Sports cars are rarely cheap, especially when they’re new. Despite this, some aren’t always worth the hefty sticker price automakers like to slap on them. It appears the 2021 Chevy Camaro is the only sports car over $40,000 to earn this less-than-illustrious distinction this year. Or that’s what Consumer Reports thinks, anyway.
The well-known review site found plenty of reasons to love the Camaro but couldn’t bring itself to recommend the Chevrolet sports car. So what happened to the Camaro, and why is it lagging behind the competition?
Best sports cars according to Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports tested eight 2021 sports cars over $40,000 to see if they’re worthy of recommendation. Only seven of eight made the cut.
CR put the BMW 2 Series, Porsche 718 Boxster, Toyota Supra, BMW Z4, Ford Mustang, Audi TT, 2021 Dodge Challenger, and Chevrolet Camaro through their paces to see where they placed. The BMW 2 Series came in first, while the Camaro came in dead last. Consumer Reports has yet to test 2022 sports cars such as the Subaru BRZ, Volkswagen GTI, and Toyota 86, so the Camaro’s rank may change.
The Chevy Camaro failed to live up to the hype
The Camaro starts at $25,000 and tops out at $69,000. That puts it within most shoppers’ budgets. But is it worth buying?
Consumer Reports doesn’t think so. The review site wasn’t that impressed with several areas, such as the Camaro’s predicted reliability, which earned a low score of 2 out of 5. This is due in large part to three recalls involving airbags, seat belts, and powertrain.
The rear seat comfort received an even worse score: 1 out of 5. But this isn’t much of a surprise for anyone who has ridden in the backseat of a sports car. They aren’t exactly known for cushiness.
Another area that failed to impress CR was the Camaro’s fuel economy. On the highway, drivers can expect 28 mpg, which is more than decent. But city driving is another story altogether, at a dismal 13 mpg.
Finally, the one area CR couldn’t forgive was the visibility. Consumer Reports stated, “As a daily driver, you might want to think twice because outward visibility is atrocious.” Despite this, CR wasn’t nearly as insulting as toward the 2020 model and found plenty to enjoy about the 2021 model.
But the 2021 Camaro isn’t irredeemable
Though the 2021 Chevy Camaro failed to land a recommendation from Consumer Reports, it will doubtless find a place in the hearts of drivers looking for an affordable sports car. It’s been around since 1967, after all, so some diehard fans will buy it no matter what critics think.
Although it can’t sing the Camaro’s praises, CR still had some good things to say about this Chevy classic. “The modern Camaro is a delight to drive,” the consumer site said, “with dynamic prowess that can give even snooty European sportsters a run for their money.”
High praise without a recommendation is more than a little confusing, however. It gets even more confusing when you read CR’s report and see the 2021 Camaro earned high scores in many areas. It garnered an 85 out of 100 on its road test — better than some recommended competitors, such as the Dodge Challenger and Audi TT.
The Camaro predicted owner satisfaction is good, too, and the routine handling and emergency handling earned high scores. Yet all of this couldn’t save the 2021 muscle car from an overall score of 63.
Some think the Camaro will see its final production run in 2023, and failing to impress critics won’t help. Given that the Camaro is an American classic, we hope this won’t happen, but only time will tell if the end is near.