$20,079 - $52,943

2017 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro was new.


Performance: 8.7

Muscle car shoppers have plenty of options for their 2017 Chevrolet Camaro powertrain, from a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to a supercharged V8. Every engine can be paired with either a manual or automatic transmission. No matter which powertrain setup you choose, test drivers say you'll get a Camaro that can blow similarly powered rivals out of the water. The Camaro's handling is comfortable enough for street driving and firm enough for hot laps on the track.

  • "What's not to love? The 2017 Camaro ZL1 combines the amazingly powerful engine we already love in the Corvette Z06 with the Camaro's excellent chassis dynamics. With 0-60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, and the quarter mile flashing by in just 11.4 seconds at 127 mph, it's supercar performance for $62,000." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Hustling both the V-6 LT and the V-8 SS through Hell's angelic country roads proved a revelation. This is the most driver-focused Camaro ever. It fits you like a custom suit-no unnecessary sheetmetal weighing you down, your hands and feet moving easily over smartly placed controls, the car light and direct and quick as you flick the wheel and snap off the shifts." -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
  • "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 (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Chevy Camaro comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and has four different engine options to choose from. The standard engine in the base Camaro LT is a 275-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 295 pound-feet of torque. There is also the option to swap this four-cylinder for a 335-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 with 284 pound-feet of torque in LT models. The Camaro sips the least amount of fuel when the 2.0-liter engine is paired with the eight-speed automatic transmission. This setup is rated at 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which are better estimates than other muscle cars. With a six-speed manual transmission, this same engine is rated at 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway, while the 3.6-liter engine, six-speed manual transmission combo gets 16 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

Powering the Camaro SS is a 455-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 with 455 pound-feet of torque, mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional eight-speed automatic. Once again, fuel economy is best with the automatic transmission, at 17 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The fuel rating with the manual transmission steps down to 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway.

The all-new Camaro ZL1 also has a 6.2-liter V8 engine and standard six-speed manual transmission, with an added supercharger that boosts output to 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is available. From a dead stop, the ZL1 reaches 60 mph in a blistering 3.5 seconds. No official details on top speed are available, but professionals speculate that the ZL1 may be able to come close to the 200 mph mark. 

The Camaro's entire engine line-up earns approval from reviewers, starting with the base turbocharged engine, which delivers superb fuel economy with respectable acceleration. The V6 quickens off-the-line speed further, while the performance apex lies with the Camaro's intense V8 twins – the naturally aspirated Camaro SS and the supercharged Camaro ZL1. The manual transmission is crisp and invigorating, and the eight-speed automatic is also worthy of its muscle-car assignment, with fast, well-timed shifts.

  • "What makes this Camaro so good? For starters, the available powertrains offer a wide range of power and fuel economy. The standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offers an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway, but it still puts down 275 hp, certainly enough to take it out of fuel-sipper territory. The available V6 is much more than a stopgap on the way to the V8. It, too, offers impressive power and all kinds of fun exhaust sounds. But as with any muscle car, most purists will stick to the V8, and with the Camaro that won't be a mistake. The boffo 6.2-liter engine that powers the Camaro SS is the same one that propels the Corvette. And in the Camaro, that means a 0-60-mph time of just 4.2 seconds, beating both the Mustang and the Challenger, its chief rivals." -- Edmunds
  • "Whether you choose the 4-cylinder turbo, V6, V8, coupe or convertible, the 2017 Chevy Camaro gives the Ford Mustang night sweats." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The optional eight-speed automatic is nearly as flawless, its only demerit being that it isn't the standard six-speed manual. This isn't the ultraquick-shifting 8L90 unit deployed in the Corvette and the Camaro SS, but rather the Hydra-Matic 8L45-again, lifted from Cadillac-but its gearchanges are nonetheless well timed and firm. The programming is excellent, and the shift protocol changes depending on which drive mode is selected." -- Car and Driver (2016)

Handling and Braking

As a proper American muscle car, the 2017 Camaro is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive car. All but the LT model come standard with Brembo performance brakes. Magnetic Ride Control is available in all SS models – this recommended performance-enhancer adjusts the suspension in milliseconds, responding quickly to turns and bumps for an overall smooth ride.

Compared to the previous Camaro generation (which includes 2010 to 2015 model years), the new Camaro weighs less and is more agile. Reviewers praise the quiet ride, strong brakes, and responsive steering, noting that the 2017 Camaro is a fun-to-drive, confidence-inspiring pony car.

  • "The Camaro's light weight is particularly beneficial toward handling, too, as the Camaro is much more than a straight-line burnout machine. It changes direction quickly, moving swiftly from corner to corner, behaving much more like a sports car than a classic muscle car. If you've got the extra cash, we absolutely recommend the Camaro's adjustable suspension. You'll like how it softens harsh impacts on bumpy roads and increases corner stability, simultaneously making the Camaro a more lively and livable car." -- Edmunds
  • "Many of the curvy roads in mid-Michigan are also wavy, giving each corner a chance to bound and rebound independently. Even on the gas, at least with the wheels pointed straight, everything feels stuck to the road. Compared to the old Camaro, gen six seems light and fleet of foot. Steering is quicker, more responsive." -- Autoweek (2016)
  • "The ride was surprisingly quiet and smooth, though you could still blast the active exhaust to create a louder ride." -- Motor Trend (2016)

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