2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray vs. 2013 BMW M3

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe

(6.2L V8 7-speed Manual)
  • 2014 Corvette Stingray vs BMW M3 Track Test Comparison

    Edmunds.com compares the all new Corvette Stingray and departing legend BMW M3 on performance stats, 0-60/quarter mile times, braking distances, slalom runs & skip pad ratings. Leave a comment below and tell us which one you'd rather drive. | September 17, 2013

1 Video , 67 Photos

You Have $70,000. What Everyday Sports Car Do You Buy?

  • Comparison Test
  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Specs and Performance
  • 2013 BMW M3 Specs and Performance

The road ahead is mundane, dotted with silver Accords and white Corollas. The speed limit is 35, but you're lucky to break 39. The transmission drops into 6th gear without fanfare and your pulse remains unchanged. Your girlfriend in the passenger seat comments that she'd like to visit her mother this weekend before asking why the car's ride is so rough.

Let's face it. More often than not this is how our lives behind the wheel play out. As much as we may wax poetically about the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray on the Streets of Willow or the 2013 BMW M3 attacking the sinewy pavement of Mulholland Highway, they're rare occurrences at best.

If you want a sporting car to drive every day rather than every third Sunday, performance is obviously vital, but there's far more to consider than just lap times and lateral Gs. Since the Corvette and M3 have a similar price and are both known for being more livable than a typical razor's-edge sports car, it's not unthinkable that a fat-walleted bachelor, DINK or empty nester might think to themselves, "Which one would be better as my everyday car?"

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

No Surprise at the Track
To be completely honest, such real-world considerations are the only way the 2013 BMW M3 has a fighting chance. If we kept our considerations to the track, we could simply publish a spreadsheet and then kick back, pop open a Bud and catch up on our Netflix queue.

Unlike some of the other cars we've thrown at the C7 the past few weeks, the differences here are stark. The Stingray Z51's best lap of the Streets of Willow was 1:24.55 with a top speed of 112.5 mph. That's faster than a Nissan GT-R and a Porsche 911 Carrera S, let alone the M3 Coupe, which did it in 1:29.02 with a Vmax of 105.26 mph.

"What an instrument," our test-driver Josh Jacquot wrote of the C7 after wrapping up his laps at Willow Springs. "There's no need to qualify the Corvette's performance now. It lacks bad manners. It's fast. It makes the right sounds. It turns, stops and goes like crazy. It's predictable, reliable and world class in virtually every way. Remarkably easy to place. Confident. Communicative."

Astute readers will glean that means he liked it. The M3, on the other hand, elicited appreciation but the perhaps obvious conceit that Munich's representative was out of its league.

"Still rewarding after all these years, but clearly behind the latest hardware when it comes to grip and cornering speed," Jacquot wrote. "It's clearly not as focused of a driver's car relative to the low, light 'Vette."

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

Against the Clock, One Car Dominates
When you examine our instrumented testing numbers, the difference in lap times becomes completely understandable. The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and its 6.2-liter 460-horsepower V8 reaches zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds (4.1 with 1 foot of rollout as on a drag strip) and clears the quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at 113.7 mph. The M3 and its 4.0-liter 414-hp V8 could only muster 4.9 seconds (4.6 with rollout) and 13.0 at 109.9 mph.

Regardless, this definitely wasn't just a matter of power. The 'Vette pulled an absolutely stunning 1.05g on our skid pad, making the M3's otherwise commendable 0.93g seem quaint. The C7 also stopped from 60 mph in 99 feet versus 104 and snaked through the slalom at 73.5 mph to the M3's 70.3.

"I especially appreciated the crystal-clear and highly precise steering, the zippy turn-in, the progressive break-away of the tires and sophisticated traction control," wrote test-driver Chris Walton of the Stingray. "Immensely capable and highly accessible performance without the C6's vaguely threatening demeanor."

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

This Corvette Will Make You a Hero
Indeed, these thoughts were echoed out in the quasi-real world of our favorite mountain road, where the C7 once again proved to be the superior speed machine. There really were only two things keeping the trailing M3 within sight: the traffic cone paint job and Johnny Law.

The new Corvette was just so easy to drive fast thanks to the astounding grip afforded by Performance Traction Management (PTM), the electronic limited-slip and whatever was left of the rear Michelin Pilot Super Sports post-Willow Springs. The low center of gravity and weight certainly didn't hurt, either. Driving with urgency was simply a matter of pointing the exceedingly precise and hugely improved steering where we wanted to go and nailing the gas. And it doesn't really matter how much you nail it, since PTM is on the job making sure the right amount of throttle is always applied to make you look and feel like a stud.

The transmission's got your back, too. Even if you think heel-toeing is a line dancing maneuver at Bob's Country Bunker, the seven-speed manual automatically matches revs when downshifting. Should you prefer to shut off such newfangled trickery, just pull one of the vestigial paddle shifters a bean counter determined would make a pretty swell rev-match button on manual-equipped 'Vettes.

Now, this might sound as if the new 'Vette warrants the video game critiques leveled at the Nissan GT-R, but as you may have read in our Stingray vs. GT-R Comparison Test, Chevrolet's finest is still a hugely visceral and exciting car. It's just that away from the track and its extralegal speeds, the Stingray doesn't really get the opportunity to approach its thrilling full potential. In other words, it's just too easy.

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

Is There Such a Thing as a Moral Victory?
As a result of the C7's overwhelming competence, the M3 actually proved to be the more memorable drive, leaving us feeling more accomplished and hungry for more. There ultimately was a greater challenge to be had and thus more involvement and enjoyment.

Much of this is simply the enormous difference in capabilities, but it comes down to character as well. Take the power delivery, for instance. The Corvette's abundant grunt meant it could stay in 3rd on our mountain road much of the time, with that rev-matching gearbox dropped into 2nd only for the occasional hairpin. The M3, with its peaky 414 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque, required far more shifting, especially when trying to keep up with Captain America.

Thankfully, BMW's M-DCT is a pleasure to use and mightily effective with right-now shifts and paddles that possess a solid, mechanical feel. The car guy gut reaction is to look down upon the two-pedal M3 as something purchased by poseurs who don't understand and/or can't appreciate the true art of driving. Eyes roll, noses upturned.

Yet, as difficult as it may be to admit, M-DCT is arguably the better tool both for going fast and urban slogs. It also defaults to manual mode at start-up, as if to prove it means business.

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

There is also something to be said for communication, and words cannot truly express how good the M3's steering is, nor the sadness we'll feel when this hydraulic setup is reportedly replaced by an electric system on the upcoming M4.

Turn-in is so sharp, its effort could be the gold standard upon which all other cars are measured, and you can feel every nuance of what the tires are doing, as if reaching through the bulkhead and physically manipulating each wheel.

The two cars also present completely different takes on V8 theatricality. The 'Vette's V8 is a burly, shock-and-awe celebration that inevitably makes you exclaim some four-letter expletive followed by "YEAH!"

The M3's high-revving 4.0-liter V8, by contrast, pins you into its eight-way buckets to the tune of a precisely engineered, beautifully technical crescendo. You're more likely to mutter "oh my" while your bones melt in appreciation, as if beholding the magnificence of a majestic vista or an especially beautiful woman. Both are phenomenal, and trying to pick a favorite is pointless.

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

The Corvette Isn't Always Better
So score it as an ass-whipping at the track by the Corvette and a moral victory for the M3 on our favorite mountain road. But, what was that we said about waxing poetically? Onto the mundane.

The two-person Corvette is inherently less practical than the four-spot M3 coupe, but it doesn't get much better than this in the sports car realm. It's not claustrophobic and the visibility is good. Compared to a Viper, it feels like the Popemobile. Leg- and headroom are generous, and the heated and cooled seats have no trouble accommodating those of the taller persuasion.

The seats themselves, thank the good automotive lord, are now serious seats with actual support and actual body-holding capabilities. Then again, the optional Competition Sport seats are even better, as are those in the M3, but improvement is nevertheless improvement.

And if you're going to drive a car every day, it had better have the latest toys and they better be easy to use. The Corvette and its MyLink system do not disappoint. The customizable touchscreen menu icons are reminiscent of a smartphone, and several well-placed physical buttons and knobs are appreciated. Whether you prefer it to BMW's iDrive boils down to preference.

Then there are the Corvette's optional magnetically adjustable dampers, which shame the M3 when it comes to ride quality. No other car can so thoroughly destroy a race circuit before turning around and coddling its fatigued driver on the interstate journey home. All it takes is the turn of a knob.

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

Mounting a Comeback
In other words, driving a Stingray every day is totally doable. However, we would still rather have an M3 for such duty.

After driving the Corvette, the M3's comparatively expansive visibility and elevated driving position make the world around you seem closer and less daunting. Getting in and out also doesn't require a membership at Master Vikram's House of Yoga, while the existence of a backseat means you aren't limited to just one friend.

The C7's trunk space in theory can carry around some bulky items not possible in the M3, but the only thing preventing an overnight bag from flying into the cabin or frying in the sun is a pair of ineffective mesh cargo covers. The BMW's traditional, reasonably sized 11.1-cubic-foot trunk is ultimately better.

There is reason to praise the Corvette's cabin. The quality of materials and construction is indeed reflective of its price and performance, and with the LT3's extended leather package, it certainly looks more dramatic than the M3. However, the BMW is without question built to a higher standard. The gap between the two has been reduced monumentally, but it remains.

2014 Chevy Corvette vs. 2013 BMW M3

The Final Tally
Of course, there's also the matter of cost. Even if you ignore the one-of-200, already-sold-out Lime Rock Park Edition that adds an obscene $10,000 to the price (for ostensibly different rims, a flat-bottomed wheel and some orange paint), an equally equipped 2013 BMW M3 with M-DCT and the Competition and Premium packages would hit the register at around $73,000.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray 3LT with Z51 package costs $69,375 and includes equipment the M3 doesn't offer like cooled seats, Pandora radio and a head-up display, not to mention its dual-mode performance exhaust and the magnetic suspension. If we're talking value alone, it's no contest.

Now, perhaps one could argue the M3's greater everyday usability justifies some of that price, or perhaps that the Corvette is just a ridiculous, unparalleled bargain. Perhaps one could also argue that the M3 will be out of production in about 15 minutes, effectively reducing this contest to one between a new Corvette and a used, perfectly reasonably priced BMW M3.

One could argue anything they'd like, but there's absolutely no denying that the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the performance champion here and ultimately the better weekend plaything or extra car in the garage. That's what most people in this segment want, and the Corvette delivers in ways the M3 can't match.

But, in the event you only have room for one car, the 2013 (or any other model year E92) BMW M3 is an impeccably crafted, reasonably practical, sufficiently comfortable daily plaything with the ceaseless ability to thrill on roads both twisting and mundane. Farewell, friend. We'll miss you.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds with these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Model year2014 Chevrolet Corvette
Year Make Model2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 7M)
Vehicle TypeRWD 2dr 2-passenger coupe
Base MSRP$54,795
Options on test vehicleBlade Silver Metallic, Custom Sill Plates With Stingray Logo, Preferred Equipment Group ($8,005 -- includes standard equipment; Bose advanced 10-speaker system with bass box; HD Radio with additional 9 months of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio service (1 year total); Memory Package with recall for 2 driver "presets" for 8-way power seat, outside mirrors and tilt-and-telescoping steering column; frameless, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror; Universal Home Remote with garage door opener and three programmable channels (located on driver visor); heated and ventilated driver and passenger seats with power bolster and lumbar; head-up display with color readouts for street mode, track mode with g-meter, vehicle speed, engine rpm; cargo net and luggage shade; theft -deterrent system for body content security and unauthorized electrical entry; body-color, heated, power-adjustable outside mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming; navigation with 3D maps; premium leather-wrapped leather instrument panel, center console and door panels; perforated napa leather seating surfaces), Visible Carbon-Fiber Roof Panel ($1,995 -- includes removable, visible carbon-fiber roof panel with body-color surround), Magnetic Selective Ride Control ($1,795 -- includes Magnetic Selective Ride Control; Performance Traction Management), Dual-Mode Performance Exhaust ($1,195 -- includes dual-mode performance exhaust with additional horsepower, aggressive exhaust sound and 4-inch polished stainless-steel tips ), Carbon-Fiber Interior Appearance Package ($995 -- includes carbon-fiber instrument panel trim), 19" x 8.5" Front and 20" x 10.0" Rear Black Aluminum Wheels ($495), Carbon Flash-Painted Rear Spoiler and Outside Mirrors ($100)
As-tested MSRP$69,375
Assembly locationBowling Green, Kentucky
North American parts content (%)100
ConfigurationLongitudinal, front midengine, rear-wheel drive
Engine typeNaturally aspirated, direct-injected V8, gasoline with cylinder deactivation
Displacement (cc/cu-in)6,162cc (376 cu-in)
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainPushrod, 2 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)11.5
Redline, indicated (rpm)6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)460 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)465 @ 4,600
Fuel typePremium unleaded (recommended)
Transmission typeSeven-speed manual with automated rev-matching
Transmission ratios (x:1)I=2.97, II=2.07, III=1.43, IV=1.0, V=0.71, VI=0.57, VII=0.48
Final-drive ratio (x:1)3.42
Differential(s)Electronically controlled clutch-type limited slip
Suspension, frontIndependent double wishbones, transverse leaf spring, self-adjusting magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent double wishbones, transverse leaf spring, self-adjusting magnetorheological dampers, stabilizer bar
Steering typeElectric-assist, speed-proportional, variable-ratio rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio (x:1)17:1 to 12:1
Tire make and modelMichelin Pilot Super Sport ZP
Tire typeAsymmetrical, high-performance summer performance
Tire size, frontP245/35ZR19 89Y
Tire size, rearP285/30ZR20 95Y
Wheel size, front19-by-8.5 inches
Wheel size, rear20-by-10 inches
Wheel materialAluminum
Brakes, front13.6-inch one-piece ventilated slotted cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Brakes, rear13.3-inch one-piece ventilated slotted cast-iron discs with four-piston fixed calipers
Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)1.9
0-45 mph (sec.)2.9
0-60 mph (sec.)4.3
0-75 mph (sec.)6.0
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)12.4 @ 113.7
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.1
0-30 mph, trac ON (sec.)2.0
0-45 mph, trac ON (sec.)3.0
0-60 mph, trac ON (sec.)4.4
0-75 mph, trac ON (sec.)6.1
1/4-mile, trac ON (sec. @ mph)12.42 @ 113.96
0-60, trac ON with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.1
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)25
60-0 mph (ft.)99
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)73.5
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph) ESC ON70.9
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)1.05
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g) ESC ON1.00
Road course lap time (sec.)84.55
Sound level @ idle (dB)51.8
@ Full throttle (dB)88.8
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)72.2
Engine speed @ 70 mph (rpm)1,500
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsLaunch control did a good job of regulating wheelspin, yet it hardly made a difference from a data perspective. A near-bog no-wheelspin run essentially matched it and I beat it by a couple tenths with traction control shut off. I tried various amounts of spin and they all produced shockingly similar and highly consistent results. I did try the no-lift-shift feature and as cool as it is because it's typically forbidden, in reality it is no quicker than my usual shifts. The short gearing forces a 1-2 shift prior to 60 mph and even requires a shift to 4th for the quarter-mile. The Stingray is quick (quicker than C6 base coupe), sounds glorious, but it falls short of OMG-fast. I guess that's what a Z06 and ZR1 will be for.
Braking commentsInitially firm pedal feel ends with a little squish at the end of its short travel. The shortest stopping distance occurred on the seventh stop, proving these brakes have plenty of thermal capacity. Straight, steady, no drama.
Handling commentsSlalom: After I had dialed in the mode(s) that best suited my preferred feedback and the demands of slalom test (Track, Sport 2), then it became a matter of chipping away at the times with subtle techniques that exploited the car's electronic aids as well as the limits. It's easy to discover the limits and either avoid them or step right over them and file it in the manifest of things the Stingray does or doesn't want to do. I especially appreciated the crystal-clear and highly precise steering, the zippy turn-in, the progressive break-away of the tires and the sophisticated traction control on exit that doesn't merely chop the throttle, but stutters it to maintain momentum and direction. Although I couldn't hear it (like in the Nissan GT-R), I could sense the diff hard at work sorting out which side of the car needed/wanted power at every moment. Immensely capable and highly accessible performance without the C6's vaguely threatening demeanor. Wow. Skid pad: Absolutely nutty amount of grip for a road (not race) car. Steering remains informative and precise despite the tremendous loads. The Stingray will either under- or oversteer at will, which speaks to its impressive balance. With ESC fully on, the throttle fades out right before the car would need more driver involvement (e.g. steering and/or throttle modulation) to go any quicker. It's likely a "civilian" wouldn't even notice this happening at 1g. Impressive.
Testing Conditions
Test date8/20/2013
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (F)91
Relative humidity (%)28.00
Barometric pressure (in. Hg)28.81
Wind (mph, direction)3, headwind
Odometer (mi.)1,621
Fuel used for test91 octane
As-tested tire pressures, f/r (psi)30/30
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)21 combined/17 city/29 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)15.9 (20.5 best/worst 12.8)
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)18.5
Driving range (mi.)536.5
Audio and Advanced Technology
Stereo description10-speaker Bose audio system with bass enclosure
iPod/digital media compatibilityGeneric aux jack, multiple iPod via USB (3)
Satellite radioStandard with 1 year of Sirius included
Bluetooth phone connectivityStandard with phone and audio streaming
Navigation systemOptional with traffic, 8-inch display screen (measured diagonally)
Telematics (OnStar, etc.)Standard OnStar
Smart entry/StartStandard ignition/doors/trunk/hatch
Parking aidsStandard rearview camera
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,298
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,443
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)49.8/50.2
Length (in.)176.9
Width (in.)73.9
Height (in.)48.8
Wheelbase (in.)106.7
Track, front (in.)62.9
Track, rear (in.)61.7
Legroom, front (in.)43.0
Headroom, front (in.)37.9
Shoulder room, front (in.)55.2
Seating capacity2
Trunk volume (cu-ft)15
Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/100,000 miles
Corrosion6 years/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance5 years/100,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenance2 years/24,000 miles
Model year2013 BMW M3
Style2dr Coupe (4.0L 8cyl 6M)
Base MSRP$61,025
Options on test vehicleLime Rock Park Edition Package ($10,000 -- includes dynamic damper control and 19-inch wheels, carbon-fiber body kit, flat-bottom faux suede steering wheel, Fire Orange paint); Premium Package ($4,350 -- includes power-folding mirrors, universal garage door opener, Comfort Access keyless entry, power rear sunshade, power front seats, carbon leather interior trim, rear parking sensors, navigation system, voice controls, real-time traffice); M Double-Clutch Transmission ($2,900); Heated Front Seats ($500); BMW Apps ($250); Gas-Guzzler Tax ($1,300)
As-tested MSRP$80,295
Drive typeRear-wheel Drive
Engine typeNaturally aspirated, port-injected V8, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3,999/244
Block/head materialAluminum/aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)12.0
Redline (rpm)8,400
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)414 @ 8,300
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)295 @ 3,900
Fuel typePremium unleaded (required)
Transmission typeSeven-speed auto-double-clutch manual with console shifter and steering-mounted paddles with Sport/Competition modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I=4.780, II=2.933, III=2.153, IV=1.678, V=1.390, VI=1.203, VII=1.000, R=4.454, Final=3.15
Suspension, frontMacPherson strut
Suspension, rearMultilink
Steering typeSpeed-proportional power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)12.5
Tire brandMichelin
Tire modelPilot Sport PS2
Tire typePerformance front and rear
Tire size, front245/35ZR19 93Y
Tire size, rear265/35ZR19 98Y
Wheel size19-by-8.5 inches front -- 19-by-9.5 inches rear
Wheel materialAlloy
Brakes, front14.2-inch ventilated cross-drilled with single-piston sliding caliper
Brakes, rear13.8-inch ventilated cross-drilled with single-piston sliding caliper
Track Test Results
Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)2.3
0-45 mph (sec.)3.5
0-60 mph (sec.)4.9
0-75 mph (sec.)7.4
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)13.0 @ 109.9
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)4.6
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)28
60-0 mph (ft.)104
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)70.3
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.93
Sound level @ idle (dB)47.4
@ Full throttle (dB)80
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)69
Test Driver Ratings & Comments
Acceleration commentsUnfortunately the Launch Control wouldn't work on this M3. A very German BMW official told us it's possible the car had reached its "max lifetime launch limit" before it got to us. Without LC or a third pedal, the M3 is hard to get to leave the line cleanly. Going straight from brake to throttle causes a huge hesitation, then it drops the clutch and there's big wheelspin. The alternative is a slow, bogging departure. Our best run was achieved via brake/throttle overlap followed by initially easy throttle as the clutches engage and the car starts to move, then full throttle. We have no doubt there's about three-tenths to be gained with LC or the proper manual. Still, the V8 sounds are glorious and the paddle shifts are superbly quick. It will hold gears to the rev limiter, and the downshift throttle blips are mesmerizing.
Braking commentsExtremely firm pedal, though you can't feel a whole lot through the pedal. Only a tiny amount of nosedive, and tires make little noise. No side-to-side movement at all. First stop was 107 feet. Sixth stop (out of 7) was shortest at 104 feet and fifth stop was longest at 109 feet.
Handling commentsSlalom: The M3 Lime Rock is incredibly precise, with terrific steering and a communicative chassis. Wherever you point the M3 is exactly where it goes. The stability control system eventually was the limiting factor, although it has impressively high limits. Everything about this car is intuitive; it just feels right, doesn't want to bite you. Skid pad: A fair amount of understeer, but it still keeps a precise line around the arc. We went quickest with ESC turned fully off.
Testing Conditions
Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (F)78
Relative humidity (%)54
Wind (mph, direction)2, cross
Fuel Consumption
EPA fuel economy (mpg)16 combined/14 city/20 highway
Edmunds observed (mpg)15.2
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)16.6
Dimensions & Capacities
Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,704
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,595
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)52.1/47.9
Length (in.)181.8
Width (in.)71.5
Height (in.)55.6
Wheelbase (in.)108.7
Track, front (in.)60.5
Track, rear (in.)60.5
Turning circle (ft.)38.4
Legroom, front (in.)41.8
Legroom, rear (in.)33.7
Headroom, front (in.)38.4
Headroom, rear (in.)36.8
Shoulder room, front (in.)55.3
Shoulder room, rear (in.)51.9
Seating capacity4
Cargo volume (cu-ft)11.1
Bumper-to-bumper4 years/50,000 miles
Powertrain4 years/50,000 miles
Corrosion12 years/unlimited miles
Roadside assistance4 years/unlimited miles
Free scheduled maintenance4 years/50,000 miles
Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsDual front
Head airbagsFront and rear
Antilock brakesFour-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsBraking assist, electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlTraction control
Stability controlStability control
Tire-pressure monitoring systemTire-pressure monitoring
IIHS offsetNot tested


  • shatner shatner Posts:

    One car is a brand new model, one is on its way out. One has 4 seats, that is a huge difference. Also the Corvette interior is still cheesy like the Chevy it is...

  • flapsmcgee flapsmcgee Posts:

    Well considering a Mustang GT is as fast as an M3, this is no surprise at all. http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1010_2011_2011_ford_mustang_gt_vs_2011_bmw_m3_comparison/

  • jeepsrt jeepsrt Posts:

    While I love the new C7 there is no comparison against an M3 for a daily driver. My Wife daily drives an M3 Sedan with our 2 yo Daughter in a baby seat and in the winter we put snow tires on it and get around almost as well as some SUV's. As for the track I would take the Vette!

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    A luxury performance 4 seater coupe vs a 2 seater sports car. Edmunds.com must have been bored. The Vette is the better performer in every way in this nonsense comparison. However, as a daily driver there is no comparison, the M3 is simply better. This BMW is a beast and this new Vette is a bargain super-car. Both are great for what they do.

  • Another article that's a feckless effort at keeping your readership. Is there anything more boring than comparing any BMW to another car? (Answer: "NO!") Good grief, can't you people hire someone with ideas?!!

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    In addition; I would take the Boss 302 over both.

  • After reading this comparison article, I am not certain that a clear winner was chosen. The Stingray (dedicated sports car) was chosen as the better track car while the M3 (high-performance luxury sports coupe) was chosen as the better daily driver. Perhaps the comments at the end of the comparison only confirm that these two cars are not direct competitors. I will say this: I remember reading that when the current M3 was being created, BMW was using the 911 as a benchmark, so perhaps there is some logic to this comparison. For me, the question of which car is the better daily driver is irrelevant. I would never buy a world class performance car and drive it every day, subjecting it to rush hour traffic snarls, crazy commuters, poorly maintained roads and the hazards that come with them. I learned some years ago to keep a reliable, durable, fuel efficient commuter car to drive to work on week days while saving my polished, pampered weapon of choice for sunny weekends. For this reason, the Stingray is the clear winner in my book. It has reasonable storage space and the MR suspension can be set for a comfortable ride. The M3 is still an excellent performance car though. One last thing.....if the soon to be released M4 Coupe were available, it would still lose.

  • tim_boo tim_boo Posts:

    I am not sure why this article was even written, I haven't driven either car but could have come to the same conclusion. A four seater coupe is more comfortable than a dedicated sports car but slower...who would have thought such a thing!?

  • autoboy1 autoboy1 Posts:

    Am I the only one who cross shops 4 seat coupes, 4 door sports sedans, or 2 door sports cars? Yes, the comparison is a little strange, but they said from the outset that the C7 doesn't have any real direct competition at its price point. So they brought in the M3 because it was one of the best performance cars at the $70k price point. Get over it and use your imagination. When I buy a car, I don't decide that I want a 4 door sedan and only look at 4 door sedans. I say, I want a fun car that is practical enough for my needs, is affordable for me, and is something that I will love to own for the next 4-6 years. That's how come I've had everything from S4s, to 911s, to a GTI. It's about how the cars make me feel when I drive, and if it can hold the # of passengers I need and some stuff, I'm good. So, when I go shopping for a replacement to my GTI, I'll look at everything from the Mustang to a BMW 3 Series because the main factor is that it must be a drivers car first and formost. Then I'll decide if I can live with 2 vs 4 doors or trunk vs wagon/hatch.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    I think the comparison makes perfect sense. If you are one car owner and need some versatility to go with your back roads hooliganizing, the the M3 is clearly the better choice. But for many people an M3 is as much a toy as a 2 seat high performance sports car like the Vette and those folks may in fact cross-shop the two.

  • lexura1414 lexura1414 Posts:

    It seems this C7 is destroying everything in its path. But you guys are ridiculous in saying that it beats a GT-R. I am not a Nissan or GT-R fanboy, FYI. Compare the C7 lap time in Nurburghring instead of Button Willow to the GT-Rs. I am sure the GT-R demolishes this car. On a side note, I used to read Insideline but when you merged, I lost interest

  • mrusso21 mrusso21 Posts:

    So you guys at Edmunds are comparing a car thats been on the road since 2007 and has not changed....not even a little to a completely new concept that was just released and are labeling that victory? Wait till later this year when they realize the M4 and its taking a big steamy [non-permissible content removed] all over the competition. Lets compare apples to apples Edmunds

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    They are clear in the article that they are comparing a state of the art new Vette to an outgoing M3. But let's also acknowledge that BMW hasn't necessarily been improving its cars lately. Edmunds is getting a long-term Vette and I have no doubt they will use it for a comparison against the M4 when it appears.

  • crossofiron crossofiron Posts:

    As a owner of 2 BMWs, I agree with the comment that the M3 is a very good around car but let's get real for a minute. Guys that buy M3 think that they are badasses. Yea they do. I know a few of them. They have to feel like throwing up after seeing the smashing victory for the Vette. The Edmond buys seem like nice guys and always try to see the best in things but this is a bit much. If this was the 328 then we can talk about the better car to go the market but for Gods Sakes the M3 is almost $80,000 and with some of the typical Bimmer options it is over $80,000. IT IS SUPPOSED to be a [non-permissible content removed] kicker. Not today it appears. Long live the new King!!

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    No boyz, there is a clear winner. Anyone who requires room for more than 2 bodies, buys the 3. Anyone that requires a world-class sports car @ a relatively affordable price point, buys the Vette. Win Win.

  • The best car to compare the M3 to is a Camaro SS with the 1LE package. It would murder the M3 in all measures. BMW's simply do not compete with Chevrolets anymore when it comes to performance. Camaro 1LE has done 1:22.70 while the M3 per Edmunds test is 1:29.02. The Camaro 1LE time is from fastestlaps. com

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    @ lexura1414, except there are not yet official times for the vette at the ring and you are now comparing a $100K+ GTR to a $70K vette, even if this base vette is slower than a gtr around the ring I'm sure a z06 or zr-1 version would be a more sensible ma

  • James Riswick is a known GM hater

  • jimmcmane jimmcmane Posts:

    I am extremely sorry - but whomever wrote this article should put in their resignation. I have an E90 M3 and by NO MEANS think that a C7 or even C6 Corvette wouldn't win around a proper track... However, where these numbers came from are beyond me. Are we really to believe that a 3500 pound car with 414 horsepower, and a perfectly flat torque curve (approximately 280 ft-lbs across the board to 8400 RPM) - and gearing to make the perfectly flat torque curve work to the car's advantage runs a 13 SECOND quarter mile? These are false numbers - by any calculation, modeling, or better yet any other "automotive" source. Here's just a few: http://www.roadandtrack.com/cm/roadandtrack/data/6a5be27b0e80f78adc8cf2af3b0b4d45.pdf 1/4 mile - 12.5 (6 speed, not even DCT) 0-60 4.1 (again, 6 speed) skidpad .98 I am not sure if you purposely put some all-season tires on here to show how "dramatic" the difference is between these cars - but it's just not so. The Corvette is faster - yes, but not as you make out. A 13 second quarter mile in this car would literally take a 2nd gear start. I can't even believe any readers of this publication take this seriously. Here's another source - just in case that one wasn't good enough: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/coupes/1009_2010_audi_rs_5_vs_2011_bmw_m3_vs_2011_cadillac_cts_v_comparison/viewall.html 12.6 in the 1/4 4.1 0-60 .95 on the skidpad Please don't reply saying that it's condition dependant/times vary/etc. - we are talking over a HALF SECOND for both times - and about a 1/10th on the skidpad. With R compounds on both cars - they handle similarly, and the M3 is going to "win" in terms of how it gets from point A to B. To say the M3 is a 13 second car is just ridiculous. The car will run a mid 12s 1/4 mile over and over and over and over and over - and I think you left this out on purpose for some reason. Please explain to your readers what you were given by GM to write such nonsense. Any avid enthusiast sees through this garbage - and few write to complain. I just couldn't let it go. 13 second quarter mile - the S54B32 Inline-6 powering the last generation E46 was in the high 12s, and was possibly in the low 13s with a bad driver. Unbelievable. You should be ashamed of yourself. To anyone reading this article - and wants a racecar for the street, the M3 is your choice. If you want a bargain track car, the Corvette is for you. Simple is that. This last paragraph (along with the actual specs on the cars) should be the article, and you should quit your day job.

  • @ lexura1414 the GT-R does prove faster in acceleration, but is slower in cornering speed, apex exit speeds, and breaking, hence the slower track times at Willow Springs. The 'ring has some room to flex muscles on speed sections (advantage GTR) but really

  • perek_ perek_ Posts:

    I want to see a comparo between a low mileage C5 Z06, the C6 and the new C7! That would be a cool feature!

  • osunick osunick Posts:

    The M3 has terrible, terrible fuel economy. Of course, at $70K folks can afford gas, but I expect the Corvette to have much better real world mpg. The other advantage the M3 has is the economies of scale due to parts sharing with the regular 3 series brethren. BMW sold hundreds of thousands of E90/E92's and can make the investment on expensive switchgear. On the other hand, BMW still makes do with a purely mechanical viscous diff and the strut front/multilink rear suspension that all 3 series have. The M3 has more forged aluminum components but the Stingray is a bespoke platform. From inside, I'm sure the quality of BMW's leathers and plastics are higher. From underneath, the Corvette is WAY MORE PREMIUM, as it has aluminum wishbones all around and four times as many pistons in the brakes. 5 seconds is an eternity on a race track and each of those seconds represents a lot of r&d and manufacturing.

  • jimmcmane jimmcmane Posts:

    osunick, 5 seconds is a lot, but there is no way the cars are 5 seconds apart. just like the m3 is not a 13 second car. Edmunds just makes things up as they go. it's cute.

  • 9square 9square Posts:

    Next up..... Corvette Stingray vs. Dodge Caravan.

  • vara411 vara411 Posts:

    Edmunds neglected to mention the [non-permissible content removed]-kicking the M3 would face at the pump... 14/20 vs. the much superior 17/29 for the 'Vette (that fuel economy doesn't even include the cylinder deactivation... One article I read claimed it gave the StingRay an astounding 40.5 mpg on the highway!) ... That said, I find this comparo a bit strange as these are two very different cars.

  • rj_xtrail_2 rj_xtrail_2 Posts:

    @ shatner, you are a bulls**t because for me personally that the C& is alwya the daily driver and the track car and your BMW M3 is BULLS**T!

  • wvanepps wvanepps Posts:

    I am taking a wait and see approach on the new Vette. I live in North Florida and I see at least 10 Vettes a day on the ride home. I normally only see one E92 M3 and that is the one I am driving. I remember when the new Camaro was released and seeing one and thinking it looked great. Now I see about 30 a day on the drive home and do not glance at it a second time. Next year I will be looking at getting the new M4 or the new Vette since they are close in price. I am still up in the air at this point. If I start seeing 25+ new Vettes show up at our local Cars and Coffee each month then most likely it will be the M4. Right now we have about 30 Vettes that show up and only 2 M3's and the M3's get a lot more looks.

  • wvanepps wvanepps Posts:

    I am not sure where they are getting the numbers for the E92 M3. My E92 M3 DCT does the quarter mile in 12.3 to 12.4 and zero to 60 in 4.2 seconds without launch control. Also, was Miss Daisy driving the GTR or Porsche 911 S? No way the Vette beat those cars. The numbers are not even close.

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