Now before we get into the details on the fuel economy figures of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and the 2016 Ford Mustang, a few notes.
First and foremost, the initial figures for the 2016 Camaro are only available for the V6 models with the 6-speed manual transmission and the SS models with the 6-speed manual and the 8-speed automatic. There is still no official word on the new turbocharged 4-cylinder engine for the Camaro, nor is there any information on the 3.6L V6 with the 8-speed automatic.
Second, all of the figures discussed here are from the EPA website FuelEconomy.gov, so even though you know a guy who gets 40mpg with his Mustang or Camaro, we are using the official EPA numbers for this discussion. Real world fuel economy figures vary – we get that – but for the sake of consistency, we are sticking to the official EPA estimates.
Finally, it should be pointed out that the Camaro has an 8-speed automatic transmission while the Mustang “only” has a 6-speed automatic transmission, while they both have 6-speed manual transmissions.
Initial 2016 Camaro MPGs
So far, we have the fuel economy figures for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe in three different forms – V6 manual transmission (Camaro LT), V8 automatic transmission and V8 manual transmission (Camaro SS). Of these three, the new Camaro that offers the best fuel economy capabilities is the 2016 Camaro SS with the 6.2L LT1 V8 and the 8-speed automatic transmission. That 455hp muscle car offers an impressive figure of 28mpg on the highway while hitting 17mpg around town and averaging 20mpg combined. This is a significant improvement over the 2015 Camaro SS with the 6-speed auto and the 430hp LS3, which “only” got 15mpg around town, 24mpg on the highway and 18 combined.
Those 2016 Camaro SS owners who opt for the 6-speed manual transmission will sacrifice some fuel economy, with the official numbers dropping to 16 in the city, 25 on the highway and 19 combined. The 2015 Camaro SS with the LS3 V8 and the 6-speed manual offered the same 16 city and 19 combined, but the older model got one less MPG on the highway.
The 2016 Camaro LT with the 3.6L V6 and the 6-speed manual transmission is currently the second most fuel-friendly in the lineup – offering better city and combined fuel economy numbers than the aforementioned Camaro SS while trailing slightly on the highway. The Camaro LT with the manual transmission offers 18 city, 27 highway and 21 combined so while Camaro SS owners who spend lots of time on the highway will get the best results – those 2016 Camaro owners who spend most of their drive time on city streets will get the best fuel economy from the new 3.6L V6 (based on these initial figures).
2016 Camaro VS 2016 Mustang
When comparing the available fuel economy numbers for the 2016 Camaro and 2016 Mustang, the race is very tight. When comparing the V6 Camaro and V6 Mustang – both with the 6-speed manual transmission – the Camaro has a 1pmg advantage in the city while the Mustang has a 1mpg advantage on the highway and both cars are expected to get 21mpg combined.
2016 Camaro V6 manual – 18/21/27
2016 Mustang V6 Manual – 17/21/28
When you step up to the Camaro SS and the Mustang GT with the 6-speed manual transmission, the two have identical highway and combined numbers, while the new Camaro is 1mpg better around town.
2016 Camaro V8 manual – 16/19/25
2016 Mustang V8 manual 15/19/25
Finally, where we see the biggest difference between the new Camaro and the 2016 Mustang is when comparing the Camaro SS with the 8-speed automatic to the Mustang GT with the 6-speed automatic. The Camaro is 1mpg better in the combined and city categories, but when the two get on the open road – the Camaro will go 3 miles further on a gallon of gas than the 2016 Mustang GT, which also happens to have 20 less horsepower.
2016 Camaro V8 Auto – 17/20/28
2016 Mustang V8 auto – 16/19/25
The Remaining Numbers
While we have the initial fuel economy figures for the 2016 Camaro in V6/manual and SS form, we still don’t have the figures for the V6 with the 8-speed automatic transmission or the new 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder with either of the optional gearboxes. Based on the Camaro SS numbers, we can expect the V6 Camaro with the 8-speed automatic transmission to be more fuel friendly than the V6 manual and the new turbocharged 4-cylinder should be the most efficient engine in the Camaro Six with either transmission.
Right now, the most fuel efficient muscle car in America is the 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost with the 6-speed automatic transmission. That 310 horsepower pony offers 21mpg in the city, 32mpg on the highway and 25 combined. Those figures are all significantly better than the 2016 Camaro with the V6, but Id bet a shiny nickel that the turbo-4 Camaro will offer even better numbers thanks to the 8-speed automatic transmission. That EcoBoost Mustang will still have a huge performance advantage, but when the 2016 Camaro LT fuel economy figures with the 4-cylinder engine and the 8-speed automatic transmission are announced – I’m expecting that we will have a new leader in muscle car fuel economy.