If you’re looking for a sensible used car to tool around town in, then a Honda Civic has most likely crossed your mind. And why not? The Civic is a practical, fuel-efficient, and reliable means of transportation, and to top things off, you can find a used one for well under $20,000. But have you thought about a sports car?
It’s a weird proposal, considering you probably want four doors, however, if you can consider getting an entry-level 2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT for its fun-to-drive nature and relative efficiency, then you just might forget about getting a commuter car like a Honda Civic altogether.
2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT has no frills, but it has thrills
The Chevrolet Camaro was redesigned for the 2016 model year, but the reason we would choose a 2017 model is that all of the typical kinks or issues that come with a redesign have usually been sorted out after the car has spent a year on the market. Additionally, when most consumers shop for a used car, they typically look at three-year-old cars as that seems to be the sweet spot when it comes to price depreciation and relative newness. That all being said, if you were to shop for a used Camaro, we would recommend the 2017 1LT model.
The Camaro 1LT is the entry-level model in the Camaro line, but before you scoff at the thought of getting a base trim, consider what it comes with. As such, the Camaro 1LT comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that’s connected to a six-speed manual transmission, but an eight-speed automatic transmission is optional.
On the inside, the Camaro comes with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s Apple Carplay and Android Auto compatible, Bluetooth, a back-up camera, dual USB ports, and automatic climate control. There are more upscale features as well, including a push-button start, power-adjustable driver and passenger seats, keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel.
What about the car’s performance?
We know what you’re probably thinking: Why would anyone want a four-cylinder Camaro? We don’t blame you for asking such an important question as the whole point of getting a sports coupe over something like a Honda Civic is that you can enjoy the rush between each stoplight as the power pushes you back in the seat. And while the turbocharged 2.0-liter doesn’t sound like it can get the job done, consider that it pushes out 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, which means it has more mid-range torque than the V6 version (284 lb-ft).
According to Car and Driver, this smaller and lighter powertrain should get you up to 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.4 seconds and down a quarter-mile in around 14 seconds. That’s much quicker than any regular old Civic (even a Civic Si), especially one that you’ll find on the used market. And if you’re worried about handling, then consider that the Camaro 1LT is around 200 pounds lighter than its higher-trim stablemates, which equates to more nimble handling and better fuel efficiency.
What kind of gas mileage does the Camaro 1LT get?
Speaking of fuel efficiency, you’ll be happy to know that the 2017 Camaro 1LT can achieve up to 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Sure, it’s not as efficient as a 2017 Civic, which can get up to 32 mpg in the city and 42 on the highway, but it’s pretty efficient for a sports car. In fact, you can easily drive one across the country in relative comfort without having to fill up the tank too often. And the whole time, you probably be glad you didn’t get a Civic.