Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Chevrolet Camaro VS 2013 BMW 3 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2013 Chevrolet Camaro

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VS

2013 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 Convertible doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

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 3 Series Convertible doesn't offer side airbag protection for the head and are only available for the front seats.

Both the Camaro and the 3 Series Convertible have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 Convertible. 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 Convertible 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 should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro first among midsize sporty cars in their 2013 Initial Quality Study. The 3 Series Convertible isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 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 fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 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 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 16th.

Engine Comparison

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

Horsepower

Torque

Camaro LS/LT 3.6 DOHC V6

323 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.

Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8

580 HP

556 lbs.-ft.

328i Convertible 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

230 HP

200 lbs.-ft.

335i Convertible 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

300 lbs.-ft.

335is Convertible 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Camaro LS/LT 3.6 DOHC V6 is faster than the 328i Convertible 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro

3 Series Convertible

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14.7 sec

17.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

99 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

157 MPH

148 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8 is faster than the 328i Convertible 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro

3 Series Convertible

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

2.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

6.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.9 sec

17.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

15.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

118 MPH

94 MPH

Top Speed

181 MPH

181 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Camaro gets better fuel mileage than the 3 Series Convertible:

Camaro

3 Series Convertible

3.6 V6/Manual

17 city/28 hwy

17 city/26 hwy

6 cyl./Manual

3.6 V6/Auto

19 city/30 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

6 cyl./Auto

3.6 V6/Auto (2LS)

18 city/29 hwy

n/a

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 Convertible doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Camaro has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 3 Series Convertible (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 Convertible:

Camaro LS/LT

Camaro ZL1 Coupe

328i Convertible

335i Convertible

Front Rotors

12.64 inches

14.6 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 29% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the 3 Series Convertible (659 vs. 511 square inches), so the Camaro has more braking power available.

The Camaro stops much shorter than the 3 Series Convertible:

Camaro

3 Series Convertible

70 to 0 MPH

150 feet

170 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the 3 Series Convertible (245/55R18 vs. 225/45R17). The Camaro ZL1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 3 Series Convertible (F:285/35R20 & R:305/35R20 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 Convertible. The Camaro’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the 335i/335is.

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 Convertible, 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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The Camaro offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 3 Series Convertible’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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

The Camaro SS Convertible handles at .90 G’s, while the 328i Convertible pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Convertible executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 335i Convertible (25.3 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 25.7 seconds @ .75 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Camaro has 8.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 3 Series Convertible (93 vs. 84.2).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Camaro Convertible has a larger trunk with its top down than the 3 Series Convertible with its top down (7.8 vs. 7.4 cubic feet).

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 Convertible 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 Convertible has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The Camaro 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 Convertible doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 3 Series Convertible’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Camaro’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when the transmission is engaged. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

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 $2025 to $4630 less than the 3 Series Convertible over a five-year period.

The Camaro will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Camaro will retain 52.33% to 95.31% of its original price after five years, while the 3 Series Convertible only retains 46.15% to 47.58%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Camaro is less expensive to operate than the 3 Series Convertible because typical repairs cost much less on the Camaro than the 3 Series Convertible, including $360 less for a water pump, $22 less for a starter, $438 less for front struts and $246 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chevrolet Camaro will be $13721 to $21841 less than for the BMW 3 Series Convertible.

Recommendations Comparison

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The Chevrolet Camaro has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

Camaro

3 Series Convertible

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Kiplinger’s Award

TRUE

FALSE

The Camaro was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2010 Car of the Year. The 3 Series was Car of the Year in 2006.

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