2020 BMW M4 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Camaro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The M4 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 M4’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 M4 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 M4 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, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The M4 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 M4’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 M4 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 M4 have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Camaro.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the M4 has a standard 900-amp battery. The Camaro’s 700-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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.

Engine

The M4 has more powerful engines than the Camaro:

Horsepower

Torque

M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

425 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

444 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

Camaro 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

275 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Camaro 3.6 DOHC V6

335 HP

284 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Road and Track the BMW M4 (base engine) is faster than the Chevrolet Camaro (manual transmissions tested):

M4

Camaro turbo 4 cyl.

Camaro V6

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

5.5 sec

4.9 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

14.2 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114.9 MPH

95.9 MPH

102.7 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M4 (base engine) is faster than the Chevrolet Camaro (automatics tested):

M4

Camaro V6

Camaro SS

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

5.2 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.6 sec

12.5 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

13.8 sec

12.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

119 MPH

104 MPH

113 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the M4 Coupe Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Camaro SS Manual (18 city/25 hwy vs. 16 city/24 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M4’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.

Transmission

The M4 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 Camaro doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the M4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Camaro:

M4

M4

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1

Front Rotors

15 inches

15.7 inches

12.6 inches

15.35 inches

Rear Rotors

14.6 inches

15 inches

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

The M4’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 M4 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Camaro doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The M4 stops much shorter than the Camaro:

M4

Camaro

80 to 0 MPH

193 feet

206 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

98 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the M4 has larger standard tires than the Camaro (F:255/40R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. 245/50R18).

The M4’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Camaro’s standard 50 series tires.

Chassis

The M4 is 3.8 inches shorter than the Camaro, making the M4 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The M4 is 5.7 inches shorter than the Camaro ZL1.

For excellent aerodynamics, the M4 has standard flush composite headlights. The Camaro has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The M4’s standard power retractable hardtop allows a seamless transition from an open car, to a completely sealed coupe. The Camaro doesn’t offer a retractable hardtop.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the M4 Coupe is quieter than the Camaro SS Coupe:

M4

Camaro

At idle

48 dB

55 dB

Full-Throttle

87 dB

94 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space

The M4 Convertible has 4.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Camaro Convertible (89.9 vs. 85).

The M4 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.

The M4 Convertible has 2 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom and 3.2 inches more rear legroom than the Camaro Convertible.

Cargo Capacity

The M4 Coupe has a much larger trunk than the Camaro Coupe (11 vs. 9.1 cubic feet).

The M4 Convertible has a larger trunk with its top down than the Camaro Convertible (7.8 vs. 7.3 cubic feet). The M4 Convertible has a larger trunk with its top up than the Camaro Convertible (11 vs. 7.3 cubic feet).

The M4’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Camaro Convertible doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

The M4 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.

With its coupe or convertible body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M4 offers cargo security. The Camaro’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the M4’s trunk, 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 M4 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.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the M4 has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The Camaro’s top can only be opened by remote, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

The M4 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 M4’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 M4 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 M4 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 M4 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 avoid possible obstacles, the M4 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Camaro doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M4 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the M4 Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Camaro doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The M4’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 M4 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 M4 has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Camaro doesn’t offer rear vents.

The M4’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Camaro doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

The M4 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the M4 will retain 54.18% to 57.02% of its original price after five years, while the Camaro only retains 45.92% to 53.69%.

Recommendations

The M3/M4 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 23 years. The Camaro hasn’t been picked since 2013.

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

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