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Old 12-09-2012, 11:51 AM   #1
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Drove 2013 2SS and 2012 GT 5.0 Back To Back. Here are my thoughts.(Very Detailed)

Let me premise this post by saying I have always been a GM fanboy. I am biased. This is as objective as a review as I can give...but my bias cannot be ignored. I always liked chevy. It's what my family had when I was coming up and I just always preferred them. That being said I have driven several (between 4-6) of the 2010 and 2011 Camaro SS's and I honestly never liked them. I didn't like the interior, the ride was just ok, the handling wasn't special, and worst of all the shifter and shift knob were god awful(the one with the damn flat sides...who the **** designed that), the steering was weird and to me the car didn't handle it's weight that well. It never felt that fast even with the ls3 and overall I just really hated the car.

My largest complaint was the interior. The cd player setup looked goofy and there was a gap between the bottom of that and the top of the gauges on the 2ss model that made me feel like I was in a truck. It didn't feel like a sports car ****-pit but more like an suv. The steering wheel was ugly and poorly shaped as well.

Now being a chevy guy when I heard about the interior upgrades on the 13's I decided to go check them out. I went to the local dealer and found a 2013 2SS with the hurst option, dual mode exhaust, mojave interior package, the new my-link system, sunroof, etc. The works. It even had some optional wheel that looked aftermarket but had chevy emblems on them.

Anyways I went just to see the interior and the salesman kindly let me look it over. I told him I had no intention of buying it and was fine not driving it but he actually talked me into taking it for a little cruise. Here are my thoughts.

The seats are great. I am not sure if they changed the seats but I didn't remember them being that good. Not as good as gto seats but still really nice.
The factory option hurst is AWESOME. I am fully aware aftermarket shifters are a shorter throw and are cheaper, but I don't think I would want any shorter of a throw...this was plenty short, very deliberate, and the shift knob was SO SO SO SO SO much better than that last garbage. I know I put a lot of emphasis on things that seems to be insignificant but to me the details are everything and that old shifter is part of what ruined the car for me.
The steering wheel is much nicer and with the new variable rate electronic assist power steering it's very nice at low and high speeds. Firm in the corners but not too heavy.
The gauges look much better and cleaner than those goofy recessed ones they had.
The heads up display is cool.


I wasn't instantly sold on the mylink system until I discovered it's standard on the 2SS without nav and has usb in the center console. That is great. Also it's positioned a little higher than the screen in a mustang so if I go to shift hard into third and slip and accidentally punch the console I won't shatter the chevy's screen. I didn't dick with the system too much because I am not interested in techno gadgets and fiddly audio things...pandora and usb is nice.

The clutch is really nice as well along with a greatly placed pedal assembly. It's firm but not difficult, heel and toe isn't hard to do, and it grabbed gears just fine. I am not sure how it would do with big power...but I am sure someone knows.

The brembo brakes are fantastic. I didn't to a foot to the floor stop in either car but the pedal feel during regular driving was fantastic. Really stiff and confidence inspiring. No mushy brake pedal here.

The suspension tuning feels like it has been changed. Everything on the whole car from the drivers seat feels tighter and more well built. There aren't any loose pieces or shakes or rattles, it handles bumps and rough road really well, it corners better than any of us should need for a street car or cruiser car. Overall i was pleased.

The interior is really what sold me on the '13...They leather wrapped pretty much all the touch points and everything feels much more of quality than I remember. The stitching on the seats, wheel, dash, console, etc just really set the interior off.

The LS3 is really smooth at any rpm and though I didn't beat on it too much during the drive it was pretty stout for what it is. I would love to throw a twin screw on the top and really have at it.

The only gripe I have left for the car is rear and rear/side visibility. The back up camera makes parking no problem but not having rear visibility even cruising is somewhat of a pain. There is still a really large blind spot where it always has been in camaros, but now it's because of the big hips and not a sail panel. The tiny side mirrors are basically worthless. Then again...with an LS3 you don't need to look back that often.


After leaving the chevy dealer immensely impressed, I decided to drop by the local ford dealer and drive a 5.0 while the SS feel was still fresh so i could make an apt comparison. I pulled in and found the only 5.0 6 speed on the lot. A used 2012(maybe 11) GT base with almost no options. Just a 5.0 and a manual.

I will premise this part by saying I have driven many mustangs in the past. Of the recent ones I have driven countless 05-2010 GT autos, an 06 GT manual with bolt ons, and an 09 GT manual. I used to prefer the ride and interior of the mustang to the 5th gens, I just didn't like the 3v and 5 speed, so I figured I would really like this new 5.0.

I open the door to this silver GT to find black cloth, a single disc cd system, a white shift knob and that's it. I sort of liked the basic-ness of it but at the same time I'm an options guy in the end.

I fired it up and walked around to the front. Under the hood was the 5.0. The engine that everyone seems to be raving about. 412 horsepower, twin independent variable valve timing, you know the deal. This is the engine propelling these new gt's to run over 5th gens on the street...at least according to youtube.

So I excitedly slip behind the wheel. I will admit that in the cabin that 5.0 sounds really good. At idle it's better than the LS3...but not by much. Ford has the upper hand in stock exhaust sound for sure. The Camaro had the dual mode exhaust so when you got on it the camaro sounded good but the idle was weak.

The first thing i notice in the mustang is the visibility is no better than the camaro on the sides, a little better in the rear, and worse out the front . The gauges on the mustang are sweet. No doubt about it...the white glow and red needle are a killer combo. The white ball shifter is also a sweet touch but gives the mustang a more cheap feel as opposed to the camaro's leather wrapped hurst unit.

Now I know on the interior I am comparing a 2SS with a base gt, but overall the GT had a worse interior and form what I have seen the premium isn't a huge step up...mostly fake aluminum accents. I can't believe I am saying it but I am...it felt cheaper, wasn't laid out as well, and the driving position was worse.

Cruising down the road I notice the GT's shifter is short...but less deliberate than the camaro hurst unit. It's a little longer throw(not much) but it seemed to want to grab 1st instead of 3rd and 2nd instead of 4th. I am sure you would get used to it in no time...just something i noticed.

Another thing I noticed was the gt's clutch felt worse. I can't explain why really...just the engagement point wasn't in the same spot and I preferred the camaro's. I could be biased. I think for me I felt like I had to let up too far off the floor when creeping away from stops because it didn't engage as quickly as the chevy...this made it harder to park.

Here is the part you have been waiting for. My thought of the new 5.0 engine...well in short. I am not that impressed.
Don't get me wrong it's a really really nice engine. The power is very linear, the sound is great, and the numbers don't lie...but it's just not what everyone has made it out to be. It's for sure better than the 3v...but to me it just felt like a more powerful 3v.

The 09 GT I drove was a nice car. The 3v had a comfortable power band and wasn't a bad engine it was just under powered for it's competition. The new 5.0 feels EXACTLY the same as the old 3v with more power everywhere. The torque curve feels the same. I am sure it pulls much better at higher speeds than the 3v, and I am sure there are points in the powerband where it hits much harder...but in my short drive it didn't feel a lot different.

I have to give the nod to the LS3 again...it feels more savage. There could be a difference in rear gear ratios or transmission gear ratios because I don't know either of those for the particular cars, but the LS3 wins for me...not by alot though.

I was really hoping for the coyote 5.0 to be the key to me really liking mustangs but I just can't say I prefer it to an LS3. The difference in feel is that the mustang feels peaky. It wanted to really run for the redline faster and felt more alive breathing 6000rpm worth of air.
The LS3 didn't give a shit what gear you were in or what rpm you were turning it just went. It was more of a torque monster. I am a torque whore so that's why I prefer it. I think the LS3 would be a more fun engine to putt around town with and occasionally pedal down for a second to spin the tires a little, but not to the point where you are being an asshole in public or making it an event. I think you would have to be acting a little more of a fool to have fun with the 5.0.

The Mustang also rode worse. Not much worse, but it was less comfortable. Again this could be the interior but I attribute it to the IRS in the camaro. With the live axle and leaf springs you just feel bumps more. I will go on record and agree with everyone who has reviewed the mustang in saying that it's quite amazing what ford has managed with a live rear axle...but it's still a hindrance of comfort.

The Mustang proved harder to park due to the one I had not having a back up cam...which lets face it is almost required for either of these fat ass cars. When the ass end is as tall as it is with these you need that camera.


On the whole here is the breakdown.

Power - Camaro wins for it's low end grunt, and I would rather modify a pushrod motor than get inside the ford and try to **** with all that cam timing.

Handling - Camaro for it's IRS, but I have a feeling the lighter weight mustang could keep up just fine...it's just going to be harder and less comfortable.

Comfort - Inside and out the camaro wins again. The IRS makes the ride way better, the upgraded interior gives you better seats(though the GT I tested didn't have the recaros), the camaro also had more creature comforts standard.

Appearance - Subjective. I personally prefer a stock mustang to a stock camaro for 2 reasons.
1. It's more obvious that a GT is a GT not a v6(fog lamps, 5.0 badges, etc) than an SS over an RS(just the grille and deck-lid badge). That means you drive around in an SS and half the people think you bought a v6 camaro like a ******. The overly quiet exhaust on the SS doesn't help your case.
2nd The wheel options on camaros are garbage.
Also. I hate seeing yellow jacket camaros with black stripes. it's a personal preference but I think if you put transformers badges on your camaro you should be shot...and castrated. The GT wasn't a movie prop in this generation so you don't have quite the same crowd.

That being said there are quite a few more mustangs on the road than camaros so seeing an SS is more rare. Which makes it more appealing.

That being said I like a modified SS over a GT. I think they CAN look WAY more aggressive, and very clean at the same time. The styling is badass. A modified GT is just another GT but a modified SS is somewhat of a rare thing at least around here.

Overall Quality Feel - While I would have given this nod to the mustang in 2010, 2011, and 2012...I have to give it to the Camaro now...everything felt tight, well screwed together, and solid. I felt less cheap plastics in the camaro with the new interior than I did the GT.



Ending verdict. What would I buy?
Well even with the new 5.0, nice styling, good interior(on the gt premium), and all the improvements ford has done...I think that with the recent refreshments Chevy has pulled back in the lead. In the 1/4 mile the mustang may be a little faster, but I don't really care. Who races stock cars anyways?

I have to say I would buy the Camaro. I would rather have a base GT than a Base SS, but with all that comes with the 2SS package, the hurst kit, the new interior, and the new standard touch screen setup. I have to take the Chevy. And in fact most likely will in the next 2 years sometime.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:58 AM   #2
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love that interior on the camaro
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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I do too man. I don't like the exterior though.

The '13 interior upgrade sold the car for me. I didn't care for the '10-'12 interior feel. I mean some things didn't change but what needed changed was changed.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
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I love my 2012 Camaro SS.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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I have that exact car with those exact options. Will be delivered in two weeks.
Nice Write up.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:58 PM   #6
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the cars were fine in 2010, it just took a while to grow on you, the car will handle great when you push it, it feels heavy when you going slow but it's solid and sticks very well when pushed.. I actually like the old shifter better than the new ones, it's more unique, which is what makes a camaro a camaro. and I dont think they changed the gauge pods, just the speed numbering. And I couldnt care less about the stupid touch screen, that's what smart phones are for.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:54 PM   #7
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the cars were fine in 2010, it just took a while to grow on you, the car will handle great when you push it, it feels heavy when you going slow but it's solid and sticks very well when pushed.. I actually like the old shifter better than the new ones, it's more unique, which is what makes a camaro a camaro. and I dont think they changed the gauge pods, just the speed numbering. And I couldnt care less about the stupid touch screen, that's what smart phones are for.
No the gauges in the 13s are revised. The needle is thinner and the whole think is less recessed.

I hated that nasty shifter with the flat sides. Felt awful.

I am sure you are right to an extent though. The styling hasn't changed, much of the interior, etc etc. It's just had to grow on me. There were a few things though that did have to change.
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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You contradicted yourself on the LS3. Do you like it or not? The weight of the camaro never changed so what makes the 2013 so much better. Nothing performance in my book.

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Old 12-09-2012, 11:28 PM   #9
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I did a similar write up when I went from my 2011 1SS to my 2013 2SS. I cant put my finger on any one particular thing but the combination of small upgrades made a big difference to me. My 13 is much better than my 11. It drives like a different car.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:19 AM   #10
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You contradicted yourself on the LS3. Do you like it or not? The weight of the camaro never changed so what makes the 2013 so much better. Nothing performance in my book.

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The suspension is better in the 2012+ Camaro's….

Also OP lol at the cheap plastics comment about the Mustang When the Camaro has more cheap plastic in it, just saying. And I've sat in both my 2010 and a 2012 (which has the faux leather insert). The Premium is MUCH better than the base Mustang Interior…

Otherwise great comparo!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:09 AM   #11
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In all aspects, the new 5.0 is night & day when compared to the old 4.6. I do like the interior style of the Camaro more than the Mustang. I also like the Camaro's flared rear quarters more than the Mustang's. But I like the front end of the 12s more than the 13s (Mustang) since that snout only looks right on a Shelby IMO. I think of one of biggest advantages the '13 Camaro has over the '12 is the dual-mode exhaust.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:58 AM   #12
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the 13 mustangs look nice, but ford has really crappy stock rims for the mustang the only ones that actually look good are the GT500 rims. chevy did good with the stock rims for the camaro
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
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In all aspects, the new 5.0 is night & day when compared to the old 4.6. I do like the interior style of the Camaro more than the Mustang. I also like the Camaro's flared rear quarters more than the Mustang's. But I like the front end of the 12s more than the 13s (Mustang) since that snout only looks right on a Shelby IMO. I think of one of biggest advantages the '13 Camaro has over the '12 is the dual-mode exhaust.
I agree the shark nose belongs on the Shelby...
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:05 AM   #14
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You contradicted yourself on the LS3. Do you like it or not? The weight of the camaro never changed so what makes the 2013 so much better. Nothing performance in my book.

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I've always liked the LS3. Sorry to be unclear.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:23 PM   #15
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Have to disagree on your comment about the mustangs top interior not being much better than the base interior. It far exceeds the base mustang and the top camaro interior including the 2013 models. That's the only drawback to the camaro in the stying dept.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:56 PM   #16
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Nice review , I love both cars and have been tossing around which one to get though I have always leaned to the Camaro , but I gotta say I just LOVE the 2013 Mustang taillights , those things are bad ass also love the fact they use retro speedo numbers for the gauges , looks real cool but in the end I'm a GM man and I miss the Trans Am dearly so my next car will be a Camaro SS or ZL1 and I'm gonna love it
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:38 PM   #17
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so you compared a brand new nicely optioned 2SS/RS to a a two year old base Mustang......oookkkkkk
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:42 PM   #18
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so you compared a brand new nicely optioned 2SS/RS to a a two year old base Mustang......oookkkkkk
I was thinking the same thing when I typed my post.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #19
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so you compared a brand new nicely optioned 2SS/RS to a a two year old base Mustang......oookkkkkk
It's just what I had available man. Chill out. If you don't like my review Doesn't bother me.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:34 PM   #20
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The first thing i notice in the mustang is the visibility is no better than the camaro on the sides, a little better in the rear, and worse out the front .
Dude I'll give you everything you wrote about the Camaro vs GT and what you think of it, except this. No way! The GT's visibility is a lot better in every aspect, especially out front. I did one HPDE in my buddies Camaro, and that rear view mirror obstructs vision in right turns and the design of the car makes it difficult to place it on the track. GT in that regard is much better than the Camaro. It's literally one of the two reasons why I picked it over an SS. Everything else is a wash on these two cars. I love the "wave" of torque the LS3 makes, but I also love the top end of the Coyote. I love the Camaro seats, and I agree, the 2012+ is, at least from what I perceived, a huge difference. They are comfortable, supportive, and yet, not too restrictive. My GT seats, in comparison, feel flimsy and like I've said on here before, feel like I'm sitting ON them instead of IN them, unlike in the Camaro. The interior, I think, is still better on the GT, at least the premium version (the aluminum accents are actual aluminum by the way). Great write up.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #21
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I will admit that in the cabin that 5.0 sounds really good. At idle it's better than the LS3...but not by much. Ford has the upper hand in stock exhaust sound for sure. The Camaro had the dual mode exhaust so when you got on it the camaro sounded good but the idle was weak.
Ford has the UNBELIEVABLY STUPID ricer Fast and Furious intake cabin noise hose. WTF is that you ask? It's a hose that comes off the intake to direct engine noise into the cabin. Can you say RICER???

http://images-ftp.americanmuscle.com...true&pid=17791

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Old 12-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #22
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Ford has the UNBELIEVABLY STUPID ricer Fast and Furious intake cabin noise hose. WTF is that you ask? It's a hose that comes off the intake to direct engine noise into the cabin. Can you say RICER???

http://images-ftp.americanmuscle.com...true&pid=17791

I will take my NPP catback with American Racing LTs any day of the week!
WHat? I like this feature it is nice to hear the engine rumble and go even on a stock car. It is better than BMWs solution of actually playing engine sounds through the stereo don't you think?
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:29 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by davidcroft View Post
Ford has the UNBELIEVABLY STUPID ricer Fast and Furious intake cabin noise hose. WTF is that you ask? It's a hose that comes off the intake to direct engine noise into the cabin. Can you say RICER???

http://images-ftp.americanmuscle.com...true&pid=17791

I will take my NPP catback with American Racing LTs any day of the week!

I love both cars. Both ford and bmw did what they did because the engine/car was quiet. Nothing wrong with making a car that is quiet. Since most people buying the car will never mod it. I dont think there is anything ricer about it. I think it shows that they can make powerful motors that don't transmit all the sounds and vibrations into the interior.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #24
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I love both cars. Both ford and bmw did what they did because the engine/car was quiet. Nothing wrong with making a car that is quiet. Since most people buying the car will never mod it. I dont think there is anything ricer about it. I think it shows that they can make powerful motors that don't transmit all the sounds and vibrations into the interior.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Deki View Post
Dude I'll give you everything you wrote about the Camaro vs GT and what you think of it, except this. No way! The GT's visibility is a lot better in every aspect, especially out front. I did one HPDE in my buddies Camaro, and that rear view mirror obstructs vision in right turns and the design of the car makes it difficult to place it on the track. GT in that regard is much better than the Camaro. It's literally one of the two reasons why I picked it over an SS. Everything else is a wash on these two cars. I love the "wave" of torque the LS3 makes, but I also love the top end of the Coyote. I love the Camaro seats, and I agree, the 2012+ is, at least from what I perceived, a huge difference. They are comfortable, supportive, and yet, not too restrictive. My GT seats, in comparison, feel flimsy and like I've said on here before, feel like I'm sitting ON them instead of IN them, unlike in the Camaro. The interior, I think, is still better on the GT, at least the premium version (the aluminum accents are actual aluminum by the way). Great write up.
Maybe the smaller slimmer mirror for '13 was the difference maker? I used to be able to see out of mustangs better, but I had pretty good forward visibility in the '13 I drove.
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