2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2020 BMW Z4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camaro has standard head airbag curtains for front and rear seats which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and outboard passenger's upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. The Z4 doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head.

Both the Camaro and the Z4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the Z4. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Z4 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 Z4:

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.

Z4 sDrive30i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

255 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Z4 M40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

382 HP

368 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Camaro LT1/SS is faster than the Z4 sDrive30i (automatics tested):

Camaro

Z4

Zero to 30 MPH

1.6 sec

1.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

5.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.9 sec

13.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4 sec

6.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

3.3 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.7 sec

3.8 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

102 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 Z4 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 Z4 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Z4 (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 Z4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Camaro offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The Z4 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 Z4.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Camaro ZL1’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Z4:

Camaro ZL1

Z4 sDrive30i

Z4 M40i

Front Rotors

15.35 inches

13 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

14.4 inches

13 inches

13.6 inches

The Camaro stops shorter than the Z4:

Camaro

Z4

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

146 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

119 feet

122 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the Z4 (245/50R18 vs. 225/45R18). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Z4 (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:255/35R19 & R:275/35R19).

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 Z4’s optional 35 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Z4’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 Z4 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 Z4 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 13.5 inches longer than on the Z4 (110.7 inches vs. 97.2 inches).

Passenger Space

The Camaro has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Z4 can only carry 2.

The Camaro Convertible has 33 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Z4 (85 vs. 52).

Cargo Capacity

The Camaro Coupe’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Z4 doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics

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 Z4 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 Z4 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 Z4 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 Z4 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Camaro comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the BMW Z4 isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Z4 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The Z4 has never been chosen.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2013. The Z4 has never been an “All Star.”

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

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