440i M Sport

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.5 inches

12.3 inches

14.6 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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corvette has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Convertible (F:245/35R19 & R:285/30R20 vs. 225/45R18). The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Convertible (F:285/30R19 & R:335/25R20 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

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 4 Series Convertible’s standard 45 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 4 Series Convertible’s 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 18-inch wheels are standard on the 4 Series Convertible. The 4 Series Convertible’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 2.6 inches wider in the front than the track on the 4 Series Convertible.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Corvette may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 650 to 750 pounds less than the BMW 4 Series Convertible.

The Corvette is 5.8 inches shorter than the 4 Series Convertible, making the Corvette easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 4 Series Convertible (.3 to .31). A more efficient exterior helps the Corvette go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the Corvette get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk than the 4 Series Convertible with its top down (10 vs. 7.8 cubic feet).

With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Corvette offers cargo security. The 4 Series Convertible’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Corvette’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible 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 $5355 to $7605 less than the 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible only retains 45.78% to 47.7%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Corvette is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Convertible because typical repairs cost much less on the Corvette than the 4 Series Convertible, including $463 less for a water pump, $266 less for a starter and $356 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 4 Series Convertible hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The Corvette was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2014 Car of the Year. The 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible has never been chosen.

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

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