2022 Chevrolet Camaro Does 5 Things Better Than the Nissan Z

Five 2022 Chevrolet Camaro advantages over the 2023 Nissan Z article highlights:

  • Not only does the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro offer more engine choices than the 2023 Nissan Z, but all but the 2SS trim are cheaper than a base Z
  • Even without the 1LE Package, the 2022 Camaro SS models are sharper, faster, and better performance deals than the Nissan Z
  •  Unlike the Z, the Camaro is available in convertible form

As if its muscle car rivals weren’t enough, the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro now has another sports car competitor muscling in. And though it follows a different recipe, the 2023 Nissan Z is similarly retro-styled. Plus, it’s way more than a warmed-up 370Z. However, while the Z does some things well, it’s not a perfect sports car. And in these five areas, it must play second fiddle to the 2022 Camaro.

The 2022 Chevrolet Camaro offers more and cheaper engine options than the 2023 Nissan Z

If you want a bare-bones manual 2023 Nissan Z Sport, you’ll need to fork over $39,990 before destination. That’s roughly in-between the stick-shift 2022 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS’ and 2SS’ asking prices. However, you don’t need to spend $40K to step into a new Camaro.

Firstly, for just under $30K, you can get a 2022 Camaro 2LT. Yes, it’s not as powerful as the SS models or the Z. But with a manual, the 275-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Camaro goes 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, Car and Driver says. That’s only 0.2 seconds behind the V6 Camaro, which makes 60 more horsepower.

Speaking of the 3.6-liter V6, it’s optional on the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. Yet while the V6 Camaros aren’t quite as fast as the 2023 Z, they’re noticeably cheaper. Without options, a manual 2022 Camaro 3LT starts at $34,440. And even with things like Recaro front sports seats and the Heavy-Duty Cooling and Brake Package, it’s still cheaper than the Nissan Z.

Furthermore, if you just want the 455-hp 6.2-liter V8, you don’t need to step up to the SS models. You can save some cash and get a Camaro LT1 instead. It doesn’t have all the SS bells and whistles, which we’ll discuss shortly, but it starts at just $35,395 with a manual.

The 2022 Chevrolet Camaro SS is faster and sharper than the Nissan Z for the same price

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With a 400-hp 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, the 2023 Nissan Z isn’t slow, though its tires arguably hold it back. Still, even with suspected pre-production issues, Car and Driver eked out a 4.5-second 0-60 with a manual Z Performance. And Hagerty’s manual and automatic testers did it in 4.3 seconds and 4.0 seconds, respectively.

However, that still makes it slower than the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS and 2SS. With their 455-hp V8s, both can hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds in manual form. And the optional 10-speed automatic drops that down to 3.9 seconds. Admittedly, Hagerty’s automatic Z tester was only 0.1 seconds slower in the ¼-mile than Car and Driver’s automatic Camaro SS. However, the Chevy had a faster trap speed. Plus, its 5-60 times, which better measure real-world performance, are better than the Z’s times.

But it’s not just in a straight line where the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro pulls ahead of the 2023 Nissan Z. For sure, Nissan accomplished its goal of making the Z a fun dance partner for the road. However, it’s not as sharp or nimble as something like the Toyota Supra. Furthermore, on a track or fast road, the Handling Package-equipped Mustang Mach 1 has way more grip and faster reflexes, Car and Driver reports.

But you know what sports car is just as fun as the Mach 1? The 2022 Chevrolet Camaro SS, especially with the 1LE Package. Even with less-aggressive tires, it grips harder than the Mach 1, let alone the Nissan Z. Also, its steering is sharper and more communicative. And while the Z’s V6 is powerful and nearly lag-free, the Camaro’s V8 is even more responsive, not to mention more characterful.

For now, the 2022 Camaro SS offers more performance features and options than the Nissan Z

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Unfortunately, you can’t get the 1LE on a non-V8 Camaro anymore. But even without it, the 2022 Camaro 1SS and 2SS bring a bit more standard performance tech than the 2023 Z.

For example, if you want a limited-slip differential on the Z, you must step up to the $49,990 Z Performance. That’s also the only way you can get automatic rev-matching and launch control on a manual 2023 Z. However, both the 1SS and 2SS get an LSD and automatic rev-matching as standard. To the Z’s credit, it gets a standard front strut-tower brace. But while the Z and Camaro SS both feature engine oil coolers, Chevrolet adds a standard transmission and differential cooler to its sports car.

Admittedly, Nissan hasn’t positioned the 2023 Z as a track car, hence the whole ‘dance partner’ thing. But there are rumors of a future Nismo variant, which could feature upgrades such as grippier tires, stiffer shocks, and stronger brakes. However, such a Z would undoubtedly cost even more than the Performance trim. And keep in mind that a 2022 Camaro 2SS 1LE is only $900 more than a Z Performance.

Speaking of the 1LE, it adds several features that even the Nissan Z Performance doesn’t have. Firstly, it gives the Camaro adaptive magnetorheological shocks, which sharpen its handling without shattering spines. Secondly, the 1LE has a rear spoiler, electronic LSD, Brembo brakes, Recaro front seats, stiffer suspension components, and a heads-up display. The Z Performance has a rear spoiler, but not the other stuff.  

It’s a better deal when it comes to technology, too

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It’s worth noting that the 2022 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS already has a standard HUD. But that’s just one area where the Camaro one-ups a similarly-priced Nissan Z in terms of technology.

For one, even the 1SS comes standard with power-operated front seats, WiFi, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; the Z Sport doesn’t. Even the Z Performance doesn’t have wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Secondly, the 2SS gets a nine-speaker Bose audio system while the Z Performance only has an eight-speaker version. In addition, no 2023 Z offers wireless charging, even as an option. On the 2022 Camaro 2SS, though, it’s a standard feature.

Now, the Z does have its own tech one-ups. The Z Performance offers a 9.0” touchscreen, for example, while the Camaro’s biggest screen only measures 8.0”. Also, even compared to the 2SS, the Z Sport has more standard ADAS features. However, while both the Z Performance and Camaro 2SS offer things like heated seats and navigation, Chevy’s sports car is cheaper.

There won’t be a Z convertible, but there is a drop-top Camaro

The rear 3/4 view of a silver 2022 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible driving on an oceanside road
2022 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible rear 3/4 | Chevrolet

RELATED: 2023 Nissan Z Performance Is What the Ford Mustang GT Wishes It Was

Earlier, I mentioned that there could be a Nismo version of the 2023 Nissan Z in the works. However, there’s one Z variant that we know won’t be coming: a convertible. From a handling perspective, that’s not a bad thing. But it does mean the Z might lose some roadster customers—and the 2022 Camaro could gain some.

Unlike the Z, Chevrolet offers the Camaro in convertible form. The drop-top models are $5000-$6000 more expensive than the fixed-roof versions, which does eliminate some of the Camaro’s value advantage. But if you want some extra sunshine in your sports car, Chevy does it better than Nissan.

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