What It Is
An iconic sports car reimagined for modern times.
Quick acceleration and smooth shifting.
Infotainment was hard to use while driving/shifting.
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE offers up strong performance and a dynamic experience.
The nameplate "Camaro" immediately conjures an image to mind, whether that's the more classic model from the 60s and 70s or today's model. Generations have been able to experience and grow with the Camaro, from the RS to the SS to the Z/28. And while body styles have come and gone and engines have become more powerful, what brings this car to life has remained generation after generation.
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS holds true to the classic muscle car. With a mechanical feel, simplistic interior, and a throaty engine growl, we couldn't wait to get the Camaro out on the road. Although there's much here to love about the latest Camaro SS, we weren't fond of everything. Read on to hear what we thought of the 2014 Chevy Camaro 1SS Coupe.
What We DroveOur 2014 Camaro SS came with a starting price of $33,055, but that number didn't stay so small for long. With the SS 1LE Performance Package ($3,500), Recaro Performance seats ($1,995), and navigation ($795), we were looking at a total cost of $40,340, including a $995 destination charge. But after our time with the car, it's well worth the additions. The performance package added on a suspension and handling package, unique rear spoiler, 20-inch aluminum wheels, and a suede steering wheel and shift knob.
Standard features included Chevrolet MyLink, remote entry, steering wheel-mounted controls, USB ports, while standard safety features included stability and traction control, battery rundown protection, and a theft deterrent system. While not tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2014 Chevy Camaro earned a 5-Star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, making it one of safest fun-to-drive cars on the road.
The CommuteSitting in traffic with a manual transmission vehicle is not my idea of a good time. After a good half hour, your legs start to burn from the constant clutch-brake-gas action, but when you're moving that discomfort is the last thing on your mind.
When you have to constantly shift gears and watch out for big semis trying to run you off the road, you don't want to be messing with your phone or the radio. The Bluetooth on the Camaro was easy to sync and use, but the infotainment system left us wanting more. There were just too many screens and buttons you had to push when wanting to switch channels or from FM to XM to Pandora. The knob to tune the stations was just out of reach, causing us to lean slightly to the right, distracting us from the road.
But perhaps the most enjoyable part of our morning commute was the Recaro seats. They hugged your frame, keeping you securely in your seat when taking a sharp corner or quickly maneuvering between slower traffic. The suede and leather added to the overall appeal, and we were hard-pressed to find a driving buddy who thought they were anything less than comfortable.
The Grocery RunThe last thing you want to do in a sports car that has a 6.2-liter V8 under the hood is circle a parking lot trying to find a spot. But once you zone in on an open space, it's easy to maneuver this beast into almost any spot. Although this car may look wide when looking out the windshield, there's plenty of visibility, even without a backup camera.
The trunk was accommodating at 11.3 cubic feet, and while it may not have been very tall, it was deep and spacious, offering plenty of room for a week's worth of groceries. Because we were driving the coupe model, the back seat can become cramped and hard to get in and out of, depending on the height of the front passengers. There isn't too much legroom, but we doubt there will be many road trips with more than two people in this car's future.
The Weekend FunAlthough it was a holiday weekend, we found the roads surprisingly empty. No complaints here. We loved having the 2014 Chevy Camaro SS out on the road. The simplistic interior lets the driver really connect with the vehicle and take advantage of all it has to offer.
At the start of the weekend, it took us some time to get used to the very mechanical feel of the vehicle and the shifting. But by the end of the weekend, it was hard to get us out from behind the wheel. After the learning curve, acceleration was powerful, and shifting became smoother and less jerky. Going around corners proved particularly enjoyable as the car seemed glued to the ground. There was never a sense that we were going to lose control.
Even though the engine was rather loud, we didn't hear as much road or wind noise as we would have expected when at highway speeds. This makes for a really good commute or just a chance to get out of your own head. There was never a time where a smile wasn't plastered on my face when driving the 2014 Camaro SS.
SummaryIf you're in the market for a new sports car but don't want to break your bank, the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE is the car to get. It may not be as refined as others out there, but for the money, you can't beat it. There's just something about the new Camaro that reminds us of the classic muscle car. Chevrolet has found a way to combine a classic soul with a modern body without it feeling like it's no longer a Camaro or that it's too old school in its design. Both young and old generations will be happy with the latest offering from Chevrolet, but if you're looking for more of a track car or one that is more commuter-friendly, check out the Z/28 and the and 2LT, respectively.
Spec BoxPrice-as-tested: $40,340
EPA City: 16
EPA Highway: 24
EPA Combined: 19
Cargo Space: 11.3 cubic feet
Child Seat Fitment, Second Row: Fair
Estimated Combined Range: 361 miles
Intellichoice Cost of Ownership: Above Average