It Chevrolet The Camaro has been around since the late 1960s, built specifically to compete with the absolute tsunami that was the Ford Mustang. The Camaro may be a little late to the muscle car party, but it’s still making a huge impact on the automotive world.
Currently, the Camaro is still in competition with the Mustang and the Challenger – especially in the high-end segment. But where the ZL1 had a massive, fire-breathing supercharged V8 and more horsepower than we calculated, Chevrolet also added a cheaper version to compete with the EcoBoost-powered Mustang. The 1LS trim has a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine acting as the base model, with the subsequent 1LT trim upgradable to a 3.6-liter V6 and an SS above that, featuring a 6.2-liter V8.
So while the inline-4 isn’t a big V8, it’s still a model to be reckoned with in the sports car class. Here are eight reasons why we love the 2.0-liter Chevy Camaro 1LS, followed by two reasons why we shouldn’t buy it.
10 Why We Bought One – It’s The Cheapest Camaro
It 1LS The Camaro is the cheapest trim of the entire Camaro range, starting at $26,400. It 1LT trim with a 4-cylinder turbo is $500 more, but adds some more premium parts to the interior and unlocks more optional extras.
Unlike 1LSthat 1LT can be upgraded to a V6, with the only major drivetrain upgrade being the automatic transmission – a $1,500 option. Nonetheless, the manual is more pleasant, and starting the small 4 cylinder engine is quite satisfying.
9 Why We Bought One – 2.0 liter Has Sufficient Power
The 2.0 liter engine is the tried and tested EcoTec Gen-III which has been available since 2013 on other GM products such as the Cadillac ATS and the Chevrolet Malibu. This engine is also used in the larger Cadillac XTS and XT5 SUVs.
The engine produces an average of 250 hp depending on the vehicle installed; however, the Camaro version is the most powerful, producing 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharger is a twin-scroll variant and the engine speed is limited to 7,000 rpm.
8 Why We Bought One – It’s a Great Sports Car
The Camaro has traditionally been a muscle car, and of course it still has the V8 trim on the SS. However, the 4-cylinder and V6 versions of the Camaro are lighter and slightly more responsive, turning the previous straight-line model into a corner-capable car.
The only slightly unfortunate problem with the Camaro 1L is that due to the nature of turbocharged engines, drivers sometimes struggle to get the best out of the vehicle as it is mainly tuned for naturally aspirated and supercharged engines. That being said, 1L can still be very fast.
7 Why We Bought One – Offering Adequate Performance
2.0 liter 1L has more performance than most other 4-cylinders in its class – apart from the Mustang EcoBoost, which has 25 hp more but drops 15 lb-ft. The Camaro sprints from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, compared to the Mustang’s 5.1.
The 2.0-liter Camaro produces more power than the equivalent 2.0-liter BMW found in the 230i, 430i and Z4 sDrive30i – all of which make 255 hp. While the BMW can drive better, the Camaro is $10,000, $19,000, and $24,000 cheaper, respectively. This makes Camaro 1LS cheap sports car.
6 Why We Buy One – The 1LE Packages Can Be Checked On The Preferred List
Perhaps one of the best things about the Camaro is that every trim level is above the base 1LS available with 1LE Packaging. This track-focused package adds a Satin Black visual style to the car, as well as a large rear wing and an aggressive splitter.
The package completes the look with some custom graphite forged aluminum wheels, a satin black wrap on the hood, and some grippy summer tires. Inside, the steering wheel is flat-bottomed and covered in suede, offering the driver good grip.
5 Why We Bought One – It Has Pretty Good Fuel Economy
Camaro 1L The 2.0 liter has an official fuel economy rating of around 22 mpg when driving in the city, with this figure increasing to around 30 mpg on the highway. This rating is thanks in large part to the 8-speed automatic, which could probably do better with the 10-speed automatic – if they offered it with the 4-cylinder.
Interestingly, real-world testing shows off fuel economy ratings in one mpg from the official figures. Meanwhile, the 10-speed Ford Mustang EcoBoost is worse at city driving and slightly better on the highway – mostly because it has more gears to play with.
4 Why We Bought One – It’s Available As A Coupe Or Convertible
The Camaro, like the Mustang, is available as a sporty coupe and a comfortable convertible. Convertible only available from 1LT trim but still features a 2.0-liter in the lowest trim. Unlike the coupe version, the convertible starts at $32,900, compared to $26,400 for the 1LS and $26,900 for 1LT.
For the price of the base convertible, one can define 3LT trim levels while still keeping the 4 cylinders, or save nearly $1,000 and get the 335 hp 3.6 liter V6 along with the 2LT and 10 speed automatic. Fortunately, the Camaro has many options and combinations available.
3 Why We Would Buy One – It Has The Same Transmission Options As The Other Ranges
The sixth generation Camaro was launched in 2015 with a choice of 6 . speeds Tremec manual or 8-speed automatic designed by GM. This engine is the only one available in the entire lineup – from the inline-4 to the mighty ZL1.
The Camaro was updated in 2018, which not only added some questionable styling but also added a 10-speed automatic and shuffled other transmissions. Currently, all trims are available with a 6-speed manual, but the 8-speed is only available on an inline-4 basis, with 10-speed installed on the V6 and V8 versions.
2 Why We Didn’t Buy One – Don’t Have a V8
It 1L trim – ok 1LS or 1LT – is a great option when looking for all the looks and luxuries of owning a muscle car, but with a relatively light fuel bill. That being said, having a muscle car without the ‘muscle’ part is a bit of a lie.
Unfortunately, thanks to Chevy’s almost endless choices, customers can make 1LT – and even 1LS if they try hard enough – looks like a Camaro SS without the SS badge. This feels a bit wrong – yes, it looks good, but not hearing the V8 sound coming out of the exhaust seems like a missed opportunity. Funnily enough, the packages available to make the Camaro look amazing ended up making the 2.0-liter version more expensive than the cheapest V8. Was there really any competition back then?
1 Why We Didn’t Buy It – It’s Not A Real Muscle Car
The Chevrolet Camaro has a long history as a muscle car – from its introduction in 1967 to its battle with the Ford Mustang, to the present day where both cars now compete for circuit dominance, not just drag strip supremacy.
Thus, having a 4 cylinder turbo in a proper muscle car feels wrong. Where the V6 can almost be forgiven for making pretty good sound, the inline-4 doesn’t quite cut it. If someone wanted a Camaro without a V8, they would probably look at a used Cadillac ATS.