The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro once again possesses its iconic, muscle car good looks, fast acceleration with either V6 and V8 engines, lots of bang for the performance buck, capable handling and even decent gas mileage with the V6.
That said, there's also some drawbacks, including driver visibility issues, a very small backseat and a small trunk. While these qualities detract from the usefulness of the Camaro as daily transportation, judging from the healthy sales volumes, devotees don't seem to mind these sacrifices in exchange for the thrilling acceleration and head-turning looks.
Shoppers in this segment should note that the Camaro's top rival, the Ford Mustang, was given new engines last year, resulting in both vehicles having pretty much the same straight-line acceleration, although the Mustang is still considered to have the upper hand when driving around corners. Another reborn blast-from-the-past perhaps worthy of a look is the Dodge Challenger, which combines impressive performance with a useable backseat and good-sized trunk.
And new for the 2011 model year, the V6 Camaro gets a horsepower boost to 312 ponies from 304. Also new is standard OnStar on all models while a head-up display is now standard on the 2LT and 2SS models.
Overall, the 2011 Chevy Camaro is a solid choice in this segment thanks to its impressive performance, refined ride, comfortable front seats, long list of available features and competitive pricing.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Camaro is a four-seat coupe offered in V6 LS, 1LT and 2LT trims, as well as V8 1SS and 2SS trims.
Standard features on the Camaro LS include power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, air conditioning, black 18-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, OnStar, automatic headlights, 4-way manual front seats with power recline, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The 1LT model then adds 8-way power seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and foglamps. There's also a Convenience and Connectivity package for the 1LT that adds remote ignition on the automatic, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors and an iPod interface.
The 2LT includes all of the above plus leather upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, a head-up display, heated front seats, additional gauges, heated mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 9-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system (optional on the 1LT).
The Camaro SS comes in two versions. The 1SS is equipped like the 1LT but adds a V8 engine, a sport-tuned suspension, a rear spoiler, 20-inch wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, while the 2SS comes with the 1SS's performance equipment and the 2LT's features.
The optional RS package is offered on all models except the LS and includes 20-inch wheels, a special taillight design and xenon headlights. Other options include a sunroof (not on the LS) and a wide choice of exterior striping and accent items.
Powering the 2011 Chevy Camaro LS and LT models is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces a healthy 312 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission while a 6-speed automatic is optional. Last year's slightly less powerful V6 could go from a standstill to 60 mph in a very quick 6.1 seconds.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for this engine is 17 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway with the manual and 18 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with the automatic.
Under the hood of the 2011 Camaro SS is a 6.2-liter V8 that's good for a robust 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque with the manual and 400 horsepower and 410 lb-ft with the automatic (again, both 6-speeds). The automatic SS also features cylinder deactivation. The manual SS can blaze from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the SS stands at 16 mpg city and 24 highway with the manual, and 17 and 25, respectively, with the automatic.
Standard safety features for all 2011 Camaros include stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), OnStar, an antiskid system, a tire-pressure monitor, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. In performance testing, both the V6 and V8 Camaro models with 20-inch wheels stopped from 60 mph in an impressive 111 feet.
In government crash testing, the Camaro earned five out of five stars for front occupant side-impact protection and four stars for frontal-impact protection for both the driver and passenger.
The 2011 Camaro's cabin is an attractive mix of retro design elements and modern esthetics. The overall effect is a welcome change from the typically somewhat bland look usually found in muscle cars. In addition, the seating is comfortable and supportive. Those things said, there is an abundance of hard and inferior-quality plastics that detract from the look and feel of the interior.
Driver visibility is also an issue. The Camaro's low-profile windows make for significant blind spots and more challenging parking. The backseat is also quite small (smallest in its class), making for uncomfortable passenger accommodations. The trunk's cargo capacity is smallish, but reasonable, at 11.3-cubic-feet. However, the opening is unfunctionally small, making longer items, such as golf clubs, sometimes impossible to load.
The power and acceleration of the 2011 Camaro is impressive in either V6 or V8 form. And its refined suspension and responsive steering has made it the most capable handling Camaro ever. In daily around-town and highway driving, the new Camaro is also surprisingly well-behaved, comfortable and quiet. The downside is its outward visibility, so extra caution needs to be used when changing lanes and parking. The bottom line though, is that it sure does look and drive great.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try Bank Repos And Government Auto Auction Possibilities in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.
2011 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe:
LS, RWD: list price: $22,680, invoice price: $21,773
1LT, RWD : list price: $23,880, invoice price: $22,925
2LT, RWD: list price: $27,225, invoice price: $26,136
1SS, RWD: list price: $30,945, invoice price: $29,707
2SS, RWD: list price: $34,295, invoice price: $32,923