2012 Chevrolet Camaro Review
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro wins automotive journalists over with its good looks and muscle-car performance, but falls short with a cramped back seat and low-quality interior.
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro continues to win reviewers' hearts with its stylish looks and composed handling. Although many test drivers say that the Camaro still may trail the Ford Mustang in terms of performance, many agree that if you’re shopping convertible models, the Camaro is a top choice. Motor Trend writes that the Camaro “has no trouble transitioning from canyon carver to classic cruising convertible.”
But drop-top cruising aside, the Camaro isn’t without some imperfections. Although it’s more powerful than the Mustang, it’s also heavier, which makes it slower off the line. Most reviewers agree that the Camaro is agile, but its poor visibility from the driver’s seat doesn’t always inspire confidence.
Inside, reviewers find wide front seats and a retro-styled cabin, but also a small back seat, even by affordable sports car standards. Camaro coupes also don’t offer much headroom. Additionally, the dash, console and door panels in both models are finished in hard plastic. Although the Camaro is a solid performer with a stylish exterior design, rivals like the Nissan 370Z and Ford Mustang feature slightly better interior quality.
Other Cars to Consider
Reviewers generally agree that compared with the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, the Chevrolet Camaro is the best-looking of the bunch. However, that doesn’t mean the Camaro’s rivals don’t have their strengths.
Many critics agree that the Mustang is the most well-rounded car of the group. The Mustang offers good fuel economy, a slightly better interior and more trunk space. Additionally, many test drivers say that it’s quicker and more agile than the Camaro.
If you want muscle-car styling, but need some extra space, consider the Dodge Challenger. While the Camaro and the Mustang only seat four, the Challenger has space for five. Additionally, reviewers say its larger dimensions add up to a back seat that’s much more adult-friendly. The Challenger also has the largest trunk of the three, which will come in handy if you’re packing up for a road trip or heading to Costco.
Chevrolet Camaro: The Details
The Chevrolet Camaro receives a few updates for 2012. The gauge cluster and steering wheel have been revised, and Chevy has massaged more power out of the Camaro’s V6. A rearview camera is now available, and a 45th anniversary package adds special stripes, badges and wheels.
The Camaro is available as a coupe or convertible and comes in two trims: LS and LT. The high-performance Camaro SS is reviewed separately. Check out the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro specs for a full list of features.
- "Camaro suffers from the usual sporty car vices of poor visibility and a claustrophobic interior. It balances that with very good power and generally civilized road manners." -- Consumer Guide
- "The Ford Mustang is the most complete and well-rounded muscle car to drive, while the larger Dodge Challenger remains the most accommodating and easy to live with." -- Edmunds
- "After forty years of compromises and letdowns, it's nice to see a pony car that behaves the way that we've always thought one should." -- Automobile Magazine
- "Look at the value-for-money and the performance numbers of the Camaro combined with its Dragon-tastic looks and you can't help but feel GM has a winner on its hands. It'll beat its competitors hands down, not only in a numbers-based pissing contest, but also in the public's imaginations: an advantage presented by its futuristic-yet-retro styling." -- Jalopnik