Chevrolet Camaro V6 test drive

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In my opinion, the new Camaro is one of the best looking cars around, period.
I loved the concept when it first came out, and couldn’t wait to see the production version.
And I wasn’t disappointed when I finally did.

The car looks pretty amazing in person, with a very strong road presence. It looks good from any angle I can think of.
It really is artwork in motion.
My test car had the RS package, which adds huge 20 inch wheels. And they do look quite amazing on the car.


Before I drove the car for a week, I read a few other reviews. Most of them criticizing the interior for being “cheap”. A vague term used quite often…
This was not my experience at all.
I always liked the interior of the concept, and the production car stays very close to it.
The plastics are mostly hard, that is true. But that is also true of most cars in the price range.
You are getting over 300 hp for under $23 000 in a car that looks amazing.
So the interior won’t have the materials used in a Lexus.
But everything looks great, has a nice texture and feels very solid.
It blends futuristic and retro touches. Matching the exterior design perfectly.
Unlike the Challenger where the interior feels like “an old man’s car”, with no personality at all.
The few things I wasn’t crazy about are the mix of red and blue lights at night.
The red just doesn’t seem to go well with the blue.
And the small additional gauges on the console, part of the RS package, which add even more lights at night.
I also thought all cars had to get headrests for the back seats. I guess I was wrong. The Camaro doesn’t have any.
One element I do love is the cool thin line of blue light along the top of the door at night.
The first thing you feel is how thick the steering wheel is,
but you get used to it in a few minutes. What takes more time to get used to is the very wide, but narrow, windshield. With that huge hood in front of it.
But that is part of the muscle car personality.
And it did remind me of these old cars from the 60’s and the 70’s…
And even though the roof is pretty low, I never had the claustrophobic feeling I had when driving the 370Z. The wide interior is quite roomy. At least up front.
The stereo sounded very good, and I had no problem using both my phone and my iPod Touch with the Bluetooth system.
The interior of the Camaro is like no other car around. As it should be…

I was actually surprise how comfortable the ride was with the optional 20 inch wheels.
Sure, it is very firm. But it is never harsh.
It is a much easier car to ride in and drive than the Nissan Z with the 19 inch wheels I had last year.
The steering is very accurate, but also pretty light. Again it makes the car very easy to drive.
Unlike the Z.
The Nissan has a very hard steering, which seems OK for a while. But the Camaro is a much easy daily driver.
With over 300hp, there is always more than enough power.
I was also surprised ( and so were my passenger) by how quiet the car could be when driven “normally”. It does sound really sporty when you push it. But otherwise, it is very quiet and refined.
I did average about 15 to 16 mpg in strictly city driving. Which is pretty much in line with other engines that size, most of them with less power.
But I did reach over 19 by driving the Camaro like a Prius…
Which is really not a good way to have fun.
On the freeway, the best I got was 28mpg. Just 1 shy of the official number.
But again, this is 28mpg with over 300hp…
My test car came with the 6 speed automatic option.
It was extremely smooth at all time. And downshifted very quickly when I needed to.
I played with the paddle shifting feature for a few minutes, but I never really like these things.
Either you want an automatic, or you want to shift your own gears.
The paddles shifts never offer the fun and feel of a manual transmission.

My test car was pretty loaded with the RS package, but no sunroof.
It was just a bit over $29 000.
This is about the same as the Nissan Altima Coupe V6 manual I tested last year.
And it is about 10 times more fun and thrilling to drive.
The new Camaro feels like a very refined and solid car.
It looks better than almost anything on the road t any price.
The truth is, I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning, walk over to the car and drive it.
It does have back seats, and a usable trunk. So compromises for that much fun are few.
I would recommend a test drive to anyone looking for a coupe. Weather you are into sports cars or not.
It can be very sporty when you want to, or just a comfortable, quiet ride.
And it always turns heads.
An amazing looking car, that is easy to drive and live with every day.
What more can we ask for…
A convertible maybe?
(Coming soon…)

Conversation 12 comments

  1. Sounds like you really liked it Vince! I love the new Camaro. It'll be interesting to see if it still outsells the '11 Mustang when it comes out with it's new powertrains. I think it will because the styling is still far and away better than the Mustang's. The car can sell on looks alone!

  2. I am sure the 2011 Mustang will sell more than the 2010.
    But that's also because Ford already offers a convertible.
    GM plans to sell about 20 000 Camaro convertibles a year when they come out.
    Which, I think, will put the Chevrolet back on top.

  3. I'm glad you addressed the interior. Chevy had a Camaro on display at the Wired store in Manhattan a couple months ago, and I found the interior surprisingly nice. After reading the sour comments about the interior in some of the other reviews, I couldn't figure out what I was missing. I drive an Audi and am very nitpickey about interiors. But I found the Camaro interior to be very nicely designed with good material quality. Not quite as good as what Audi does, but better than just about anything else… like the Z for instance.

  4. I personally thought the interior was completely lackluster.

    I'd have a 2011 Mustang over the Camaro any day of the week. The Camaro is already old and boring to me.

    5.0 with the track pack for me please.

  5. Well, the abysmal city gas mileage kinda ruined it for me…I hope they are still developing the Turbo 2.0 model that was on the table recently…I can't wait to drive one of these myself though nonetheless.

  6. I really like the new Camaro but that front end is starting to look like a fat smiling frog to me.

  7. Great review Vince.
    I also always loved the design, I'm glad it also turns out to be a great ride.
    Can't wait to read what you think of the SS.

  8. Chevrolet is a big name in automobile sector which has made great and well designed model of cars.

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