2019 Chevrolet Camaro

Performance


#4 out of 8 in Sports Cars

$25,000 MSRP
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2019 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.9

The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro delivers the goods when it comes to performance. Whether you stick with the base four-cylinder engine or opt for one of the V6 or V8 options, you'll get plenty of power and energetic acceleration. This Chevy muscle car also has the handling to match; it's agile and stable, making it easy for you to carve up winding roads. Fuel economy is decent, and the ride is smooth.

  • "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 (2018)
  • "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

For buyers that want plenty of engine options, the Camaro is the gift that keeps on giving. It comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. While you may scoff at a muscle car with a four-banger, this engine delivers quick acceleration and plenty of power.

Next up is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque. It delivers better acceleration than the base engine and feels stronger on the highway. Both engines come with a standard six-speed manual transmission, and an eight-speed automatic is available.

If those choices aren't enough, there are two V8 options in the lineup. The Camaro SS features a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. The Camaro ZL1 features a supercharged version of the same engine, and it produces 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are offered with a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic. The V8s deliver breathtaking power, and putting the hammer down throws you back in your seat as the car rockets forward. Chevy claims the ZL1 will go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

The Camaro gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with its base engine. Those are decent ratings for a sports car, but note that the Camaro requires premium gasoline with this engine. A V6-equipped Camaro, which takes regular gasoline, gets 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The two V8s require premium gasoline and get the worst ratings of any engine in the lineup, with the supercharged V8 bringing up the rear at 13/21 mpg city/highway.

  • "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 (2018)
  • "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." -- 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 its gearchanges are nonetheless well timed and firm." -- Car and Driver (2016)

Handling and Braking

The Camaro has superb handling. It feels planted and stable around turns, and you can take corners at speed without much body lean. It also rides smoothly, absorbing most road imperfections with ease. Simply put, this car is fun to drive.

Rear-wheel drive comes standard. Brembo brakes are available, and they provide more stopping power. You can also get Magnetic Ride Control in higher trims, which adjusts the suspension automatically to better handle road imperfections. All but the base trim are available with a 1LE performance package, which adds features that enhance the vehicle's handling abilities, such as stronger brakes and upgraded suspension components.

  • "The latest version of the Chevy muscle car is smaller, lighter and delivers handling more in line with what you might expect out of a European sports coupe." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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)
  • "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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