Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A closeup is shown of the red and black hood and grille on a 2015 Chevy Camaro SS.

Pre-Owned Doesn’t Mean Less Powerful

Car shoppers purchasing used vehicles is an extremely common thing. Used cars have so many advantages over newer counterparts; it can be easy to glance over a few key details you should know. Chances are if you’ve been recently viewing used offerings in your area, you’ve most likely conducted an online search for a “used car dealership near me” and have received a few results. Visiting your local dealership grants you an opportunity to do some window shopping and gives you some one-on-one time with a professional sales representative.

Performing enough research can certainly provide you with fascinating results. It has become increasingly clear that a majority of used cars from the last five or even ten years in some cases contain a tech-centric feature set that is still commonplace in the industry today. With this in mind, we can dig a little deeper into our research and expand even further. Our goal is to find a used vehicle that is not only cheaper than a newer contemporary but more powerful as well. The most common occurrence of this happening typically is a result of the used car you’re interested in contains additional add-ons the previous owner may have installed or is simply a higher trim level than the newer vehicle you’re also considering.

Performance Gains For Cheaper: Chevy Camaro

A red convertible 2015 Chevy Camaro SS is driving on a desert road.

When conducting our research, we made a rather interesting discovery. The Chevrolet Camaro is well known for being a vehicle containing both style and substance, a reputation they’ve held for quite a while. Coming in either a coupe-style design or convertible, it has become a sports car popular with enthusiastic drivers who appreciate a great price to performance ratio. If you’re interested in a Camaro, the 2020 lineup starts at an MSRP of $25,000 for the base model, and with this comes a 2.0L Turbo I-4 engine that produces 275 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque on a 6-speed manual transmission. This engine is undoubtedly decent, with it’s EPA estimated 22 MPG city and 31 highway, but things get extremely interesting when we look over at the used offering.

Our research indicated that using the right internet shopping tools at your disposal and even working alongside local used car dealerships can find you a used 2015 Chevy Camaro SS, either coupe or convertible, for a cheaper cost than the brand new 2020 Camaro at the base trim. And this is all while containing very respectable mileage on average. The 2015 Camaro SS was quite the showing back in the day, and it still is very impressive, and for the amount of performance you will receive for a cheaper overall cost, it’s hard not to have your interest peaked. The engine found inside of the 2015 Camaro SS is a 6.2L V8 with the ability to produce an impressive 426 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, which is a remarkable increase to performance over the engine in the base 2020 Camaro. Although fuel efficiency isn’t as notable as newer engines, as the 6.2L V8 receives an EPA Estimate rating of 16 mpg city and 24 highway, we still prefer the 2015 Camaro SS because of the 43% increase to horsepower output and 35% increase to torque.


A red 2015 Chevy Camaro SS is shown from the rear driving on a winding road after leaving a used car dealership near me.

Because the Camaro SS is a higher trim level than the base model, it makes sense that the interior sees a few improvements as well, and our 2015 Camaro SS delivers in terms of features. There are a few omissions that may make the base 2020 Camaro a tad more appealing to those exclusively looking for very modernized features such as Apple CarPlay, for example, something that would make its way into the lineup a year later in 2016. Still, it could be considered non-essential to some. The 2015 Camaro SS does, however, contain a MyLink infotainment center with a 7-inch touch screen allowing you to access functions such as media playback and onboard navigational support.

The used 2015 Camaro SS comes equipped with 20-inch tires opposed to the 18-inch tires you’ll find on the base 2020 Camaro. Brembo brakes are also front and center, a brand well known for high-performance brakes. The Camaro SS also includes a Heads-Up display, power mirrors with 1-touch up and 1-touch down, power door locks, keyless entry, and a back-up camera with a rear parking aid. OnStar communication is present and has a built-in automatic collision response that complements the other safety features found, such as six airbags and both stability and traction control. As far as safety features go, they’re somewhat similar albeit a few newer technologies have been invented and implemented since then, but the main downside we could find was that the new 2020 Camaro comes equipped with eight airbags, two more than our used model, but taken with a grain of salt, it’s a minor drawback from an otherwise impressive feature set.

The Camaro SS also includes an adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel with power steering and a leather-wrapped shift knob plus an array of controls located on the wheel. If the used 2015 Camaro you’re looking at is the 2SS model, in particular, you’ll be treated to a premium 9-speaker, 245-watt sound system provided by Boston Acoustics that is sure to give new life to your music library. A few notable convenience features inside of the 2015 Camaro SS includes two 12V DC power outlets plus USB ports for charging your devices. The seats found inside of your 2015 Camaro SS will be made of premium cloth, and both you and your front-seat passenger will each have an 8-way power-adjustable seat, and the back will have a rear-bench configuration with a spacious 29.9-inches of legroom.

In comparison to the newer base 2020 Camaro, the driver seat remains an 8-way power-adjustable seat, but your front seat passenger gets a massive downgrade to a 4-way manual front passenger seat. The aforementioned Boston Acoustics premium speakers found in the 2015 Camaro 2SS is of noticeably higher quality than the basic 6-speaker setup that is featured on a few of the new 2020 Camaro trims.

Why Research Remains Crucial

The 2015 Camaro SS, when put up against a completely brand new 2020 Camaro, helped shine some light on the performance side of things when considering a used vehicle, especially if you’re on the fence about the idea in general and look to shop for a new car because they’re theoretically more reliable. While true in some regards, this only furthers the point that research is a necessity when it comes to shopping for a vehicle.

The idea we were able to get a vehicle that has been on the market for going on five years, that outperforms a newer base model for a cheaper cost, is one of the many reasons the used market is such a reliable way to shop for a car. Back when the 2015 Camaro SS launched, it was a few trims higher than the base model of the time, and because of that, we’re able to reap the benefits of a 6.2L V8 engine that outperforms even the newer ones found today in a large number of vehicles. When looking further than Chevy, an endless world of options opens up, allowing you to find the best performance to price ratio, which is something that is a lot of a stricter concept when utilizing the new vehicle market.