2020 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Ford Shelby GT350

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Camaro (except LS) offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The Shelby GT350 doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Chevrolet Camaro has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

To help make backing safer, the Camaro’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Camaro and the Shelby GT350 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

The Camaro’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Shelby GT350’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Shelby GT350’s redline is at 8250 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Camaro has a 6500 to 7200 RPM redline.

The battery on the Camaro is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Camaro’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Shelby GT350’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Camaro’s reliability 16 points higher than the Shelby GT350.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

Engine

The Camaro LT1/SS’ standard 6.2 V8 produces 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (455 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8. The Camaro ZL1’s standard 6.2 supercharged V8 produces 124 more horsepower (650 vs. 526) and 221 lbs.-ft. more torque (650 vs. 429) than the Shelby GT350’s 5.2 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Camaro is faster than the Ford Shelby GT350 (manual transmissions tested):

Camaro LT1/SS

Camaro ZL1

Shelby GT350

Zero to 60 MPH

4 sec

3.5 sec

4.3 sec

Quarter Mile

12.3 sec

11.7 sec

12.5 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Camaro LT1/SS Manual V8 gets better fuel mileage than the Shelby GT350 (16 city/24 hwy vs. 14 city/21 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Camaro uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The Shelby GT350 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Shelby GT350 (19 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Camaro offers an optional automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an automatic transmission.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the Camaro offers an optional up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

The Camaro stops much shorter than the Shelby GT350:

Camaro

Shelby GT350

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

91 feet

101 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Shelby GT350’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

The Camaro has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Shelby GT350 (110.7 inches vs. 107.1 inches).

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the Shelby GT350 Coupe pulls only .98 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Camaro SS Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Shelby GT350R Coupe (22.9 seconds @ .91 average G’s vs. 23.3 seconds @ .87 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Camaro’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (38.1 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The Camaro ZL1’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Shelby GT350’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Camaro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 350 pounds less than the Ford Shelby GT350.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Camaro Coupe a Compact car, while the Shelby GT350 is rated a Two Seater.

The Camaro has standard seating for 4 passengers; the Shelby GT350R Coupe can only carry up to 2.

The Camaro Coupe has 8.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT350 (93 vs. 84.5).

Servicing Ease

The Camaro uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Shelby GT350 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

The Camaro Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Camaro (except LS/LT1), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Camaro (except LS/LT1)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Camaro offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Camaro’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Shelby GT350 has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Camaro’s optional outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

When the Camaro with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Shelby GT350’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Camaro offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Shelby GT350 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the Camaro’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Shelby GT350 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Camaro comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Ford Shelby GT350 isn’t available as a convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Camaro owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Camaro will cost $4140 to $13145 less than the Shelby GT350 over a five-year period.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Shelby GT350 isn’t in the top three.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Shelby GT350 hasn’t been picked since 2017.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The Shelby GT350 was Car of the Year in 1994.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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