Camaro: The Everyday Super Car
Name a car that can lap a racetrack faster than a Corvette ZR1, Nissan GTR, or any Ferrari. One that proved it can embarrass the expensive competition on track is the affordable Chevrolet Camaro. Known for being an affordable muscle car with big style, the current version of the Camaro is a world-class performance sports car bargain. Here’s a few reasons you need this awesome ride.
The Camaro’s fuel economy isn’t the first item discussed for a reason: many buyers simply don’t care, or its 10th on their list of priorities. Fortunately, the Camaro can return solid MPG numbers when optioned properly. If the price of gas is a big issue for you, here’s what to look for.
The best Camaro fuel economy is, of course, found with the smallest engine. The turbo 2.0-liter is no lethargic economy car engine, instead offering the best compromise of V8 power and four cylinder fuel sipping. Get one with the eight-speed auto, keep your foot out of it, and this version of the Camaro returns 31 MPG highway. The city rating is 22 MPG, and the manual transmission reduces those numbers by 1 MPG, because you aren’t as efficient at shifting versus modern autos.
The V6 isn’t bad either, especially considering it is 80% larger and delivers 60 more horses. The EPA says you should see 19 MPG city, and 29 MPG highway with the 3.6L/auto combination, while the manual adds fun but decreases the MPG numbers to 16 city, 27 highway.
The Camaro’s reputation is as a bargain performer, it’s a lot of fun, for not a lot of money. Other attributes include attractive, fast, and lately, solid handling through corners. But the Camaro isn’t a Toyota Corolla, with a sterling reputation for essentially never breaking down. While reliability isn’t Camaro’s strong point, it’s not necessarily an unreliable car.
The Chevy Camaro earns a predicted reliability score of 2 out of 5 from Consumer Reports. That is lower than average, but they did not list why. CR takes tech fumbles into consideration for reliability, so it could be the early MyLink frustration clouding the score. CR also reports owner satisfaction at 5 out of 5, so reliability concerns seem to be forgiven by owners.
The Camaro scores overall five stars from NHTSA, but let’s take a closer look. The frontal score shows 4 out of 5, for both the driver and passenger. It scores higher in side impact tests, earning five stars for driver and front passenger. The feds say there is almost no rollover risk, with a projected 8% rollover risk during emergency maneuvers, which is another five-star score.
The IIHS performs a series of similar but different tests, and came up with almost all of their highest Good scores. The IIHS’s dummy was having a better day here, as the Camaro aced the front impact tests. The IIHS’s crashworthiness scores include testing the small overlap front: driver-side, and moderate overlap front. The dummy showed very minor injuries, earning the Good score. Side impact tests showed the same results, and earned the same Good score. Roof strength rated Acceptable, able to resist a peak force of over 13,000 lbs. Head restraints and seats scored Good, while the new category of active crash prevention systems scored only Basic. Note for those with little ones, the IIHS reported Camaro’s child seat anchors are easy to find, but require too much force to latch.