$11,640 - $28,705

2013 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro was new.


Performance: 7.8

Reviewers say that the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro offers all the performance needed to live up to its iconic name. They note that even base V6 models offer ample power, and that despite its large size, the Camaro handles well. Still, one reviewer notes that the Camaro’s small windows limit outward visibility, which makes the car feel more cumbersome than it should be.

  • "This Camaro can be pitched, chucked, and hurled into corners with reckless abandon and it remains a well-behaved, easily controlled pony." -- Automobile Magazine (Camaro SS 1LE) 
  • "The Camaro still feels like a behemoth - that problem is deeply rooted in its squinty greenhouse and a curb weight we estimate at 3900 pounds - but the newfound eagerness scrubs away its greatest dynamic flaw." -- Car and Driver (Camaro SS 1LE)
  • "In any guise, Camaro is a capable performance car that's reasonably docile as a daily driver. The engines make great noises, and the ride is solid, even in the convertible." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Unlike other convertibles, the Camaro didn't exhibit much body flex from the loss of its roof." -- Cars.com (Camaro ZL1 Convertible)

Acceleration and Power

The base 2013 Camaro has a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 323 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 278 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the base 1LS model, while a six-speed automatic is available on 2LS and higher trims. The EPA reports that the 2013 Camaro gets up to 19/30 mpg city/highway, which is about average for a muscle car, but less than the fuel economy of rivals like the Mazda Miata and Subaru BRZ.

Camaro SS models come with a 6.2-liter V8 engine. When equipped with a manual transmission, the Camaro SS generates 426 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 420 pound-feet of torque at 4,600 rpm. Automatic models see a slight power drop, with 400 horsepower at 5,900 rpm and 410 pound-feet of torque at 4,300 rpm. The high-performance Camaro ZL1 carries a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, which generates 580 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 556 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. Chevrolet says that the Camaro ZL1 will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in four seconds and reach a top speed of 184 mph.

Reviewers agree that the V6 models pack enough power to live up to their muscle car heritage, while Camaro SS and ZL1 models offer a tremendous level of power. Still, some critics who’ve tested the new Camaro SS 1LE say that its main rival, the Mustang Boss 302, offers a more invigorating driving experience.

  • "The Camaro's powertrain is hardy and robust, yet tamer and calmer than the Boss's unruly 5.0-liter." -- Automobile Magazine (Camaro SS 1LE)
  • "The V6 engine produces more than enough power to move this fairly large sporty car. The SS fondly recalls the muscle-car days of old, with robust acceleration at any speed." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The engine felt plenty strong, but rowing through the gears doesn't feel quite as special and precise as in the Boss." -- Motor Trend (Camaro SS 1LE)
  • "The automatic transmission changes gears efficiently and smoothly if you're not hammering the gas pedal. When you are, it kicks down to the appropriate gear, generates a loud burble from the exhaust and lurches forward. Cool enough." -- Cars.com (Camaro ZL1 Convertible)
  • "Whether you choose the vigorous V6 or one of the tire-shredding V8s, no one will ever accuse your … Chevrolet Camaro of being slow." -- Edmunds (2012)

Handling and Braking

The base Camaro may not be the quickest affordable sports car, but test drivers are surprised by how well it handles. One critic says that the Camaro SS 1LE can even out-handle rivals like the Ford Mustang Boss 302, though others counter that in other trim levels, the Mustang is still more capable on a twisty stretch of road. Still, some reviewers say that the Camaro’s poor outward visibility doesn’t inspire confidence on spirited drives. While the Camaro handles well, muscle cars are better known for straight-line performance than agility. If you’re in the market for an affordable and agile sports car, consider rivals like the Mazda Miata, Nissan 370Z and Scion FR-S.

  • "Winning our respect back, the 1LE remains surprisingly flat in corners with less body roll and more front-end grip than the Boss Mustang." -- Automobile Magazine (Camaro SS 1LE)
  • "The electronic power-steering system (standard on all SS models and shared with the ZL1) is a fine representative of the breed, with a progressive weighting and natural feel." -- Car and Driver (Camaro SS 1LE)
  • "No Camaro can be described as nimble; they're a bit too large to earn that distinction. Still, this Chevrolet corners capably. It's more composed than the even larger Dodge Challenger, but not as much as the smaller Ford Mustang." -- Consumer Guide  
  • "I wasn't able to take the ZL1 convertible on a track, but it, too, exhibited the same sure-footedness around winding roads." -- Cars.com (Camaro ZL1 Convertible)
  • "The Camaro also displays impressive amounts of cornering grip, communicative steering and a refined suspension that makes this generation of GM's classic GT car exponentially more talented around corners than any Camaro that has come before." -- Edmunds (2012)

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