Chevrolet
Camaro
2019
Go
Anthony Sophinos
Automotive Editor - October 19, 2018

2019 Chevrolet Camaro OVERVIEW

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.

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.

Chevy Camaro

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.

1LS

The base 1LS Camaro starts at $25,995 (all prices include the $995 destination charge). It comes with the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder and six-speed manual. Exterior features include 18-inch wheels, LED leadlights and taillights, and power mirrors. Inside, there's cloth upholstery with power driver's seat adjustment, a folding rear seat on coupes, Bluetooth, the Chevrolet Infotainment system imbedded within a color seven-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, an alarm, keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel.

Options include an eight-speed automatic transmission for $1,495 and a $3,175 Brembo Brake upgrade. A number of exterior packages are available that add either additional Camaro badging or blacked-out trim inside and out.

1LT

The $26,495 1LT is the first step up from the base model as well as the first of three LT trims. The 1LT uses the same turbo-four and manual transmission as the 1LS. Standard features include six-way power passenger seat, lighted vanity mirrors, SiriusXM radio, one year of Chevrolet cloud services, and steering-wheel mounted audio controls.

As with the 1LS, with the plethora of appearance packages are again available. Notably, the 1LT is first trim where the 1LE and RS options become available, with the 1LE running for $4,500 and the RS costing $1,950. A $900 Technology Package adds Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system and the larger eight-inch touchscreen along with a Bose nine-speaker sound system. The automatic transmissions and brake upgrade options return, and are also augmented by a $895 dual-mode exhaust system.

2LT

As with the 1LT, the 2.0-liter turbo-four returns for duty here in the $28,495 2LT; it's the priciest trim sporting the four-pot. Additional standard features include leather upholstery, heated front seats with eight-way power driver and six-way power passenger adjustment, dual-zone climate control, and the basic infotainment system housed within the upgraded eight-inch touchscreen. Options and packages mirror the 1LT.

3LT

The $31,995 3LT is the only trim to offer the 3.6-liter V6 engine as standard. Along with the extra two cylinders, buyers get a frameless rearview mirror with auto-dimming, Bose nine-speaker audio, and the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system that includes navigation and comes housed within an eight-inch touchscreen.

Again the RS and 1LE packages are available, and the eight-speed auto is also a returning option. A $2,800 Convenience and Lighting Package bundles aluminum trim, memory settings, illuminated sill plates,a head-up display, an eight-inch driver information center, rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert, lane change alert, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and exterior auto-dimming mirrors.

1SS

The first V8 trim is the 1SS and carries a price tag of $37,995. Standard features include 20-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, the Infotainment 3 system with the eight-inch touchscreen, a distinctive front fascia, and an uplevel instrument cluster. Options include a 10-speed automatic that costs $1,595. The 1LE Track Performance Package gets a price bump, with Chevy now demanding $7,000, though only some of the suspension bits such as the sway bars and bushings can be had for just $1,950. The RS is unavailable. Recaro bucket seats are $1,595 and navigation is $495.

2SS

For $42,995, the 2SS is the fanciest Camaro available. It boasts luxury features such as heated and ventilated front power seats, dual-zone climate control, Bose audio, a rear camera mirror, ambient lighting, a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, lane change alert with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, rear park assist, and memory functions for the driver's seat and exterior mirrors. Options mirror that of the 1SS.

ZL1

The granddaddy of all Camaros is the $64,195 ZL1, which also includes a $1,700 gas guzzler tax. Sporting a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 650 hp, the ZL1 comes with hardware such as an electronically limited-slip differential, performance traction management, six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes, Recaro performance seats, a short-throw shifter, a suede-wrapped steering wheel, a carbon-fiber air extractor, wireless charging, a rear camera mirror, dual-mode exhaust, and forward collision warning. A 10-speed automatic transmission is available for $1,595, and the 1LE Track Performance Package now costs $7,500. A performance data recorder is $1,300, and navigation is $495.

CarsDirect Tip

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.

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