2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Convertible

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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Both the Camaro and the 4 Series Convertible 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, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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

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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

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The Camaro has more powerful engines than the 4 Series Convertible:

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.

430i Convertible 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

440i Convertible 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Convertible (19 vs. 15.8 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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Camaro offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer a manual 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 4 Series Convertible.

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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Camaro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Convertible:

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1

430i

440i M Sport

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

15.35 inches

12.3 inches

14.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Convertible (245/50R18 vs. 225/45R18). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Convertible (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

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 4 Series Convertible’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro offers optional 20-inch wheels. The 4 Series Convertible’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 2.5 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 4 Series Convertible.

Chassis

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The Chevrolet Camaro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 700 pounds less than the BMW 4 Series Convertible.

Passenger Space

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The Camaro Coupe has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 4 Series Convertible (93 vs. 90).

Ergonomics

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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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Camaro’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Camaro is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Convertible because typical repairs cost much less on the Camaro than the 4 Series Convertible, including $327 less for a water pump, $19 less for a muffler, $297 less for a starter, $114 less for fuel injection, $306 less for front struts, $508 less for a timing belt/chain and $217 less for a power steering pump.

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 2019/10/22

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 4 Series Convertible 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 4 Series Convertible hasn’t been picked since 2014.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The 4 Series Convertible has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the BMW 4 Series by 62% during 2018.

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