2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2020 BMW M4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 M4 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Camaro and the M4 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 and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the M4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the M4 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 M4:

Horsepower

Torque

Camaro LT1/SS 6.2 V8

455 HP

455 lbs.-ft.

Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 lbs.-ft.

M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

425 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

M4 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

444 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

M4 CS Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

453 HP

442 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Camaro LT1/SS is faster than the BMW M4 (base engine) (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro

M4

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

1.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

4.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.3 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

12.5 sec

As tested in Motor Trend the Camaro ZL1 is faster than the BMW M4 (base engine) (automatics tested):

Camaro

M4

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

11.5 sec

12.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

125 MPH

117.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Camaro LT1/SS Auto V8 gets better fuel mileage than the M4 Coupe Auto (16 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/23 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 M4 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 M4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the M4 (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 M4 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 a seven-speed automatic is available for the M4.

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 M4 doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

The Camaro stops much shorter than the M4:

Camaro

M4

80 to 0 MPH

192 feet

193 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

151 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

91 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the M4 (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:265/30R20 & R:285/30R20).

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 M4 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 M4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 1 inch wider in the front than the track on the M4.

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the M4 Coupe pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the M4 Coupe (22.9 seconds @ .91 average G’s vs. 24.2 seconds @ .84 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Camaro’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the M4’s (38.1 feet vs. 40 feet). The Camaro ZL1’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the M4’s (38.4 feet vs. 40 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Camaro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 300 pounds less than the BMW M4.

Passenger Space

The Camaro Coupe has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the M4 Coupe (93 vs. 90.2).

The Camaro Convertible has 1.7 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the M4 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 M4 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 M4 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 M4 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The Camaro’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The M4 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 M4 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 M4 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Camaro owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Camaro will cost $850 to $9200 less than the M4 over a five-year period.

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 M4 isn’t in the top three.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The 4 Series hasn’t been picked since 2014.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The M4 has never been chosen.

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

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