Buying your first car is an exciting moment in life. While some cars are exciting to look at, there are many important considerations to weigh when choosing your first car, especially if you are a new driver.
This article will present some thoughts to consider when deciding whether a Camaro is a good first car.
Is A Camaro A Good First Car?
Whether a Camaro is a good first car largely depends on the spec level of the Camaro as this dictates the size of the engine and the power output of the vehicle. A new driver may not be experienced enough to safely operate some of the more powerful Camaro models.
Another factor to weigh is whether a younger driver has the proper judgment to responsibly operate one of the more powerful Camaro variants.
Risks Of Driving A Camaro As A First Car
Although Camaros can be a fun option as a first car, they may not be the right choice as a first car for everyone.
The following are some risks and downsides of selecting a Camaro as a first car:
Large Blind Spots
The fifth (2010 – 2015) and sixth generation (2016 – Present) Camaros are well known for their limited visibility out of the rear windows which creates large blind spots.
This is partially attributed to their high beltline, large back pillars, and small rear side windows in the rear of the vehicle.
For a new driver, this can present a bit of a problem when attempting to change lanes as it is difficult to see if there is a car in your blind spot. Selecting a Camaro that comes equipped with blind-spot monitoring can assist in safely changing lanes.
The Camaro has several different engine options to choose from, some of which may be too powerful for an inexperienced driver.
The Camaro can be optioned with a 2.0L turbocharged 4 cylinder engine producing 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque; a 3.6L V6 engine producing 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque; a 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 engine producing 455 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque and last but certainly not least a 6.2L Supercharged V8 engine which provides 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
As a first-time buyer with limited driving experience, selecting the Camaro with the power to match your driving experience will be key.
Rear Wheel Drive In Inclement Weather
If you live in an area prone to heavy rain, snow, and ice, you may want to consider the fact that all models of the Camaro are only offered in rear-wheel drive.
While rear-wheel drive cars are known to provide sportier handling characteristics, they can be a bit more difficult to operate in inclement weather.
This is because in most rear wheel vehicles the engine of the car typically is in the front but the drive wheels are located in the rear of the vehicle which is the lightest.
Since the drive wheels are located on the lightest part of the car, rear wheel drive cars can suffer from poor traction in the snow and ice as there is insufficient weight over the drive wheels.
Fishtailing Due To Rear Wheel Drive
Another potential con of owning a rear-wheel drive Camaro for a first car as an inexperienced driver is fishtailing.
Fishtailing occurs when the vehicle oversteers as a result of the rear wheels losing traction causing the vehicle to move from side to side.
For an experienced driver, this occurrence can be startling but for an inexperienced driver, this can be downright alarming and even dangerous.
Limited Storage Space
Since the Camaro is a Pony Car and, in some trims, can be considered a muscle car, it is not built with excessive storage in mind. The Camaro offers a moderately-sized glove compartment, a small center console, and small door pockets.
While the trunk of the Camaro has a smaller opening, it provides sufficient space as the coupe offers 9.1 cubic feet of trunk space and the convertible offers 7.3 cubic feet.
Even though the opening of the trunk is small compared to some vehicles, the trunk is more than spacious enough to fit groceries or multiple duffle bags, or one larger suitcase (if you can fit it through the opening).
If you are a golfer you will be happy to know that the Camaro can fit a set of golf clubs in the trunk and if you fold down the rear seats and use the trunk passthrough some owners have been able to fit two sets of clubs.
If you are in the market for a first car intending to have the ability to transport more than one adult size passenger comfortably, the Camaro may not be the best option.
While the Camaro has two seats in the rear of the vehicle, they more than likely will not be comfortable for adult-sized passengers for long durations.
Also, the Camaro being a coupe limits the amount of space that is available to load and unload objects from the rear seat area.
Benefits Of Driving A Camaro As A First Car
Although we have named some cons to owning a Camaro as a first car, there are many pros to having a Camaro as a first car.
Consider the following:
Depending on the trim level and options that you choose, Camaros have a starting MSRP of $25,000.
The safety features of the Camaro help to make it a good choice as a first car. Some of the safety features Camaros are equipped with include:
- Anti-lock brakes
- Seatbelt tensioners
- Front and side impact airbags
- Knee airbags
- Stability Control
- LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children)
- Teen Driver Technology
New Camaros come with a 3 year 36, mile warranty which can be extended. Camaros have a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 and the average repair cost is $585.
Another factor which makes the Camaro known as a reliable car is the fact that there has been only 1 vehicle recall from 2017-2021.
Fun To Drive
The Camaro is an extremely fun car to drive. The car handles well, has good acceleration and in my opinion the pushrod V-8 sounds amazing.
Safety (Crash Test Rating)
The Camaro’s crash test ratings also make it a good choice for a first car. The Camaro boasts a 5 star overall crash rating.
Good Resale Value
While it typically isn’t advisable to purchase a car as an investment with the hope that it will appreciate in value, residual value is certainly a factor to consider. In general, Camaros hold their resale value well if accident-free and properly maintained.
As a first-time car buyer, this could mean that you would be able to buy a Camaro enjoy it for a period of time and be able to sell it and apply a good amount of the proceeds of sale to the purchase of your next car.
The Camaro has been known to get rather good gas mileage, although the amount of gas mileage that you will achieve is largely attributed to your driving habits.
Camaros are listed as achieving gas mileage as follows:
Engine Type Gas Mileage (MPG)
2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo (Automatic) 22 city / 30 highway
2.0L 4 Cylinder Turbo (Manual) 19 city / 29 highway
3.6L 6 Cylinder (Automatic) 18 city / 29 highway
3.6L 6 Cylinder (Manual) 16 city / 26 highway
6.2L Naturally Aspirated V-8 (Automatic) 16 city / 26 highway
6.2L Naturally Aspirated V-8(Manual) 16 city / 24 highway
6.2L Supercharged V-8 (Automatic) 13 city / 21 highway
6.2L Supercharged V-8 (Manual) 14 city / 20 highway
If the Camaro will be your first car and you plan to learn how to drive a manual transmission using your Camaro, a benefit will be that Camaros are known for having robust manual transmissions.
In the end, deciding whether a Camaro is a good first car will depend on several variables and ultimately be a personal decision the outcome of which will vary from person to person. For some people, the slightly less powerful options may be a better choice especially if you are an inexperienced driver.
No matter which trim level and specs you choose the Camaro offers the opportunity for a fun vehicle for every spectrum of budget. The Camaro also offers plenty of safety features that will provide ease of mind to inexperienced drivers as well as drivers with more experience who will be buying this as their first car.