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2021 Chevrolet Camaro Performance

#4 out of 8 in Sports Cars

U.S. News Best Price Program

2021 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Review


Performance: 8.7

The 2021 Chevrolet Camaro has an adequate base engine, but its trio of optional power plants delivers much better acceleration. The Camaro also handles with enthusiasm.

  • "There's nothing quite like hearing the thrilling timbre of a throbbing exhaust note or feeling the gratifying feedback from a superbly tuned steering system while flying down a twisty road. Few affordable cars offer both these satisfying sensations, but the Chevy Camaro is one of them. It's not focused solely on being loud and going fast, however—even though it does both of those tasks very well." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you haven’t driven a Chevy Camaro in a while you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Gone are the days when this was just a straight-line sled. … The latest version of the Chevy muscle car feels lighter on its feet." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The roar of the engine is one of this car’s great selling points and does its part to make the drive more exciting. However, don’t tell anyone that some of the aural treats are accomplished by sound resonators that pipe the effects into the cabin." -- Autotrader

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engines:
    • 3.6-liter V6 with 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque
    • 6.2-liter V8 with 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque
    • supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard six-speed manual; available eight-speed automatic; available 10-speed automatic (with V6 and V8 engines)

Reviews of the base powertrain are mixed, with some critics saying that it delivers impressive acceleration and others noting that it's unrefined and underwhelming. Any of the Camaro's optional engines are more powerful and deliver better performance.

  • "Most gratifying is the punch you get whenever you nail the gas pedal. At 275 horsepower, even the base turbocharged 4-cylinder version matches the output of a V8 Camaro from a few generations back. … And if you really want to feel yourself thrust into the back of your seat, you’ll be well advised to consider the blindingly-fast ZL1 with its supercharged version of that V8 punching the horsepower up to 650." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "We tested the V8-powered Camaro SS. Acceleration is blistering, just as you’d expect from an engine that would normally be at home in the Chevrolet Corvette sports car. The 10-speed automatic transmission seamlessly seeks the next gear with smooth, almost imperceptible shifts. … We also spent some time in the base 1LT with the turbocharged 4-cylinder and 1LE Track package and came away quite impressed." -- Autotrader
  • "The base 275-hp four-cylinder isn't slow … but uneven throttle responses and unpleasant, unsporting sounds accompanied its dull demeanor. On the other hand, upgrading to the 335-hp V-6 completely changes the car's character. … The Camaro LT1 and SS feature Chevy's iconic small-block V-8, with 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque. Its tremendous low-end torque, linear power delivery, and chest-compressing acceleration are enhanced by the optional dual-mode exhaust." -- Car and Driver


MPG Estimates

The Camaro gets about average fuel economy compared to other muscle cars in the class.

  • Four-cylinder, automatic: 22/31 mpg city/highway
  • Four-cylinder, manual: 20/30 mpg
  • V6, automatic: 19/29 mpg
  • V6, manual: 16/26 mpg
  • V8, automatic: 16/27 mpg
  • V8, manual: 16/24 mpg
  • Supercharged V8, automatic: 13/21 mpg
  • Supercharged V8, manual: 14/20 mpg

Handling and Braking

The rear-wheel-drive Chevrolet Camaro has responsive steering, agile handling, and strong brakes. It feels larger and heavier than some smaller sports car rivals, but it still delivers athleticism. Ride quality balances comfort with the stiffness required for a sporty drive.

  • "Touring mode offers a surprisingly relaxed ride. … Switching over to Sport mode firms the steering and suspension and allows the transmission to hold gears longer." -- Autotrader
  • "The Camaro is still a big car, and it feels even bigger on narrow, winding roads. It came more into its own with the wider berth of the track tarmac. The Camaro’s mass also gave it better comfort compared to a smaller and more nimble coupe like the Toyota 86." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Its solid structure engenders precise handling and a quality feel. Its well-balanced ride is firm enough to be agile on curvy roads yet still compliant on rough surfaces. … Electrically assisted power-steering systems have reasonable efforts and highly accurate responses. The hot Chevy completes the performance trifecta with excellent brakes; the brake pedal consistently provides progressive and assuring responses." -- Car and Driver
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2021 Chevrolet Camaro

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