2012 Chevrolet Camaro Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Chevrolet Camaro

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chevrolet Camaro Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 6.2 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 426 hp @ 5900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro

  • For tire-burning power and Hollywood flash, it doesn't get much better than the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Strong acceleration with any engine; head-turning looks; good V6 fuel economy; capable handling.

  • Cons

    Poor visibility; tiny trunk opening; cramped backseat.

  • What's New for 2012

    For 2012, the Chevrolet Camaro sees a number of improvements. The V6 versions get more power, the SS coupe gets a revised sport suspension, a rearview camera becomes available and all Camaros benefit from an interior with much-needed upgrades. The new Camaro ZL1 also debuts this year, resurrecting a legendary name and providing pavement-ripping performance by way of a supercharged V8.

Full 2012 Chevrolet Camaro Review

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Chevrolet Camaro sees a number of improvements. The V6 versions get more power, the SS coupe gets a revised sport suspension, a rearview camera becomes available and all Camaros benefit from an interior with much-needed upgrades. The new Camaro ZL1 also debuts this year, resurrecting a legendary name and providing pavement-ripping performance by way of a supercharged V8.

Introduction

The big news for the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro will be burnouts -- lots and lots of burnouts. Oh, right, the new-generation Camaro is already known for that. But this year that pastime of high school kids and muscle car buffs rips to an all-new level with the introduction of the ZL1 trim level. The new Camaro ZL1 is a fitting homage to the legendary ZL1 high-performance engine option for the 1969 Camaro that was favored among acceleration addicts and bench-racing braggarts.

The new 2012 Camaro ZL1 comes with a variant of the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 found in the Cadillac CTS-V and Corvette ZR1. Here it cranks out 580 horsepower, making the 2012 ZL1 the quickest, fastest and most capable Camaro ever. The ZL1 also boasts other unique upgrades, including adaptive suspension dampers, Brembo brakes, a dual-mode exhaust, massive performance tires and a sportier steering wheel.

Although not as glamorous as the mighty ZL1, other Camaro trims get notable updates for 2012. Among them are a more powerful V6 model, a somewhat nicer cabin (including a revised instrument panel and a new steering wheel) and an available rearview camera. Other changes include a revised suspension for the SS coupe that promises more athletic handling, while all Camaros get last year's "RS" style taillights (darker lenses with chrome trim) and a rear spoiler as standard. Since the Camaro debuted back in 1967, there's a special 45th Anniversary package to commemorate the milestone.

That said, there are still a few issues that impact the Camaro's daily usability. For one, the Camaro is just hard to see out of. This year's rearview camera helps for parking, but the Camaro's thick pillars and low-profile windows still make it difficult to park and even tough to place while cornering at speed. And while backseat comfort is never a prime concern for a coupe, the Camaro's the worst among muscle cars. In contrast, the Ford Mustang is the most complete and well-rounded muscle car to drive, while the larger Dodge Challenger remains the most accommodating and easy to live with.

Still, there's no denying the visceral appeal of the Camaro. If you like its looks and love tire-spinning performance, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro will more than deliver the goods.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Chevy Camaro is a four-seat coupe or convertible available in V6-powered 1LS and 2LS (coupe only), 1LT and 2LT trim levels, and V8-powered 1SS and 2SS trim levels. This year marks the debut of the ultra-performance ZL1, which comes packing a supercharged V8.

Standard equipment on the 1LS includes black 18-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, keyless entry, air-conditioning, four-way manual front seats with power recline, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, OnStar and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The 2LS is essentially just the 1LS with an automatic (versus manual) transmission.

The 1LT adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps and eight-way power seats. The Convenience and Connectivity package adds to the 1LT remote ignition (automatic only), an iPod interface and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The 2LT includes those items plus 19-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, extra gauges, a head-up display, rear park assist, a rearview camera (with a rearview mirror display), heated front seats, leather upholstery and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system (available separately on 1LT).

The 1SS is equipped similarly to the 1LT but adds a V8, 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 2SS essentially features the 1SS's performance bits with the 2LT's convenience and luxury features.

The ZL1 is equipped similarly to the 2SS but adds ultra-performance upgrades in the form of a supercharged V8, massive Brembo brakes, four-mode stability/traction control, active "Magnetic Ride Control" suspension dampers, unique 20-inch wheels (with Goodyear Eagle F1 tires) and retuned power steering. Exterior styling features a functional carbon-fiber air extractor for the hood as well as unique front and rear fascias. Inside are microfiber suedelike upholstery, red accent stitching and a smaller, flat-bottomed steering wheel.

The RS package (available on all trims but the LS and ZL1) adds 20-inch wheels and xenon headlights. A sunroof is optional on all coupes but the LS, while a variety of exterior stripes and trim items are available across the board.

There is also the 45th Anniversary package available on 2LT and 2SS trims that includes Carbon Flash paint with red/charcoal stripes, unique 20-inch wheels, black leather upholstery with accent stitching and of course the requisite badges and embroidered logos.

In addition to a soft top that powers down in about 20 seconds, all convertible versions also come standard with rear park assist (includes rearview camera).

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro LS and LT come with an updated 3.6-liter V6 this year that's good for 323 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with the automatic, with the manual good for 2 fewer mpg across the board.

The Camaro SS gets a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 426 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque with the standard six-speed manual and 400 hp and 410 lb-ft with the six-speed automatic. With the manual, the SS hits 60 mph in 5 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 19 mpg with the manual. The automatic is only slightly less fuel-efficient at 15/24/18, thanks to less engine power as well as cylinder-deactivation technology.

The Camaro ZL1 boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 580 hp and 556 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed automatic optional. Though we have yet to track test the ZL1, performance estimates put the 0-60-mph dash and the quarter-mile times in the low 4-second and low-12 second ranges, respectively. Fuel mileage estimates stand at 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway.

Safety

Every 2012 Chevy Camaro comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and OnStar.

In government crash tests, the Camaro earned a top five-star rating overall, with five stars for overall front-crash protection and five stars for overall side-impact protection. In Edmunds brake testing, both Camaro V6 and V8 coupes with 20-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in an excellent 111 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

Muscle cars have traditionally had bland interiors, but the Camaro laudably mixes retro touches like square gauge hoods and the available four-pack of auxiliary gauges with a modern dash design. The execution is marred somewhat by the presence of too much hard, cheap plastic. But this year there are soft-touch inserts for the dash and, more importantly, the 2012 Camaro has a new steering wheel that's much more ergonomic and comfortable to grip than last year's.

Visibility has always been a significant issue in the new Camaro as well, as the low-profile windows and thick roof pillars make this car difficult to park, much less corner at high speed. Meanwhile, the Camaro's backseat is the smallest in its class and doesn't fold down to expand trunk space (though there is a pass-through). The trunk's 11.3-cubic-foot (10.2 cubes in the convertible) capacity is respectable, but its opening is so comically small that loading longer items is an exercise in futility -- golfers be warned.

Driving Impressions

Whether you choose the vigorous V6 or one of the tire-shredding V8s, no one will ever accuse your 2012 Chevrolet Camaro of being slow. The Camaro also displays impressive amounts of cornering grip, communicative steering and a refined suspension that makes this generation of GM's classic sport coupe (and convertible) exponentially more talented around corners than any Camaro that has come before.

The storming ZL1, however, is simply astounding -- not only in its ability to catapult itself from a stop or rocket up an on-ramp with supercar-level thrust, but also in its refined handling and ride characteristics. The adjustable suspension and stability control systems allow a wide range of settings, and along with the other ZL1 chassis upgrades, allow anything from a comfortable ride over broken pavement during the daily commute to a nailed-down-to-the-asphalt attitude with eager, crisp turn-in and powerful yet smooth corner exits during a track-day event. Make no mistake, the ZL1 is not simply an SS with more motor, but rather a Camaro stocked with GM's latest and greatest powertrain and suspension technology to provide world-class overall performance capabilities.

That all said, due to its subpar outward visibility that sometimes makes it hard to judge when pushing hard on a twisty road, the Camaro drives like a big car, not a small one. The car's substantial weight doesn't help matters either. And this has as much impact on daily driving as it does on the drives you take for fun. Nevertheless, the Camaro is actually quite civilized around town, with a comfortable ride and minimal wind and road noise.

ADVERTISEMENT
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



2012 ss/rs camaro convertible

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS 2dr Convertible w/2SS (6.2L 8cyl 6M)

I purchased my Camaro from the dealer in March of 2014. It was a trade-in with 7,000 miles, so it is practically new. The drivers and passengers seats are extremely comfortable, but there is practically no leg room in the back seat if the people in the front are of normal height. So if you are looking to have more than one passenger then this is not the car for you. Vision to the rear is some what limited, but the backup camera solves this issue. If you are looking for a fun car that turns a lot of heads, you can't go wrong with the SS convertible.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Full of surprises!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro LS 2dr Coupe w/1LS (3.6L 6cyl 6M)

My Camaro has surprised me in almost every aspect. The first one being the comfort of the seats. I am very picky about how comfortable the seats are, and when I first sat in one, I was pleasantly surprised. Even though it doesn't have specific lumbar support, it supports you in a way that you don't really need it. It drives tight, the road noise is minimal, when you want to get a little thrill this baby can get up and go. It has a very soft clutch, so it was very forgiving of a first time manual owner like myself. The interior is very simple, but stylish. The sound system for a base model is amazing! The steering wheel feels a little cheap, but a nice leather steering wheel cover fixes that.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Watch your speedometer

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS 2dr Coupe w/2SS (6.2L 8cyl 6M)

Best car I ever owned in 23 years of driving. Installed borla cat back exhaust , BBK cold air intake and diablo tune. Got it right around 450HP at the flywheel. The launch feels like a big block is under the hood. Chevy did a great job with the design of the engine. It's a rocket however your sure to get a few tickets if your not careful. I think im doing the speed limit and find out im cruising along at 85mph. And she only has 5100 miles on it. Forget the V6 I test drove it and the low end torque is nothing compared to the SS ...I highly recommend this car.




Surprisingly good

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro LT 2dr Coupe w/2LT (3.6L 6cyl 6M)

Had looked at 2012 Camaro's in early 2012 but didn't buy one. In October 2012 i saw Hertz had an ex rental 2012 available for 3 day test drive with a view to buying it. Fast forward a few days and i've bought it with 33,000 miles for $22,500, 2 LT in Victory red with auto box, leather, reverse camera, heated seat, HUD etc. Just under a year later and i've put another 11,000 miles on it, not a thing has gone wrong with it. Incredible power for a V6, great brakes and handling, quiet too with an excellent sound system.



5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Never again

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro LT 2dr Convertible w/2LT (3.6L 6cyl 6M)

(Wont Buy Another Chevy) because Last year I bought a "new" 2012 Camaro. Kept it for a year, didn't like it much and went to trade it in at another car brand dealership. They ask me how it had been wrecked. I told them I bought it new and it had not been wrecked. As it turns out Carfax said it had been wrecked before I bought the car, checked the vin code, it was correct. They had sold me what I thought was a new car which had been wrecked. Went back to the GM dealer, the service manager said they did not know it had been wrecked and refused to do anything about it. I called GM to complain and get something done about it. They sided with the dealer! Maher Chevrolet, ST Pete, Fl.




Best car i've ever owned!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro LS 2dr Coupe w/2LS (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I love my Camaro ! Seats are comfortable, smooth ride, quiet cabin, good radio, Gets up to speed as soon as you touch the gas! I have NO complaints what so ever about my car (:



Talk About The 2012 Camaro

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 16
  • cty
/
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Reliability

Identifix Reliability Ratings

Rating unavailable for this vehicle

      (No data available)
See All Ratings
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat*
Chat online with us
Email
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Phone*
Call us at 855-782-4711
SMS*
Text us at ED411