2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2020 BMW 2 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camaro’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Camaro’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Camaro and the 2 Series 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, available collision warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 2 Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 2 Series ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 9 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

Engine

The Camaro has more powerful engines than the 2 Series:

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.

230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Camaro LT1/SS is faster than the M240i (automatics tested):

Camaro

2 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.9 sec

10.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

12.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

111 MPH

Top Speed

165 MPH

155 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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 2 Series 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 2 Series requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 2 Series (19 vs. 13.7 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 2 Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is available on the Chevrolet Camaro, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 2 Series.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the Camaro offers an optional up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The 2 Series doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Camaro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 2 Series:

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1

230i

M240i

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.35 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

The Camaro stops much shorter than the 2 Series:

Camaro

2 Series

80 to 0 MPH

192 feet

209 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

155 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

125 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the 2 Series (245/50R18 vs. 205/50R17). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 2 Series (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:225/40R18 & R:245/35R18).

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 2 Series’ optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 230i. The Camaro’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the 2 Series.

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 2 Series doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Camaro has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Camaro flat and controlled during cornering. The 2 Series’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the 2 Series (110.7 inches vs. 105.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 3.4 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 2 Series.

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the 230i Coupe pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.7 seconds quicker than the 230i Coupe (22.9 seconds @ .91 average G’s vs. 25.6 seconds @ .77 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Camaro Coupe has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 2 Series Coupe (93 vs. 90). The Camaro Convertible has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 2 Series Convertible (85 vs. 81.7).

The Camaro Coupe has 2.4 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more front shoulder room than the 2 Series Coupe.

The Camaro Convertible has 2.4 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room and 8.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 2 Series Convertible.

Ergonomics

The Camaro Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 2 Series 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 2 Series has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature 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 2 Series 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 2 Series 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.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Camaro has standard extendable sun visors. The 2 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 2 Series doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Camaro is less expensive to operate than the 2 Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Camaro than the 2 Series, including $327 less for a water pump, $297 less for a starter, $114 less for fuel injection, $29 less for front struts, $503 less for a timing belt/chain and $41 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The M235i/M240i hasn’t been picked since 2017.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The 2 Series has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the BMW 2 Series by almost six to one during 2018.

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

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