2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Sharp and nimble handling around turns
- Dominating acceleration from supercharged V8
- Relatively smooth ride quality over bumps
- Solid value thanks to lots of standard equipment
- Laughably bad rear visibility
- Tiny backseat and limited trunk space with small opening
- Loud cabin, especially with convertible
- Some controls are awkward to use
2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Camaro does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4.0 / 5
Sure, the 650-horsepower 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will endlessly roast its rear tires if that's all you want. But it's also a surprisingly well-rounded high-performance car, with the precision handling, stout brakes and compliant ride that even a BMW M4 owner will be jealous of. Forget the old Camaro stereotypes.
Indeed, with its supercharged V8, upgraded suspension and brakes, giant, sticky tires and an available 10-speed transmission, the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is the ultimate Camaro (at least until the ZL1 1LE track package comes out next year) and represents the best of both worlds when it comes to this newest brand of high-horsepower American muscle.
Even though the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is in a relatively small class of high-horsepower, performance-oriented American muscle cars, it is almost in a class of its own. There's the 707-hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat, but it's more of a straight-line kind of car. Alternately, the Ford Shelby (Mustang) GT350 offers racetrack-dominating handling but just can't compete with the Chevy for power. And neither of those competitors is available as a drop-top.
The ZL1's flaws relate to the car it's based on. Like all Camaros, it's got a comically small backseat, terrible visibility and a trunk barely big enough for a pair of backpacks. But all of that is greatly overshadowed by the ZL1's lustful combination of bravado, capability and refinement.
2017 Chevrolet Camaro configurations
Note that this review does not cover 2017 Camaro models other than the ZL1. Please see our 2017 Camaro Review for a broad overview of this year's Camaro lineup.
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a high-performance version of the standard Camaro. It's available in a single trim level as either a four-seat coupe or a convertible. On the performance front, the ZL1 gets a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine (650 hp, 650 lb-ft), a six-speed manual transmission (a 10-speed automatic is optional), Brembo brakes, the FE4 suspension with adaptive dampers, an electronic limited-slip differential (the convertible gets a mechanical limited-slip), 20-inch forged alloy wheels, upgraded performance tires and Recaro sport seats.
Additional standard equipment includes dual-mode performance exhaust, LED running lights, xenon headlights, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, warning systems for blind spots, rear cross-traffic and lane departure, keyless ignition and entry, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, adjustable drive modes, a simulated suede-wrapped heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions and a head-up display. Technology equipment includes Bluetooth, OnStar emergency communications, wireless smartphone charging, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone app integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), an 8-inch touchscreen with Chevy's MyLink interface, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system.
Stand-alone optional extras include a sunroof (coupe), an integrated navigation system, premium floor mats and various carbon-fiber trim.
A track-focused 1LE package has been announced, but it won't arrive until the 2018 model year.
Noise & vibration3.0
Ease of use2.0
Getting in/getting out2.5
Child safety seat accommodation2.0
Audio & navigation3.0
Most helpful consumer reviews
2017 Chevrolet Camaro video
MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi, and here's an expert rundown of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro. Just one look at the Chevy Camaro and there's no mistaking that it's built for fun. Even before you start it up, the sharp styling can get your pulse quickening. But it does come at a price. That hunkered down looks sacrifices outward visibility. And it's far from practical in an everyday sense. Let's face it though, this car is about performance, from the very capable base V6 to the burly V8 and the new 650 horsepower ZL1, the Camaro has you covered. The Camaro's trunk is tiny, even by most car standards, and is further hampered by a narrow opening and a tall lift over height. The rear seats are also comically small making them better suited for trunk overflow than holding passengers. The rest of the interior doesn't fare that much better. A lot of the controls are awkwardly placed and difficult to tell apart. Points are further deducted for the strange touchscreen placement and its shiny surface that picks up all sorts of reflections. The bottom line for the 2017 Camaro is it gets great scores for style and performance, but falls well-short of the mark set by rivals. The iconic Ford Mustang and sinister Dodge Challenger form a great three way battle. And the BMW M2 is also a strong alternative. In a word, the Camaro is simply awesome. And there's no shame in making some sacrifices for that. If you'd like to see more Edmund's expert rundowns, hit subscribe.
2017 Chevrolet Camaro Expert Rundown Review
Looking for an impressively well-rounded sport coupe and convertible? The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Camaro safety features:
- Side Blind-Zone Alert
- Notifies the driver if vehicles are in a blind spot or if cars are approaching in parking-lot situations.
- Provides services such as automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote unlocking and stolen-vehicle assistance.
- Front Knee Airbags
- Provides extra airbag coverage beyond the typical front and side airbags. The Camaro has earned high crash test safety scores.
The Camaro has been around for a long time. By Chevy's math, it's been 50 years. And any car with a history that long is bound to have some successes and some failures. From the muscle-car legends of the 1960s to Chevrolet declaring the Camaro nameplate dead in the early 2000s and then its resurrection and iconic movie stardom just a few years later, this Camaro has been through a lot. Over that time, though, what was once an effective -- but arguably crude -- instrument of American muscle has transformed into a more mature, sophisticated and comfortable sport coupe and convertible.
Chevrolet fully redesigned the Camaro just last year, and during that process, the Camaro got faster, more fuel-efficient and better equipped. All these changes certainly help place the Camaro at the front of the pack when it comes to American muscle cars, and even puts it right in step with supposedly more refined European sports-car competitors.
What makes this Camaro so good? For starters, the available powertrains offer a wide range of power and fuel economy. The standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offers an EPA-estimated 30 mpg highway, but it still puts down 275 hp, certainly enough to take it out of fuel-sipper territory. The available V6 is much more than a stopgap on the way to the V8. It, too, offers impressive power and all kinds of fun exhaust sounds. But as with any muscle car, most purists will stick to the V8, and with the Camaro that won't be a mistake. The boffo 6.2-liter engine that powers the Camaro SS is the same one that propels the Corvette. And in the Camaro, that means a 0-60-mph time of just 4.2 seconds, beating both the Mustang and the Challenger, its chief rivals.
On top of its well-sorted power plants, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro is significantly lighter than the previous-generation car, with very capable standard and optional suspensions and lots of available tech. Previously available only on the high-performance ZL1, you can now get the magnetic suspension dampers on the SS, which makes it a truly confident car in corners and an even more comfortable car on the highway. And for the tech-savvy, features like blind-spot monitoring and Chevy's MyLink system help the interior feel a bit more grown up while bringing it firmly into modernity. The system is now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which alleviates some of the stress previously associated with finicky performance.
Despite all the Camaro's improvements, there are still rivals that keep pace with it. The usual suspects are the Dodge Challengerand the 2017 Ford Mustang. Both are a bit slower than the Camaro in a straight line, but both have more cargo space and several livable amenities. The Mustang has a larger (yet still tiny) rear seat and the Challenger is by far the best highway cruiser of the bunch. If you're going for a track-dedicated machine, definitely consider the hyped-up 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 as well, but know that Chevy has announced a 640-hp Camaro ZL1 that's bound to make your eyes water. There are a few luxury rivals to consider as well, like the Audi TT and the BMW 2 Series, but neither possesses the Camaro's bravado and heritage.
Whatever brand you go with, choosing a muscle car no longer means that you have to give up comfort and state-of-the-art technology. And thankfully, with the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro, you don't have to give up thrilling performance or personality either.
Performance and MPG
A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 275 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque is standard on 1LT and 2LT Camaros. A 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 335 hp and 284 lb-ft is optional on these trims. The 1SS and 2SS models come with a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 455 hp and 455 lb-ft. All Camaros come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, and an eight-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is optional. On the SS manual, automatic rev-matching on downshifts is included.
EPA estimated fuel economy for 2017 was not available as of this writing, so the following figures are all from the 2016 Camaro. The turbocharged four-cylinder with the automatic is rated at 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway), and 24 mpg combined (21 city/30 highway) with the manual. The V6 paired with the automatic transmission is rated at 23 mpg combined (19 city/28 highway), while the V6 with the manual is rated at 21 mpg combined (18 city/27 highway). Automatic-equipped V8s are estimated to achieve 20 mpg combined (17/28), while the manual transmission V8 comes in at 19 mpg combined (16/25).
In our testing, a Camaro with the V6 and an automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds, which is quicker than the V6-equipped Mustang and Challenger. We've also tested an automatic-equipped V8 Camaro SS. Here, it rocketed to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds. A Mustang GT automatic with the optional Performance pack did it in 4.7 seconds and a 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T manual did it in 5.8.
Standard safety features on the 2017 Chevy Camaro include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat knee and side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is the OnStar telematics system, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
A rearview camera is standard on all Camaros. The Convenience and Lighting package (optional on 2LT, standard on 2SS) adds several safety features, including a blind spot monitor, lane departure warning and rear cross-traffic alert. 1SS and 2SS models as well as Camaros equipped with the 50th Anniversary package get larger, Brembo disc brakes.
During Edmunds brake testing, a V6 Camaro with all-season tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, which is a good performance for the segment. The V8 SS however, stopped from 60 mph in a staggeringly short 102 feet. The SS, naturally, was equipped with summer performance tires, so those with all-seasons may require some extra distance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the Camaro for crashworthiness and gave it the top rating of "Good" in the small-overlap frontal offset, moderate-overlap frontal offset and side impact tests. The Camaro's seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts, and it received the second highest score of "Acceptable" in the IIHS' roof strength test.
Fresh off a redesign for the 2016 model year, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro is a significantly lighter, more sophisticated Camaro than the prior generation car it replaced.
The Camaro is offered with four very different engines.The base LT model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and there's an available 3.6-liter V6. The SS Camaro shares the potent 6.2-liter, 455-horsepower V8 with the base Corvette, and the ultra-high-performance ZL1 has an even more muscular supercharged version of the 6.2 with a monstrous 650 hp. The LT offers a choice of a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. The SS has a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, while the ZL1 comes with a six-speed manual or a busy 10-speed automatic.
As you'd imagine, highest-to-lowest fuel economy ratings vary considerably, from a best of 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city/31 mpg highway) from the four-cylinder engine with the automatic transmission, to a low of 16 mpg combined (14 mpg city/20 mpg highway) for the ZL1 with the manual transmission. But with a claimed zero-to-60 mph time of an incredible 3.5 seconds, ZL1 customers likely aren't picky about fuel mileage.
Handling on all Camaro models is competent and the steering feel is light and precise. The SS model is now available with magnetic ride suspension, a worthy option.
Inside, the front seats are comfortable, but the same can't be said for the rear. The Camaro has a high waistline, resulting in relatively small side and rear windows, and subpar outward visibility. Chevrolet's improved MyLink infotainment system is worthwhile, as the system is now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. More electronic safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, are offered. Trunk space, at barely nine cubic feet, is just adequate. On convertible Camaros, the top stows under a hard tonneau, and can be raised or lowered at speeds up to 30 mph.
The Camaro is stylish and performance-oriented, but it isn't the most practical car available, especially if you plan to make regular use of the Munchkin-sized rear seat. As far as sophistication goes, though, the Camaro is more sophisticated than most of its rivals, even at the base level.
Let Edmunds help find the ideal 2017 Chevrolet Camaro for you.
2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Overview
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is offered in the following styles: ZL1 2dr Coupe (6.2L 8cyl S/C 6M), and ZL1 2dr Convertible (6.2L 8cyl S/C 6M).
What do people think of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Camaro ZL1 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Camaro ZL1.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Camaro ZL1 featuring deep dives into trim levels including ZL1, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.Read our full review of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 here.
Our 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.
What's a good price for a New 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1?
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Listings and Inventory
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Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and all available trim types: ZL1, ZL1. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.
Check out Chevrolet lease specials