Used 1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS Review
"From the country that invented rock n' roll" claimed the advertisements for this Quebec, Canada-built sport coupe when it was redesigned in 1993. A small technicality, we suppose, but there are no technicalities when it comes to the Camaro's performance abilities, particularly in Z28 or SS guise. These Camaros are blazingly quick, hold the road tenaciously, cost less than the average price of a new car in this country and get decent gas mileage when they're not being hammered along a twisty, two-lane road.
Two trim levels are available for 1999, in either coupe or convertible body styles. Base Camaros are powered by a 3800 Series II V6 that makes 200 horsepower. That's 45 more ponies than Ford's 1998 Mustang V6 produces. Phased in during the 1995 model year, the 3800 V6 can be mated to a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. With a manual, this powerplant gets the Camaro to 60 mph nearly as quickly as a Ford Mustang GT. In fact, the existence of this motor makes a strong argument for avoiding the higher insurance rates and prices of the Z28. An optional Performance Handling Package puts dual exhaust, tighter steering and a limited-slip differential on the V6 Camaro.
The Z28 is the go-faster Camaro. Equipped with a detuned Corvette 5.7-liter V8, the Z28 makes 305 horsepower, 80 more horses than the 1998 Mustang GT. Opt for the SS Performance Package and you get 320 horsepower, thanks to forced air induction through an aggressive-looking hood scoop. The SS gets to 60 mph from rest in a little over five seconds. SLP Engineering, known for working magic with GM's F-bodies since the late 80s, does the conversion work for the Z28 SS. See your dealer for details.
For 1999, revisions are few. Traction control (Acceleration Slip Regulation in Chevrolet parlance) is available on all models, and on the Z28 ASR allows for some tire slip before killing the power to the rear wheels. Electronic throttle control is newly standard on V6 models, a new engine oil-life monitor tracks specific driving conditions to determine when the next change should occur and a Zexel Torsen differential is employed in the limited-slip rear axle.
The interior of the Camaro is functional, but cheap in appearance. Visibility is nothing to brag about either. The Camaro holds a respectable amount of gear in the cargo hold (more than 33 cubic feet of space with the generally useless rear seats folded down), and airbags and antilock brakes are standard.
Rumors are flying that GM is set to kill the Camaro after the 2001 model run. Steadily declining sales are to blame, and the company is eager to slice non-performing models from the lineup. If the Camaro dies, it would be a real shame because, from a bang-for-the-buck standpoint, the Z28 is unbeatable.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.