If you’re a sports car enthusiast, there’s plenty to be excited about these days. Cars have never been faster or more advanced whether we’re talking about sub-$30,000 cars or insane multi-million dollar hypercars. This is especially the case when you look at the modern era of American muscle cars, which is as competitive as ever. Looking to gain ground on the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro arrives with a refreshed design, some added cabin tech and an available 10-speed automatic transmission. Testing out all of these new features, we got behind the wheel of a bright red 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS coupe for this test drive review.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS Exterior
The sixth-gen Camaro was introduced for the 2016 model year, but this 2019 update gives Chevy’s pony car a little more attitude and much better model distinction. The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro is available in a variety of different looks ranging from the toned-down LS and LT designs up to the track-ready ZL1, which carries over the 2018 Camaro body, but it’s the 2019 Camaro SS that has received most of the attention of the restyled lineup because of its a busy, polarizing front end. Even though the blacked-out center section and Chevy’s “FlowTie” (a flow-through Bowtie) badge haven’t been very well-received, it does make the SS easy to spot – something that the previous Camaro SS as well as the current Mustang GT and Challenger R/T all suffer from.
This face might be a one model year feature, though, as Chevrolet’s 2018 SEMA lineup seemed to preview an updated Camaro SS front end on the Camaro Shock and other display models with a painted center section and the bowtie emblem moved back up into the upper grille. The headlights are the coolest part of the front end with wide LED accent lights (standard on SS and RS) that provide a very cool look at night.
The rear of the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro is a huge improvement with the SS getting a big rear spoiler, quad exhaust outlets and three-dimensional LED taillights, and the SS also gets offset 20-inch wheels (8.5 inches wide in the front and 9.5 inches wide in the rear). As if the refreshed look didn’t make the 2019 Camaro SS standout enough, this tester looked especially sporty painted in the Camaro’s aptly named Red Hot hue.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS Interior
Not much has changed in regards to the interior of the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro, but Chevy did add some content to make the higher trim level even better. The top 2SS trim level gets a new full display rear camera mirror, while all trims get revised ambient lighting (with more options including blended colors) and are equipped with the latest version of the Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system that is controllable via the eight-inch touch-screen display.
The overall cabin design of the sixth-gen Camaro is far cleaner than the previous (2010-2015) model with a sportier three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel and better use of the limited space on the center stack. The controls for the dual-zone automatic HVAC system are built into the center vents – just turn the vents to change the air temperature – requiring fewer buttons for other HVAC functions and opening up more space for the bigger touch-screen display. The dual-brow gauge cluster houses a pair of analog gauges for the speedo and tachometer, and a larger digital display can be reconfigured for various info. The 2SS also comes standard with head-up display.
Compared to its pony-car peers, the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro is the smallest in the group, which is obvious when trying to squeeze passengers into the rear seats. Despite offering about an inch more rear legroom than the Mustang, the Camaro’s rear seats feel more cramped; unlike the five-passenger Challenger, both the Camaro and Mustang are four-seaters. There is sufficient legroom and headroom for front passengers, but high beltline and small windows still results in limited visibility while driving.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS Powertrain
The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS is still powered by a 6.2-liter direct-injected V-8 pumping out 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque, and while the base transmission continues to be a six-speed manual gearbox, the 2019 model year brings GM’s new 10-speed automatic transmission. This transmission is a $1,595 option, and it helps in both performance and fuel economy. On the efficiency side of things, the 2019 Camaro SS has EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of 16 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway*, an improvement of 3 mpg on the highway compared to the 2019 SS with a manual gearbox and it’s a 1 mpg city gain from the 2018 Camaro SS with the eight-speed auto.
This advanced gearbox also help improve driving performance with features such as launch control, line lock and lift-foot gear hold. The latter function allows the transmission to hold a particular gear when the driver lifts off the gas, which is helpful in high-speed cornering. The shift points are quick and intuitive, and it never feels like the transmission is endlessly searching for a gear. There are Tour, Sport and Track modes as well to help improve the feel of the car. With the 10-speed transmission, the 2019 Camaro SS has a curb weight of 3,697 pounds, which is about 70 pounds lighter than a Ford Mustang GT and 460 pounds lighter than a Dodge Challenger R/T. Chevrolet doesn’t list an official 0-60 time, but we were consistently able to accelerate to 60 mph in the mid four second range without the use of launch control.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS Safety
The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro received a five-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the 2SS trim level gets even safer with new standard safety features like Forward Collision Alert (coupe only), Rear Park Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS Overall
The refreshed 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS sure has taken some lumps recently in reference to its new design, but it’s hard to argue with the performance and overall enjoyment that this sporty coupe delivers. Only time will tell if this will help the Camaro claw away sales from the Mustang and Challenger. The Camaro does boast the lowest price in its competitive set with the $25,995** Camaro LS costing less than the base models of the Challenger and Mustang, while the Camaro SS (in 1SS trim) is priced starting at $37,995. Opting for the 2SS trim and the optional 10-speed automatic transmission resulted in this car carrying an as-tested price of $44,590 costing less than the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack and 2018 Mustang GT Performance Package we’ve recently tested.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Chevrolet dealership and test drive the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS today!
* Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
** MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.