Son's Automotive Group Compares 2016 BMW 6 SERIES VS 2016 Dodge Viper Near Norcross, GA

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2016 Dodge Viper

Safety Comparison

The 6 Series’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Viper doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 6 Series has standard front seat tall, head-protecting side-impact airbags, which act as a forgiving barrier between the passengers and the door. Combined with high-strength steel door beams this system increases protection from broadside collisions. The Viper doesn't offer side-impact airbags or side airbag protection for the head.

The 6 Series 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 Viper doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 6 Series offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Viper doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 6 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Viper doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the 6 Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Viper doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The 6 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Viper doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 6 Series offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Viper only offers a rear monitor.

The 6 Series’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Viper doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the 6 Series and the Viper have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW 6 Series weighs 586 to 1154 pounds more than the Dodge Viper. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

The 6 Series comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Viper’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 6 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the Viper’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 6 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Dodge doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Viper.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 6 Series have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the Viper.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 6 Series has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Viper’s 180-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 6 Series has a standard 900-amp battery. The Viper’s 600-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in reliability, above the industry average. With 46 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 26th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the M6 Manual gets better fuel mileage than the Viper (15 city/22 hwy vs. 12 city/21 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 6 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Viper doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 6 Series’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Viper doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The 6 Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Viper (18.5 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 6 Series M6’s standard fuel tank has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Viper (21.1 vs. 16 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the M6 Carbon Brakes’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the Viper:

M6 Carbon Brakes


Viper ACR

Front Rotors

16.1 inches

14 inches

15.4 inches

Rear Rotors

15.6 inches

14 inches

14.2 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 6 Series offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Viper’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 6 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Viper doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 6 Series offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Dodge doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Viper.

The 6 Series has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Viper doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M6’s wheelbase is 13.4 inches longer than on the Viper (112.2 inches vs. 98.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 6 Series is .7 inches wider in the front and 3.5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Viper.

For better maneuverability, the 6 Series’ turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Viper’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the BMW 6 Series amounts to more than styling. The 6 Series offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .3 to .32 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is significantly lower than the Viper (.369 to .544). A more efficient exterior helps the 6 Series go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the 6 Series get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The 6 Series has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Viper can only carry 2.

The 6 Series Coupe has 3.4 inches more front headroom and 7.2 inches more front shoulder room than the Viper.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the 6 Series, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat (memory seat optional for the front passenger), steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Viper doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 6 Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Viper doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The 6 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Viper doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 6 Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Viper’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the 6 Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Viper can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Comfort Access standard on the 6 Series allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Dodge Viper’s Keyless Enter-N-Go doesn’t unlock the doors or the trunk.

The 6 Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Viper’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 6 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Viper doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 6 Series has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Viper doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the 6 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Viper doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 6 Series has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Viper doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 6 Series also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The 6 Series’ sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The Viper’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 6 Series Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Viper doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The 6 Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Viper doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

When the 6 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Viper’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 6 Series has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Viper has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The 6 Series has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Viper.

Optional air conditioned seats in the 6 Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Viper doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the 6 Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Viper doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The 6 Series’ standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Viper doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 6 Series Automatic offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Viper doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The 6 Series (except xDrive)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Viper doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its November 2013 issue and they ranked the BMW M6 Coupe two places higher than the Dodge Viper SRT.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 6 Series first among midsize premium sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Viper isn’t in the top three.

The BMW 6 Series outsold the Dodge Viper by over 11 to one during the 2015 model year.

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