2020 BMW M2 Competition vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition’s 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 M2 Competition has standard 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 M2 Competition’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 Challenger doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the M2 Competition 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 and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition’s 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 M2 Competition 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.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the M2 Competition has 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 M2 Competition has a 209-amp alternator. The Challenger’s standard 160-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the M2 Competition has a standard 900-amp battery. The Challenger’s 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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.

Engine

The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 100 more horsepower (405 vs. 305) and 138 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 268) than the Challenger’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 33 more horsepower (405 vs. 372) and 6 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 400) than the Challenger R/T automatic’s standard 5.7 V8. The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 30 more horsepower (405 vs. 375) than the Challenger R/T manual’s standard 5.7 V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the M2 is faster than the Challenger V6 (automatics tested):

M2

Challenger

Zero to 60 MPH

4.0 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

15.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

97 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the M2 Competition Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Challenger R/T manual 5.7 V8 (18 city/25 hwy vs. 15 city/23 hwy). The M2 Competition Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Challenger R/T Scat Pack manual 6.4 V8 (18 city/25 hwy vs. 14 city/23 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the M2 Competition’s 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 M2 Competition’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 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 M2 Competition higher (3 out of 10) than the Dodge Challenger (1 to 3). This means the M2 Competition produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Challenger every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The M2 Competition offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Challenger doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M2 Competition’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Challenger:

M2 Competition

Challenger SXT

Challenger Hellcat

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

12.6 inches

15.4 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

The M2 Competition’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 Challenger SXT are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M2 Competition has larger tires than the Challenger (F:245/35R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. 235/55R18).

The M2 Competition’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Challenger SXT’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M2 Competition has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Challenger SXT.

Chassis

The BMW M2 Competition may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 850 pounds less than the Dodge Challenger.

The M2 Competition is 1 foot, 9.3 inches shorter than the Challenger, making the M2 Competition easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the M2 Competition has standard flush composite headlights. The Challenger has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the M2 Competition easier. The M2 Competition’s trunk lift-over height is 27.3 inches, while the Challenger’s liftover is 33.2 inches.

With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M2 Competition offers cargo security. The Challenger’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the M2 Competition, 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 M2 Competition has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The Challenger’s foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The M2 Competition’s 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 windows are left open on the M2 Competition 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 Challenger can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition’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 Challenger’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M2 Competition has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Challenger doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M2 Competition also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition has standard 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.

Recommendations

The M2 Competition was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Challenger has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The M2 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The Challenger has never been an “All Star.”

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

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