The Chevrolet Camaro is a sports car geared toward a fun ride. It’s been available in coupe and convertible configurations for several decades, although there was a lapse in production for a few years. Since coming back to the United States in 2010, Chevy has sold more than 900,000 Camaros, proving it’s a popular model. Yet, with other sports cars fighting for the hearts of enthusiasts, it’s important to know if you should spend your money on the Camaro or look at other choices like the Ford Mustang or Dodge Challenger.
We’ve looked at collected research to discern which Chevy Camaro models are the best and worst. This data is vital if you are looking for a used sports car to hit the road in. Even if you are a Camaro owner, you’ll want to know this information to determine if it’s time to dump your ride for a new one. Our data is sourced from thousands of FIXD car scanners installed in Chevrolet Camaro models. We use this information in conjunction with owner surveys and published data for recalls, safety ratings, fuel economy, and KBB value to give you a clear picture.
|Best Years||Why?||Worst Years||Why?|
|2016-2021||Superior reliability ratings, best fuel economy, lower cost of ownership||2001-2002||Lower reliability ratings, sub-par safety scores, high chance of engine trouble|
|2013-2015||Great reliability scores, exceptional fuel economy, low cost for maintenance and repairs||2010-2012||Increased chance of engine, transmission, and brake-related problems|
Chevrolet Camaro Engine Reliability Score, Safety Ratings, MPG and Value v.s. Maintenance & Repair Costs – Year by Year
If you have a desire for one of these sports cars, it’s best if you look at the data that’s available before making any big decisions. We look at the Chevrolet Camaro ratings based on engine reliability, safety scores, resale value, repair costs, and fuel economy.
If you’re in the market for a car, take a look at our article on the USAs’ most reliable and cheapest to repair cars in the U.S. Don’t get stuck with a lemon, use our data to help you shop.
Engine Reliability Score – Over The Years
We have 2 different ratings for you to review, allowing you to see the reliability of every Chevrolet Camaro.
- The FIXD Reliability score (Green line) – determined by the number of check engine lights thrown by Camaros every 12,000 miles of driving (1 year’s worth of driving).
- The Owner Reliability score (Gray line) from surveyed Camaro owners.
The entire chart remains fairly consistent between the two results, except for the 2017 and 2018 models, which still isn’t worrisome.
There’s a lack of data on the newer models, but we were able to assume that they fell in line with the years closest to them, especially since they are from the same generation. In the coming months, we should receive more of this data and that will help us get a clearer picture.
Take a look the Camaro reliability scores before you go shopping to determine which models to skip over. If you already have a model in mind, feel free to jump ahead and learn more about it below.
NHTSA Safety Score – Over The Years
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) ranks all vehicles to show how safe they are. We’ve looked over all of the data that’s available for the given years.
The Average NHTSA Safety Rating for each model year is shown as a Green line. The gray line shows you the average ranking of all vehicles we have NHTSA data for – Use these together and you can see how well the Camaro stacks up to all other cars.
As you can see, the Chevrolet Camaro meets or exceeds averages for every model year. There are even some (2011-2015) with a perfect 5 out of 5 safety score.
The better the safety rating on a vehicle, the better the chance of getting cheap car insurance for your used car.
If you live in one of the states listed below, we can show you the cheapest vehicles to insure in yours.
|What Used Cars Are the Cheapest To Insure In:|
MPG – Over The Years
It’s never expected that a sports car with a high-powered motor is going to get good fuel economy ratings, but most drivers of these cars aren’t concerned with that factor. Still, if you want to save a little money at the pump, it helps to know which models average 18 mpg versus the one that achieves a rating of 22 mpg. Our graph reveals the average mpg by model year by using the information found on fueleconomy.gov.
The one Camaro model with the best average mpg is the 2016. Not far behind, the 2017-2021, 2010-2011, and 2001-2002 also earn a rating of 20 mpg. These are the best models to choose if fuel economy is your biggest concern.
Current Market Value of All Chevrolet Camaro Years & Cost Per Year to Repair and Maintain Each
The average maintenance and repair cost of a Chevrolet Camaro helps you understand what you might spend. However, this number can’t be evaluated without looking at reliability scores. You can expect to spend more money if the sports car suffers from major engine failure or costly transmission repairs. With every problem, your Chevy also spends more time getting repaired, giving you less time to enjoy the ride.
These costs also have an effect on what you can expect to sell your Chevy Camaro for. The newer the Camaro, the higher the resale value tends to be. That’s because consumers expect that the newer a model is, the less chance there is of costly repairs. Unfortunately, this expectation doesn’t always turn out to be true – be sure to keep your eye on repair & maintenance costs.
If resale values are similar between two models, it may make more sense to choose the newer one. With a little extra money, you can often get more features and possibly fewer problems, as long as you also reference the reliability data we provide.
Keep in mind that these values from each model year are based on average mileages reported by survey respondents. When figuring out the price, mileage is one of the most important factors to take into consideration. The Camaros you look at buying could vary in price from what we’ve graphed because of the mileage. We recommend getting a personalized KBB value for the car you are looking at to be sure you are getting a good deal.
When shopping for a used Chevrolet Camaro, it’s important to keep in mind that not all vehicles are cared for equally. To protect yourself from lemons, take along a FIXD Sensor on your test drive. FIXD connects to a free app on your smartphone to tell you more about the vehicle you’re checking out, including check engine lights and other hidden issues that the owner or dealership may be attempting to hide. Click here to learn more and get FIXD for only $19.99 (regular price $59)!
Important Features Timeline
1996: New V6 added as base engine with 200 horsepower, Z28 model receives 10 more horsepower from the V8 engine, Z28 SS gets a 305-horsepower variant
1997: Special Z28 30th Anniversary Edition released, Tricolor taillamps offered, available five-spoke alloy wheels debut
1998: 305-horsepower V8 from the Corvette added to the lineup, all models receive standard four-wheel disc brakes, standard second-generation airbags added
1999: Acceleration Slip Regulation (traction control) made available on all models, electronic throttle control comes standard with V6 engines
2000: New fabrics and interior colors released, V6 and V8 engines now meet California’s low emission vehicle (LEV) standards, new alloy wheels debut
2001: Z28 receives boosted horsepower rating, new chrome 16” wheels become available for base and Z28 models
2002: Final year of production offers a special 35th Anniversary package
2010: Camaro arrives after an 8-year hiatus as a 5th-generation sports car
2011: V6 engine goes from 304 to 312 horsepower, OnStar becomes standard technology, available head-up display offered with 2LT and 2SS trim levels
2012: V6 engine gets more power, SS coupe earns a sport suspension, rearview camera offered as available equipment for every trim level, Z71 debuts with a supercharged V8
2013: MyLink touchscreen audio system included with LT, SS, and ZL1 models, My-Link GPS navigation system added late, hill-start assist comes standard with manual transmission cars
2014: Z/28 arrives with a V8 previously used in the Corvette Z06, redesigned upper grilled, taillights, spoiler and headlights
2015: Remains unchanged as the last model in the 5th generation
2016: Fully redesigned to start the 6th generation
2017: 1LE package arrives with performance-boosting features, ZL1 debuts with a 650-horsepower V8, Teen Driver mode newly available
2018: ZL1 receives new 1LE Extreme Track Performance package, new 1LS base trim level arrives
2019: 1LE Performance package available with four-cylinder engines, revised fascia, new infotainment interface revealed
2020: LT1 midrange trim available, 10-speed automatic transmission optional with LT V6 models
2021: Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available
2022: 1LE Track Performance package discontinued with four- or six-cylinder models
The Best Years of the Chevrolet Camaro
It’s difficult to determine which Chevrolet Camaros are the best because the rankings weren’t vastly different from one another. To rank them in order, we needed to rely on FIXD app engine reliability data, used in conjunction with owner feedback scores, safety ratings, and fuel economy. We also factor in the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) from every year and look at the open recalls, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
2016-2021 Chevrolet Camaro
FIXD Reliability Score: 10/10
Owner Reliability Score: 8-10/10
KBB Value: $16,413-$36,698
Fuel Economy: 20-22 mpg
Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250-$393
Safety Rating: 4.6/5
The 2016 to 2021 make up the 6th generation Camaro with the highest reliability ratings. Not only do the reliability scores fare well, but these are some of the lowest-cost options in regard to maintenance and repairs.
The FIXD Reliability score for the 2016 to 2019 Chevy Camaros is 10 out of 10. The Owners Reliability score gives the 2018 Camaro an 8 out of 10, the 2017 a 9 out of 10, and both the 2016 and 2019 models a perfect 10 out of 10. The data is limited on 2020 and 2021 Chevy Camaro models, but we feel confident grouping them here because they are the same generation, and most bugs should be worked out by these years.
The NHTSA crash testing score in these year ranges is 4.6 (out of 5). Every model scores above average with the vehicles we have charted.
Because these are newer, they also have the lowest repair and maintenance costs. The cheapest is the 2018 and 2019, with an average of just $250 a year. Yet, even the highest one (2016) is only rated at $393, which is completely affordable. We are even less concerned with the 2020 and 2021 models because there’s a factory warranty that protects for 3 years or 36,000 miles or a powertrain warranty lasting 5 years or 60,000 miles.
All, except the 2021 models, show a higher instance of the Coolant Thermostat Temperature Below Regulating Temperature (P0128) code. We show the most common repair is an engine coolant thermostat costing between $2,049 and $2,567. The three newer models may also suffer from the O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage – Bank 2, Sensor 2 (P0158) trouble code. With other fixes related to the oxygen sensor, the cost tends to be around $153 to $306. If your car still has a warranty, these problems may be covered.
The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro only has one recall, while the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro is about the same with two. Both the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro and the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro are subject to one recall. Finally, the 2020 Chevrolet Camaro has two recalls, and the 2021 Chevrolet Camaro shows three.
2013-2015 Chevrolet Camaro
FIXD Reliability Score: 10/10
Owner Reliability Score: 9/10
KBB Value: $11,093-$14,147
Fuel Economy: 18-19 mpg
Annual Maintenance/Repair: $321-$656
Safety Rating: 5/5
The 2013 to 2015 Chevy Camaros round out the 5th generation, so most of the quirks are worked out. Reliability ratings are incredible, and the safety ratings are the highest possible.
The FIXD Reliability score for the 2013 to 2015 Chevy Camaros is a perfect 10 out of 10. The Owners Reliability score gives these three models a 9 out of 10, which isn’t too far from perfect.
The NHTSA crash testing scores on these year ranges is 5 (out of 5). You can’t find Camaros rated any safer than these.
The repair and maintenance costs aren’t bad either, considering they are getting older. Surprisingly, it’s the 2013 Chevy Camaro with the lowest average at $321 a year. The 2015 model averages $400 a year, while the 2014 gets the highest of the three at $656 yearly, which is still reasonable.
All three models deal with the EVAP Flow During a Non-Purge Condition (P0496) trouble code. It’s possible that the repair required is a new EVAP purge volume control valve. Additionally, we show data on the 2013 and 2014 models suffering from the Random, Multiple Misfire Detected (P0300) code, which could be related to spark plugs. On top of that, the 2014 and 2015 models show a higher instance of the System Too Lean – Bank 1 (P0171) DTC. With other models, the fix may be a mass air flow (MAF) sensor, costing $172 to $309.
The 2013 Chevrolet Camaro is subject to three recalls, while the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro shows four. Even better, the 2015 Chevrolet Camaro only has two recalls.
The Worst Years of the Chevrolet Camaro
2001-2002 Chevrolet Camaro
FIXD Reliability Score: 6-8/10
Owner Reliability Score: 7-8/10
KBB Value: $2,561-$3,416
Fuel Economy: 20 mpg
Annual Maintenance/Repair: $250-$1,375
Safety Rating: 4/5
The 2001 and 2002 Chevy Camaro cars made up the end of the 4th generation before they were discontinued. The reliability rankings drop slightly, the cost of ownership goes up, and the safety ratings don’t impress.
The FIXD Reliability score for the 2002 Chevy Camaros is a 6 out of 10, while the 2001 model gets an 8 out of 10. The Owners Reliability score gives the 2002 a 7 out of 10, with the 2001 model earning 8 out of 10.
The NHTSA crash testing scores on these year ranges is 4 (out of 5). While this is still considered good when compared to the average, it’s less than the other models we’ve reviewed.
The repair and maintenance costs of the 2002 Chevy Camaro are the highest they get at $1,375. While the 2001 model shows an extremely low cost, we believe that’s due to a lack of data. Because there’s not much of a difference between these two model years, the costs should be relative. Additionally, the 2002 Camaro shows an extremely high instance of expensive engine repairs.
Both Camaros are struggling with the Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (P0420) trouble code. To fix this, you may need a new catalytic converter, costing $1,538 to $2,041. The 2002 Camaro also exhibits a higher chance of the System Too Lean – Bank 1 (P0171) DTC. We show the most appropriate repair as a mass air flow (MAF) sensor, costing $172 to $309. With the 2001 Camaro, there’s the Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor “A” Circuit Low (P0405) code, possibly requiring an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve with an average cost between $151 and $389.
There are also five recalls on the 2001 Chevrolet Camaro and the 2002 Chevrolet Camaro, which is the most of all the models we’ve reviewed so far.
2010-2012 Chevrolet Camaro
FIXD Reliability Score: 9-10/10
Owner Reliability Score: 8-9/10
KBB Value: $7,453-$9,846
Fuel Economy: 19-20 mpg
Annual Maintenance/Repair: $464-$781
Safety Rating: 4.5-5/5
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong with the first three models of the 5th generation. However, these models have an extremely high instance of expensive engine, transmission, and brake repairs.
The FIXD Reliability score for the 2010 Chevy Camaros is a 9 out of 10, while the 2011 and 2012 models earn a perfect 10 out of 10. The Owners Reliability score offers the 2010 model an 8 out of 10, with the 2011 and 2012 models earning 9 out of 10.
The NHTSA crash test score on the 2010 Camaro is 4.5 (out of 5). Yet, both the 2011 and 2012 Chevrolet Camaro have earned a perfect 5 (out of 5).
While the repair and maintenance costs seem to be around average at $464 (2010), $636 (2011), and $781 (2012), there are some seriously expensive repairs being reported. All three models are subject to engine repairs, while the 2010 and 2012 show a higher chance of transmission problems. The 2010 and 2011 Camaros have a higher report of brake repairs, while the 2012 Chevy seems to deal with costly AC/heat problems.
Both the 2010 and 2011 Camaros show the Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (P0420) trouble code. This may require a catalytic converter, costing $1,538 to $2,041. The 2012 Camaro reveals a chance of the System Too Lean – Bank 1 (P0171) DTC, possibly requiring a new mass air flow (MAF) sensor, costing $172 to $309. There’s also a higher chance of the System Too Lean – Bank 2 (P0174) code with the later model, also requiring the mass air flow (MAF) sensor.
Both the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and 2011 Chevrolet Camaro are subject to three recalls. Even more alarming, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro has five recalls and an open NHTSA investigation related to the airbags not opening.
What years of the Chevrolet Camaro have engine and/or transmission problems?
The Chevrolet Camaro models with a higher instance of expensive engine repairs include the 2002, 2010-2012, 2018, and 2016. As far as transmission problems, both the 2010 and 2012 rank higher than the rest.
What is considered high mileage for a Chevrolet Camaro?
Sports cars aren’t driven lightly. Most drivers are going to push the cars to the limits, determined to see what kind of power they offer. For that reason, the Chevy Camaro usually won’t last as long as the average car. Yet, if you were to take care of it and the recommended maintenance schedule was followed, the car could hit 125,000 miles or more.
Based on our data, a high-mileage Camaro could be considered anything over 100,000 miles.
Older Camaro models (2001-2015) show an average mileage range between 75,000 and 125,000. Our data shows only a couple of Camaro models exceeding 100,000 miles. Once the sports car makes it this far, the resale value is going to drop faster. Because the value goes down, there’s not much room for expensive repair bills before the car is worth only a tow to the junkyard.
It’s possible that the newer Camaro models will last longer, but we need to watch the data for a few more years before making that conclusion.
What other vehicles should I consider?
There’s another Chevy sports car available to you if you are willing to spend a little more. The Chevrolet Corvette is one of America’s most-loved sports cars and it’s been around for many years. You can choose a newer one or a lower-priced used Corvette to save money. If you prefer just a regular sedan, consider the Chevy Malibu. This four-door sedan has become the sole sedan of the Chevy lineup.
Outside of the Chevy brand, you can find some competing sports cars that are worth a second look. The Ford Mustang is probably its biggest rival. There’s also the Subaru BRZ, which has a lot to offer and the similar Toyota GR86. Otherwise, think about test driving a Mazda MX-5 Miata, Nissan Z, or Dodge Challenger.
What owners of the Chevrolet Camaro like to use their car for:
Percent based x/5-star: 0-10% = 1, 11-20% = 2, 21-30% = 3, 31-40% = 4, 41%+ = 5
|Frequent Use Categories:||How Useful? (Out of 5 Stars)|
|Lots of Driving (travel/long commute)||***|
|Office on Wheels||*|
A Note About Data and Information Sources
This article has many details about Chevrolet Camaro reliability; here’s what we used for our assumptions and recommendations.
- FIXD Reliability Score & Data: Engine reliability information is captured via the FIXD App.
The FIXD Reliability Score is calculated using the number of DTCs per year, weighted by mileage. This is then turned into a scale of 1-10 for easy graphing.
This is an objective score.
- Owner Reliability Score & Data: This data is the result of surveying Chevrolet Camaro owners who use FIXD.
The Owner Reliability Score comes straight from owners of the Chevrolet Camaro.
This is a subjective score.
To determine the Owner Reliability Score we ask each car owner:
How reliable would you say your Chevrolet Camaro is?
a. Just point A to point B driving
b. A Daily Commuter
c. Good for a 100 mile road trip
d. Good for a 500 mile road trip
e. I could take a cross-country road trip, no problem
From here we translate their answers into the Owner Reliability Score:
a. = 2
b. = 4
c. = 6
d. = 8
e. = 10
Keep in mind, owners may think their car is more or less reliable than it actually is.
One potential problem is that people often buy the same make or model they are used to when they go car shopping, just a newer year.
Ford, for instance, has a number of consumer loyalty awards for the Ford F-Series, Ford Mustang, and Ford Expedition.
Car owners may be so loyal to the make or model they currently own that they would have trouble accurately comparing their cars’ reliability to others.
It’s for this reason that we ask car owners a question that is relative to mileage rather than relative to other cars.
Still, be mindful of the accuracy of these Owner Reliability Scores, people’s perceptions and unconscious blindspots can skew data.
We suggest looking at both the FIXD Reliability Score and the Owner Reliability Score for this reason.
- KBB Value: Average private-seller valuations as supplied by Kelley Blue Book (KBB), based on a Chevrolet Camaro with typical mileage for that respective model year.
- Fuel Economy: Mileage-per-gallon estimates according to the EPA MPG on Fueleconomy.gov
- Annual Maintenance/Repair: Upkeep expenses as reported by surveyed Chevrolet Camaro owners
- Safety Rating: Crash test data collected and reported by NHTSA. We average all ratings for each year to come up with a simplified, average safety score. This makes it easier to look at on a graph.
- Chevrolet Camaro Sales Figures, goodcarbadcar.net. Retrieved May 14, 2023, from https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/chevrolet-camaro-sales-figures/
- Chevrolet Camaro Review, edmunds.com. Retrieved May 15, 2023, from https://www.edmunds.com/chevrolet/camaro/
- Chevrolet Factory Warranty, Chevrolet.com. Retrieved May 15, 2023, from https://www.chevrolet.com/owners/warranty
Brian Jones owns a used car dealership outside of Dallas, Texas. He has also worked for decades as an ASE Certified Master Technician for a variety of new car dealerships. Now he spends his time consulting dealerships and writing for some renowned publications, such as Motor1 (https://www.motor1.com/info/team/brian-jones/). When he’s not working, he’s tinkering around with pickup trucks and traveling with his family.