Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Chevrolet Camaro VS 2011 BMW 3 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2011 Chevrolet Camaro

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VS

2011 BMW 3

Safety Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Camaro’s rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The BMW 3 Series Coupe doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

Both the Camaro and the 3 Series Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Camaro 1 year and 50,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 3 Series Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the 3 Series Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 12 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

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The Camaro has more powerful engines than the 3 Series Coupe:

Horsepower

Torque

Camaro LS/LT 3.6 DOHC V6

312 HP

278 lbs.-ft.

Camaro SS Automatic 6.2 V8

400 HP

410 lbs.-ft.

Camaro SS Manual 6.2 LS2 V8

426 HP

420 lbs.-ft.

328i Coupe 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

230 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

335i Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

335is Coupe 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Camaro SS is faster than the 335i Coupe (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro

3 Series Coupe

Zero to 60 MPH

4.6 sec

4.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.5 sec

12.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

105 MPH

Top Speed

157 MPH

144 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Camaro V6 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the 328i Coupe RWD Auto (18 city/29 hwy vs. 18 city/28 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro SS Automatic’s fuel efficiency. The 3 Series Coupe 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 on Camaro SS for maximum performance). The 3 Series Coupe requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro Coupe’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Coupe (19 vs. 16.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Camaro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 3 Series Coupe:

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro SS

328i Coupe

335i Coupe

Front Rotors

12.64 inches

14 inches

12.3 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

14.4 inches

11.8 inches

13.2 inches

The Camaro’s brakes have 42% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the 3 Series Coupe with its standard brakes (659 vs. 464 square inches), so the Camaro has more braking power available. The Camaro’s brakes have 29% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the 335i Coupe (659 vs. 511 square inches).

The Camaro stops shorter than the 3 Series Coupe:

Camaro

3 Series Coupe

80 to 0 MPH

200 feet

205 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

160 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

110 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the 3 Series Coupe (245/55R18 vs. 225/45R17). The Camaro’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Coupe (F:245/45R20 & R:275/40R20 vs. F:225/40R18 & R:255/35R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro has standard 18 inch wheels. Smaller 17 inch wheels are standard on the 3 Series Coupe. The Camaro’s optional 21 inch wheels are larger than the 19 inch wheels optional on the 335i Coupe.

The Camaro LS/LT has a standard space-saver spare (not available on SS) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 3 Series Coupe, 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 Comparison

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the 3 Series Coupe (112.3 inches vs. 108.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 4.6 inches wider in the front and 4.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 3 Series Coupe.

The Camaro LT Coupe handles at .93 G’s, while the 335i Coupe pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Coupe goes through Road & Track’s slalom 2.2 MPH faster than the 335i Coupe (68.6 vs. 66.4 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Camaro RS Coupe is quieter than the 335i Coupe (45 vs. 49 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Camaro Coupe is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the 3 Series Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The Camaro has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 3 Series Coupe (93 vs. 88.5).

The Camaro Coupe has .6 inches more front legroom and 1.6 inches more front shoulder room than the 3 Series Coupe.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Camaro Automatic offers a 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 3 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting 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 3 Series Coupe has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The Camaro LT/SS offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 3 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the Camaro owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Camaro will cost $193 to $1850 less than the 3 Series Coupe over a five-year period.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Camaro will be $10147 to $14459 less than for the BMW 3 Series Coupe.

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