2020 BMW M2 Competition vs. 2020 Subaru WRX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/08

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 WRX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the M2 Competition 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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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 WRX’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 longer than the WRX’s (12 vs. 5 years).

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. 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 M2 Competition’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.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the M2 Competition has a standard 209-amp alternator. The WRX’s standard 130-amp alternator and largest (STI) 110-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

The battery on the M2 Competition is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the M2 Competition’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The WRX’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/08

The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 137 more horsepower (405 vs. 268) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 258) than the WRX’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 95 more horsepower (405 vs. 310) and 116 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 290) than the WRX STI’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M2 Competition is faster than the Subaru WRX (manual transmissions tested):

M2 Competition

WRX 2.0

WRX STI

Zero to 30 MPH

1.6 sec

1.7 sec

1.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

5.1 sec

4.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

13.8 sec

11.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

13.8 sec

13.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

100 MPH

105 MPH

Top Speed

174 MPH

144 MPH

159 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M2 Competition is faster than the Subaru WRX 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

M2 Competition

WRX

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

14.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

6.4 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/08

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

Transmission

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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 WRX doesn’t offer an SMG.

The M2 Competition Automatic’s optional 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.

The BMW M2 Competition manual has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The WRX doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

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

M2 Competition

WRX

WRX STI

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

12.4 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

11.3 inches

12.8 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 WRX are solid, not vented.

The M2 Competition stops shorter than the WRX:

M2 Competition

WRX

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

112 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the M2 Competition has larger tires than the WRX (F:245/35R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. 235/45R17).

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 WRX’s standard 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M2 Competition has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the WRX.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M2 Competition’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the WRX (106 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M2 Competition is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the WRX.

The M2 Competition’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.9% to 48.1%) than the WRX’s (58.4% to 41.6%). This gives the M2 Competition more stable handling and braking.

The M2 Competition Coupe handles at 1.01 G’s, while the WRX pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/08

The M2 Competition is 4.7 inches shorter than the WRX, making the M2 Competition easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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

Ergonomics

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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 WRX doesn’t offer a memory system.

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 WRX can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The M2 Competition’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 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 WRX’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The M2 Competition has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The WRX has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Premium/STI/Limited.

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 WRX’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 WRX offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the M2 Competition’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 M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition and the WRX offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the M2 Competition 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 M2 Competition offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The WRX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/12/08

The M2 Competition was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The WRX hasn’t been picked since 2003.

The M2 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The WRX hasn’t been picked since 2015.

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

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