2020 BMW 2 Series vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The 2 Series has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Challenger offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The 2 Series’ lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Challenger doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 2 Series offers optional Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Challenger doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The 2 Series’ 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 Challenger doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 2 Series and the Challenger have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

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 BMW 2 Series Coupe is safer than the Challenger:

2 Series


Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

8 cm

Chest Evaluation



Max Chest Compression

17 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the 2 Series earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the 2 Series’ weight before being crushed five inches. The Challenger was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the 2 Series is safer than the Challenger:

2 Series


Overall Evaluation



Head Restraint Design



Distance from Back of Head

32 mm

61 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

20 mm

28 mm

Dynamic Test Rating



Seat Design



Neck Force Rating



Max Neck Shearing Force



(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 2 Series the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Challenger was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.


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

The 2 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Challenger’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/60,000).

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


For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 2 Series have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Challenger.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 2 Series has larger alternators than the Challenger:

2 Series


Standard Alternator

170 amps

160 amps

Optional Alternator

210 amps

180 amps

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 2 Series’ reliability 32 points higher than the Challenger.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Challenger isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 19th, 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 BMW vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 56 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 13 places higher in reliability than Dodge.


As tested in Car and Driver the M240i is faster than the Dodge Challenger V6 (automatics tested):

2 Series


Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

6.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.3 sec

16.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

155 MPH

131 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 2 Series Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the Challenger:


2 Series Coupe



230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/32 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

19 city/27 hwy


230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/32 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy



230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy




5.7 OHV V8

15 city/23 hwy

6.4 OHV V8

14 city/23 hwy

6.2 supercharged V8

13 city/21 hwy


3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/30 hwy

5.7 OHV V8

16 city/25 hwy

6.4 OHV V8

15 city/25 hwy

6.2 supercharged V8

13 city/22 hwy



3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/27 hwy

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 2 Series’ 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 Challenger doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

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

The EPA certifies the BMW 2 Series as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Dodge Challenger is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

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

The 2 Series stops much shorter than the Challenger:

2 Series


70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The 230i’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Challenger SXT’s standard 55 series tires.

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

Suspension and Handling

The M240i Coupe xDrive handles at .94 G’s, while the Challenger SXT pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 2 Series Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Challenger Scat Pack (24.9 seconds @ .78 average G’s vs. 25.5 seconds @ .81 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 2 Series’ turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Challenger SXT/GT/R/T’s (35.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The 2 Series xDrive’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).


The BMW 2 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 550 pounds less than the Dodge Challenger.

The 230i is 1 foot, 10.8 inches shorter than the Challenger, making the 2 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The 2 Series is 6.9 inches narrower on average than the Challenger, making the 2 Series easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

The design of the BMW 2 Series amounts to more than styling. The 2 Series offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .37 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the Challenger (.337 to .398). A more efficient exterior helps the 2 Series go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 2 Series get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the 2 Series has standard flush composite headlights. The Challenger has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 2 Series offers cargo security. The Challenger’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.


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

The 2 Series’ front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Challenger’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the front windows are left open on the 2 Series w/Comfort Access the driver can close them 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 Challenger can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 2 Series has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Challenger doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The 2 Series’ 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 Challenger’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Challenger doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 2 Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Challenger doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 2 Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Challenger doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 2 Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the 2 Series 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 Challenger’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 2 Series 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 Challenger has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Challenger doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 2 Series comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Dodge Challenger isn’t available as a convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 2 Series is less expensive to operate than the Challenger because typical repairs cost much less on the 2 Series than the Challenger, including $157 less for a muffler, $177 less for front brake pads, $468 less for a fuel pump and $707 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 2 Series will be $16335 to $18664 less than for the Dodge Challenger.


Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 2 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Challenger isn’t in the top three in its category.

The M235i/M240i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 5 years. The Challenger has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 2 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The Challenger has never been an “All Star.”

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

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