Skip to Content

Should I Buy a Used Camaro? Chevy mechanic says yes!

The Chevrolet Camaro is one of those modern muscle cars that I cannot ignore. And with good reason: the car looks great and comes with some pretty neat features. Like any other used car, though, certain cons come with buying a used Camaro.

The Chevy Camaro is an everyday user-friendly modern muscle car. It barely costs more than the average sedan to maintain, and JD Power scores it highly in reliability testing. A used Camaro with full-service history and below-average mileage makes a sound purchase.

Here I will break down the things we need to know before pulling the trigger on our very own used Camaro model. Read and decide for yourself.

New car lot

Before We Start

First, we must clear up that there is a huge difference between various Chevy Camaro models. For example, buying the 1960s or 1970s Chevrolet Camaro while falling in the used car category is completely different from buying a more recent 2010 and onwards model.

The former will involve substantial restoration. And the latter might give you more bang for your buck with minimum sprucing up needed. Now that we have that cleared up let us dig deeper.

What Are Some Issues With Modern Used Chevy Camaro Models?

Modern used Camarao models have their fair share of pros – they look great, are super reliable, come with a five-star crash test rating which helps reduce the cost of insurance, etc. But, there are also some pretty hard to ignore cons in faulty engines and damaged exteriors.

Reviewers and users have noted engine sputtering and even stalling in their used Camaro models. The paintwork has also been deemed less than stellar, especially for the 5th gen models. Other issues with used Camaros relate to timing chains. Some models have been found to require replacement timing chains as they wear out and stretch prematurely. 

By and large, the Camaro scores quite well on the reliability front as tested by JD Power. All cars have problems, so don’t let the list of issues put you off.

I worked as a technician for GM for a couple of years and while our dealership didn’t sell a ton of Camaros, we did sell a fair share. Apart from the usual GM recalls, I found the Camaro reliable, easy to work, and fun, I always took the Camaros on an extra-long test drive – if you know what I mean.

Reliability Score78/10085/10078/10078/10082/100
Source: JDPower

According to here’s a list of common Camaro problems and the cost to fix them.

YearEngine ProblemCost
2018V6-3.6LWater Pump Replacement$653
2015V8-6.2LWindow Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement (Driver Side)$492
2016L4-2.0L TurboLubricate Hood Hinge$130
2018V6-3.6LIntake Manifold Gaskets Replacement$475
2016L4-2.0L TurboGas Cap Replacement$331

Is Chevy Camaro Expensive to Maintain?

The answer is not really. The average annual cost for maintaining a Chevrolet Camaro is slightly higher than a similar mid-size car. Around $585 for a Camaro and $526 for any other mid-size car. The cost averages out. And in fact, maintaining a Chevrolet Camaro will be a lot cheaper than the average car maintenance price in the US, which is around $652. 

Year 2018Engine L4-2.0L Turbo Maintenance Cost
Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear)$460
Spark Plugs Replacement$252
Brake Rotor/Disc Replacement (Front, Rear)$916
Air Filter Replacement$162

Does a Chevrolet Camaro Work for Everyday Use?

Yes! While admittedly short on space, the Camaro is a pretty manageable sports car for everyday use. Also, if I do say so, it makes for a very stylish, eye-catching ride. Remember that owing to space issues, a Chevy Camaro does not work well as a single car. 

What Engine Is the Best for a Camaro?

The answer for this varies with fairly equal points in favor of both the four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines. I think the V-8 engine is an excellent choice, with Camaro 3.6 liter V6 being another good bet.

Engine Size (manual)HorsepowerMPGAnnual Fuel Cost
L4-2.0L Turbo27520 city / 30 highway $2,650
V6 3.6L 33516 city / 26 highway$2,550
V8 6.2L 45516 City / 24 Highway$3,200

Does the Chevrolet Camaro Come With All-Wheel Drive (AWD)?

Sadly, no! Currently, all versions of the Chevrolet Camaro are rear-wheel drive only. 

What Is the Best Camaro Model?

This is a tough one. The simple answer is whichever you can afford. Camaros have been around for decades, and the models vary vastly in terms of specs for certain years in particular. The consensus amongst auto enthusiasts is that a well-maintained 1969 Camaro is the best investment.

However, if I was looking to get a model with appreciation in mind, the fourth generation is a good way to go. For the average used car buyer, a fifth or sixth-gen model in good shape with paint intact and no visible sign of damage is what I would recommend. 

Cost of Modern Chevrolet Camaro

2.0L 4cyl Turbo$28,000-$32,000$24,000-$30,000$22,000-$32,000$19,000-$23,000
3.6L 6cyl $28,000-$32,000 $25,000-$32,000$22,000-$30,000$23,000-$32,000
6.2L 8cyl$37,000-$130,000$35,000-$79,000$32,000-$66,000$27,000-$35,000

Cost of Classic Chevrolet Camaro

Year Condition – ExcellentCondition – GoodCondition – Fair
Average Price 80’s$11,000$9,700$5,700
Average Price 70’s $21,500$17,800$14,000
Average Price 60’s $100,000+$70,000$42,000

Things to Keep In Mind Before Buying a Used Car

The above facts I have mentioned will help us make a more informed choice about buying a used Chevy Camaro. But aside from these, we should keep some general pointers in mind when purchasing a used car. They are:

  • Research: A used car comes with unique age-related challenges. And therefore, before taking the plunge, do extensive research into the specific model and year of used vehicle. Look around internet forums, chat rooms, and auto pages on Facebook. This content is owned by moc.sotuaytsur. Get second and third opinions from family and friends. Internet research will also give us an idea of the acceptable market price for the model we have our eyes on. And we can then compare and play around to find the best quote. 
  • Car Report: I highly recommend investing some money in checking the car’s VIN number on a database like VinAudit. This will safeguard us against Mileage Fraud and Vin cloning.
  • Test Drive: Last but not least, make sure to conduct a thorough test drive around town and in different weather conditions and locations to confirm that everything is in order. 

Do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?

The Chevy Camaro is generally considered a nicely equipped sports model with great looks to boot. While it is a pretty good option for a muscle car, there are definite issues related to the lack of space. The Chevrolet lineup does not have an inordinately high number of complaints listed and has a good record for breakdowns. In general, the car is considered reliable and is above the average.

The 2016 model Camaro, for example, comes with a 60,000-mile, 5-year powertrain warranty, and a 3-year, 36,000-mile comprehensive warranty. Also worth noting is that the Chevrolet Camaro keeps getting better with each new model. Since 2016, the Chevrolet Camaro models have had a better power-to-weight ratio than their immediate competitor Ford Mustang.

Remember that Camaros are often driven quite hard. Since Camaro is essentially a performance car. Before committing to a used model, be sure to perform thorough due diligence to eliminate any performance-related issues.

To wrap up, the pros of buying a Chevrolet Camaro outweigh the cons. As in the case of any used car purchase, though, make sure to check for potential red flags. Ensure all recalls have been done and check if the car has been modified or accident damaged during its life.

You may find the following posts helpful:

Are Porsche good cars?

Are sports cars expensive to maintain?

Should I buy a sports car?

Are muscle cars hard to drive?

Should I buy a used Porsche?

Is Mustang good first car?