The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is an all-new Generation 6 design, slightly smaller and lighter than the previous version, improving both maneuverability and handling. It’s available in coupe and convertible body styles. A 4-cylinder turbo is the base engine, but V6 and V8 powerplants continue to give the Camaro the muscle car feel coveted by many buyers.
The 2016 model gets updated with the latest infotainment and safety gear. A new driver mode selector adds Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport. On SS models, there are Track settings for powertrain, chassis and other parameters.
What We Like
Lighter weight; improved handling; selectable driver modes; optional Magnetic Ride shock absorbers; V8 performance; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity; standard backup camera
What We Don’t
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
The base engine on 2016 LT models is the Camaro’s first-ever turbocharged 4-cylinder. The dual overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 2.0-liter turbo-4 produces 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. An active noise cancellation system uses the car’s speakers to reduce the unpleasant low-frequency rumble when the car is cruising at low engine speeds. When equipped with the optional Bose sound system, 4-cylinder cars have a sound enhancement system that pipes sonorous, more robust frequencies into the cabin during acceleration. The 2.0-liter turbo-4 is Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated at 21 miles per gallon city/29 mpg highway with the standard 6-speed manual transmission and 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy with the optional 8-speed automatic. Premium unleaded is recommended.
Optional on the LT is an all-aluminum 3.6-liter dual-overhead-camshaft V6 with direct injection and the Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation system. Output rises this year to 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque. It has an EPA rating of 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with the standard 6-speed manual transmission and 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with the optional 8-speed automatic. The AFM system can idle two of the six cylinders under low load conditions such as highway cruising to improve fuel economy. The 3.6-liter V6 burns regular unleaded gasoline.
Standard in the Camaro SS is an LT1 aluminum-block 6.2-liter overhead-valve small-block Chevy V8. For 2016, output increases to 455 hp and torque is boosted to 455 lb-ft. The engine is EPA-rated at 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy with the standard 6-speed manual transmission. SS versions equipped with the new 8-speed automatic transmission get a 17 mpg city/28 mpg hwy rating. Active Fuel Management, a cylinder-deactivation system that idles 4-cylinders under low-load conditions, improves highway fuel economy. Premium fuel is recommended but not required.
Both the 3.6-liter V6 and 6.2-liter V8 are equipped with mechanical sound enhancers that pipe midrange induction sounds into the cabin under acceleration. Both V6 and V8 are also available with an optional dual-mode exhaust that delivers a subdued exhaust note when cruising and a more-robust, less-muffled sound under acceleration.
Standard Features & Options
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is available in LT and SS trim.
Typical LT equipment includes automatic air conditioning, a backup camera, power front seats, cloth upholstery, folding rear seats, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-telescopic steering wheel and shifter, remote keyless entry, OnStar, a 6-speaker Chevrolet MyLink AM/FM stereo with a 7-in touchscreen, steering-wheel controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, 18-in alloy wheels, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, a limited-slip differential and power doors, windows and mirrors. Convertibles feature a power-operated soft-top and a glass back window with a defogger.
LT options include heated and ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, an 8-in touchscreen with voice-activated navigation, remote starting, 24-color interior ambient lighting, a garage-door opener, dual-zone air-conditioning, 9-speaker Bose premium audio, a tilt-and-slide sunroof, 20-in alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, rear park assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
Upgrading to SS adds the 6.2-liter V8, standard Brembo brakes, HID projector-beam headlamps, LED running lamps and taillamps, performance suspension, adjustable traction- and stability-control settings, a unique hood and 20-in alloy wheels. Recaro seats are optional, as is a color head-up display, Magnetic Ride Control shock absorbers and options available for the LT model.
The available RS package adds a unique grille, a rear spoiler, 20-in alloy wheels, unique paint, HID headlamps with LED running lamps and LED taillights.
Camaros are usually front-row items in used-car lots, especially during cruising season. Gearheads may prefer a manual transmission, but most of the higher-priced cars you’ll see are well-optioned automatics. Generally, Camaros don’t see a lot of long-distance driving, so odometer readings are lower.
To get an idea of the 2016 Camaro’s price range, investigate the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see which models are for sale in your area.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recall for the 2016 Camaro:
The radio may fail to give an audible warning when a door is opened with the key in the ignition or if the driver fails to fasten the safety belt.
Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
NHTSA did not rate the crash performance of the 2016 Camaro.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Camaro coupe Good ratings for small- and moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts, head restraints and seats but only an Acceptable rating for roof strength. It did not evaluate the 2016 Camaro convertible.
General Motors covered the 2016 Camaro with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.
Chevrolet certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be five years old or newer. Every CPO Camaro undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus whatever remains on the transferable, original 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Ford Mustang — Available in coupe or convertible, Mustang adds the Sync3 multimedia system for 2016. Engine choices include a 310-hp 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo, 300-hp 3.7-liter V6 and a 420-hp 5.0-liter V8. Shelby versions are also available.
2016 Dodge Challenger — The Challenger coupe offers much more rear seat and trunk space than the Camaro, but drives bigger and heavier. Power choices include a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6, a 375-hp 5.7-liter HEMI V8, a 485-hp 6.4-liter HEMI V8 and a supercharged 707-hp Hellcat HEMI V8.
The 4-cylinder turbo-powered Gen 6 Camaro LT is a good car, but lacks the pizzazz of V6 or V8 models. For everyday use, consider an LT coupe with the 3.6-liter V6. The V6 gets decent gas mileage, has plenty of power, is easier to insure and has better-balanced handling and more precise steering than the V8. However, if this is a long-term investment, a convertible or the V8-powered SS are better choices. The V8 cars will always be in demand due to their unique heritage. Go for a Chevrolet certified pre-owned car when available, and check with your dealer to make sure all applicable recalls have been performed on the Camaro you’re considering.