New Car Review
2015 Chevrolet Camaro: New Car Review
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro continues the latest Camaro's role as the modern interpretation of the iconic 1960s muscle car. Few other vehicles effectively blend 21st-century engineering with the power and bravado of the muscle cars that dominated America some 40 years ago. Available in coupe and convertible styles, the 2015 Camaro recalls the time of the big engine in a relatively tidy package. But now it does so with a new approach that's more aligned with modern times.
For those interested in big off-the-line acceleration and burnout potential combined with sharp handling skills and respectable fuel economy, the 2016 Camaro delivers it all. It almost sounds too good to be true. Sure, the Camaro has its shortfalls, but overall, it's a dream car for enthusiasts young and old.
The greatest achievement of the current Camaro might be its exterior look. The Camaro is a masterpiece that balances 1960s brawn with the sexy lines of today's great sports cars. Both coupe and convertible will likely be turning heads for years to come.
Together, the Camaro, Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger make up the holy trinity of America's recent muscle car resurgence. Each has its highs and lows. The right one for you might come down to your personal needs and tastes.
What's New for 2015?
After several updates for 2014, including a new Z/28 model and revised styling, the Camaro is largely unchanged for 2015. The only revisions include some paint color updates and standard illumination in the car's footwells.
What We Like
Powerful engines; impressive handling and maneuverability; gorgeous design; good overall performance value; efficient V6
What We Don't
Hard interior plastics; tight rear seat; poor rear visibility
The 2015 Camaro is offered with a litany of engine choices. Base-level Camaro LS and LT models use a 323-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that returns 17 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with a standard 6-speed manual, or 19 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with an optional 6-speed automatic.
Drivers who step up to the Camaro SS get a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 400 hp in automatic guise or 426 horses with a stick shift. Manual Camaro SS models return 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy, while the automatic can reach 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.
The Camaro also offers two performance models: the ZL1 and the new Z/28. The ZL1's 580-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is offered with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic; it returns 14 mpg city/19 mpg hwy with the manual, or 12 mpg city/18 mpg hwy with the automatic. The Z/28 uses a monstrous 500-hp 7.0-liter V8 mated solely to a 6-speed manual; it's rated at 13 mpg city/19 mpg hwy.
Options and Standard Features
The Camaro is available with five trim levels: LS, LT, SS, Z/28 and ZL1.
The Camaro LS ($24,500) is only offered as a coupe. In addition to the 323-hp V6, standard equipment includes 18-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, OnStar, Bluetooth, and air conditioning -- in other words, just the basics.
Drivers have to step up to the Camaro LT ($26,800 for a coupe; $32,000 for a convertible) for a few more luxury features. While the LT still includes the V6, it boasts goodies like 18-in alloy wheels, GM's MyLink infotainment system and dual power front seats. An upgraded Camaro 2LT adds 19-in alloy wheels, a rearview camera, heated leather seats and rear park assist.
Above the LS and 1LT is the V8-powered Camaro SS ($34,400 for a coupe; $40,400 for a convertible). In addition to its 6.2-liter V8, the SS adds 20-in alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. The Camaro 2SS combines the SS's 6.2-liter V8 with the 2LT's luxury equipment.
Topping the Camaro range are the Z/28 and ZL1 models. The ZL1 starts around $56,300 for a coupe or $61,500 for the convertible; the track-focused Z/28 is $73,300 with shipping. While the Z/28 is coupe-only and only comes with a manual transmission, the ZL1 offers automatic or manual transmissions and coupe or convertible body styles. Both include a long list of performance upgrades, such as a magnetic suspension, enhanced brakes, unique wheels and recalibrated steering.
The Camaro's biggest option is an available RS package, which is offered on LT and SS models. It includes 20-in wheels and xenon headlights. A power sunroof is optional on all models except the LS.
The 2015 Chevrolet Camaro is equipped with front and rear head airbags and dual front side-mounted airbags. It also offers OnStar, a communication system that alerts emergency services in the event of an accident. To keep the Camaro on its intended path, it comes armed with an anti-lock braking system and stability control.
The Camaro aced government crash tests carried out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, earning a perfect five-star overall score -- a rating comprising five-star scores in frontal, side and rollover assessments.
Behind the Wheel
Both V6- and V8-powered Camaro models are true muscle cars. They offer sublime off-the-line acceleration and huge power at the top end of the rev band. The supercharged, 580-hp ZL1 is the fastest and most powerful Camaro ever. It brings near-supercar performance to the muscle car category.
What makes even the base Camaro especially impressive is its ability to corner and handle like a smaller car. It belies its size by remaining extremely well composed in high-speed turns. It also displays gobs of grip, thanks to its large 18-in (or 19-in, or 20-in) wheels.
Although ride comfort isn't plush, it is adequately comfortable for the daily commute. The only real issue with the Camaro's road manners is the low visibility factor. This becomes an even larger issue when maneuvering in tight spots like parking lots.
Other Cars to Consider
Ford Mustang -- The Mustang is comparable to the Camaro in terms of power and performance, and there's a new one just around the corner to liven things up even more. Both cars have huge followings, and it seems you're either a Mustang fan or a Camaro fan for life.
Dodge Challenger -- Thanks to its larger size, the Challenger is perhaps the purest of the three in terms of touting its muscle-car heritage. It also offers a larger cabin and better interior materials.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe -- If you aren't dead-set on a retro-styled American muscle car, consider the Genesis Coupe. It offers powerful engines, rear-wheel drive and surprisingly good handing.
We highly recommend the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro V6 over its SS counterpart for a variety reasons. First off, it offers more than enough muscle for most buyers. Secondly, the V6 is a near-perfect match for its chassis. The SS can overpower its ability to handle crisply. The V6 is also more fuel efficient and affordable, making it one of the best performance values out there.
We also think that buyers should enhance their Camaro V6 with 2LT trim. It brings standard MyLink, the essential backup camera and 19-in wheels. The 2LT trim level also makes available navigation and a sunroof.