2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe vs. 2020 Chevrolet Camaro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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

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

The 4 Series Coupe offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Camaro only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the 4 Series Coupe and the Camaro have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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

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

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Coupe 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 Camaro.

Reliability

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

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 Coupe’s reliability 46 points higher than the Camaro.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Coupe second among compact premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Camaro 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 Coupe gets better fuel mileage than the Camaro:

MPG

4 Series Coupe

RWD

Manual

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/33 hwy

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/34 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

AWD

Manual

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

18 city/28 hwy

Auto

430i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

21 city/31 hwy

440i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Camaro

RWD

Manual

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/30 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/26 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

16 city/24 hwy

6.2 supercharged V8

14 city/20 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/29 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

16 city/27 hwy

6.2 supercharged V8

13 city/21 hwy

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

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 4 Series 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 Camaro 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 Coupe higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Chevrolet Camaro (1 to 5). This means the 4 Series Coupe produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Camaro every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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

All wheel drive, available in the 4 Series Coupe, 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 Camaro is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

The 4 Series 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 Camaro LS/LT are solid, not vented.

The 4 Series Coupe stops shorter than the Camaro:

4 Series Coupe

Camaro

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

109 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The 4 Series Coupe’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Camaro’s standard 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 440i Coupe handles at .90 G’s, while the Camaro RS Coupe pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the 4 Series Coupe’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Camaro’s (37.1 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis

The 4 Series Coupe is 5.6 inches shorter than the Camaro, making the 4 Series Coupe easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the 4 Series Coupe has standard flush composite headlights. The Camaro has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The 4 Series Coupe has 1.3 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Camaro Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the Camaro Coupe (15.7 vs. 9.1 cubic feet).

The 4 Series Coupe’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Camaro Convertible/ZL1 1LE doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

The 4 Series Coupe’s standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Camaro Coupe’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

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

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the 4 Series Coupe w/Comfort Access 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 Camaro can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 4 Series Coupe 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 Camaro doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 4 Series Coupe to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Camaro 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 4 Series Coupe offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Camaro doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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

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

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 4 Series Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Camaro doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The 4 Series Coupe’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Chevrolet charges extra for heated mirrors on the Camaro.

The 4 Series Coupe has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Camaro doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The 4 Series 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 costs extra on the Camaro.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the 4 Series Coupe has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Camaro doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 4 Series Coupe Automatic 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 Camaro doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The 4 Series Coupe’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 Camaro doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 4 Series Coupe is less expensive to operate than the Camaro because it costs $310 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 4 Series Coupe than the Camaro, including $56 less for front brake pads and $356 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations

The 4 Series Coupe was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The Camaro hasn’t been picked since 2013.

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

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