When you think of the great American muscle cars of the past, only a few names come to mind. The Camaro is often at the top of the list because Chevrolet brought the vehicle to the market in 1967. That allowed it to be competitive with the Ford Mustang before any other models from brands like Pontiac came along.
The Camaro was continuously produced by Chevy for four generations. That effort stopped in 2002 when the Boisbriand Plant shut down, taking it off the line.
What makes the fourth generation unique for the Camaro line (1992-2002) is that the design brought the muscle back to the vehicle. Instead of competing with Ford or copying Ferrari, Chevy came back to its roots with this manufacturing effort.
The Camaro made a triumphant return in 2009 with a 2010 model year, and it continues to serve as a classic pony and muscle car.
Pros And Cons of Buying a Fourth Generation Camaro
Chevrolet produced the fourth generation Camaro on the same platform the company used for all previous efforts from 1967. They added a 5.7L V8 engine in 1998, provide a convertible with 2 and 2 seating, and offered a more affordable V6 option with lots of choices to consider. It was available from 1992 to 2002.
The fourth generation of Chevy Camaro was launched to the public with the 1993 model year. Before that time, the company classified the vehicle as more of a concept car.
It was similar to the Pontiac Firebird during that time, offering a V6 engine, rear-wheel drive, or a six-cylinder V8 workhorse. After five successful sales years, Chevy offered a sports-style engine for the vehicle with a small block LS1 engine.
If you’re interested in a fourth-generation Camaro, you’ll want one of the models with the LS1. It delivers more drive, a better acceleration profile, and added comfort when hitting the open road.
When you have one of the fourth-gen Camaros, the speed you can achieve behind the wheel is incredible!
Although several positives come with this vehicle, you’ll find a few negatives that must get managed if you want to park this car in your driveway today.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Buying a Fourth Generation Camaro?
|List of the Pros of a Fourth-Gen Camaro
|List of the Cons of a Fourth-Gen Camaro
|• The fourth generation of the Chevy Camaro brings more power and speed to drivers. With the LS1 V8 engine introduced in the 1998 model, it delivers up to 305 HP. If you grab the 2001 SS model, you’ll get 325 HP and 350 ft-pounds of torque.
• When you drive the 2001 Z28 Chevy Camaro, you can go from 0 to 60 mph in under 6.5 seconds. The 2002 version takes 1.3 seconds off that time.
• The vehicles from the fourth generation are in high demand. If you have one in excellent condition, the value often rises on the car since it is so desirable.
• A Camaro is lots of fun to drive. They hold their own on the road with precise steering and a low center of gravity. You also look great while doing it, adding another element of fun to the process.
• The 35th anniversary package for the 2002 model year includes traction control, a short throw shifter, and a few additional options – including a Rally Red paint job with silver stripes.
• It handles well on most surfaces, although it doesn’t like to work with deep snow. The car is meant to be driven hard in fair to excellent conditions.
• When you have the LS1 engine, the Camaro is relatively easy to modify. It only takes a few efforts and investments to get the acceleration profile to be better than what you get with a Corvette.
|• The gas mileage on the fourth generation of Chevy Camaros is below average. You can get up to 28 mpg on the highway, but it delivers as little as 15 mpg in the city.
• Oil consumption can be excessive with the Camaro. This disadvantage is most notable in the models with a V8 engine.
• These models have a lightweight frame to enhance maneuverability, but it creates a bumpy ride on rough services. This issue translates to poor snow performances when the weather changes.
• There isn’t a lot of interior space to use when riding in a Camaro. If it’s just the driver and passenger, it’s fine. When you need someone to be in the back, the legroom is suitable for kids – not adults.
• It isn’t as easy to work underneath the hood when you drive a fourth-generation Camaro. You might have a fun car to drive, but you’ll want a mechanic available for maintenance and repairs unless you have space to work.
• The plugs and wire changes for the Camaro are quite challenging, although it isn’t impossible to work on those needs.
• Parts for the fourth generation Camaros can get expensive since the vehicle is approaching 20+ years of service for every model year.
• The head gaskets in the engines put in all the cars tend to need repair or replacement by 100,000 miles because of the heat and constant acceleration profile.
Is a Fourth Generation Camaro Better Than the Fifth?
When Chevy decided to stop making the Camaro after 2002, it seemed like the fourth-gen models would be the final option for enthusiasts. Less than a decade later, the manufacturing processes got sorted out so that the vehicle came back with a meaner look and plenty of speed in 2009.
You’ll find with the 2020 and later Camaros an LT1 trim that comes to the lineup. It allows buyers to get the experience of a V8 engine without paying a significantly higher price. There’s also a V6 engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission that delivers an impressive result.
The SS model even got an updated front to deliver an even more impressive muscle car look.
Although the fourth generation of the Chevy Camaro is worth pursuing (especially with the limited editions), here are some reasons to consider purchasing one of the fifth-gen options instead.
1. You have the option to use a standard turbo four-cylinder engine.
Instead of getting stuck with 15 mpg or less in the city with the older Camaros, the new models deliver a four-cylinder engine that’s surprisingly fuel-efficient. You’ll get up to 31 mpg on the highway with it while still getting a brisk acceleration profile. It’ll take you from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.4 seconds when using premium gasoline.
2. The V8 fifth-gen version has more power.
If you invest in one of the better Camaro packages that are out today, you can grab an option that delivers 455 HP and a similar figure for the torque. That’s about 100 HP better than most of the older models, and you can still get it as a production car for under $40,000 at some dealerships. This Chevy can go from 0 to 60 mph in just over four seconds.
3. It handles better than some a few high-end performance models.
When you purchase a Chevy Camaro, you’re not getting a vehicle built with German precision or British ingenuity. Although the refinement isn’t there compared to high-end performance models, you’ll be competitive behind the wheel anyway.
With the fifth generation’s 1LE Track Performance package, you’ll get a stiffer suspension and wider tires that enhance your handling. It also comes with an upgraded cooling system to prevent overheating problems. Even the brakes are meant to handle racetrack conditions.
4. The Camaro delivers an intimidating look.
People notice the fifth-gen Camaro when it is on the road. The curb appeal for this model is almost beyond compare.
Although the fourth-generation models keep the classic look of a muscle car, the new style makes it feel like you’re getting ready to go into battle. It has an aggressive stance that gets enhanced with the RS appearance package. It even comes in a bold green metallic paint job.
5. You have access to OnStar.
Every Chevy Camaro from the 2020 model year and beyond comes with the OnStar communications system. That means you can reach someone in an emergency by pressing a button.
If you’re in an accident, the electronics automatically notify the monitoring agent so that you can get help right away. It also provides hands-free calling and turn-by-turn driving instructions.
6. You can add tons of features to the vehicle.
The fifth-gen Camaro comes with lots of customizable features to consider. The latest take on Infotainment is the best option, featuring a 7-inch touchscreen with smartphone support and voice controls.
The vehicle acts as a 4G Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing passengers to stream, surf, or play their favorite games. Standard features in the lineup include a push-button start and Bluetooth® access.
7. It has an excellent safety record.
The fifth-gen Camaro scores well on all the critical NHTSA crash tests. It gets a 5-star rating for impact protection, and you’ll get accident-avoidance technology that wasn’t available in the previous models. The optional blind-spot monitor is helpful, and the rear camera mirror system gives you another tool for staying safe.
8. The Camaro is practical enough to be a daily commuter.
When you purchase the fuel-saver models from the fifth generation of Camaros, you’ll have a vehicle that competes as a daily commuting option.
The driver’s seat has enough padding to manage a long-distance drive, while the interior controls make it easier to manage the different issues that come along the way. There’s even enough leg room to accommodate most individuals.
You won’t find a large trunk waiting for you with the Camaro, but it will let you fold the rear seat down for extra storage.
9. It has enough power to hang with today’s top sportscars.
When you purchase the Camaro ZL1 today, the supercharged V8 engine delivers an impressive 650 HP and an almost equal amount of torque. That power gets you to 60 mph from a standstill in only 3.5 seconds.
It comes with race-ready suspension dampers for improved handling, a carbon fiber hood, a spoiler, and a lightweight driving experience. The MSRP on this top performer is $63,000, but you’ll pay for the speed with only 14 mpg in the city.
Reasons Not to Purchase a Chevy Camaro
When you look at the best vehicles priced under $60,000, you’ll find that several luxury options are available that could give you more bang for your buck.
It might be a lot of fun to drive a Camaro, but the Audi A5 is an excellent coupe that manages the road well. The car has one of the industry’s best interiors, and the responsiveness is comparable to what you’ll get in a Chevy. It delivers 261 HP for a base MSRP of just over $45,000. You can add a sport suspension and other features without topping $50k.
Another option is the Cadillac ATS Coupe. You’ll get a side profile similar to the Camaro with a powerful engine and RWD technology. The 2.0L turbo base model gets up to 30 mpg on the highway, and you have options that reach up to 335 HP for a price of around $40k if you can still find one listed as new.
A final option is the Jaguar XF. It offers more versatility than the Camaro, including an AWD variant. You’ll find the 340 HP in the base model is right along with the same price as a Chevy, and the interior options are more comfortable.
The MSRP starts at $44,000, and you’ll get up to 33 mpg on the highway or 25 mpg in the city on the 2.0L four-cylinder engine.
Although the fourth generation of Chevy Camaros is an exciting vehicle to drive, it has several pros and cons to consider before investing your money in one. It might be better to purchase a new luxury car or invest in a collectible-grade item, especially if a fifth-gen Camaro doesn’t feel right.