2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2020 Subaru WRX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The WRX 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 2 Series Gran Coupe’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 WRX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the WRX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all-wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The WRX’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the WRX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series Gran Coupe for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the WRX.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the WRX’s camshafts. If the WRX’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 20th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

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The M235i xDrive Gran Coupe’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 41 lbs.-ft. more torque (331 vs. 290) than the WRX STI’s standard 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 228i xDrive Gran Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the WRX CVT with its standard engine (23 city/33 hwy vs. 18 city/24 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The WRX doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The WRX doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Subaru WRX (1). This means the 2 Series Gran Coupe produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the WRX every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the WRX.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’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 WRX doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the WRX are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 2 Series Gran Coupe can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The WRX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe 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 WRX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 2 Series Gran Coupe is 1.3 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the WRX.

Cargo Capacity

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The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a much larger trunk than the WRX (15.1 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The WRX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the 2 Series Gran Coupe, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The WRX doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe 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 WRX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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

The power windows standard on both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the WRX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 2 Series Gran Coupe is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The WRX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the 2 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the WRX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The WRX’s power lock switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’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 WRX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The WRX has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/STI/Limited.

When the 2 Series Gran Coupe is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The WRX’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The WRX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The WRX doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the WRX STI.

Both the 2 Series Gran Coupe and the WRX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 2 Series Gran Coupe has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The WRX doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 2 Series Gran offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The WRX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The 2 Series Gran Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The WRX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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