Following its 2009 reboot, the Chevrolet Camaro is back for the latest model year with a ground-up redesign. The new model boasts enhanced styling, a lighter and more capable chassis and a revised lineup of potent engines.
The biggest change for the new model year is the addition of a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder as the Camaro's base engine. Although small, the turbocharged mill cranks out 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, putting it nearly on par with the V8s offered in the Camaro during the 1990s.
Shifting through either a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic, the Camaro 2.0L turbo can accelerate from 0-60 in as little as 5.4 seconds. Despite that strong performance, the four-cylinder-powered Camaro should return better than 30mpg on the highway.
A 3.6L V6 stands as the Camaro's step-up engine and includes many upgrades over last year's V6, including direct-injection and Active Fuel Management for better economy. Also available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto, the Camaro V6 pumps out 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque and is capable of running from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds. When equipped with the eight-speed auto the Camaro V6 returned 19mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway.
All Camaro models ride on General Motors' latest Alpha rear-wheel drive platform borrowed from the Cadillac ATS. That new architecture means the Camaro is more rigid than before, but, perhaps more importantly, significantly lighter, too. A four-cylinder Camaro is 390 pounds lighter than last year's V6 while today's Camaro V6 is 294 pounds lighter than the model it replaces.
Exterior styling for the latest Camaro is all-new but isn't radically different from the last iteration of the iconic muscle car. The Camaro retains its long hood/short decklid design philosophy, with a sloping roofline adding to the car's sporting proportions. Rearward visibility remains a Camaro problem thanks to thick C-pillars and a relatively small rear window.
Like its exterior, the interior of the latest Camaro is new but still familiar. The pony car's center stack has been totally redesigned and now includes an available eight-inch high-resolution touchscreen (a seven-inch touchscreen is standard) running Chevrolet's latest MyLink infotainment system with WiFi connectivity. The system is also compatible with Apple's CarPlay. A second eight-inch screen resides in the Camaro's main gauge cluster and provides a wide range of information, from performance specs to direction from the optional navigation system.
The Camaro's climate control system has been totally redesigned and now features two large air vents in the center stack that also double as controls for the HVAC system. Storage in the Camaro is essentially limited to a small under-armrest cubby and the glove box.
The Camaro's front buckets offer a decent amount of space, but the car's high belt line and chopped roof don't make for an airy cabin. The Camaro's rear seats are extremely tight and are best suited for small children.
Trim Level Breakdown
Chevrolet has done away with the previous LS trim level for the latest model year, leaving the 1LT as the entry-level Camaro. The Camaro 1LT comes standard with a 2.0L turbocharged engine, cloth seats with eight-way power adjustment for the driver and six-way for the passenger, Chevrolet MyLink, a rear view camera and 18-inch wheels.
Stepping up to the 2LT nets dual-zone climate control, leather seats, Bose premium audio and a larger touchscreen running Chevrolet MyLink.
Both the Camaro 1LT and 2LT models can be upgraded with Chevy's RS package, a 3.6L V6, eight-speed automatic transmission, performance brakes, 20-inch wheel and a dual-mode exhaust system.
All Camaro models come standard with a comprehensive safety suite that includes eight standard airbags (including knee airbags for the driver and front passenger), StabiliTrack electronic stability control and OnStar automatic crash response. Rear park assist, side blind zone alert, lane change alert and rear cross traffic alert are offered as available extras.
The Chevrolet Camaro's main rivals include the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Hyundai Genesis Coupe.