When it comes to competition for the 2019 Chevrolet Camero, you probably think muscle cars.
Challenger, Mustang, vehicles of that ilk.
But would you consider hot hatches?
Now normally I wouldn't either, but given this four cylinder turbo Camaro's low starting price and it's performance characteristics, Chevrolet thinks it's a viable choice along side weekend racer favorites like the Ford Focus ST, Volkswagen Golf GTI, and Subaru BRZ.
Now I think it's an interesting point in comparison, so let's run with it.
Can this Camaro Turbo 1LE stand up against some of the most fun cars to drive on the $35,000?
Well let's find out.
Let's start with performance, one area with the Camaro does shine Along side some atypical competition.
The Camaro's chassis is built to handle gobs of V-8 powers so when it comes to a 2 liter inline 4, putting out 275 horsepower and 295 pound feet of torque, well, the car feels capable of just about anything you can throw at it.
Well, that's especially true with the 1 LE packet which borrows the SS's suspension in addition to packing beefier Brembo brakes and wide summer tires.
The steering is nicely weighted and the car feels flat as a pancake when the going gets spirited.
Power comes on smoothly and while the four banger doesn't exactly have the most Camaro appropriate note perse, it does sound nicely aggressive once you lean on it.
The six speed manual has a nice, smooth action and the clutch has very predictable bite point making rub matching down shifts a breeze.
When it comes to around town driving, the Camaro is pretty well composed.
Despite having the stiffer suspension from the SS, it handles the rush stuff pretty well although not as well as cars with multi mode adaptive dampers in this price range like the Volkswagen GTI or the Honda Civic Tvar.
And while the tires provide a lot of grip, they also produce a lot of noise at highway speed.
The Camaro redesign resulted in some polarizing opinions but me, I got lucky.
The Turbo is probably the Best iteration of the 2019 Camaro since it lasts that dark colored span in the middle of the front bumper that everyone apparently seems to hate.
Instead on this car you get a decently aggressive look that's just a little more evolution than revolution.
The $4,500 performance package takes things a little far on the style It has a number of black elements around the car including the hood, mirrors and spoiler.
If I could just skip the hood and not make the car look like a runner up at a hot import night show, well I'd prefer that.
One thing the Camaro will never have over it's hot hatch competition is cargo space.
It has just 9.1 cubic feet of space Its thin, deep trunk and the opening is so high and so small, that you'll have a little bit of trouble getting anything sizeable back there.
All muscle cars have cramped interiors and the Camaro is no exception.
Thanks to the styling The glass has been compressed to slivers, on basically, all sides of the car.
The hood goes on forever.
The rear seat is halfway to make believe.
These aren't problems you have on a hot hatch.
Although in this segment the Subaru BRZ, does suffer similar [UNKNOWN].
Material quality is all over the place.
I really enjoyed the leather on the doors, and the [UNKNOWN] feels pretty nice, but all the plastic in the interior feels like it was made from leftover tubs from the container store.
That said, I do appreciate the clever way that Chevy integrates the temperature dial into the climate vents down here, and I also appreciate the myriad of physical button For just about anything you need.
Another place Camaro meets or beats its offbeat competition is technology.
I am a big fan of Chevy's new Infotainment 3 system, which is on this car featured on an 8 inch touchscreen unit.
It's more responsive than it used to be and it has a slick new design with a log in System that actually lets you log in from car to car so you can carry navigation directions or favorites with you wherever you go without having to reprogram them in.
Now that back up cameras are standard, it's time to nitpick them.
Thankfully, Chevrolet has upgraded the Camaro's back up camera so it not only has the suitable resolution but a pretty wide field of view.
What really ticks me off though about Chevy's features is the lack of front parking sensors.
Chevy only has them on the back Where I already have a camera.
What about my front end of indeterminate length?
Am I supposed to just smash into every berm I see?
Since my tester has a six speed manual transmission, there are very few safety features on offer save for some blind spot monitors on the side mirrors.
Now a lot of competitors offer a suite of safety systems as standard equipment these days, so I think it's a shame that Chevy even lacks the option for those Assistance.
Now this Camero 2LT is the most kidded out Camero you can get with the 4 cylinder engine.
It starts at about 28500 dollars, and adding the 1LE performance pack brings that up 33000 dollars and thereabouts.
Now, that is a little expensive, but it is still on par with competition both expected Unexpected.
[UNKNOWN] only comparing the Camaro on a performance basis, it hold its ground against the Hondas and Subarus of the segment.
It's rewarding to drive quickly and it's very wheel drive layout, it means you can get into the fun kind of trouble if you do it right.
it's tech is near at the top of the segment too.
However, that compares [UNKNOWN] part when you remember that it's a cramp [UNKNOWN] with limited visibility and even more limited capacities Hot hatches offered an excellent blend of real world capability and fun driving dynamics.
If you only need a car for one job, well, the Camaro will kill it.
But, if you do in double duty it might be wise to look elsewhere.