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2018 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2018 Chevrolet Corvette: What's the Difference?

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author photo by Eric Brandt September 2018
  • The 2018 Chevrolet Corvette and 2018 Chevrolet Camaro are from the same brand, but serve different areas of the sports car segment.

  • The Camaro has four seats and the Corvette has two.

  • Both can be had with high-performance variants, but the Camaro has a much lower cost of entry.

The Camaro and the Corvette have been American icons from Chevrolet for more than 50 years. While they're both fun, aspirational cars from the same brand, there are a lot of differences between the two in terms of price, practicality and performance.

If you're in the market for an American performance car, there's a good chance the Camaro and the Corvette are both on your shopping list. Let's take a look at what's similar, what's different and which one is right for you.

Exterior

These two cars have pretty different aesthetics and it's largely because of their seating configurations. Since the Camaro has a back seat and the Corvette doesn't, they're designed differently, giving them different exterior dimensions. Both are available as either a coupe or a convertible.

Both cars have hints of heritage with quad-taillights and the overall shape of both cars, but they're also both distinctly modern. Chevy did a nice job making both cars look very modern with some retro inspiration.

As for the actual sizes, the Camaro is a bigger car than the Corvette. The Camaro is about 10 inches longer, four inches taller and about the same width as the Corvette. The Corvette is kind of big for a 2-seater, but it's still a relatively small sports car compared to the Camaro.

Interior

The biggest and most obvious difference between the interiors of the Camaro and the Corvette is the seating. The Camaro has four seats and the Corvette has two. While the Camaro does have a back seat, that doesn't mean it's a practical car. There are only two seats in the back, and they're very cramped -- even for children. They should only be used in a pinch. However, a cramped back seat is better than no back seat at all when you need to haul more stuff or more people.

Other than that, the Corvette is a bit more luxurious than the Camaro, at least at the base level. The Camaro can be optioned to be quite luxurious matching the Corvette, but every Corvette has niceties like leather seats and Bose premium audio, which the Camaro doesn't have in the lower trims.

Something that both cars have in common is a very driver-focused cockpit, making them both true enthusiast cars. From the driver's seat of both the Camaro and the Corvette, there's no question that you're behind the wheel of a performance car. The difference is that the Corvette is more of a high-end sports car on the inside, which is reflected by the price.

Mechanicals and Performance

The Camaro and the Corvette both have a variety of powertrain options, but they're different varieties. For the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro, it ranges from an efficient 4-cylinder to multiple high-performance V8 options. The base engine is a responsive turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The big advantage of this engine is efficiency by returning 31 miles per gallon highway and 22 mpg city. If you upgrade to the 3.6-liter V6, you'll be getting more horsepower, but less torque at 335 hp and 284 lb-ft. The V6 only takes a slight hit in fuel economy compared to the turbo-4 at 29 mpg hwy/19 mpg city.

Performance makes a big jump when you upgrade to the V8 engines available in the Camaro. In the Camaro SS, you get a 6.2-liter V8 making 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. For even stronger performance, you can upgrade to the ZL1 trim, which packs a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 under the hood, producing very impressive performance numbers of 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. The ZL1 gets a slew of other upgrades like Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control and performance-tuned suspension.

The Corvette's base engine is the same V8 that comes with the Camaro SS, but has slightly different numbers. In the Corvette, it makes 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, returning 25 mpg hwy/15 mpg city. Upgrading to the high-performance Z06 variant gives you the same supercharged V8 that's in the Camaro ZL1, making the same power and torque numbers. Fuel economy for the Corvette Z06 is 23 mpg hwy/ 13 mpg city.

If you're looking for a performance car that returns strong fuel economy but is still fun to drive, then a 4- or 6-cylinder Camaro might be what you're looking for. If V8 performance is a priority for you, then consider a Camaro SS or ZL1 or a Corvette.

Features and Technology

Features and technology for these two Chevrolets are similar, but it depends on how they're optioned. A base Corvette is comparable to a well-appointed Camaro SS, while a lower-end Camaro LS has things you can't get in a Corvette, like cloth seats and non-Bose audio.

The base infotainment system on the Camaro is the 7-inch MyLink system with Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. An 8-in unit with available navigation is available on the Camaro and standard on the Corvette. A few other nice features available in both cars include 4G LTE Wi-Fi, a performance data recorder and magnetic ride control.

Overall, the Corvette is a more premium car than the Camaro, but the Camaro can certainly be optioned to be a luxurious performance car.

Pricing

The Camaro is much more affordable than the Corvette, but the pricing becomes a bit more comparable when the two are similarly equipped. The Camaro starts at just $25,905, and the Corvette starts at $55,495. A V6 Camaro can still be had for less than $30,000 and you can even get a V8-powered Camaro SS under the $40,000 mark. The ZL1, however, will set you back at least $62,495.

Upgrading to the the sportier Corvette Grand Sport, which adds several aerodynamic pieces of the Z06, costs $65,495. For the supercharged Z06, you're looking at a price tag of at least $79,495. The Corvette isn't a cheap car, but it's an outstanding value for the performance and technology it gives you that's comparable to much more expensive rivals.

Conclusion

You've probably noticed that from engines to technology features, there's a lot that comes standard on the Corvette that's available on the Camaro. This positions the Camaro as a more budget-friendly car and the Corvette as a more premium offering.

Performance-wise, there's a little more variety with the Camaro. The V8 variants and all Corvettes are fantastic performers and a blast behind the wheel, but the smaller engines available in the Camaro are great for anyone who wants a fun sports coupe on a budget.

If you need a back seat, even just occasionally, the Camaro is a better option than the Corvette. However, if you're looking for pure fun in your sports car with better aerodynamics and more standard features and tech, the Corvette is the sports car for you.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2018 Chevrolet Corvette: What's the Difference? - Autotrader