2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Subaru WRX

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Camaro 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, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Camaro’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the WRX’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are almost 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Camaro’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.

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

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 Camaro’s reliability 13 points higher than the WRX.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, 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 Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

The Camaro has more powerful engines than the WRX:

Horsepower

Torque

Camaro 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

275 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Camaro 3.6 DOHC V6

335 HP

284 lbs.-ft.

Camaro LT1/SS 6.2 V8

455 HP

455 lbs.-ft.

Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 lbs.-ft.

WRX 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

268 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

WRX STI 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

310 HP

290 lbs.-ft.

WRX STI S209 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

341 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Camaro turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Subaru WRX (base engine) (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro

WRX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

13.9 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101 MPH

96.1 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Camaro V6 is faster than the Subaru WRX (base engine) (automatics tested):

Camaro

WRX

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

5.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.5 sec

14.4 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Camaro gets better fuel mileage than the WRX:

MPG

Camaro

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

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/31 hwy

6.2 OHV V8

16 city/27 hwy

WRX

Manual

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

STI 2.5 turbo 4-cyl.

17 city/22 hwy

Auto

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

18 city/24 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The WRX doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Camaro uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The WRX requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the WRX (19 vs. 15.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Camaro has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The WRX doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Camaro (except 4-cylinder/V6)’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 Chevrolet Camaro SS/ZL1 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

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

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1

WRX

WRX STI

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.35 inches

12.4 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

11.3 inches

12.8 inches

The Camaro stops much shorter than the WRX:

Camaro

WRX

80 to 0 MPH

192 feet

203 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

91 feet

112 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the WRX (245/50R18 vs. 235/45R17). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the WRX (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. 265/35R19).

The Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the WRX STI’s 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the WRX. The Camaro’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the WRX STI.

The Camaro has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The WRX doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The WRX doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Camaro offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The WRX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 6.4 inches longer than on the WRX (110.7 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the WRX.

The Camaro’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 Camaro more stable handling and braking.

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the WRX STI Limited pulls only .90 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Convertible handles at .98 G’s, while the WRX pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Camaro Coupe has .6 inches more front legroom and 2.4 inches more front hip room than the WRX.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the Camaro (except LS/LT1), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The WRX doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Camaro (except LS/LT1)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The WRX doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Camaro’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The WRX does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Camaro offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The WRX doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Camaro’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The WRX has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Camaro 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 STI/Limited.

When the Camaro with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The WRX’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Camaro offers optional 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Camaro (except LS/LT1) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The WRX doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Camaro’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.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Camaro comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Subaru WRX isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The WRX isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The WRX hasn’t been picked since 2003.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The WRX has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Subaru WRX by 77% during 2018.

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

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