2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe (6.2L V8 Supercharger 6-Speed Manual)
Driven On 10/25/2013
Given its stunning performance, the Camaro ZL1 gets our highest ranking. It beat the Ford Shelby GT500 in our comparison test for a reason: It's the best car in the segment. For 2014 it receives revised front fascia, new headlights, one-piece taillights and a new spoiler and exhaust tips.
PerformanceImmensely capable in every measure, the ZL1 makes few compromises.
Running to 60 in the four-second range and the quarter mile in the mid-to-low 12s makes this one quick machine. It's also easy to drive.
Good brake performance, but a too-soft pedal.
The ZL1 is the best-steering pony car ever. Precise feedback and good feel inspire confidence.
Massive grip, good balance and composure on most any road. Doesn't sound like a pony car, does it?
Very easy to drive, especially considering its abilities. Drivability is better than Camaro SS thanks to easy clutch and shifter.
ComfortThis is the magic of the ZL1 -- stunning performance without awful ride comfort. Thank the magnetic dampers and good seats.
The front seats are covered with cheap-looking cloth but are comfortable and hold you in place. Door armrests are hard. No center armrest for the rear, but seats have plenty of padding.
Magnetic dampers and independent rear suspension provide ride quality far superior to pony cars of the past.
Quieter than some competitors, especially during highway cruising. Still, this isn't a quiet luxury car.
InteriorOverall, the Camaro's interior is ahead of its chief competition. And the optional microfiber suede in the ZL1 only helps.
The Camaro's knob-and-button controls are intuitive and easy to use. All major controls are readily at hand.
Like most coupes, the Camaro's doors are heavy, but they open wide and the seat bolsters don't inhibit entry or exit.
Front space is adequate in every dimension, but it feels confined because of the small glass area.
The worst visibility of any coupe we?ve driven recently.
Small door pockets, small trunk opening and less cargo space than its primary competition.
ValueAs performance cars go, this is good value. But stack it up against the (now gone) BMW M3 and it's a hard choice. Sure, it's quicker, but would we really choose it every day over that car?
Build Quality (vs. $)
There's nothing wrong with the ZL1's build quality. It's not German luxury car good, but it's screwed together adequately.
Magnetic dampers alone make the case for solid feature content. But the ZL1 has also all the safety and convenience features we'd expect at this price.
This is a lot of money for a Camaro. But it's a solid performer which justifies a high price.
This car gets hit unavoidably with a gas guzzler tax for a reason.
The basic warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles, but the powertrain of this beast is backed for 5 years or 100,000 miles, with roadside assistance to match.
Aside from gas, car payments and -- presumably -- insurance, the mechanical bits should be easy and somewhat inexpensive to maintain. This is, after all, a Chevy, not an exotic.
Fun To DriveLots of fun to drive. Grippy, powerful, sideways fun at that. Also, a composed driving machine when you want it to be.
Less raw than its primary competition, the ZL1 is a focused performer, not just a tire-spinning playground car.
There's an element of maturity here which is unexpected. But if you want to do burnouts, the ZL1 will oblige. It looks mean, too, which helps bring out its wild side.