2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: WRONG Wheel
August 28, 2009
You're going to hear a lot about form over function in the next year regarding our new long-term 2010 Camaro SS. The entire car is an extravaganza of exuberant car designers getting the upper hand on ergonomics and practicality. The debate on whether this is a good thing or bad thing shall be interesting.
But sometimes there should be no debate and that's what the WRONG stamp is for. And my largest WRONG stamp is reserved for bone-headed disasters like the Camaro steering wheel.
You've probably heard it before, but this wheel is pure nonsense, seemingly designed only on paper without a thought that someone would actually be holding it. Unless that someone is a member of Species 8472, but I find that highly unlikely.
There is simply no easy, comfortable way to hold this thing. 3 and 9 isn't going to work because the spokes are huge and canted inward with a narrow ridge at top. 2 and 10 is the least uncomfortable, but they aren't shaped for human hands either and you feel like you're in driver's ed. I tried the Rolls-Royce chauffeur method at 4 and 8, which sort of worked, but this is a muscle car not a limousine. I could keep going around the clock -- 1 and 7 maybe? Perhaps my knees instead? Heck, even the buttons on the wheel are difficult to reach.
I would not buy this car because of this wheel. It isn't a frivolous thing, either. This is the one part of the car you touch every single time you're in the car for every single second you're driving (well, hopefully). This isn't a hard dash top or a weird wood grain or a big sunroof gap. I'd rather have an ugly or boring wheel that's passably comfortable like the Challenger's than a visually interesting one that's impossible to hold.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 1,890 miles