2018 Chevrolet Camaro

Performance


$25,905 MSRP
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2018 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.8

The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro offers turbo-four, V6, and V8 powertrains, all of which move this sports car with gusto. It also provides agile handling, so you can look forward to winding stretches of road. Despite its athleticism, the Camaro is also fuel-efficient (with the smaller engines), and it rides smoothly.

  • "Now in its sixth generation, the 2018 Chevy Camaro is much smaller, lighter and more refined than its predecessor. It still delivers a visceral driving experience that will satisfy any enthusiast, but it doesn't beat you or sacrifice comfort for performance like some Camaros of the past." -- 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." -- Car and Driver (2016)

Acceleration and Power

We know you’re probably in a hurry to read about trunk space and driver assistance features, but we’re at least going to touch on the Chevy Camaro’s engines.

A turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes standard, and it puts out 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It’s the smallest engine in the lineup, but it still delivers quick acceleration. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an eight-speed automatic is available.

Next up is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. The V6 feels stronger than the turbo-four at high speeds, and it's quicker off the line. If this still isn’t enough for you, then you’ll want one of the high-performance models.

The Camaro SS features a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is available. This V8 delivers a satisfying engine note and throws you back into the seat when you stomp the gas pedal. But this isn't the biggest engine in the lineup.

That would be the 650-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 powering the Camaro ZL1. It also makes 650 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic is available with this engine, in addition to the manual. Words can’t do justice to the power and acceleration this engine puts out, but we will tell you that it goes from zero to 60 mpg in just 3.5 seconds.

With the base turbo-four, the Camaro gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those are better ratings than many other sports cars get, but note that with this engine, the Camaro requires premium gasoline. With the V6 (which takes regular gasoline), the Camaro gets 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The mpg ratings for the two V8s are too graphic to discuss in polite company (spoiler alert: they’re bad).

  • "The standard 275-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is strong enough to back up the Camaro's sexy styling, but the 335-horsepower V6 is quicker off the line and offers a more satisfying driving experience. Step up to the V8-powered SS if you can. Its 455-horsepower 6.2-liter engine is shared with the Corvette and delivers serious performance when you want it. And its V8 rumble is intoxicating. With 650 horsepower the supercharged V8 in the Camaro ZL1 will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand tall. Although we prefer the 6-speed manual, the paddle-shift 8-speed automatic transmission is a winner." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2017)
  • "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

The rear-wheel-drive Camaro has the handling chops to let you take full advantage of its powerful engines. It’s incredibly agile, but it also rides smoothly. The sharp steering and sturdy brakes are perfect for winding roads. Brembo brakes are available if you want more stopping power. You can also get Magnetic Ride Control in higher trims, which adjusts the suspension to better handle road imperfections. Simply put, this car is fun to drive.

  • "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 (2017)
  • "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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