Just a few years ago, in the depths of the recession, folks were lamenting the end of the muscle car. Yet in the intervening years, we've entered into another golden age, one where the competition is cutthroat and anything less than 500 horsepower is met with a yawn. This gladiatorial pony-car battleground has brought about the freshened-up 2019 Chevrolet Camaro, featuring tweaked sheetmetal and massaged performance. It's the latest salvo in the great muscle car wars, and, as usual, buyers are the clear victors.
USED 2019 Chevrolet Camaro FOR SALE NEAR ME
Carvana - Online Shipping
Carvana - Online Shipping
2019 Chevrolet Camaro Overview
What's New for 2019
An updated front fascia finally ditches the grill and headlight treatment that harked back to the Chevy Camaro's 2009 re-introduction. Each trim has its own distinct treatment up front, something that future Camaro collectors might want to make note of. Rear fascias with LED taillights are new as well and are the same across trims. Automatic transmissions for the SS models are now 10-speed affairs, and Chevy's more advanced Infotainment 3 software is now standard on most trim levels. New available options include a rear camera mirror and forward collision warning.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Camaro
Picking the Camaro that's right for you is a bit of a doozy, thanks to the veritable feast of available trim levels and engine options. It's not much of a stretch to say that few other vehicles offer the breadth of choice that the Camaro boasts.
Those wanting Camaro style but don't mind Cruze power will probably look towards the LS and LT trims, which come standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power output stands at 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which makes it the weakest player on the engine roster. However, EPA-estimated fuel economy figures of 22 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 combined for the automatic-equipped models is decidedly better than any V8 might muster. The standard issue gearbox is a six-speed manual, which returns mileage just slightly worse than the eight-speed automatic.
For 2019, Chevy has made their 1LE handling and suspension package available for 2.0-liter, manual-transmission LT models. Previously exclusive to the larger engines, the 1LE packs a punch by adding specific suspension tuning, firmer bushing and dampers, larger anti-sway bars, wider rear tires, big brakes, and a heavy-duty cooling system. All told, it's good for 0.97 g's of lateral grip. Translated, it means that 1LE Camaros will be sticking to the ground in corners with Corvette- and Porsche-like levels of grip.
Optional on 1LT and 2LT trims but standard on 3LT is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque. It's not quite as good on gas as the four-cylinder, but the linearity of the naturally aspirated six-cylinder means that the power comes on fast and quick, with zero-to-60 coming in a tick over five seconds for the automatic-equipped cars. The 3.6-liter can only be paired with an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual, and returns 19/29/22 mpg (city/highway/combined) with the automatic.
Of course, it's the eight-cylinder cars that everybody lusts for. The basic SS utilizes a 6.2-liter V8 that makes 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is again standard, and a 10-speed automatic usurps the previously-available eight-speed unit. The run to 60 mph gets done in either 4.0 seconds with the auto or 4.3 seconds with the manual.
As with the 2.0-liter, the 1LE treatment can be ordered up for the SS. Similar hardware upgrades as the four-cylinder - however, the SS cars also get General Motors' excellent magnetic ride control active dampers – bringing about grip levels of over 1 g.
The ZL1 sits at the top of the Camaro heap and also uses a 6.2-liter motor. Don't just think it's an uprated version of the SS engine, though – this mill is unique enough to merit its own internal designation (LT4). Unlike the LT1 6.2 found in the SS, the LT4 has beefed-up internals designed to cope with the stresses that come with having a 1.7-liter supercharger sitting kingly atop the motor. The supercharged track-ready engine pumps out 650 hp and 650 lb-ft, and will do zero-to-60 in just 3.5 seconds. Transmission choices are same as the SS – a standard six-speed manual or an available 10-speed automatic.
An RS appearance package is available on all non-V8 trims but the 1LS. Cosmetic upgrades include a lip spoiler, 20-inch wheels, LED headlights with light bar, darkened taillights, a specific grille, and a body-color fin antenna. A whole potpourri of other appearance packages are available on nearly every trim as well.
A convertible is also available. It's offered in all trims listed below except for the 1LS. It costs an additional $7,500 over a similarly-configured coupe.
It feels like there's an infinite amount of trims to choose from in the 2019 Chevy Camaro lineup, but we think that the best choice is the 3.0-liter V6 3LT. Yes, it's down on power compared to the V8 SS models, and can't hold a candle to the supercar-esque ZL1, but buyers will find the V6 faster than expected, an adept handler (especially with the black-magic 1LE package), and well equipped with convenience features. If you're lost in the maze of Camaro options and trims, we'd suggest honing in on the humble six found in 3LT trim.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro Review
Modern muscle. Few vehicles incite storms of passion and loyalty with the same ardent fervor as the muscle car. Generations of Americans have entrenched themselves in their camps of choice: Bowtie, Blue Oval, Ma Mopar. Each brand has won their respective fans by taking their own roundabout way to the same destination of big-horsepower performance.
The battles have been many, and the war remains unending. To that end, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro represents the brand's best efforts in trying to end the endless debate, once and for all, about who builds the best muscle car.
Wide envelope of performance. The Camaro is no stranger to the fact that muscle car cred is earned by what's under the hood. Engines with four, six, and eight cylinders are available, and horsepower ranges from 275 to 650. It's a lot of choice, and the good news is that there's no wrong answer here.
The four- and six-cylinder motors aren't consolation prizes for those who didn't want to splurge on the V8, as they were in the old days, but stand up firmly on their own merits. After all, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will do zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds while also returning an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 combined.
The 3.6-liter V6, meanwhile, makes 335 hp and will do zero to 60 in five seconds flat. To put this performance in perspective, these are numbers that would have been the exclusive territory of V8s 10 or 15 years ago.
Yet for all the gains of the humbler powertrains, the V8 remains the ultimate choice. The 455-horsepower version in the SS pulls relentlessly from any rpm and sounds like biblical fury is spewing from the quad-piped dual exhaust. If any engine in the Camaro lineup captures the spirit and the romance of the muscle car, it's this one.
The ZL1 is the ultimate Camaro. With a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, it conjures up 650 hp and 650 pound-feet of torque. The power is ferocious; its uppermost limits feel unapproachable by mere mortals. Despite this, from a numbers perspective the ZL1 might soon be bringing up the rear of the absurdly-powerful sport coupe segment, getting beaten out by the 717-horse Dodge Challenger Hellcat and the recently-announced Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 that's estimated to have 700-plus horsepower.
Visibility and interior. Since the Camaro first reentered the market in 2009, much has been written about its visibility issues. Unfortunately, since then, things have only gotten worse. We're not sure how they pulled it off, but it seems that the current generation managed to further reduce the total glass area. All the tropes about bunkers and gun slits continue to aptly describe the sensation of sitting in and looking out of the Camaro.
Though the visibility is lacking, the interior itself is a generally pleasant place to be. Designers refrained from cheapening the ambiance with gaudy flourishes or frivolous whimsies, and the result of their restraint is a driver-focused cockpit that speaks to the car's sporting inclinations. Mediocre materials do unfortunately abound, but it's easy to look past this fact when considering the performance per dollar. With the Camaro's impressive ability, we can suffer with a few more hard plastics than we'd like.
Standard seats are comfortable and supportive, and most front passengers will not be left wanting for room. Track rats will want to upgrade to the heavily-bolstered Recaro seats, but be sure to try them on for size before purchase, as they might be too snug for some.
The useless back seats recall the Camaro's focus on performance rather than practicality – even small children will want to leave their knees at home if they plan on riding in the backseat for long distances. The Mustang is better in this regard, and the Challenger, being based on a full-size platform, is comparatively cavernous. It's a similar situation with trunk space, with the Camaro suffering from the smallest cargo hold in the class.
Ride and handling. A lot of people might hear the name Camaro and think exclusively of straight-line shenanigans. This might have been reasonable in the early days of the nameplate, but the current generation puts to pasture any stereotypes of road-course ineptitude. These new models might look retro, but they drive like anything but.
A big part of this is the platform the Camaro is now built on, which is both smaller and lighter than its predecessor. It was engineered with a particular focus on handling, and it only takes a few passes on some sinewy pavement to see how this has affected the car's demeanor. This platform gives the Camaro an athleticism not found in any older models. It's tight, planted, and confidence-inspiring. There's ample feedback and well-weighted steering, and it doesn't take long to get in sync with the car at speed. In short, it's a bona fide sports car.
And that's just how we felt about the standard suspension. All this is ratcheted up a notch with the fabled 1LE package, which is now available with every powertrain. The alphanumeric name denotes a track-ready collection of performance goodies that includes magnetic shocks, performance tires, limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes, and a heavy-duty cooling system. Its wizardry can turn a four-cylinder model into the perfect beginner's track car or the ZL1 into a slaughterer of supercars. If you plan on bringing your Camaro to the track, upgrade to the 1LE.
Final thoughts. The 2019 Chevy Camaro is brash, loud, and extroverted. Even in its most modest trappings it makes a bold statement. It represents a colorful past, out-sized performance, and not giving a darn about what others might think of it. No matter how good it hustles around a road course, it is, at the end of the day, a modern muscle car in every sense of the word.
No, it's not perfect, and it still remains far from practical, but that doesn't matter. The Camaro does exactly what its legions of fans want it to do – deliver high performance with high style while remaining cognizant of its history. Just don't think it settles the debate of who builds the best muscle car.
Find Your New Chevrolet Camaro On CarsDirect
We have information you must know before you buy the Camaro. We want to send it to you, along with other pricing insights.
I agree to receive emails from CarsDirect. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time.