2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Spring Training, Part 2
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.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,134 miles