Except for a near-decade-long hiatus in the early 2000s, there's been a Chevy Camaro around in some shape or form since the '60s as the General's Ford Mustang rival. Today's Camaro stays true to the original pony-car recipe of a compact two-door body, rear-wheel drive, and a punchy engine up front, all at an affordable price. Starting at around $27k in coupe form and $33k for the convertible, the value proposition is as strong as ever. Even for that reasonable outlay, you get a 275-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but if you're of the belief that a Camaro must pack a V8, the available 455-hp 6.2-liter will be just the ticket. In between, a 335-hp V6 offers a great compromise for the undecided. The current generation is being discontinued after next year, so this might be your last chance to get an old-style combustion-powered Camaro, as the next one will likely feature some sort of electrification. The Dodge Challenger is a similarly old-school homegrown coupe rival, but except for the Mustang, the Camaro is decidedly short on convertible pony-car rivals. With a new generation of Mustang just arriving, does the old Camaro still have what it takes?
The 2023 Camaro Coupe and Convertible continue mostly unchanged, except for the addition of two new metallic paint colors - the no-cost Sharkfin and the extra-cost Radiant Red - and new 20-inch alloy-wheel designs for the RS and Design packages, as well as a new 20-inch option for the LT1 trim.
For the 2023 model year, the price of a new Chevrolet Camaro starts at $26,400 for the base 1LS Coupe. This is followed by the 1LT at $26,900, the 2LT at $28,900, and the 3LT at $32,900. Stepping up the LT1 will cost $36,400, while the 1SS goes for $39,900 and the 2SS for $44,900. These prices are for the coupe with the 2.0-liter engine and six-speed manual gearbox in the case of the first four models and with the 6.2-liter V8 in the upper three. Swapping the 2.0-liter's six-speed manual gearbox with the eight-speed auto will cost you $1,495, and opting for the 3.6-liter V6 on those trims will cost you $1,595.
The convertible lineup starts with the 1LT Convertible with the 2.0-liter engine and manual gearbox at $32,900 - a $6,000 price premium for the convertible body style that applies to all the other trims as well, along with the exact same surcharges for all the convertibles' engine and transmission choices. These prices are MSRP and don't include the $1,395 destination fee in the USA.
There's a Camaro for every taste, with a raft of engine and transmission options and two body styles. You'll already know whether you're a coupe or convertible buyer, but we should add that the hardcore V8 LT1 and SS trims are more suited to the stiffer coupe body if you're going to make full use of the performance potential and want maximum handling precision. That being said, for normal driving, the drop-top immeasurably adds to the pleasure of V8 ownership by making the soundtrack that much crisper and clearer with the top down. The four-cylinder cars are unexpectedly swift and handle sweetly - and are ideal if you just want the Camaro form factor and good fuel economy - but the four-pot doesn't really suit the Camaro vibe. That will leave the 3LT V6 with the ten-speed auto in either body as the best compromise for many buyers, thanks to its high equipment level, creamy V6, and strong performance.
The Camaro's interior is aging, but still looks sporty, though the materials aren't plush. The basic features are there, but the 1LS trim is sparse, with the higher trims offering bigger driver displays and more upscale materials.
Once inside the Camaro, its muscle-car values become evident, and the cabin is functional but not built to the standard or of the same upscale materials as European drop-tops like the Audi TT. The dashboard's design fits the sporty image, though, with round vents and lots of satin-silver trim, while upper trims get leather upholstery. In-cabin tech does not impress much, with a small touchscreen and conventional analog instruments, but higher trims get a larger driver-information display and touchscreen. The bucket seats are comfortable and hold the occupants well, while the controls are straightforward and easy to use; there's plenty of space up front, and the standard bucket seats can be replaced with Recaro performance seats.
It's difficult to see out the back when parking, so you'll have to rely on the backup camera, as only the top trims get rear parking sensors and a camera-based digital rearview mirror. A surround-view monitor isn't available at all.
Interior space for the front-seat passengers will draw no complaints, with all the measurements comparing favorably to those of rivals. The second row is a different story, with a severe lack of space and so little head- and legroom that it's more suitable for children. Of course, with the top down, there's much more headroom in the convertible, but the rear remains an area best reserved for cargo.
In this class, the Challenger, with its lengthy 116-inch wheelbase, is way ahead on rear-seat space, although the Ford Mustang is in the same boat as the Camaro in terms of spaciousness.
Similarly to its back seat, the Camaro finishes a distant third in a three-horse race in terms of its trunk space. The Coupe's trunk volume is just 9.1 cu-ft, compared to the new Mustang's 13.3 cu-ft and the Challenger's enormous 16.2 cu-ft. Due to its roof mechanism robbing space, the Convertible fares even worse, with just 7.3 cu-ft, while the trunk opening through which you have to wrestle your luggage is almost comically small. Trunk volume can be expanded by folding down the one-piece rear bench, but Chevy does not supply a number for the maximum available cargo space.
A removable cargo net mounted against the side of the cargo area to hold smaller items is optionally available for $75. Cabin storage is similarly limited, with a glove compartment of average size, narrow door pockets, a small center-console storage bin, and two front cupholders.
|Chevrolet Camaro Coupe||Chevrolet Camaro Convertible||Ford Mustang coupe||Ford Mustang Convertible|
|38.5 in. front|
33.5 in. rear
|38.5 in. front|
33.4 in. rear
|37.6 in. front|
34.8 in. rear
|37.6 in. front |
35.7 in. rear
|43.9 in. front|
29.9 in. rear
|43.9 in. front|
29.9 in. rear
|45.1 in. front|
29 in. rear
|45.1 in. front |
29.2 in. rear
|9.1 ft³||7.3 ft³||13.5 ft³||11.4 ft³|
There are just two available interior colors for base trims, and they are Jet Black and Medium Ash Gray. Upholstery is cloth on all trims with a 1 in the name, but the 2LT, 3LT, and 2SS get perforated leather with heating and ventilation in either of the same two base colors, or in Adrenaline Red or Ceramic White.
From the 1LT up, the standard leather-trimmed steering wheel can be upgraded to one trimmed in microfiber faux suede for $295, while the standard black seatbelts can be had in red for $195. Enhancements such as a suede gear knob and boot ($195), an embroidered center-console lid ($255), knee pads in different finishes ($365), a carbon-fiber-style shift-knob cap ($100), and door accents in different colors ($395) are all on the options menu, as are three different interior ambient lighting themes ($1,270 each). These options apply to trims that don't already have some of these features.
With a budget-friendly starting price, the standard equipment in the base model is expectedly quite sparse. You have to make do with cloth upholstery, and the front seats are not heated, but the driver's is eight-way electrically adjustable. Furthermore, you get single-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and start, cruise control, and power accessories, but little else. The 1LT adds a power passenger seat, and the higher trim levels add niceties like leather upholstery, climate-controlled front seats, an eight-inch driver-information display, and dual-zone climate control. Available options include remote start and a power sunroof (coupe only).
The infotainment system is fairly basic and has a small seven-inch touchscreen, but this increases in size to eight inches on the higher trims. At the base level, you get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth audio streaming for two active devices, voice commands, and a six-speaker audio system, while the 1LT adds SiriusXM. Only the 3LT and 2SS get a cloud-connected infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen, in-vehicle apps, and a Bose audio system with either nine speakers (coupe) or seven (convertible). On the 1LT, 2LT, and 1SS trims, the seven-inch base touchscreen can be upgraded to the top trims' eight-inch item, but without the Bose audio.
|Seven-inch infotainment screen|
|Power driver's seat|
|Dual-zone climate control|
|Cloud-connected 8" touchscreen|
|Bose premium audio system|
The engine lineup ranges from a swift and economical 2.0L turbo to a 455-hp V8, with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. Handling is agile and there is always enough power and performance on tap, regardless of the powertrain.
There's nothing wrong with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the Chevrolet Camaro coupe and convertible's base models, except that the somewhat industrial din it generates is rather unsporting and doesn't fit the sports-car image. If you don't mind the uninspiring sound effects, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the sprightly performance provided, thanks to 275 hp and a stout 295 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to get you to 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds. The 3.6-liter V6 engine develops a useful 335 hp, but its 284 lb-ft of torque is actually less than that of the boosted four-pot, and it gets to 60 only around half a second quicker. It does sound far more cultured doing so, though, and having to rev it to get into the meat of the powerband is no hardship.
But the magic comes with the muscle-car-appropriate 455-hp 6.2-liter V8 engine in the LT1 and SS trims. The 0-60 sprint of every Chevrolet Camaro coupe and convertible trim fitted with this engine is in the low-four-second region, and it gives the car the teeth its dynamic looks and excellent chassis deserve. Every trim gives you the option to row the gears yourself via a six-speed manual gearbox, but the four-cylinder cars can be had with an eight-speed automatic transmission as well. On the V6s and V8s, the optional auto is a quick-shifting ten-speeder. Rear-wheel drive is the only available drivetrain configuration; among its domestic rivals, only the Challenger offers all-wheel drive. Top speed varies from 148 mph for the four-pot and 155 mph for the V6 to 165 mph for the V8 if you can find a long enough track to test the limits legally.
The solid hardware and potent engines find a willing dance partner in GM's excellent Alpha platform that also underpins other driver's cars such as the Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing. Despite curb weights approaching 4,000 pounds at the top of the lineup, the Camaro feels as surefooted and deft-handling as something far lighter. It helps that the steering is quick and sharp - even more so on the light-nosed four-cylinders - and the suspension treads a fine line between firmness and compliance, offering just enough of the latter to keep the pace up on bumpy backroads without threatening to compress your spine. It gets rather firm on the larger wheel options but stops just short of crashiness - and suits the car's character to a tee. It can be steered on the throttle to a remarkable degree and remains progressive as long as you aren't clumsy with your inputs; after all, with the V8's 455 hp on tap, breaking away the rear tires is always just a flex of the toe away. The whole package is rounded off with strong and progressive brakes, especially the Brembo items on the higher trims.
The last thing buyers in this market segment are thinking about is gas mileage, but the Chevrolet Camaro coupe and convertible's mpg figures are remarkably good in base four-cylinder format, with EPA-estimated figures of 22/30/25 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles for the eight-speed automatic Camaros with the 2.0-liter engine. That combined figure edges out the thriftiest 2023 Mustangs and Challengers by 1-2 mpg. The six-speed manual 2.0-liters return 19/28/22 mpg. The V6 manages 16/26/20 mpg with the manual gearbox and 18/29/22 mpg with the ten-speed auto, with the corresponding figures for the V8s being 16/24/19 mpg and 16/26/20 mpg, respectively. With a 19-gallon fuel capacity, the range on a full tank on the combined cycle varies from a minimum of 361 to a maximum of 475 miles.
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
|3.6L V6 Gas RWD||6.2L V8 Gas |
|275 hp||335 hp||455 hp|
|148 mph||155 mph||165 mph|
|22 / 30 / 25 mpg - Automatic|
19 / 28 / 22 mpg - Manual
|18 / 29 / 22 mpg - Automatic|
16 / 26 / 20 mpg - Manual
|16 / 26 / 20 mpg - Automatic |
16 / 2 4 / 19 mpg - Manual
|5.5 seconds||5.1 seconds||4.3 seconds|
Basic driver assists are nearly non-existent, and they're not even available on the lower trims. A basic suite is fitted to the top trims, but some features such as adaptive cruise control aren't available at all.
In the NHTSA's safety review of the Chevrolet Camaro, the coupe was tested and not the convertible, and despite its age, the car received a five-star overall rating, though the frontal crash was only worth four stars. The IIHS awarded the 2023 coupe their top 'Good' rating for all the crash tests except the roof-strength test, which received an 'Adequate' score.
Standard safety features are lacking, and although every Camaro comes with a brace of airbags, ABS, stability control, tire-pressure monitoring, and a backup camera, only cruise control is otherwise fitted. What you see is what you get, so if you want more driver assists, you need to buy the appropriate trim with them fitted, as they aren't available on the base trims. Only the 3LT and 2SS get a head-up display, rear parking sensors, forward-collision alert, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a camera-based digital rearview mirror, and lane-change alert.
|Automatic LED headlights|
|Adaptive cruise control|
|Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert|
The reliability of the Chevrolet Camaro coupe and convertible is a high point, with an excellent JD Power score of 84 out of 100 for Quality & Reliability evaluations. There have been no recalls of any 2022 or 2023 Camaros so far either. The last time the Camaro was recalled was in 2021, for a separating steering emblem that may become a flying hazard when the airbag deploys, a missing axle-shaft retaining ring that may lead to a loss of drive power, and incorrect bolts used for the seatbelt attachments.
The 2023 Chevrolet Camaro's warranty is only average, with the basic warranty's coverage extending for only three years/36,000 miles. The powertrain warranty is valid for a longer five years/60,000 miles. One complimentary scheduled maintenance visit is included.
The latest Camaro looks squat, purposeful, and aggressive, with none of the controversial frontal styling that had fans up in arms in the past. There's a black mesh grille intersected by a body-color bumper bar, thin strip DRLs, and LED headlights, with muscular haunches leading to a high rear deck with oval taillights that are dark-tinted on top trims. The base cars' 18-inch wheels look a little small, but the V8s get larger 20-inch hoops. There's a variety of 20-inch options available on all the lower trims save the base 1LS. Even the four-cylinders have dual round exhausts. A huge variety of exterior enhancements are optionally available, and just a few of these are stripes, graphics, decals, badging in various styles and colors, dark-tinted taillights, various styles of fuel-filler doors, lower grille inserts in contrasting colors, an illuminated grille badge, a variety of spoilers and splitters, a power sunroof, and a host of different styling and black-out packages to customize your Camaro.
We applaud the Camaro for still just sticking around in a quickly diminishing market segment. It's a close-run thing against the 2023 Mustang, making for a difficult choice. It's close enough that you can follow you're gut and you'd be happy, but both cars are now old, with relatively small infotainment screens, though the Ford is way more practical with its much larger trunk - and definitely the choice for two-up touring with luggage. Next year will be a totally different story, with the tech-forward revamp of the Mustang setting the cat among the aging Camaro and Challenger pigeons. For now, the Camaro continues to charm and delight with its sweet handling and great engines, but the clock is ticking.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe: