2011 Chevy Camaro Review
2011 Chevy Camaro Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Strong acceleration with V8 or V6
- head-turning looks
- good V6 fuel economy
- excellent value
- capable handling.
- Poor visibility
- ridiculous steering wheel design
- compromised ergonomics
- marginal interior materials
- tiny trunk opening
- cramped backseat.
For 2011, the V6-powered Chevy Camaro gets a bump in horsepower from 304 to 312. OnStar is now standard, while a head-up display is now included with the 2LT and 2SS trims. Later in the model year, the much-anticipated convertible version will debut.
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro is a head-turning muscle car that goes like stink and will certainly get you noticed. But it also comes with significant trade-offs that can make the Camaro hard to live with on a daily basis.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 6M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.09 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Avg. Midsize Car
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro may officially be a muscle car, but in so many ways it seems more like an exotic sports car, albeit at a very unexotic price. Just like an exotic, the Camaro looks spectacular, with the sort of proportions and flourishes you used to doodle during Mr. Howard's fifth-grade math class. There's plenty of go to match the show, too, with potent acceleration and an inherent carefree attitude that'll make your fellow motorists envious.
Yet, just like an exotic, the Camaro is rife with compromises. It's hard to see out of and has an uncomfortable backseat, a not-so-useful trunk and quirky ergonomics. As such, the 2011 Camaro requires its driver to sacrifice much in return for its looks and tire-burning power. Compared to its Ford and Dodge rivals, the Camaro is simply a harder car to live with on a daily basis.
For 2011, it also has less of a performance advantage, as the Challenger and Mustang have gained new V6 and V8 engines. Chevy upped the output of the Camaro's V6 this year to remain king of the specification charts, but because the Ford weighs less, the two old rivals are nearly identical in straight-line acceleration. And just like last year, the Camaro remains the less enjoyable car to drive around corners.
On the positive side, a new convertible version debuts this year. Fitted with a power-operated top, the Camaro convertible is offered in the same V6 and V8 configurations as the coupe. GM says it wanted to keep the convertible's performance high, so rather than soften the suspension, it made many reinforcements to the body structure to keep body flex to a minimum.
If you like its looks, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro will deliver. And it's not totally one-dimensional. You also get a refined ride, comfortable front seats, ample feature content, a low price and impressive performance out of the deal. But for us, the extensive compromises are just too hard to ignore. If you're looking for the most compelling muscle car to drive, our pick is the 2011 Ford Mustang. And if you're looking for the most personable and livable muscle car, that's the 2011 Dodge Challenger.
Performance & mpg
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro LS and LT come with a 3.6-liter V6 good for 312 hp and 278 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. In our performance testing of last year's slightly less powerful model, a manual V6 went from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined with the manual, and 18/29/22 mpg with the automatic.
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 16/24/19 with the manual, and despite featuring cylinder-deactivation technology and less power, the automatic achieves only a slight 1 mpg improvement on the highway.
Every 2011 Chevy Camaro comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and OnStar. 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.
The Camaro coupe has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash-testing procedures. However, the coupe's 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to the new methodology) were four out of five stars for frontal crash protection (driver and passenger) and five stars for front-occupant side protection. The convertible has not yet been tested.
Whether you choose the rapid V6 or tire-shredding V8, no one will ever accuse your 2011 Chevrolet Camaro of being slow. The Camaro also displays impressive amounts of grip, communicative steering and a refined suspension that make it exponentially more talented around corners than any Camaro that came before it.
We just wish the experience were less like driving a really agile tank, as the Camaro's poor outward visibility makes it hard to get a real feel for the car's dimensions when cornering. Around town and on the highway, the Camaro is actually quite civil, with a comfortable ride and minimal wind and road noise.
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. However, this style comes with notable drawbacks. Most surfaces consist of hard, cheap plastic, and those retro gauges look as if they're from a plastic toy. Worse, however, is the overstyled steering wheel that is seemingly not designed for human hands.
Visibility is also a significant issue, as the Camaro's low-profile windows make it difficult to park and place in corners. The backseat, meanwhile, is the smallest in its class and doesn't fold down to expand trunk space (though there is a pass-through). The 11.3-cubic-foot trunk (10.2 cubes in the convertible) itself is of a reasonable size, but its opening is so comically small that loading elongated items is an exercise in futility -- golfers be warned.
2011 Chevrolet Camaro models
The 2011 Chevy Camaro is a four-seat coupe or convertible available in V6-powered LS (coupe only), 1LT and 2LT trim levels, and V8-powered 1SS and 2SS trim levels.
Standard equipment on the LS 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, OnStar and a six-speaker stereo with CD player, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The 1LT adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglamps and eight-way power seats. The Convenience and Connectivity package adds to the 1LT rear park assist, remote ignition (automatic only), Bluetooth, an iPod interface and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. The 2LT includes those items plus 19-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors (driver-side auto-dimming), extra gauges, a head-up display, heated front seats, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics stereo (available separately on 1LT).
The 1SS is equipped similarly to the 1LT but adds a V8, 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a rear lip spoiler and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 2SS essentially features the 1SS's performance bits with the 2LT's convenience and luxury features.
The RS package (available on all trims but the LS) adds 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights and a unique taillight design. A sunroof is optional on all coupes but the LS, while a variety of exterior stripes and trim items are available across the board.
In addition to a soft top that powers down in about 20 seconds, all convertible versions also come standard with rear park assist.
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
SS.2.RS Race Car
2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2dr Convertible (6.2L 8cyl 6M)
When I was checking out the car I thought no way would the wife let me get it. Get to test driving the car (v8 Manual) wife refused to drive it saying she was intemidated... After we get it home she took it out and now 2 months later 1500 of our first 2000 miles are from my wife cruising around to work etc. This car is a race car in build. If your seeking maximum comfort or the best gas … mileage get a Caddy or a Prius. If you want a car and like many others have said that gets you comments and looks everywhere you go. Feels and drives like a race car. Makes you feel like 1 million bucks. This is your car. Its fun,fast, and sexy. You wont go wrong here!
5 out of 5 stars
Best car you can buy for the $$
2011 Chevrolet Camaro LS 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I have had my 2011 Camaro LS for 3 months now and it truly is an amazing car! General Motors has stepped up there game when it comes to quality and value so far I have not had one problem with this car mechanically. The 312hp 3.6L V6 runs very smooth and when you open up the throttle this baby moves fast! The 6 speed auto seems to be a good match for this car it has 2 modes drive and … sport and when you really want to push it id recommend sport mode you can feel the differences. The exterior design speaks for it self awesome! I see people complaining about the interior and visibility you got to remember this was a concept car and i'm glad they didn't mess with the overall design too much!
5 out of 5 stars
2SS/RS White-Black Leather
2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 6M)
I tried to get her to make a house wife /mother sensible decision but after driving SUVs for 13 years she wouldn't settle for it. We have only had it a couple days and got nailed by a rock on the freeway after the first 50 miles and chipped the windshield. Hopefully that will be the official "break in". We got white because of what I have read about the soft paint and figured we can fill … the chips with wax or touchup will be easier. Car feels great-If you are intimidated about the visibility at first you get use to it after the first day. Looking forward to opening it up but am being nice to the motor for the break in. Hopefully it will be reliable. Car is BEAUTIFUL/DREAM CAR!!!
5 out of 5 stars
My Miracle Camaro
2011 Chevrolet Camaro LS 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M)
I bought by 2011 Camaro 5 years ago - V6, Automatic, Leather, RS Package - it's been an amazing car. The original tires lasted 70,000 miles! I'm at 136,000 and still on the original brake pads. Minimal maintenance and FUN to drive!!!
2011 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 17 City / 28 Hwy / 20 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.0 gal. capacity
- 4 seats
- Type: rear wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed manual
- V6 cylinder
- Horsepower: 312 hp @ 6500 rpm
- Torque: 278 lb-ft @ 5100 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 3 yr./ 36000 mi.
- Length: 190.4 in. / Height: 54.2 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 75.5 in.
- Curb Weight: 3780 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 11.3 cu.ft.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover8.7%
More about the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro
More About This Model
Driving the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible SS reminds us of being at a family pig roast (they do those in the south). Much like watching the grown-ups tend to the giant hog on a spit while shivering in the night, there's a chill in the Camaro convertible's cockpit as we wait to get to the good roads in the hills above Malibu.
And just like when we were five, we know it's all going to be worth it.
After a frigid wait, the taste of fresh roasted ham always warmed us up, and the Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible does the same when we open it up on Mulholland. The LS3 V8's stock exhaust note is louder and deeper in the open air, with a tastier, more substantial burble on the overrun.
Pretty much, this is the whole reason you'd get a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, or any muscle car with a removable top.
Years in the Making
That's why a Camaro convertible was always in the plans when Chevrolet and GM's Holden division in Australia started on the project six years ago. Work stalled of course when GM was in financial arrears, but picked back up after we all invested in the company's future.
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible is no different in its basic dimensions from the Camaro coupe — same 112.3-inch wheelbase, same 63.7-inch track, and it's exactly the same length at 190.4 inches. The suspension still consists of struts with dual lower ball joints in front and a multilink rear. Chevy engineers tell us they haven't changed the tuning, but the convertible incorporates extra structural reinforcements.
The strut tower brace is right there, polished and beautiful, as soon as you open the hood. If you crawl around underneath the rear-drive convertible, you'll spot V-braces in the front and rear. There's also extra bracing under the Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission and the tunnel behind it.
Chevrolet claims that the Camaro's torsional rigidity beats both the 2011 Ford Mustang convertible and the BMW 3 Series drop top. Officials won't specify which generation 3 Series when we ask, so we expect it's the older E46-generation convertible that existed when Project Camaro began.
Not that it matters much, because our Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2SS tester feels secure going down the highway at 70 mph, top up or down. For such a big car (it's based on a full-size sedan, remember), it's impressively solid with its roof chopped off, and its ride is as composed as the coupe's.
Panoramic View of Where You've Been
Every convertible has a soft underbelly, of course, and on the rougher canyon roads north of Malibu, we notice the body flexing a fair amount. But it's small potatoes compared to the convertible's visibility situation.
Just as in the coupe, the view over the power-domed hood is comically bad. Yes, even with the sweeping vista over the rear deck when the top is down, it's still frustrating when you can't spot the car's front corners while setting up for a turn.
"As usual, locating cones is the biggest challenge when slaloming a Camaro," says Chief Road Test Editor Chris Walton. "It feels like I'm blindfolded I hit so many."
Yet, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro drop top manages 67 mph through the cones — not bad for a car of some 4,133 pounds.
The front end grip is also there on our beloved two-lanes, even if we aren't precisely sure of where we begin and end. Turn-in response isn't exactly crisp, but you can run through a series of tight turns without looking foolish. Steering effort levels are about right, though we could do with a little more conversation through the awkward, pre-ZL1 steering wheel.
The Camaro convertible's slalom number is a little slower than most of the SS Camaro coupes we've tested. They've all worn the same Pirelli P Zero summer tires (P245/45R20 103Y front, P275/40R20 106Y rear), but carried 275 fewer pounds, on their way to 68-plus-mph slalom speeds.
For reference, the Mustang GT convertible weighs 400 pounds less and slaloms at 68 mph even. The best-handling convertibles in this price range are the Nissan 370Z Roadster (69.8 mph) and BMW 135i convertible (68.6 mph).
Skid pad performance is 0.88g in the Camaro convertible — same as on the coupe and the Mustang drop top. It splits the difference between the 135i (0.85g), which ran on cement-filled run-flats, and the Z roadster (0.94g), which had sticky Bridgestones.
Stopping is absolutely not a concern in our 2011 Chevrolet Camaro, as the Brembo brakes on this car live up to their badging and then some. The convertible's 109-foot 60-mph-to-0 braking distance is nearly as short as the 370Z's (106 feet), and the firm pedal has a live-wire feel that you don't get from the rest of the chassis.
Numbers To Match the Noise
Even as it makes a full range of satisfying noises, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible has a way of not feeling that fast in normal driving. The 426-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 has so much bottom-end torque that you can nurse it along at 2,000 rpm and still make smooth progress. Peak torque (420 pound-feet) hits at 4,600 rpm, and somewhere past 3,000, the docility ceases and you start to feel the brunt of the V8's wallop.
Our SS convertible trails the hardtop Camaro by a half-second to 60 mph, with its 5.2-second run (or 5.0 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip), but pulls closer by the quarter-mile mark — 13.3 seconds at 109.1 versus 13 flat for the coupe at 110.9. The Mustang GT drop top is off the pace at 13.5 seconds at 105.4 mph, though in fairness, its V8 isn't making as much power or torque, and the GT convertible only comes with a 3.31 rear axle ratio (whereas the Mustang GT coupes we've tested all had 3.73 rear ends and ran 13.0-second quarters). The 370Z and its far less potent V6 hang in there with a 13.7-second quarter at 102.7 mph.
The Camaro convertible's straight-line numbers are hampered by the six-speed's shifter. It sticks in the gates and forces you to think about how much effort it will take to dislodge it — which is about 10 times more thinking than you should ever have to do in a pony car, even one that costs $41,800.
What $42K Buys
That sounds like big money for a convertible based on a muscle car, but you'll pay the same for a comparably equipped Mustang GT convertible, while the 370Z roadster and 135i convertible cost a few thousand more.
Chevrolet packages the 2011 Camaro convertible just like the coupe, so our test car resembles our long-term Camaro, which also had the 2SS and RS packages that provide the heated seats, Bluetooth and HID headlights we won't go without.
The convertible's cabin has all the same shiny plastic bits and toylike gauges we've never cared for in the coupe, but the bigger annoyance is the convertible top. Actually, the top itself works fine, even with its old-school manual center latch and leisurely power-folding mechanism (20 seconds). We just don't like installing its fully manual tonneau cover.
The process begins with a walk to the trunk to retrieve the cover from its guitar-shaped bag, followed by arranging it over the folded top, tucking in the edges and then futzing with two plastic tabs to secure it. Once, in a moment of laziness, we skip the cover and then catch sight of the naked canvas top in the rearview mirror flopping around like an asphyxiating fish. So it's cover it up or buy a new top later.
Undercooked and a Little Fatty
On the surface of it, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible SS should be a real winner among the handful of rear-wheel-drive convertibles under $50,000. Its design bears out a painstaking reinterpretation of its 1960s forebears, and it's the Reaper-incarnate with its black paint and snug-fitting black top. It's also quicker than any rival, and it sounds meaner, too.
But the parts don't quite add up to a whole we can love. Between the small glass area and the terrible steering wheel, the driving position just doesn't work. The cheap-looking cockpit and labor-intensive convertible top/tonneau cover design add insult to injury. And although the Camaro is decently stiff with its top chopped off, it's carrying too much weight and doesn't feel lively on back roads.
The Mustang GT 5.0 drop top won't accelerate or stop as well as the Camaro, but it's lighter and we'd have more fun driving it. While we can't offer up any particular numbers to define fun, we're pretty sure the Chevrolet engineers lost sight of it when they were tuning the Camaro convertible.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of this evaluation, which originally appeared on insideline.com.
Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Overview
The Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro is offered in the following submodels: Camaro Coupe, Camaro Convertible. Available styles include 2SS 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 6M), 2LT 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M), 1LT 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M), 2SS 2dr Convertible (6.2L 8cyl 6M), LS 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6A), 1SS 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl 6M), 2LT 2dr Convertible (3.6L 6cyl 6M), 1LT 2dr Convertible (3.6L 6cyl 6M), LS 2dr Coupe (3.6L 6cyl 6M), and 1SS 2dr Convertible (6.2L 8cyl 6M). Pre-owned Chevrolet Camaro models are available with a 6.2 L-liter gas engine or a 3.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 426 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed manual. The Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro?
Price comparisons for Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro trim styles:
- The Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS is priced between $21,990 and$32,590 with odometer readings between 2600 and96737 miles.
- The Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT is priced between $16,990 and$21,590 with odometer readings between 5524 and93000 miles.
- The Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT is priced between $17,590 and$23,990 with odometer readings between 7340 and85318 miles.
- The Used 2011 Chevrolet Camaro LS is priced between $13,995 and$18,990 with odometer readings between 47556 and95216 miles.
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Should I lease or buy a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.