2010 Chevrolet Camaro Long Term Road Test

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS: The T-Tops We Always Wanted

October 21, 2010

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If our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS had these, I would've taken them off, stowed them in my garage and told anyone who wanted a roof to drive something less awesome. The first car I ever drove-- not owned, drove-- had T-Tops, I can't help it.

Alas, not only did we not opt for this $6,500 T-Top conversion from Drop Top Customs, but our Camaro's sold.

$6,500 is a little steep for me on a new, $34,000 Camaro SS, but the guy we sold it to paid $28k. Add the roof and we're only up to $34,500.

I'd have a used Camaro with this modification over a brand new one with a solid roof any day.

Drop Top Customs Creates T-Top Kit for New Camaro

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor Inside Line

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Proud New Owner

October 18, 2010

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After about four weeks of fielding emails, texts and calls, I sold the Camaro to a young guy from the San Diego area for $28,000. Bryan Mathy asked all the right questions including whether there were any major repairs. I told him about the transmission and he began reading the long term blog. I thought I'd lose him at this point but apparently he felt he was getting a good deal and there aren't many one-and-a-half-year-old Camaros on the market. He said he had been looking for over a month and only found one other serious candidate.

Mathy said he located our Camaro by searching Autotrader, which is nice to know because I spent $49 on the ad. I also advertised on Craigslist and this brought the typical rash of scam-sounding emails. One thing that I tried this time which seemed to be successful was to do a video walk-around of the car and post the link on Youtube. The video got 589 views including Mathy who said it helped him make his decision.

Sunday morning Mathy drove up from San Diego with his girlfriend, Jennifer Bateman, and we met in a shopping center parking lot. He looked over the Camaro and seemed to feel it had been accurately represented in the ad and photos. He didn't even drive it. We chatted for a few minutes and I learned that he had read all the reviews and was aware of the blind spots and the sarcophagus-like back seat. What turned him on, he said, was the car's styling and that, to some degree was what limited its practicality. He said he had never even owned a Chevy before. In fact, this was on the second car that he owned.

We bought the Camaro for $37,425 ($2,000 over the sticker price of $35,425) so it cost us $9,425 for 18 months of fun. Over that period of time, the car depreciated 25 percent.

It's a funny feeling to see the car you've been living in for the past month drive away with someone else at the wheel. I phoned home and waited for my ride. It felt strange -- and oddly convenient -- to climb into the backseat of a four-door car.

Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 22,808 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Christmas is Coming

October 12, 2010

Oh, you love the new Camaro but don't want to see yourself drive by on every boulevard? Chevrolet and Neiman Marcus have answered your Christmas wishes. We've already reported that Chevy will build only 100 of these special edition SS Convertibles at a price of $75,000. (Yeah, I know, but have you been to Neiman Marcus?)

If that's too much for you, have a look at our 2010 long-term SS that's for sale.

Anyway, the video gives a nice all-around look at the Convertible and even schools you on color Flop. Who knew?

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ ~22,500 miles

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2010 Chevy Camaro: New Transformers Show!

October 08, 2010

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As a certified nerd who bought his car almost exclusively for the reason that it was in a James Bond film, I certainly can't fault people wanting a Camaro because it was Bumblebee in Transformers. Having said that, for all you Transformers nerds out there, there's a new cartoon developed by the same writer/producers who did the movie (as well as Alias, Hawaii Five-O, and the JJ Abrams Star Trek). Named Transformers Prime, it's going to be on the new Hub network and will debut mid November.

As the photo after the jump shows, Bumblebee isn't exactly a Camaro (visibility seems to be even worse), but he's definitely more Camaro-like than the original, which was a VW Beetle. I'm not a Transformers nerd, so I'll just leave this as some side information and let you talk amongst yourselves now.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Stunning Details

October 06, 2010

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I had just washed the Camaro and was wiping it down when a SUV drove by with three young women in it. One yelled out, "Hey! I want my car back!" The other yelled, "That car looks like a shark driving down the road!" The Camaro's design is so extreme it inspires this kind of frenzied response.

I was photographing the Camaro to list it for sale and when I went back over the pictures I was stunned by the beauty of some of the details I captured. But when I look at the big picture -- the car as a whole -- I have mixed feelings. From some angles it's amazing. From other angles, well, the pieces just don't come together.

And that's just the design. Don't get me started about the rest of the car.

Philip Reed, Edmunds Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 22,333 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Sales Update

October 04, 2010

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Every long term car I sell brings it's own type of buyers. After I listed the Camaro for sale I started getting a lot of text messages (the new thing in car buying). I'm listing it for $31,500 and people will write and ask, "Would you take $25K?" This weekend I had someone text and ask what the invoice price was? I had to explain, via text, that it was a used car and didn't have an invoice. His reponse: "Haaa haaaa."

In the past, I've listed cars and haven't heard a peep for weeks. This time, I'm getting a lot of inquiries but nothing solid yet.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Opening Soon

September 30, 2010

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What's that? You have yet to liquidate your retirement account to buy that brand new Camaro? (If there's anything left after the market loss of the past few years.)

Well hold up.

GM announced today that the 2011 Camaro Convertible will premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17.

The Convertible will arrive in showrooms in February 2011 with a starting price of $30,000 including $850 freight.

The Convertible will be available with the same powertrains as the Camaro Coupe. The standard model features a 312-hp Direct Injection V6, and the SS model has the 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 426 hp as on our long-term 2010 SS Coupe. A six-speed manual transmission will be standard, with an optional six-speed automatic.

Although convertibles aren't for me (I just got my hair did), it looks very nice, don't you think?

And you? Are you a convertible guy/gal?

Albert Austria, Senior Engineer, Edmunds, Inc

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Precision Cruise

September 27, 2010

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While I was using the Camaro's cruise control I saw a feature I hadn't noticed in other cars. When you set the speed you get this message in the center display screen. It hangs there unobtrusively for a few seconds and then goes back to displaying whatever other information you need.

What I like about this is it lets me dial in the speed just under what I think will be the speeding ticket threshold. If the speed limit is 70 mph, I usually set it for 78 since 80 is probably the threshold. If you go above 80 you might see lights in your rearview mirror. If it's 65 mph, I go for about 72 mph. You have to think of these things when you're driving a car that looks like the Camaro.

Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 21,923 miles

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: New Sales Tactic

September 22, 2010

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Sadly, our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, with 22,000 miles, must be nudged out of the long-term fleet so we can add some new vehicles for testing. As a first step, I looked at the Edmunds True Market Value price for the Chevy, which turned out to be $32,442. This seemed like a very high price considering the sticker price was just over $35,425. Still, a quick search through Autotrader showed that there were plenty of Camaros out there at sky-high prices (although with fewer miles).

I decided to test the market by listing the Camaro on Craigslist and in the free classifieds on eBaymotors for $31,900. Four hours later I got a call from a young-sounding guy named Louis who kept demanding, "What's your lowest price?" I told him the ad just went up so I wasn't going to negotiate over the phone. He replied, "That's cool -- but what's your lowest price?"

While I was shooting pictures of the Camaro it occurred to me that I could do a short walk around of the car and post it on Youtube. I showed the video to a colleague and he commented, "That's worth a thousand pictures." Of course, it is a thousand pictures -- but I know what he means. The video now has a number of views so I'm hoping that other potential buyers have watched it. I'll keep you posted on the sales process and the final price we get for the Camaro.

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2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Audio Review

September 21, 2010

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Maybe it's the retro styling of the 2010 Chevy Camaro SS, but each time I drive it and crank up the stereo, I flash back to a certain Friday night after a high school football game in the '70s (think Dazed and Confused comes alive). A bunch of teen-age longhairs --myself include, when I still had lots left -- are hanging out in a burger joint parking lot around an older kid named Kenny Guillotte's '68 Camaro. (Like D&C's David Wooderson, he had already graduated and also had long blonde hair). The Camaro's doors and trunk are open and Kenny's blasting Aerosmith's Rocks. I remember it clearly 'cause it was my 8-track tape playing, which I thought for sure earned me some cool points with the posse.

I also distinctly recall the Craig PowerPlay "surface-mount" speakers kicking out the jams from the back deck of Kenny's Camaro (or maybe he even moved them to the roof ... that part is lost in the haze), and how that was about as bitchin' as it got for car audio back in those days. I wish I could go back and compare it to the sound of the Boston Acoustics system in our long-term 2010 Camaro SS. Almost as much as I wish I had even half as much hair on my head as I had then.

The Setup
The Boston Acoustics sound system that comes standard in the 2010 Camaro 2SS Coupe consists of nine speakers powered by 245 watts. The speakers include a 6.5-inch midrange low in each door, a 1-inch tweeter in the "sail panel" in the lower-forward corner of each front window, a 3.5-inch midrange/tweeter in the center of the dash and a pair of 6x9 two-way coaxials in the rear deck. The packaging is low-key, with only a small logo on each door speaker to announce the presence of the system.

The Sound
Per usual, I subjected the Camaro's Boston Acoustics system to our standard audio evaluation process. This entails sound-checking it with jazz, rock, folk, pop and rap music tracks I've listened to in hundreds of cars to gauge clarity/lack of distortion, tonal balance, timbre, tonal accuracy, soundstaging, imaging and dynamics. And I test for staging/imaging, linearity and absence of noise using non-musical test tracks. (For details on our testing procedure, check out the Edmunds.com article Sound Advice.)

Besides bringing back memories of my misspent youth, the sound of the system in the Camaro also reminded me of similar Boston Acoustics setups in other modern-day muscle cars, specifically the Dodge Charger. While it can't compete with premium systems in even some lower-priced cars, like the Bose setup in our long-term Mazdaspeed 3, it's hard to complain about the Camaro's system performance relative to its price.

Without a dedicated subwoofer, the Camaro system suffered from not being able to provide solid low end, although the 6x9s in the rear deck and 6.5s in the front doors did a valiant job of pumping out decent if not very detailed bass. For example, on the Outkast track "Ain't No Thing," the system produced impressive low-frequency energy -- and also an annoying amount of interior-panel rattles. But on other tracks the low bass and midbass were mostly boomy and distorted.

The system has a center speaker in the dash, although it didn't help much with soundstaging and particularly imaging. The soundstage was narrow and imaging severely side-biased, with vocals and other elements that should be front and center pulled down toward the door speakers. Unsurprisingly, the system failed our non-audio staging and imaging tests.

But sometimes a system like the one in the Camaro can be pleasing even if it doesn't pass technical tests with flying colors. Even given the deficiencies described above, the Boston system was capable of bringing out nuances in the music and had above average tonality, good stereo separation and decent dynamics. One musical test track, Red House Painters' "San Geronimo," is a rock song with a dense, midbass-heavy mix that many systems render as a mass of indistinct sounds rather than individual instruments. But with the Camaro system, the music held together fairly well. And with the jazzy instrumental "The Blues Walk" that kicks off the Lyle Lovett and His Large Band LP, I found I'd stopped listening for testing purposes but instead just for pleasure.

The Sources
Our 2010 Camaro SS comes with a single CD head unit that also offers AM, FM and Sirius radio. It features an aux-in jack and USB port in the center console storage bin, and the USB cable that comes with an iPod can be used to connect the device. The head unit's iPod interface is pretty straightforward and painless. As our Director of Testing Dan Edmunds pointed out, it includes audiobooks and podcasts as separate menu categories and has an "Alpha Accelerator" quick-scroll mode that makes finding music in a large music library much easier. The same menu structure is also used for tunes loaded on a USB drive and plugged into the USB port. I found that the system in the Camaro got mixed up and listed artists on my iPod/iPhone as albums, and albums as artists. But this could have more to do with a recent update of the software on my iPhone to iOS 4 before I tested the car, and which also caused problems in our long-term GMC Terrain. (I've heard reports that an iOS 4.1 upgrade solves the problem.)

What We Say
The Boston Acoustics system in the 2010 Camaro SS may not be the ultimate in auto sound from an audiophile perspective. In fact, it's far from it and I found plenty of nits to pick. But considering it's standard on this trim level -- and that at full throttle the guttural growl of the car's 426-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 tends to make it a mute point -- the system is a great road trip companion in the Camaro, especially when cranking rock 'n' roll. I'm sure Kenny Guillotte would agree.

The Scores
Sound: B-
Source Selection: B+
iPod Integration: B+
Cost: A+

Doug Newcomb, Senior Editor, Technology

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro in VA is:

$147 per month*
* Explanation
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