2017 Chevrolet Camaro

2017 Chevrolet Camaro Review

The Camaro is now more sports car than muscle car. For the most part, that's a good thing.
4.0 / 5
Edmunds overall rating
author
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

With this generation's more sophisticated handling and expanded engine lineup, the 2017 Chevy Camaro has solidified its move from a knuckle-dragger of old to an impressively well-rounded sport coupe and convertible. Sure, it's far from practical, but we doubt you'll care much.

The 2017 Camaro, coming off a full redesign last year, has evolved into what you could almost say is a sports car, boasting more sophisticated underpinnings and truly impressive, world-beating handling capabilities. Yes, it still has muscle-car-worthy tire-shredding power. However, you no longer have to get the V8-powered SS to enjoy what the Camaro has to offer. Even the base turbocharged four-cylinder produces 275 horsepower, and the 335-hp V6 accelerates with the sort of pace that used to be in the realm of V8s. Really, we think it's the rational-minded engine to get for a lot of Camaro buyers. Then again, the SS can blast from zero to 60 mph in fewer than 4 seconds, so maybe just go with what your heart tells you.

From a performance perspective, the Camaro has its Ford and Dodge competitors smoked, be it in a straight line or around corners. But it also has some drawbacks from a livability perspective. For instance, the Camaro's more exotic styling and proportions mean it's a less useful car to drive every day. Its visibility in all directions is poor, and its backseat is best left to luggage, which is perhaps a good thing because the trunk is laughable. As such, the Camaro won't be for everyone, but it's nevertheless a fantastic performance machine whatever you label it.



What's new for 2017

For the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro, a new 1LE package debuts. It adds performance-enhancing elements to create an even more capable road- and track-going sports car. The V6 1LE gets parts from the SS, while the SS 1LE gets parts from the ZL1. Oh yeah, the ZL1: That's new too, representing the current pinnacle of Camaro performance with its 650-horsepower V8. There is also a 50th Anniversary Edition for 2017 as well as a new Teen Driver mode that allows owners to set specific driving parameters (though letting your teen drive a Camaro at all might be a questionable decision).

We recommend

If you're looking to get a Camaro at its finest, we highly recommend opting for the 1LE package. With it, the Camaro's handling capability rises to such a degree that it rivals or surpasses even some of Europe's finest luxury sport coupes and convertibles. And unlike many such high-performance variants, a Camaro with the 1LE won't beat you up with a teeth-chattering ride. Final points: 1) There's no shame in getting the V6, which is plenty stout; 2) But you'll get the most out of your Camaro experience if it's got a boffo V8 under its hood.



Trim levels & features

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro is available as a four-seat coupe and convertible, with 1LT, 2LT, 1SS, 2SS and ZL1 trim levels. The LTs come standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder, the SS has a V8 and the ZL1 has a supercharged V8 along with myriad performance enhancements. The 1's and 2's represent higher levels of equipment, but there are several optional packages and stand-alone items to help you customize your ideal Camaro.

The LT trim levels comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (275 horsepower, 295 pound-feet of torque), and a 3.6-liter V6 (335 hp, 284 lb-ft) can be specified as an option on both LTs. Both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic is optional.

Additional standard equipment on the 1LT includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, a limited-slip differential (with the manual transmission), a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and adjustable driving modes. Technology equipment includes Bluetooth, OnStar emergency communications, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, a 7-inch touchscreen (Chevy's MyLink interface), Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The available Technology package adds a nine-speaker Bose audio system and an 8-inch MyLink touchscreen.

The 2LT includes the Technology package's contents and adds dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Ordering a 2LT with the Convenience and Lighting package will add heated and auto-dimming mirrors, rear parking sensors, driver-seat memory functions, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, and warning systems for blind spots, rear cross-traffic and lane departure.

A pair of noteworthy packages are available on both LT trim levels. The RS package includes 20-inch wheels, xenon headlights, LED taillights, a special grille and a rear decklid spoiler. The 1LE package (coupe only) includes the V6, the FE3 sport-tuned suspension from the SS, 20-inch forged alloy wheels, four-piston Brembo brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential, a short-throw shifter, a track-cooling package, a dual-mode exhaust, special aerodynamic spoilers and a satin black hood. Recaro sport seats can be added to the 1LE package.

The 1SS comes with a 6.2-liter V8 good for 455 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. It too comes standard with a six-speed manual, but it includes an automatic rev-match downshift function. An eight-speed automatic is optional. Added to the standard 1LT content are 20-inch wheels, the four-piston Brembo brakes, the FE3 sport-tuned suspension, a mechanical limited-slip differential, a Track driving mode, a rear spoiler, xenon headlights and upgraded gauges. The 2SS includes all the features from the 2LT trim, along with unique interior accents and the Convenience and Lighting package.

The SS 1LE package adds six-piston Brembo brakes, the FE4 suspension with adaptive dampers, an electronic limited-slip differential, different forged alloy wheels, upgraded performance tires, the Recaro sport seats and everything else included with the LT's 1LE package.

Other available extras include a sunroof (all Camaros), a performance exhaust (all V6- and V8-powered models), a navigation system (2LT and 2SS trims), a Heavy Duty Cooling and Brake package for the 1LT and 2LT, and the FE4 suspension with magnetically controlled adaptive dampers (V8 models).

Finally, the Camaro ZL1 has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that pumps out 640 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, but a 10-speed automatic is optional. All of the 2SS and 1LE extras, minus the cosmetic differences, are included.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full tests of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT (3.6L V6; 8-speed automatic) and 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS (6.2L V8; 8-speed automatic). NOTE: Since then, nothing significant has changed with these trims so our findings remain applicable to this year's Camaro.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5

Driving

5.0 / 5

Acceleration5.0 / 5
Braking4.5 / 5
Steering4.5 / 5
Handling4.0 / 5
Drivability4.0 / 5

Comfort

3.5 / 5

Seat comfort3.5 / 5
Ride comfort4.5 / 5
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5

Interior

2.0 / 5

Ease of use2.0 / 5
Getting in/getting out2.5 / 5
Driving position3.0 / 5
Roominess2.5 / 5
Visibility2.0 / 5
Quality3.5 / 5

Utility

2.0 / 5

Small-item storage2.5 / 5
Cargo space2.0 / 5

Technology

4.0 / 5

Audio & navigation4.0 / 5
Smartphone integration4.0 / 5
Driver aids3.0 / 5
Voice control3.0 / 5

Driving5.0

A strong performer that blends speed with precision and enjoyment in a way previous Camaros never did. The SS V8 is stout, but even the LT's V6 is punchy. Handling feels more precise in the V6, but the V8 with its stickier tires exhibits higher limits. Impressive eight-speed automatic transmission.

Acceleration5.0

Both engines pull strong from low revs and feel stout throughout the rev range. With 0-60 mph times of 5.1 and 3.9 seconds (335-hp V6 and 455-hp V8, respectively), each one is quicker than the corresponding Mustang it competes with.

Braking4.5

Strong and consistent brakes have a firm pedal and smooth initial response, and they are easy to modulate. The 2LT V6 stopped from 60 mph in 111 feet on its all-season tires, and the SS V8 stopped in 102 feet on its stickier summer tires.

Steering4.5

Very sharp, precise steering with good buildup of effort. It doesn't give a whole lot of feedback or sense of road grip, but the V6 has less weight over the nose and so generally feels more accurate and agile. The small-diameter steering wheel feels great in your hands.

Handling4.0

A standout in its class. More precise than you'd expect a big, heavy coupe to be. The V6 model turns in brightly and feels light on its feet. The heavier V8 seems more inert yet also feels very capable and planted with high limits.

Drivability4.0

Eight-speed automatic works smartly during commuting and shifts quickly at full speed, but it isn't as adept between those two extremes. It's sluggish in manual mode. Both the V6 and V8 switch imperceptibly to four cylinders to save fuel. Manual transmission in SS includes automatic rev-matching.

Comfort3.5

The Camaro's ride quality is pretty comfy considering the Camaro's mission, and it gets better with the optional adaptive dampers. Most drivers will find comfort in the front seats, but some may find the the lower cushion odd. Don't bother with the backseat.

Seat comfort3.5

The well-shaped front seatback offers good lateral support without being confining, but the bottom cushion feels tight to some. The effectively padded door and center armrests are a nice touch. But the backseat is so cramped that comfort seems impossible.

Ride comfort4.5

The base suspension delivers a supple ride with good damping. The optional adaptive suspension is even more capable over a wider range of surfaces, particularly when dealing with larger impacts. Astonishing given its commensurate handling benefits.

Noise & vibration3.0

Both engines are quiet cruisers, but the V6's sound is generally unpleasant in other circumstances. The fatter SS tires make more road noise, but either version is acceptably quiet. The optional active exhaust is intentionally vocal at full throttle.

Interior2.0

It's improved over the outgoing car in layout and materials quality. But it still suffers from poor outward visibility and trades function and space for style. There are also some ergonomic foibles.

Ease of use2.0

Most primary controls are within easy reach. But the buttons in a row across the dash are hard to differentiate. The unusual infotainment screen angle is odd to use and picks up shiny center console reflections. The window controls are awkward.

Getting in/getting out2.5

The front seat access is straightforward, and 6-footers need not duck much. The small, flat-bottom steering wheel gives you a bit more clearance, too. But the backseat is difficult to enter and exit, and the power front seats move slowly.

Driving position3.0

The driver seat can be adjusted pretty low, which can be good for tall-person comfort, but it does make it even harder to see out of the car. The steering wheel telescopes sufficiently, and the shifter is well-placed for shifting in hard-driving scenarios.

Roominess2.5

The interior's forward half is spacious enough, but it feels confining relative to rivals. It gets worse if the Camaro has the optional sunroof. The backseat offers little space even for those of average height, but especially if the driver is tall. It's a kids-only backseat.

Visibility2.0

The rear view is poor, but that's actually typical and rectified by blind-spot monitoring and the rearview camera. It's the view forward and to the side that's the problem. It's very hard to place the Camaro on tight roads (watch that rock wall!) or in tight spots (watch that shopping cart!).

Quality3.5

A big improvement in material quality is readily apparent, but some buttons and toggles feel cheap, including the shift paddles. The shifter and steering wheel are nicely leather-wrapped, but stitches on the steering wheel are coarse.

Utility2.0

The Camaro has a compromised trunk and minimal interior storage, and that limits its desirability as a daily driver. The Ford Mustang and especially Dodge Challenger are much easier to live with and use by comparison.

Small-item storage2.5

Interior storage is minimal. The door pockets and under-armrest bin are tiny. At least the cupholders are of a fair size and mostly out of the way during shifting. And although the backseat may be useless for people, it does allow for extra interior storage.

Cargo space2.0

At 9.1 cubic feet, the Camaro has not only the smallest trunk volume in the segment, but it also has a tiny opening and high liftover height, too. If you ever wondered why tourists who rent Camaro Convertibles put their suitcases in the backseat, this is why.

Technology4.0

The 2017 Camaro comes standard with a considerable amount of infotainment tech and can be outfitted with a variety of optional accident avoidance and visibility-aiding devices. Easy-to-use touchscreen interfaces as well. All told, best in segment.

Audio & navigation4.0

The Chevy MyLink touchscreen system is much quicker than earlier iterations, and we appreciate its large virtual buttons and general system layout. We think most users will find it easy to use. There are 7- and 8-inch MyLink screens available, but both are oddly tilted downward.

Smartphone integration4.0

Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and two USB ports are standard on every Camaro. They all work as expected.

Driver aids3.0

A rearview camera is standard, which is good given the Camaro's limited visibility. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning are part of the Convenience and Lighting package and come standard on the 2SS and ZL1. Forward collision warning/mitigation is not available.

Voice control3.0

Standard voice controls are a bit stilted and require the use of specific phrases, but if you are using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you can push-and-hold the same button to get to Siri or Google Voice, both of which are much better at responding to natural-language requests.

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.