September 07, 2010
I was reading an article recently that mentioned the Camaro was voted a winner in Ward's Interior of the Year awards earlier this year. It competed in the sports-car category, up against the Hyundai Genesis coupe, the Mazdaspeed 3 and the Nissan Z roadster.
Which sports car gets your pick for best interior?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
August 30, 2010
What are short passengers supposed to do when the top of the dash comes up to their eyes? My friend Bernadette is tiny at 5'1" and when I took her out to breakfast yesterday in our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro she made it be known, "I can't see where we're going."
I told her not to slouch and not to recline her seat so much but even though she angled the seatback forward a bit she still couldn't see. Her fix? Sitting on her sweater allowed her to see over the dash at least.
My only worry is where the airbag would deploy. Are there booster seats for adults?
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 21,133 miles
August 09, 2010
I like our Chevrolet Camaro, really I do, but I only like driving it when I'm alone in the car.
When my daughter's along, I'm constantly worrying about her climbing roughly in and out of the back seat, letting the long doors fly open and smack into other parked cars.
Muscle cars, really coupes of any kind, just aren't as enjoyable when you have a daily back-seat passenger.
Emma's not too keen on the stiffish ride, either. Although there is one Camaro trait of which she's especially fond.
She explains after the jump.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor
July 20, 2010
It's not as derogatory as it seems.
The new Camaro is just, well, it's a little lazy. But by lazy, I mean easy going.
This weekend Southern California baked in its first official heat wave. My house, which is within a nuclear blast radius of the beach, saw the temps hit 88 degrees. Couple that with a 'track' temperature which had to be in excess of 130 degrees and you get a recipe of misery when you're stuck in traffic.
The Camaro? Well it couldn't be bothered. The combination of its huge engine (let's not forget that this thing is over 6 liters!), massive A/C compressor, ridiculously tall gearing and massive flywheel made for an effortless afternoon of parts hauling and errand running. Couple all that overbuilt goodness with a low greenhouse and you've got what could be the perfect car for shrugging off a hot summer day.
With a murderous passion, I still hate the steering wheel.
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 18,897 miles
June 30, 2010
I had the choice between the Miata and the Camaro over the weekend. With a buddy in town, I thought it best to drive the car with four seats.
My lady is kinda of tall at 5'11". Being the nice person she is, she got into the back seat to offer our guest the front seat on our way out to dinner. The back seat is a joke for an adult. Maybe even for kids, too. She was so jammed up back there her leg fell asleep on the way to the restaurant. Hilarity ensued as the valet waited for her to get out of the back seat.
Ok, but seriously, are you buying this car for rear leg room? Does it really matter? You don't buy cars like this for practicality, buddy. You buy them to leave the guy asking what kind of mileage you're getting in a cloud of smoke as you pull a 13.0 @ 110.9.
Look, I felt bad for my lady. That back seat does suck. But that isn't the point of this car. These cars aren't for soccer practice or for camping. It's for prowling the street in search of stop light victims or laying down a patch and listening to the music of a V8 at full throttle. They're purpose built toys so I shouldn't blame the car for it's lack of creature comfort, the fault was with me in choosing it to shuttle a bunch of people around.
For the rest of the weekend with my buddy, I drove my Mazda 3. It can carry three adults comfortably around town. But believe me, the second my friend left, I was back in the Camaro. I chirped the tires and blip shifted my way to the supermarket and back. The power of this machine is intoxicating. I loved running stupid errands just to get a chance at driving it.
To quote my Boston area friend regarding the Camaro: "This thing is wicked sick." Yes, my friend. Yes it is.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 18,911 miles
June 23, 2010
This past Saturday my father and I decided to drive down to San Diego and take in RM Auctions Classic Muscle & Modern Performance event. It was father's day weekend after all and we had the keys to a muscle car of our very own. Exactly. I grabbed the keys to our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS for the 300 mile trip down the coast and back.
Our Camaro seemed like the right car to take. The RM event was heavy on classic American muscle. Of the 102 cars up for sale, about 80 were muscle cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s, from L88 Corvettes to GTOs to Boss 429 Mustangs to three beautiful 1969 Camaro Z28s. And everything in between. All selling a no reserve, by the way. Plus, my dad's old pal Jim Wangers was selling a few of his cars so we got to see Jim and catch up.
No, we didn't buy anything, but RM puts on a wonderful event and we had a blast. And the our silver Camaro was the perfect car for the day. It not only fit the theme, but it really showed us how far the Camaro and muscle cars have come since the time of free love and Woodstock.
Our new Camaro SS could not be more comfortable on a long trip. Or entertaining. It satisfied my needs and desires from the driver's seat and my dad's demanding requirements from the shotgun position. Although he did complain that our XM radio subscription had expired and he was unable to jam to '50s on 5.
Doo wop withdrawl aside, our Camaro delivered. Great car. Now, what should we drive to the Barrett-Jackson event in Orange County this weekend? Viper?
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
June 01, 2010
I took our Camaro up to Willow Springs Raceway this weekend to get some go-kart seat time. Rather than take the boring highway route, I decided to see if the silver Chevy could change my mind on its handling in the tight twisty backroads. It didn't. But here's what I did discover - the pedals are just about perfect for heel-toe downshifts. It had just enough brake pedal travel to get close to the throttle for a quick blip between gears, and the stout engine is responsive enough to get the revs peaked at the right spot. It was a pleasant surprise, I must say.
Not so pleasant on this drive was a recurring warning that alerted me that the airbag is in need of service. The warning chime was a bit distracting when it would trigger in the middle of a turn. On the way back though, it apparently fixed itself.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor @ 17,130 miles
March 31, 2010
On Saturday I packed the wife and kids into our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS and drove it out to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana to take in the AMA motorcycle races.
It sucked. Badly.
Not the Camaro. The 150 mile round trip in the Camaro was great. The races sucked. 4,000 mph winds delayed the track activities and made spectating quite uncomfortable. We drove over an hour to get there. Sat in the wind for an hour. Watched 15 minutes of practice. Decided it wasn't worth it and got back in the car.
So instead of a fun day at the track I had a fun day behind the wheel of our SS. Before heading home we continued east on I-10 to Redlands, California to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, Oscar's in downtown Redlands. Don't miss it.
Then we hit the inlaws in San Bernardino. We headed for home late when the traffic was light and I can take advantage of the Camaro's motor and stability.
March 19, 2010
There are a lot of things to like about our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS on a long road trip. A couple significant design issues would keep me from going out and buying one of my own, but I can't deny that this car is in its element speeding across the desert.
In addition to ride quality, seat comfort is very good. The front seats are roomy, yet still offer useful lateral support (unlike our Dodge Challenger). Minor symptoms of dead butt crept in on the trip out to Arizona, but I had no such complaints on the drive back to LA -- the driver seat is just about the right blend of soft cushioning and firm support. Meanwhile, my passenger snoozed blissfully alongside me, though he later reported that the Camaro's head restraints aren't as comfy as a Holiday Inn Express pillow.
We both enjoyed the sounds of the 6.2-liter LS3 V8 when you lay into it full throttle coming down an entrance ramp, and when you abruptly lift off throttle and hear the exhaust burp. I also find this to be the most user-friendly application of the Tremec six-speed manual I've driven to date. Clutch takeup is easy enough for daily use (far less vague than in the Challenger) and the medium-throw shifter moves through the gates well.
Alas, the terrible steering wheel got on my nerves by the time we reached San Bernardino on the drive out to Arizona. I tried some different grips, and ultimately found that a loose grip at 10-and-2 is the most comfortable way to hold this wheel. (I'd rather hold it at 9-and-3, but that's just not sustainable with this funky-rimmed wheel.)
My bigger complaint, though, is visibility. I don't really expect to be able to see well out the back of a coupe (see 370Z, Challenger, etc.), but not being able to see well out the front, either, is a major bummer. The affable Dan Pund has described the visibility/seating position in this car as being akin to a bunker, and I couldn't agree more. After 1,000+ miles, I still can't place the front corners of our Camaro and this makes parking more of a hassle than it should be.
With those rants out of the way, I can report that our 426-horsepower, rear-drive coupe averaged a solid 19 mpg on the trip. Of course, it helped that I wasn't in a hurry and also didn't seek out any back roads. Worst tank was 18.5 mpg. Best tank was 19.7 mpg.
And, oh by the way, if you're in Tempe to see Angels' spring training games, I recommend the prime rib at Monti's La Casa Vieja -- probably the best steak I've ever had at a restaurant.
March 11, 2010
Whenever I cruise down the freeway in our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS, I think of our 2008 Pontiac G8 GT. The ride quality is remarkably similar.
The Camaro rides firmly, but there's just enough compliance tuned into the chassis that you never feel like you're making sacrifices to own a fast car. It's not harsh over major seams and ruts and it's not busy over the washboard sections. Undoubtedly, our car's Pirelli P Zeros deserve some credit, too.
I'm about to put 800 miles on our Camaro SS this weekend, and if nothing else, it should be a comfortable trip.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 13,100 miles
February 16, 2010
Normally vehicles like our Ford Flex or the XC60 are the vehicles of choice for family road trips. But over the weekend I decided to try out our Chevrolet Camaro by doing a 600-mile trip with my wife and two-year-old daughter. I knew the Camaro would automatically be more interesting to drive than about 90 percent of every other new car out there, but would its inherently small backseat and trunk make it a poor road-trip companion?
Results from the Camaro drive follow after the jump.
First, some specific observations:
Highway passing power: Heh, with the 426-horsepower V8, there's not much to worry about here. But sixth gear is pretty tall. At speeds less than 70 mph, I typically kept it in fifth gear. For a respectable highway pass, you'll want fourth.
Ride quality and road noise: For a sport coupe, the Camaro was fine. Its ride is not as comfortable as our long-term Challenger's, but it doesn't beat you up, either. Wind and road noise are again acceptable.
January 14, 2010
Yesterday afternoon I did something I don't do nearly often enough: I left work early to go drive a car, our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS.
I don't know our Camaro especially well, and even after this drive, we're still just friendly acquaintances, not close friends. As you can see, it took me a while to get to my favorite roads and, once I did, the sun dropped quickly.
In a lot of ways, our Camaro is everything our 370Z is not. The Chevy has a ride quality I'd describe as compliant, at least by sports coupe standards, but it's still plenty composed over lumps and ruts, too. The Camaro is also quiet, with wind and road noise kept to a minimum.
But it isn't very exciting through turns. This car weighs well over 3,800 pounds (500 more than our Z car). Although, it doesn't feel too big for two-lane roads, its reflexes are slowed by its chub. And there's more suspension movement than I'd like. The steering also doesn't feel that precise and the effort level doesn't increase soon enough as you move the wheel off-center.
Others have mentioned that this Camaro doesn't take a tail-out attitude when you boot the throttle. It just plays it safe. I haven't driven than many old muscle cars (only drove an F-body one time), so I think I could live with that -- if the Camaro felt sharp through the turns. But it doesn't really. It just feels relaxed and dumb-driver-proof. (And I get that. We can all be dumb at times. And when we're dumb while driving a car, we're liable to sue.)
That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy my drive. Pacific Coast Highway was wide open on the trip back. I leaned into the 6.2-liter V8 a bit and created opportunities to downshift the 6-speed. Though the cockpit layout has gotten mixed reviews, the pedal layout is just to my liking for heel-and-toe downshifts. And every time I rip off a clean one, I get a lot of satisfaction from the distinct exhaust note of a GM small-block V8.
I wouldn't choose our Camaro SS for back-roads work, but it feels great on the open highway -- and it's a lot more relaxing to hang with than our 370Z.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 10,732 miles
December 01, 2009
At 5am, I started out on the 360 mile drive to be with my family for Thanksgiving. Heated seats? Check. Full tank? Check. Coffee? Check. There was a surprising amount of traffic heading out of town for a Thanksgiving early morning, mostly trucks and the family truckster caravans. Thankfully the Camaro has a TON of power and it allowed me to pass the long lines of Lemmings on their trek north.
My exposure to the new Camaro has been fairly limited. I'm not a muscle car kind of guy, but I thought it'd be fun to have a go at it over the long weekend. Before I got in the car, I kept hearing people complain about the shifter and steering wheel. After a few hundred miles, I couldn't have agreed more.
I get a touch of arthritis in my hands in the winter weather and the oddly narrow but deep set ring of the steering wheel made it uncomfortable for me to grip the wheel in any place other than the 10 & 2 position. When you're doing the long haul, you like to grip the wheel in places other than that position. It became annoying and uncomfortable after a few hours
Because duty (aka my job) called and needed me at Dodger stadium on Sunday morning for the Chevy Volt drive, I made the drive south on Saturday. Again, loved the power for passing, fairly comfortable ride, but the steering wheel really annoyed me and my old man hands. It made my uncomfortable condition worse.
For the most part, I liked driving the Camaro on short trips around town. Normally this isn't my kind of car, but a couple of nice blip-down shifts, the simple joy of a gurggling exhaust note and the thrill of a good acceleration pull make this thing plenty of fun to drive around town. Ultimately that steering wheel is a deal breaker for me. To make this car work for me, I'd have to get a fat grip sport style steering wheel installed to alleviate the discomfort and I don't think I love it that much to do so.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer @ 8,854 miles
November 27, 2009
My recent road trip to Palm Springs, California in our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS wasn't quite the excursion of my Monterey run in our long-term Genesis, but it did reveal the road trip friendliness of Chevy's new muscle car.
This thing loves the highway.
Now, Palm Springs isn't exactly on the other side of the Earth from our Santa Monica office. It's about 125 miles due east on Interstate 10. Still, I appreciated the Camaro's compliant ride, its well-shaped seats and its above average cross-wind stability, which was truly put to the test our in the gusty California desert.
More than once we've complained about the Camaro's large size and high heft, but out on the open road, lumbering along at 1,900 rpm at 80 mph, that big long wheelbase and nearly two-ton curb weight are appreciated. They help give the car a locked down feeling, which makes a long drive less fatiguing on the driver. In the old days they used to call it road hugging weight. And while I understand its drawbacks (which are many), it's one of the reasons the Camaro is so good on a long drive.
Our long-term Dodge Challenger R/T is cut from the same cloth. Neither of these machines is rather intoxicating on a mountain road. They handle fine, but they are just too large and heavy to really carve up a twisting two-lane.
But they both thrive on the highway. On the open road. Out in the great expanse that is America.
I don't think I'd have it any other way.
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
November 26, 2009
Recently, one of you guys asked for a review of our Camaro's heated seats. Well here it is. Don't ever say I don't come through for ya
The Camaro's two-level heated seats are very good. They warm up quickly, deliver even heat throughout the seatback and bottom cushions and are powerful enough when on "high" to force me into the sweats on a 55 degree evening. Usually after five minutes or so I have found myself backing the heat off to the "Low" setting and leaving it there for the duration of the trip.
In truly cold climates I think the Camaro's seat heaters have the power to satisfy the butt warming needs of most consumers. Even on Thanksgiving.
Scott Oldham, Inside Line Editor in Chief
October 19, 2009
I just spent seven days living with our long-term 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. Yes, seven days in a row. I drove it to work. I drove it to the store. I drove it home. I used it to take my kids to school, the family to the pumpkin patch and the dog to the groomer. The car and I enjoyed several clutch dump burnouts. Sat in more than enough traffic. Touched 100 mph more than once. And on Friday it got me to the Formula D event at Irwindale Speedway.
Overall we covered about 450 miles together.
October 08, 2009
This might be a record for an ostensibly interesting long-term car: with just 5,317 miles on the clock, our long-term Camaro SS was the last car standing when my low-ranking ass got the sign-out sheet yesterday. Actually, that's a lie. The Civic GX was available too. But a 426-horsepower muscle car slumming it with a natural-gas Honda? How the mighty have fallen!
Here's your explanation. Quite simply, the Camaro may be fun to look at, but there's no joy in the drive. It's damn fast, but the combination of too-tall gearing and oddly soft low-rpm response (a non-issue in the similarly engined Corvette) makes that speed less accessible than it should be in a muscle car. The interior reeks of cheapness with the exception of the comfy seats, the well-padded armrests and the precision feel of the center-stack knobs. The steering's all light and loose on-center like a big sedan's -- it's as if they just dropped in the G8's steering rack without recalibrating it for Camaro duty. We've already touched on the mystifying steering-wheel design and the miserable visibility.
Add it all up, and what you've got is a car that elicits exasperated sighs from its drivers, never mind the admiring glances from passers-by. I like the concept of the Camaro and the fact that GM actually built it, but next time I have that choice on the sign-out sheet, I just might go with the GX.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor @ 5,317 miles
October 02, 2009
Over the last year we've produced, shot, and edited almost 10 different videos featuring Chevy's latest Mustang slayer. But as with most road tests, we don't drive much. Actually, we never do. Now's our chance to get behind the wheel.
During three hours of highway time, and a healthy back and forth banter between Edmuunds Video Team members, we were able to get a consensus, a first impression, of our long term Camaro.
Here's what we don't like. It's got a mushy and ill-placed shifter. The salad bowl-like steering wheel. The visibility is horrible. Transformers association. Will it be worth anything in 5, or even 2 years?
But really, at the end of the day, when you hear this, does any of that matter?
September 07, 2009
For a good chunk of my life, I never thought I would see a speed limit higher than 55mph. Then the feds wised up and let the states choose their own limits. Not surprisingly, many of the less-densely populated areas out west changed to 65, 70 and even 75mph limits.
As you can see, Utah has gone even higher, at least in this 30-mile or so "test section". It was a welcome sight as the Camaro cruises quite nicely at such speeds. There's very little wind noise for a car with such a distinctively-shaped exterior and even the tire noise from our car's optional 20s wasn't all that noticeable.
Don't have a bad word to say about the seats either. I made the roughly 10-hour trip from L.A. to Salt Lake City with barely a hint of soreness. Don't know how well they would fare on a tighter, twisty road, but for highway cruising they felt great.
Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor, Inside Line @ 2,106 miles
August 31, 2009
A weekend with our new long-term 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS meant it was time to put it through my most important test regimen. Power slides on Mulholland? Smoky burnouts in the quiet industrial parks? Seeing how far it goes after the fuel light comes on?
No, those are my second most important test parameters. First, in any car with a back seat, I have to see if that seat is a functional feature or simply a cruel joke meant to fool insurance companies into offering lower rates. In too many two-door coupes it's often the latter.
But not in the new Chevy Camaro. While four full-sized adults will never fit comfortably in this car, two adults and two children can realistically travel for extended periods. My son, at 5-foot even, fit easily behind my wife of 5'4", while my daughter at 4'8" squeezed behind my 6-foot frame with no actual contact between seat and legs (though it was pretty close).