2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible vs. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The 4 Series Convertible 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 Corvette doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 4 Series Convertible offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Corvette doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 4 Series Convertible’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Corvette doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 4 Series Convertible offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Corvette only offers a rear monitor.

The 4 Series Convertible’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Corvette doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the 4 Series Convertible’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Corvette doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the 4 Series Convertible and the Corvette 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.


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

The 4 Series Convertible’s corrosion warranty is 6 years and unlimited miles longer than the Corvette’s (12/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Convertible for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Corvette.


For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 4 Series Convertible have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Corvette.

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 4 Series Convertible’s reliability 55 points higher than the Corvette.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Convertible first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Corvette isn’t in the top three in its category.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 15 places higher in reliability than Chevrolet.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 4 Series Convertible gets better fuel mileage than the Corvette:


4 Series Convertible



430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy



430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/32 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy




6.2 OHV V8

16 city/25 hwy

Z06 6.2 supercharged V8

15 city/22 hwy

ZR1 6.2 supercharged V8

13 city/19 hwy


6.2 OHV V8

15 city/25 hwy

Z06 6.2 supercharged V8

14 city/23 hwy

ZR1 6.2 supercharged V8

12 city/20 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Convertible’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Corvette doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 4 Series Convertible’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 Corvette 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 4 Series Convertible higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Corvette (1). This means the 4 Series Convertible produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Corvette every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The BMW 4 Series Convertible comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Corvette.

All wheel drive, available in the 4 Series Convertible, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Chevrolet Corvette is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

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

4 Series


Front Rotors

13 inches

12.6 inches

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the 4 Series Convertible uses coil springs for better ride, handling and control than the Corvette, which uses transverse leafs springs. Coil springs compress more progressively and offer more suspension travel for a smoother ride with less bottoming out.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 4 Series Convertible’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Corvette (110.6 inches vs. 106.7 inches).

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Convertible’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Corvette’s (37.1 feet vs. 37.7 feet).


The 4 Series Convertible’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Corvette doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

Passenger Space

The 4 Series Convertible has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Corvette can only carry 2.

The 4 Series Convertible has 38 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Corvette (90 vs. 52).

The 4 Series Convertible has 2.5 inches more front headroom and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the Corvette.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top up than the Corvette Convertible (13.1 vs. 10 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 4 Series Convertible easier. The 4 Series Convertible’s trunk lift-over height is 26.2 inches, while the Corvette’s liftover is 41.2 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Convertible’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Corvette doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.


If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Convertible the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Corvette can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4 Series Convertible’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 Corvette’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 4 Series Convertible to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Corvette doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 4 Series Convertible detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Corvette doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 4 Series Convertible offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Corvette doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The 4 Series Convertible’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Corvette’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 4 Series Convertible offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Corvette doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The 4 Series Convertible’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Corvette doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Chevrolet Corvette isn’t available as a four-door.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 4 Series Convertible owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 4 Series Convertible with a number “1” insurance rate while the Corvette is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Convertible is less expensive to operate than the Corvette because it costs $337 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Convertible than the Corvette, including $499 less for a muffler, $92 less for front brake pads, $29 less for fuel injection, $381 less for a fuel pump, $102 less for a timing belt/chain and $470 less for a power steering pump.


The BMW 4 Series outsold the Chevrolet Corvette by 67% during 2018.

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

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