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Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.

2012 Chevy Camaro

(See Also: "How To Get The Lowest Price On A New Camaro")

The Chevrolet Camaro has long been renowned for its explosive acceleration, athletic handling and iconic good looks. And the newest version packs still more of the same.

New for the 2012 Camaro is a more powerful V6, an upgraded suspension on the SS coupe for improved handling, and later in the model year, the introduction of the top performing Camaro ever, the ZL1. In addition, the 2012 Camaro gets an improved interior, the darker lense and chrome-trimmed taillights from last year's RS package, a rear spoiler and an optional rearview camera. Also new this year is a special 45th Anniversary package honoring the Camaro's 1967 inception.

2012 Chevy Camaro Coupe LS

The most significant of these changes, however, has to be the much anticipated arrival of the 2012 Camaro ZL1 later in the year. The ZL1 will be equipped with a modified version of the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 found in the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V and will pump out a massive 570 horsepower.

This engine will be paired with a choice of either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic, as well as huge performance tires, adaptive suspension dampers, a dual-mode exhaust, Brembo brakes and a sportier steering wheel. Commemorating the 1969 Camaro's high-performance ZL1 engine option, this Camaro promises to be the fastest and most capable ever produced.

But even aside from the new ZL1, the looks, power and performance of the other Camaro models make it a muscle car with lots to offer. Even so, it does have some drawbacks. Outward driver visibility is an issue due to the low-profile windows which can make for challenging rear and side views. And while coupe buyer's normally aren't overly concerned with rear seat room, the backseat of the Camaro is the smallest and least accommodating in the muscle car segment.

All told, the 2012 Chevy Camaro is a very serious contender in this class and one that is again bound to please thousands of driving enthusiasts. Nevertheless, it's still always wise to consider worthy rivals such as the Dodge Challenger, the Dodge Charger and the Ford Mustang in order to make the most informed final buying decision.

Trims, Standard Features And Options:

The 2012 Camaro comes in both coupe (LS, LT and SS trims) and convertible (LT and SS trims) body styles. Each trim has two versions, 1 and 2.

Standard features on the Camaro 1LS include power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, 18-inch black steel wheels, sport bucket front seats, air-conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control, automatic headlights, a rear spoiler, Bluetooth, OnStar, 4-way manual front seats with power recline, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The 2LS comes equipped like the 1LS except that it has an automatic transmission.

2012 Chevy Camaro Convertible SS

Moving up to the 1LT adds 8-way power front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and foglamps. Also available on the 1LT is the optional Convenience and Connectivity package that adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an iPod interface and remote ignition (on automatic models). Standard features on the 2LT include those in the Convenience and Connectivity package as well as leather upholstery, heated front seats, a head-up display, additional gauges, 19-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, rear park assist, heated mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an auto-dimming driver-side mirror and a 9-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system (available as an option on the 1LT).

The 1SS model is outfitted much like the 1LT but also includes a V8 engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 2SS goes on to add the 2LT's features.

Incidentally, here's an infographic on the 12 automakers who've been giving the best new car deals off MSRP (includes Chevrolet).

Also available on all models except the LS is the RS package, which includes 20-inch wheels and xenon headlights as well as a sunroof on the coupes. Many various exterior stripe and trim accents are also available on all models. In addition, the 45th Anniversary package is offered on 2LT and 2SS models and adds black leather upholstery with special stitching and embroidered badges, unique 20-inch wheels and Carbon Flash paint with red and charcoal stripes.

The convertible models are equipped similarly to their coupe counterparts but also come standard with a power soft top, rear park assist and a rearview camera.

Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:

Powering the 2012 Camaro LS and LT models is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that cranks out a robust 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. It's coupled with either a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an optional 6-speed automatic. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for an automatic with this engine is a surprisingly respectable (given the power) 19 mpg city and 30 mpg on the highway. The manual version's gas mileage estimate comes in at 17 mpg city and 28 highway.

Under the hood of the Chevrolet Camaro SS is a 6.2-liter V8 that's good for 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque with the 6-speed manual transmission and 400 horsepower and 410 pound-feet with the optional 6-speed automatic. In performance tests, the SS with the manual transmission has blazed from a standstill to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. It's EPA-estimated gas mileage is 16 city and 24 highway, while the automatic, which comes with a cylinder-deactivation system, is rated only slightly lower at 15 and 24, respectively.


Standard safety features across the board on all 2012 Camaros include OnStar, stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

Government crash tests had not yet been performed at the time of this writing. However, the 2011 Camaro received five out of five stars in side-impact protection for front occupants and four stars for frontal-impact protection.


2012 Chevy Camaro SS interior

While most muscle cars aren't well known for their interiors, the Camaro's cabin is an attractive combination of both retro and and modern design elements. That said, one of its downsides is an overuse of lower quality plastics, although this has been improved a bit since last year.

The front seating is comfortable and supportive. However, although usually of lesser priority to muscle car enthusiasts, the rear accommodations are the smallest in this class ... a possible issue for those who anticipate transporting adults back there fairly regularly. Driver visibility is also an issue in high-speed cornering or when parking due to the low-profile windows. And while the trunk space isn't bad for this body style (11.3 cubic feet in the coupe, 10.2 in the convertible), its opening is very small, making loading larger items a challenge, if possible at all.


The new Camaro is a powerhouse nomatter the engine. Most drivers will be more than satisfied with the power and acceleration provided by the healthy 3.6-liter V6. The V8 is quite simply a beast and will provide plenty of thrills for true driving enthusiasts. All models display responsive steering and impressive grip in the corners, with the SS leading the way, of course, when it comes to overall performance. And in daily driving around town, the Camaro is also able to provide a decently comfortable and quiet ride.

Also, For 'Used' Car Buyers ...

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 the Public Car Auctions 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 in your own area.

2012 Chevy Camaro List And Invoice Prices:

Camaro Coupe:

1LS, manual: list price: $23,200, invoice price: $22,272
2LS, auto: list price: $24,400, invoice price: $23,424

1LT, man/auto : list price: $25,200, invoice price: $24,192
2LT, man/auto: list price: $28,350, invoice price: $27,216
1SS, man/auto: list price: $31,850, invoice price: $30,575
2SS, man/auto: list price: $35,450, invoice price: $34,032

Camaro Convertible:

1LT, man/auto : list price: $30,100, invoice price: $28,896
2LT, man/auto: list price: $34,100, invoice price: $32,736
1SS, man/auto: list price: $37,900, invoice price: $36,384
2SS, man/auto: list price: $40,600, invoice price: $38,976

Still More Savings:

The secret to low-rate car loans, big insurance savings ... and more

Other Models Of Possible Interest:

Used Chevy Camaro Overview
2012 Chevy Malibu Review
2012 Chevy Equinox Review
2013 Chevy Malibu Overview
2011 Chevy Malibu Review
2012 Chevy Cruze Overview
2011 Chevy Cruze Information
2011 Chevy Impala Review

Additional Models Of Possible Interest:

2013 Ford Mustang Pros, Cons, Price
Used Chevy Impala Guide
Used Chevy Corvette Guide
Used Chevy Malibu Overview
Used Chevrolet Buying Guide
Used Ford Mustang Best Prices
Used Dodge Charger Overview

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