2019 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2020 BMW M4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Corvette and the M4 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 M4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the M4 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

The M4’s redline is at 7600 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corvette has a 6500 to 6600 RPM redline.

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 M4:

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.

M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

425 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

444 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

M4 CS Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

453 HP

442 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Corvette Z51 is faster than the BMW M4 (base engine) (manual transmissions tested):

Corvette

M4

Zero to 60 MPH

3.7 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12 sec

12.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

118.4 MPH

116.5 MPH

As tested in Road and Track the Corvette ZR1 is faster than the M4 CS Coupe (automatics tested):

Corvette

M4

Zero to 30 MPH

1.3 sec

1.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.1 sec

3.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

4.8 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

6.8 sec

8 sec

Quarter Mile

11.1 sec

11.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

129.1 MPH

121 MPH

Top Speed

212 MPH

174 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Corvette ZR1 is faster than the BMW M4 (base engine) (automatics tested):

Corvette

M4

Zero to 60 MPH

3 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

10.8 sec

12.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

133.1 MPH

117.8 MPH

In a Road and Track race course test, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe was clocked 1.51 seconds faster than the BMW M4 Coupe (59.9 sec. vs. 61.41 sec.).

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 M4 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 M4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Corvette has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the M4 (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 M4 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 M4.

An eight-speed automatic is available on the Chevrolet Corvette, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the M4.

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 M4 doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

The Corvette stops much shorter than the M4:

Corvette

M4

80 to 0 MPH

167 feet

193 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

127 feet

151 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

88 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the M4 (F:285/30R19 & R:335/25R20 vs. F:265/30R20 & R:285/30R20).

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 M4’s standard 40 series tires. The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s 335/25R20 rear tires have a lower 25 series profile than the M4’s optional 30 series 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 M4.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Corvette can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The M4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Corvette is 1.2 inches wider in the front than the track on the M4.

The Corvette Z06 Coupe handles at 1.19 G’s, while the M4 Coupe pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Corvette Z06 Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the M4 Coupe (22.3 seconds @ 1.06 average G’s vs. 24.2 seconds @ .84 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Corvette’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the M4’s (37.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Corvette may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the BMW M4.

The Corvette is 7.6 inches shorter than the M4, 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 significantly lower than the M4 (.34). 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 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the M4 Coupe (15 vs. 11 cubic feet).

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk than the M4 Convertible with its top down (10 vs. 7.8 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 M4 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 M4 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 M4 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The Corvette’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The M4 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 M4 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 M4 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 $7420 to $8975 less than the M4 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

Road and Track performed a comparison test in its November 2014 issue and they ranked the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe first. They ranked the BMW M4 Coupe third.

The Corvette was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 15 of the last 22 years. The 4 Series hasn’t been picked since 2014.

The Corvette was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2014 Car of the Year. The M3/M4 was Car of the Year in 2006.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Corvette as the 2014 North American Car of the Year. The M4 has never been chosen.

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

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