$19,967 - $32,832

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was new.


Performance: 8.8

While the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro's base engine provides plenty of power, test drivers are more impressed with the available V6 and V8 engines, which they agree are incredibly potent. They add that the Camaro's standard six-speed manual transmission is quick-shifting and precise. Reviewers praise the Chevrolet Camaro’s agile handling and firm steering, though some note it’s no lightweight sports car that hugs curves.

  • "It feels much more confident and agile in all circumstances. Put simply, it's a sportier car." -- Autoblog
  • "The game has changed, gang. The Camaro is now a bonafide player in every dimension-speed, agility, leanness, ‘aliveness.’ No longer is the Mustang the sole purveyor of ponycar sinew. Even the vaunted Corvette now has a serious rival right under the same dealership roof." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Put it all together and you have a car that offers the driving sophistication of a European luxury-sports sedan, but for considerably less money." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Driving the V-6 is an altogether separate experience from piloting the SS, which feels a bit like a taller Corvette Stingray with a vestigial back seat, but both are fantastic. Yet there's no reason to feel swindled if you get the V-6; it returns the right sensations, makes the right noises, and delivers dynamic fidelity on par with far less humble cars. It's a holistic and well-rounded thing, and it should have every Camaro intender double-checking their eight-cylinder desires." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The base Chevrolet Camaro comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. A 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque and a 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque are available. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is available. Chevrolet estimates that the four-cylinder base model will earn up to 30 mpg on the highway. According to the EPA, the V6 Camaro earns 18/27 mpg city/highway, which is typical for an affordable sports car.

According to auto writers, the base engine is smooth and provides plenty of power. However, while critics praise the available V6 engine, they agree that the optional V8 engine is the most powerful in the lineup, delivering robust acceleration. Test drivers say the standard six-speed manual transmission provides quick, precise shifts. They also say the eight-speed automatic transmission, when controlled by the paddle shifters, gives drivers more control over power output.

  • "Standard is the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which may go against the standard muscle-car formula that says more cylinders are better, but this engine packs a punch." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "By any reasonable historic standard, the 2016 Camaro V6 is a very quick car. But as good as the V6 is, the V8 is much better. The LT1 V8 used in the 2016 Camaro SS is the same engine Chevrolet installs in the Corvette and it feels just as strong in this application. With the variable exhaust tuned to produce a subdued roar, the Camaro SS is almost ludicrously entertaining. With the six-speed manual transmission's rev-matching feature working, every downshift makes the driver feel as if there's Andretti DNA in their veins." -- Edmunds
  • "While the industry trend may be toward smaller-displacement engines, there remains something intrinsically ‘right’ about a muscle car with eight big cylinders under hood, and good as the V-6 is, it's the V-8 that really makes your neck hairs stand on end. It's surprisingly quick to rev, and the burbles and pops on overrun really drive home the performance message." -- CNET
  • "The 6-speed manual transmission offers clean and crisp shifts, while the 8-speed auto, when using the paddle shifters, will let you bring it to the red line and eke out as much power as possible." -- Yahoo Autos
  • "The SS, of course, is the real bad boy, its V-8 nailing you to the seat as it smoothly wails toward its redline, the passing trees a funnel of green, the chassis alive and sprightly as no Camaro before this." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Test drivers report that the redesigned 2016 Chevy Camaro has a smooth ride and agile handling with little body lean through turns. They also like its sharp, well-weighted steering. Still, some critics remind us that at 3,700 pounds it’s no curve-tearing two-seater. A few reviewers point out that the available Brembo brakes are very strong.

  • "The steering is extremely crisp and well-weighted with just a touch of understeer around fast corners. The tail teases you that it might come out, but it never did." -- Motor Trend
  • "Still, I wouldn't call the Camaro a corner carver. While markedly improved from the fifth-generation's dynamics, it's still a 3,700-lb. machine; you'd need anti-gravity to make it as nimble as a roadster." -- Yahoo Autos
  • "If you're still living with the deeply outdated stereotype that these cars don't handle, a spin in the new Camaro will quickly disabuse you of that notion." -- CNET
  • "The Camaro is smooth and stable in quick maneuvers and feels planted on fast sweeping curves. There's very little body roll, squat or dive." – USA  Today
  • "All Camaros are also available with Brembo brakes - they're standard on the V8-powered SS - for superior stopping ability." -- Kelley Blue Book

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