Slip behind the wheel of a 2022 Chevy Camaro, and it's as if you made a discovery. Here's a sports performance coupe that's capable of unimaginable acceleration and track-inspired hard cornering, yet you can take one home for as little as $25,000. How is this possible? The Camaro suits a variety of buyers and invites newcomers to the sports coupe category with a low entry price.
Frankly, those buyers don't know what they're missing. The Camaro is the best value in its class, no matter how you configure it or which of the four powertrains you select. Chevy doesn't build cars that 99 percent of Americans can never afford. This is one of the largest manufacturers on the planet, and they know how to infuse value into every vehicle they build.
The Camaro is a great example. You can access 650 horsepower and a blistering zero-to-sixty time of 3.5 seconds for a surprisingly low price. At the high end of the trim range, the Camaro can even best some cars from Ferrari and Lamborghini in raw output. When you choose a Camaro, you're getting simply incredible power for six figures less than a European sports car. Sounds good, doesn't it?
Chevy loaded the Camaro lineup with trim options for 2022, with a whopping eight different varieties to choose from, along with a handful of special edition models and add-on packages for additional customization options. Within the lineup, budget buyers will find affordable daily drivers equipped with just enough power to make the commute fun, but not so much that the price balloons unrealistically. The base LS comes in a singular version, while the LT trim incorporates the LT, 2LT, and 3LT versions.
The base Camaro LS represents the lineup's biggest value. It features a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, 18-inch wheels, and LED headlights and daytime running lamps. True sports performance drivers will love the throwback 6-speed manual transmission that's standard on the LS. A paddle-shift automatic transmission is optional if a manual gearbox isn't your thing.
Within the LT series, Chevy played around with interior and exterior equipment configurations to help buyers outfit their Camaro with the most popular features. The LT includes a 6-speaker audio system, power seats, and a 7-inch touchscreen. Convenience features include a keyless open and start, automatic climate control, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Moving up to the 2LT adds a few extras, including dual-zone automatic climate control and heated and ventilated front seats. Opting for the 2LT unlocks access to equipment and appearance packages that aren't available on the 1LT, one of which is the Adrenaline Red Interior Package. It features an all-black interior with bright red seat and door inserts and red stitching on the steering wheel, shifter, and center console.
Graduate to the Camaro 3LT, and you receive an upsized Driver Information Center, aluminum interior accent trim, and a premium 9-speaker Bose audio system. The infotainment touchscreen also receives an upgrade, with an HD 8-inch screen replacing the base 7-inch one found on the less expensive trims. Rounding out the list is a heated steering wheel, interior spectrum lighting with 24 different color choices, and Chevy Safety Assist, a suite of driver-assist safety systems.
The Camaro LT1 is a bridge of sorts between the lesser-priced trims and the higher-end performance series. The LT1 has a wallet-friendly starting price and features the larger V8 engine, along with 20-inch wheels and run-flat tires. A performance Brembo brake package also comes standard on the LT1. Interior equipment stays practical to keep the price down, so buyers can expect a similar interior layout as they'll find on the 1LT.
It's true that many buyers appreciate the Camaro's low entry price, but even more buyers gravitate to the high-end performance trims. Who can blame them since the SS and ZL1 versions are loaded with enough power to justify a day at the track and advanced race-inspired technology designed to optimize performance and provide key feedback to drivers looking to build their performance driving skills.
The 1SS features a standard 6.2-liter V8 engine and 6-speed manual transmission, along with interior features that are comparable to those found in the 1LT. The SS puts the focus on affordably adding power versus outfitting the cabin with high-end finishes. This trim targets buyers looking for more performance capability but not a big jump in price, so you'll get a 6-speaker audio system and a 7-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone integration capabilities, keyless open and start, and power seats.
The 2SS follows the LT's equipment progression formula, adding more standard comfort, convenience, and safety features. The MSRP jumps up, but for that added cost, buyers receive the upgraded Bose audio system and 8-inch HD touchscreen, Chevy Safety Assist, and other cabin niceties that align with the 2LT's spec sheet. Both the 1SS and 2SS trims offer an optional upgrade to brushed metal sport plates.
Sitting miles apart from its lesser-priced – and lesser-equipped – siblings is the brutish ZL1, a no holds barred tricked out Camaro with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and accompanying Brembo front and rear brake package. Quad-outlet dual-mode exhaust produces a low guttural growl that hints at the beast lying under the hood, and the standard performance-tuned suspension sits ready for precise hard cornering.
The ZL1 includes a Launch Control feature to optimize acceleration from a stop. Also aiding with dialed-in and road-specific performance is the included Electronic Limited Slip Differential, a sensor-based system that reads driver inputs and adjusts power to deliver ideal output in any driving conditions. These systems work in concert with Magnetic Ride Control, whose job it is to monitor the vertical suspension and make adjustments every millisecond to smooth out the ride.
Camaro ZL1 buyers should seriously consider adding the ZL1 1LE Extreme Track Performance Package. It'll cost you, but the benefits are priceless for true performance drivers. It features Goodyear Eagle summer-only performance tires, larger in the rear, mated to 19-inch forged aluminum wheels. A special performance suspension with adjustable camber, 3-position rear stabilizer bars, and DSSV dampers glues the Camaro to the road surface, and the exterior receives a carbon fiber hood insert and rear spoiler, as well as a front splitter and satin black hood wrap.
Four engines make up the Camaro's available powertrain lineup, starting with the 2.0-liter turbocharged motor that comes standard on the LS and LT trims. This motor features direct fuel injection and variable valve timing that combines to deliver 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. Chevy estimates a 0-60 time of approximately 5.4 seconds, plenty of speed for a little extra fun on backroads and highways without having to upgrade to a more expensive trim.
If you're leaning towards a Camaro LS or LT but are worried the smaller engine won't provide quite enough speed, you can upgrade to the available 3.6-liter V6, a larger and more powerful motor that outputs 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. The boost of horsepower is enough to shave a little time off the Camaro's 0-60 time, shortening it to 5.2 seconds. The reward for sticking with a smaller engine is impressive fuel economy, as the 2.0-liter achieves an estimated 30 MPG on the highway.
Camaro LT1 and SS trims receive a larger standard 6.2-liter V8 engine that performs admirably when accelerating from 0-60, coming in at just 4.3 seconds. With 445 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque, this is a performance motor designed for impressive off-the-line behavior as well as a smooth transition up and down the gearbox, thanks to the 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Purists can stick with the standard 6-speed manual, but regardless of the transmission, this motor is more than enough power for an exhilarating driving experience.
For the terrifyingly nimble Camaro ZL1, Chevy reserved its most powerful engine, a 6.2-liter supercharged V8. Prepare to lay down some rubber when the rear-wheel drive powertrain starts spinning the back wheels coming out of first gear because with 650 horses and an equal amount of torque, your tires might spin faster than physics can kick in. You'll appreciate the body-hugging RECARO performance bucket seats when the g-forces kick in, and we highly recommend adding the knee pads to protect yourself from bruising when turning into tight corners.