Ever since it burst into showrooms four years ago, Chevrolet's latest generation Camaro has helped spark a revival among muscle cars. Like its rivals the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, the Camaro boasts retro-inspired looks, loads of power, and decent everyday livability. And thankfully, today's buyers don't necessarily have to choose performance over fuel economy, with a base V6 Camaro good for 323 horsepower and up to 30 mpg. For drivers who can't envision anything but a V8 under the hood, several iterations are available, from the 580-horsepower supercharged monster in the ZL1 to the Corvette-derived LS7 in the new, track-ready Z/28. With its exterior freshening, the 2014 Camaro coupe and convertible still drip with attitude, but interior visibility and materials leave much to be desired.
You'll Like This Car If...
Whether you're a 20-something performance enthusiast seeking a car that boasts loads of power and aggressive looks, or a mid-lifer ready to get your crisis on/relive your youth, the 2014 Camaro offers serious thrills for the money.
You May Not Like This Car If...
While the Camaro's outward appeal stuns, its interior is cramped and its materials feel bargain-basement. Rear-seat room is woeful, and rearward visibility is even worse. Regarding those latter aspects, the larger Dodge Challenger is more livable.
The Camaro receives an exterior design freshening for 2014 with highlights that include redesigned front fascia and rear diffuser and taillights. The long-awaited Camaro Z/28 is returning with a 7.0-liter LS7 engine, minimal frills and a big sticker price. It claims to be the most track-capable factory-built Camaro ever made.
Driving the Camaro
No Camaro is slow. With over 320 horsepower, even the basest of Camaro models has enough power to produce grin-inducing straight-line blasts. Then there's the ZL1 with a supercharged V8...
... that manifests 580 horsepower and boasts a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds. That's supercar-quick, and thanks to its built-in launch control, that model can accelerate thus so even by novices. Our vote for the most well-rounded Camaro is the 426-horsepower SS model with the 6-speed manual (our gearbox of choice, as automatic transmissions feature an Active Fuel Management system that reduces horsepower count by 26). With a girth of power channeled to the rear wheels, it's easy to point and shoot the Camaro. But attempting to toss nearly two tons of American muscle around a track is more about finesse than fun. Severely limited rear visibility remains a big tradeoff for the Camaro's aggressive exterior design.
EXTERIOR STYLING The latest-gen Camaro has been out a few years now, but its outward looks still turn heads, young and old. Subtle but smart updates for 2014 keep the Camaro looking fresh.
BANG FOR BUCK Along with that style common to all Camaros, V6 models continue to offer tremendous performance for the price. Base LS models offer a bucket of fun for around $25,000.
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Details
Standing in sharp contrast to the Camaro's excellent exterior design is its lackluster interior. Expectations are quickly deflated at the sight and feel of hard plastics on the doors and center console. The available cluster of four gauges for oil pressure, battery voltage, and oil and transmission temperature help to bring retro charm to the cockpit. The Camaro's low-slung roof robs headspace for taller drivers, the small sun visors are nearly useless, and the back seats can feel like purgatory for adults. The Camaro's trunk opening is also rather awkward, but the seats do fold to expand cargo space.
A portrait of attitude and aggressiveness, one of the biggest draws of the Camaro is its scintillating skin. From its menacing front grille and narrow headlights to its muscular rear haunches and twin tailpipes, this Chevy is an image of machismo. For 2014, the Camaro gets a sleeker yet more aggressive front fascia and an impressively redone tail that offers a sporty diffuser and wide LED taillights. Camaro SS and 1LE models now have a functional hood vent to reduce heat. Z/28 models include a full aerodynamics package that functions to provide extra downforce at high speeds on the track.
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro is available as a coupe and convertible, and in over half a dozen trim levels. Base LS models, available as a coupe only, come with a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system with Bluetooth and an auxiliary jack, cruise control, 18-inch steel wheels and a limited-slip differential. LT models add features like a 7-inch touch screen, power front seats and Chevy's MyLink telematics system with a USB input but no CD player. SS models gain the 6.2-liter V8 engine, Brembo brakes, and 20-inch wheels. Safety features on all models include six airbags, stability and traction control, and GM's OnStar communications system with features like automatic crash response and other emergency and concierge services.
Options for the 2014 Camaro include a 6-speed automatic transmission in place of the 6-speed manual, navigation, a rear-view camera, a power sunroof, and that retro-cool 4-gauge instrumentation cluster. With this car's emphasis on performance, it's no surprise that options abound to make it look and handle better. The RS package, for example, includes 20-inch aluminum wheels and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights. Audio enthusiasts will be interested in the 9-speaker, 245-watt Boston Acoustics premium sound system. A 2-tone interior package gives Camaro cabins a more upscale feel.
Under the Hood
The Camaro now offers five engine choices for 2014: LS and LT models use a 323-horsepower 3.6-liter direct-injected LFX V6. SS versions have a 400-horsepower 6.2-liter L99 V8 with Active Fuel Management (for automatic transmission models) or a 426-horsepower 6.2-liter LS3 V8. ZL1 models use a 580-horsepower supercharged LSA V8. New to the lineup for 2014 is a 7.0-liter LS7 naturally aspirated V8 for the Camaro Z/28, which is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $24,450 for the base coupe model. Convertible models start just under $32,000. V8-powered SS coupes start a little under $34,000, while the supercharged ZL1 enters Corvette territory with a starting price of nearly $56,000 for a coupe and over $60,000 for the convertible version. The track-oriented Z/28 model, meanwhile, will numb your mind with its $75,000 price. The Camaro's wide range of prices is similar to those of the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, though the Challenger's starting price is higher by over $2,000 and a base Mustang's is roughly $1,450 less. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Camaro. Resale value is a bright spot, with the Camaro predicted to retain the highest residual values in the segment.
"Having grown up during the sixties and 70's (high school age) I saw the emergence of the muscle cars of yester-year. They were all cool and fast for the time.
Jump forward to 2015 and I'm now 60, so I bought a sport car for myself. Best thing I ever did. I have a coupe that is nothing less than a thrill ride with very classic looks. Back seat back folds down leaving plenty of room for long stuff in the trunk. A pick up truck it ain't but it's ample for the car.
The 426 HP is wicked fast and sounds wonderful. This car is purely a joy to drive. The interior is plenty roomy and the materials are fine for a car in this price range (just under 40K). It's not my commuter car and it's all I can do not to jump in it and drive to work."
Pros: "Design, drive, power, tribute to the original"
Cons: "Visibility, a few paint chipping issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Purchased this RS to pay homage to my 69 Camaro in high school. I love almost everything Chevy has done with these cars. Phenomenal handling, great acceleration, killer external design, and appealing design queues from the 67 - 69s."
"When forced to buy a new car, I opted for my midlife crisis car to be fun, something that turns heads and get's the blood pumping. The Camaro SS delivers; with paddle shifting and "competitive driving mode," this car turns a lot of heads (even the cops unfortunately). My car is gun-metal gray with dark tinted windows and everyone from high school kids to grandparents remark on how it looks fast, even while parked. The car is easy to drive and though it's 6 years old, it has excellent features like remote starting, USB connection and built in Bluetooth (which works great while keeping you legal). I added on some cool blue interior lights and kick plate "Camaro" sill covers, even my wife has fun driving it. I didn't buy it for the fuel efficiency, from 12 to 18 on average in town, depending on how much A/C is used and the weight of my foot. With over 425 horses, care is needed on corners and wet days as it is easy to spin the rear tires. Love, love, love returning to a rear wheel drive car. Nice return to authentic American muscle without spending too much of the kids' inheritance. Absolutely no qualms with my car, other than you cannot sync your phone as a phone and music device at the same time (you can separately, but either talk on the phone or listen to your playlist). Also, if you listen to music on a USB device, the car will not store you playback preference (when you turn off the car, you have to reselect a folder or playback method or it will default to playing all songs alphabetically). It has been reliable and less expensive than other foreign Swedish or German luxury sports cars."