2020 Nissan 370Z vs. 2020 BMW 2 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 370Z has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The 2 Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 370Z and the 2 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the 370Z 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 over 3 times as many Nissan dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 370Z’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, below the industry average.

Engine

The 370Z’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 84 more horsepower (332 vs. 248) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 258) than the 230i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 370Z NISMO’s standard 3.7 DOHC V6 produces 15 more horsepower (350 vs. 335) than the M240i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

The 370Z has 5.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 2 Series (19 vs. 13.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the 370Z has a standard 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 370Z’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 2 Series:

370Z

370Z Sport/NISMO

230i

M240i

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

14 inches

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

13.8 inches

11.8 inches

13.6 inches

The 370Z stops much shorter than the 2 Series:

370Z

2 Series

80 to 0 MPH

197 feet

209 feet

Road and Track

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

125 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 370Z has larger standard tires than the 2 Series (F:225/50R18 & R:245/45R18 vs. 205/50R17). The 370Z NISMO’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 2 Series (F:245/40R19 & R:285/35R19 vs. F:225/40R18 & R:245/35R18).

The 370Z’s standard 245/45R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 230i’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 370Z has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 230i. The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the 2 Series.

The 370Z has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 2 Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The 370Z has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 370Z flat and controlled during cornering. The 2 Series’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The 370Z handles at .99 G’s, while the 230i Coupe pulls only .89 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 370Z executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 230i Coupe (24.9 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 25.6 seconds @ .77 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 370Z’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the 2 Series’ (32.8 feet vs. 35.8 feet). The 370Z Sport/NISMO’s turning circle is 3 feet tighter than the 2 Series xDrive’s (34.1 feet vs. 37.1 feet).

Chassis

The 370Z is 7.2 inches shorter than the 230i, making the 370Z easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the 370Z has an electronically controlled liquid-filled main engine mount. A computer-controlled electric current in the liquid changes its viscosity, allowing the mount to dampen the engine completely at all RPMs. The 2 Series uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

The 370Z Sport/Sport Touring/NISMO/50th Anniversary Edition uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 2 Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Ergonomics

The 370Z’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the 2 Series’ standard power windows.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the 370Z has standard extendable sun visors. The 2 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 370Z owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 370Z will cost $990 less than the 2 Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 370Z is less expensive to operate than the 2 Series because it costs $415 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 370Z than the 2 Series, including $104 less for a water pump, $245 less for a muffler, $85 less for front brake pads, $149 less for a starter, $148 less for fuel injection and $457 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan 370Z and the BMW 2 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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