By on September 1, 2010

The third-generation Camaro, so much swoopier than anything else on the road back in 1982, looked more like a concept car than a production car. The throaty V8, though pitifully weak by today’s standards, at the time was easily capable of getting a 14-year-old’s pulse racing. Some critics dinged the car for its impractical packaging, size, and weight, but I didn’t care. I wanted one, badly. Never did get one. By the time I could afford a Camaro, I agreed with the critics. From frenzied test drives in the Toyota Corolla GT-S and Honda CRX I learned the joys of high-revving multi-valve engines and agile handling. GM recently introduced a fifth-generation Camaro. What has it learned in the last 28 years?

In form and spirit, the 2010 car’s big, bold exterior is very much that of a Camaro. My 14-year-old self would have loved it. I thought my kids would love it, but instead they seemed puzzled that a car with such exaggerated styling could exist outside of a cartoon. Many people do clearly love the look of the new car, and virtually everyone has a strong opinion about it. GM deserves credit for crafting a shape that is at once current and readily identifiable with its ancestors. The lesson not learned: the racier the styling, the shorter the shelf life. Sales have been strong so far, but where will they be in 2012?

Size remains a big issue. Compared to previous generations, the new Camaro is about as long (190.4”), wider (75.5”) and heavier (3,860 lbs.). The original Camaro was based on a compact car platform. The new one is based on GM’s largest car platform. You’d never guess that gas prices reached record highs during the car’s gestation. Another lesson not learned.

Check out the 2010 Camaro’s back seat, preferably from a safe distance, and as with past iterations you’ll wonder where all of those exterior inches went. Adults who don’t regularly practice yoga simply don’t fit beneath the low roof. My skinny nine-year-old son complained about the lack of room and his inability to see out of the small, high-mounted windows. His comment on the car: “Everything is big except what you want to be big, and that’s small.”

Slide between the widely-spaced bolsters of the front seat, though, and you’ll wonder if the Camaro was designed for giants. You sit low behind a hulking instrument panel. Both the deeply dished steering wheel and shifter are super-sized: Camaro drivers best have big, manly hands. The retro-styled interior possesses some interesting elements, but it’s overly plasticky. The silver-painted trim bits are so thick they come across as clunky. The bulging center stack with its pair of oversized round HVAC controls (I’ll avoid references to the female anatomy) appears more 1990s GM than late 1960s. Sometimes there’s a fine line between retro and dated. The most attractive part of the interior: the door sill trim plates. Too bad they’re no longer visible once you clunk the door shut.

The windshield is much more upright than with the third-generation Camaro, and perhaps even the second—a retro touch I can definitely live with. Sitting low and gazing over a long hood as the V8 rumbles provides a badass feeling you just cannot get in a Mustang. Visibility? It’s as bad as everyone says, but still livable.

When paired with the six-speed manual, the 2010 Camaro’s 6.2-liter V8 puts out 426 horsepower at 5,900 rpm. Years ago GM claimed they could get pushrod engines to breathe well at high rpm, and they’re rightly proud of the peak output they’ve been able to wring from this one. But there are downsides to this approach. With only two valves per cylinder, breathing cannot be optimized separately for low and high rpm. So tune for high rpm breathing and the low end suffers. The 6.2’s torque peak is a fairly lofty 4,600 rpm, so there are only 1,300 rpm between the peaks.

Then there’s the way the Camaro’s engine sounds and feels when racing for the redline. Its raucous roar (with stray mechanical undertones) borders on violent, with much of this violence seemingly directed towards the engine’s own internals. Put another way, under hard acceleration at high rpm the big V8 sounds like it wants to tear itself apart. At the other end of the spectrum, the idle is a bit lumpy, which is typical of a cammy old-school V8.

Shift feel is similarly unrefined. Throws are moderate in length, but can feel clunky, and in casual driving it takes conscious effort to shift the car smoothly. Go too easy on the throttle in first and the shifter will take you straight to forth, an old GM trick to bump the EPA rating. The V8 is torquey, but shifting into fourth so early still lugs it. Even if this feature is avoided—and I didn’t encounter it at all the first few days I had the car—the gearing feels too tall. Fuel economy ranged from 13 in hard driving to low 20s on the highway. Figure 16 and change in moderately aggressive driving around town—nearly the same I observed in an Altima Coupe.

Then there’s the chassis, which seems to have received all of the refinement the rest of the car did not. The nicely weighted steering doesn’t communicate much, and the Camaro handles like the large, heavy car that it is. But body roll is restrained without killing the ride quality, and the precision with which the car can be steered with the right foot (a trait shared with the late, lamented Pontiac G8 and the Corvette) should serve as an example for other manufacturers. (Nissan, I’m talking to you.) Add in good balance and very grippy tires, and you’ll rarely come anywhere near the Camaro’s limits on public roads.

In the final analysis, outside of the chassis GM hasn’t learned much in the last 28 years. Some things they didn’t need to learn. The driving position might compromise visibility, but without it the Camaro wouldn’t be a Camaro. And a Camaro should be boldly styled and chock full of big, vocal V8. But the fifth-generation car is at least a half-size too large, a few hundred pounds too heavy, and far too unrefined. Sure, a Camaro should be raw, but not raw all over. Like hair that has been painstakingly styled to appear disheveled, rawness must be carefully distributed. The bits that enhance the driving experience should be retained, even amplified—as raw as it is, the Camaro could feel more visceral. But the other rough edges, that cheapen the car and disrupt the driving experience, should be excised. The good news: the chassis would be the hardest thing to fix with the refresh that needs to happen before the styling goes stale.

Chevrolet provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online source of automotive reliability and pricing data.

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126 Comments on “Review: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS...”


  • avatar
    tced2

    People don’t buy these for the trunk – but the trunk opening looks ridiculously small. I owned a 1970 Camaro and it had a similar problem.

    • 0 avatar

      The trunk is abnormaly shaped and much too small for anything. That’s why they give you an emergency tire inflator rather than a spare.

      This is a “boy racer” I believe. In my area, I see them frequently. You just gotta be SMALL to use one. I could never even think of desiring one of these muscle cars, but, if I changed my mind, at least there’s the Dodge Challenger.

    • 0 avatar

      Normally I don’t mind not having a spare. But I’ve taken to doing my performance driving at 1-2AM, so that the roads I prefer won’t have other cars on them impeding my progress.

      Out at 2AM with the Camaro I wondered–what happens if I get a flat?

    • 0 avatar
      Steven02

      The trunk opening is small, but not as small as many people think. If you see it in person and actually use it, you just realize that the trunk opening is an odd shape but you shouldn’t have any problems putting many things into the trunk.

      The trunk space itself isn’t small. Video of 2 golf club bags going into a 2010 Camaro.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBmrXqMBGf0

    • 0 avatar

      Steven

      I’ve seen it in person. the mere fact a video is even needed of golf bags going in the trunk assures me its too small.

      Think is, I’d take the trunk over the back seat space.

    • 0 avatar
      Ronman

      I lived with one for a while, and had to do a couple of airport runs, and found the trunk to be decently sized for the car and the styling, the opening is a bit awkward and high, even a hotel porter complained…but that is a price you have pay for the looks i guess. same goes to outwards visibility. it just sucks… a good friend owns an SS now for about a year, and he still complains about visibility, and what’s worse they haven’t offered factory installed parking aids, which i think is seriously a problem… getting blind spots because of a design is understandable, but not offering a halfway solution is not acceptable.

  • avatar
    1996MEdition

    No pictures of the dash or center stack? Are they that bad?

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    When I saw this car for the first time I fell in love with the design. I think I said something like, “This is the best looking car to come out of GM in [insert hyperbolic number here] years…”

    Now that I have had time to simmer down, I like it less and less. I too wonder how it will stand the test of time.

    I had the opportunity to test drive one myself and I was absolutely turned off by the abysmal visibility. That factor alone, instead of its sporting aspirations, should be why Camaro owners pay higher insurance premiums. This is unacceptable in any vehicle – just look at the above photo. Stare at it; study it. The longer you look at it, the more ridiculous its proportions look.

    Although I appreciate the Camaro as a true American sports car, I am afraid that this generation of the car, like many other things in our society today, is pandering to the aging baby-boomer generation. People my age have not been raving about this car.

    The Camaro should be a car for young men. I never see young men driving them. Conversely, I do see (many) young men driving Mustangs, so that proves that you can build a mass-appeal American car for the 20′s age group.

    This generation of the Camaro is too big, too heavy, and too goofy looking to make a serious dent in the Mustang’s sales and it will never get the number of sales that GM was expecting.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      None of the new muscle cars (Camaro, Challenger, Mustang) have good visibility though maybe the Mustang is not quite as bad. But even the Altima Coupe has poor rearward vision.

      As for sales, whether it deserves to sell or not, so far the Camaro is outselling the Mustang and the Challenger. Michael’s shelf life point is very good, though, and we’ll have to see whether the Camaro can sustain those numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      August sales Camaro 6321, Mustang 5570..source TTAC. The convertible should be out by mid Jan. My prediction, 10,000 next August. Barring the dreaded double dip recession.

      Michael, Not a bad review, good work. Now if we could just get Jack B to run one around the track?

    • 0 avatar

      Forward visibility is far better in the Mustang. But the seating position also isn’t as sporty.

    • 0 avatar
      toxicroach

      Define young men.

      Cause by my definition of young, most guys won’t have the income to afford a 33000 car.

  • avatar

    I sent a few interior photos, but Ed seems to have lost track of that batch. They should be added shortly.

  • avatar
    dswilly

    This is a classic example of a car that is over stylized, always looking bold in print but large and awkward on the road or parked. Another example is the Challenger. You said it best with “the racier the styling, the shorter the shelf life”. I’ll take the Mustang 5.0 thanks.

  • avatar

    Two things I didn’t include: pricing and reliability.

    The list price of the tested car was $36,465. It’s about $300 higher for 2011. A similarly equipped 2011 Mustang GT lists for about $800 less. But Ford gives its dealer larger margins, so the difference in invoice prices is close to $2,000.

    Early Camaros had a common problem with the bolts that retain the rear spoiler coming loose. Other than that owners participating in TrueDelta’s Car Reliability Survey have reported few problems. They’ve been quite reliable for an all-new GM car in its first year.

    To participate in the survey, with just about any car:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar
    ZCD2.7T

    I drove an automatic-equipped SS the other day, and concur about the driving position and visibility. I’m 6′ 2″, and still had to raise the seat substantially in order to gain any semblance of a decent field of view. It’s hard for me to imagine the body type that would fit this car well – perhaps someone who is 6’6″+, but with a 30″ inseam??

    Anyway, I’ve never been a fan of the styling, but expected to be wowed by the powah. No such luck. As mentioned, there’s no torque until the engine is screaming, which makes it drive like the anti-muscle car, rather than the reincarnation of one.

    Missed it by a mile, GM.

  • avatar
    GarbageMotorsCo.

    I don;t think I have ever in my life associated any year Camaro with “refined”. It’s always been gruff, uncomfortable and totally impractical.

    Then there’s the mandatory mullet, gold chains and Raybans that are a must for drivers of this car, just like before.

    Looks like a cartoon characture of a 60′s model. I don’t see this one aging well.

    • 0 avatar
      Contrarian

      Actually, the 1973 Camaro that a friend of mine had was a very smooth and refined feeling car. It had a small block V8 but I don’t remember which one. Maybe the 350.

      This car I find far too cartoonish. Aerodynamically it looks like a brick. And the “retro” interior styling is apalling. I’d go for the Stang too.

  • avatar
    SkiD666

    The problem with the Camaro’s design and execution was that GM’s goal was to create a modern re-interpretation of the original for as inexpensive as possible.

    While there is a market and high initial demand for this nostalgicaly driven car – GM would have been better served by a properly executed design (smaller, lighter, modern interior).

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    You give props to the chassis, but didn’t much of that come from Holden already gift wrapped?

  • avatar
    Loser

    I wanted to like the new Camaro, planned to buy one after the initial dealer rape ended but I just don’t like it enough. The interior is the deal breaker for me. Who thought that horrible steering wheel and dash was a good idea? In some ways it would be a step backward over my ’06 GTO. The seats in the GTO are much better, not to mention the dash/steering wheel. The Camaro didn’t feel any stronger either. Also checked out the 5.0 Mustang but it just doesn’t have that low down punch my GTO has. So I’ll keep the so called “Bland” GTO for a while longer.

    “I coulda had a G8!”

    • 0 avatar
      ninja14blue

      Amen…I wouldn’t trade my ’06 GTO for a new Camaro straight up…and this is coming from someone who has owned 5 Camaros and 3 Firebirds. I know it has sold well due to pent-up demand because it wasn’t available for 7 years, but I don’t see this car aging well and I’m really curious to see how well this car will sell when gas skyrockets again.

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    Man, I wanted one of these. In my automotive past lies a 1996 Victory Red Pontiac Firebird Formula that I bought in 1998 approximately two months before my wife got pregnant with our first child. That car was eventually traded for an extended- cab Sierra after we wrangled our firstborn in and out of the backseats of one of our two two- door coupes (Our other car was a Chevy Beretta) for just over a year before throwing in the towel.

    Also in my past is a Frost Green 1969 Camaro with a 2- barrel 350 and a three- speed auto mounted on the column like a it was a damn station wagon. It would do 115 before it ran out of gears. My dad and I restored it together the year I turned 14. The original plan was for it to be mine, but it reminded my dad of the ’67 Mustang of his youth, so he kept it and I got the aforementioned Beretta.

    Dad finally gave it to me after my youngest brother turned 16 and State Farm jacked up my dad’s insurance rates to close to $600. Per month. (Sorry, sir. You’ve got three cars and three legal drivers. Your son’s got to be listed as a primary on one of the cars.) In the time since we had restored the Camaro together it had been flooded when the creek across the road from my parents’ place rose up and into his workshop/ garage. State Farm totaled it and cut Dad a check that was equal to what he had put in the car when he bought it for us to restore in 1989. Dad bought it back from them with a salvage title, dried it out, changed the oil and other fluids twice, and replaced the carpeting. The car ran great.

    That was a fun car. An interesting car. And a valuable car. Life moved on and we decided that a pickup truck just wasn’t a good family car either. The ’69 went on eBay for almost $12,000, even with a salvage title and full- disclosure about the circumstances of the flood. (Yes, I consulted with Dad before I listed it and yes, he got a cut of the profits.) A new Honda Odyssey came home to my driveway.

    So I had been without a hot rod for about 4 years and I wanted a new Camaro the first time I saw a picture of the 2006 concept car. A Red Jewel Tintcoat 2SS with a tan interior. I built it dozens of times on the Chevy website. Hanging over my desk at work is a beautiful poster size image of one just like I wanted. I even bought a model kit and painstakingly painted it to match my dream car. I had my pickup paid off and my wife’s minivan paid off and was saving up for a nice 5 figure down payment on a 2011 model next spring.

    Then I drove one.

    Two of them, actually. A 2SS model for a 20 minute test- drive and then I rented a V-6 from Avis for a weekend. And now most of my Camaro fund is gone to fence in my backyard and I’m watching Autotrader getting ready to pull the trigger on a nice, clean 4th generation model around the end of October.

    Why? Well, for one thing, the interior is that bad, especially the visibility. The V-6 I rented had a black interior and it was like driving around in a cave. After a weekend of saying a “Hail Mary” everytime I went to change lanes and pricing rearview cameras at Best Buy in an attempt to figure out if there was any way I could live with one, I long for the comparitively wide- open interior of the 4th gen F-bodies, especially one with T-tops like my Firebird had.

    The performance difference isn’t that great compared to the later (’98- ’02) LS1 equipped 4th gens. A few minor modifications to a LS1 and I’ll easily be able keep up with stock 5th gens.

    The there’s cost. I could save until Spring, put down $8 – $10,000 or more on the 2SS I really wanted and still have a payment of $500 a month for five years or I can pick up a 2002 SS with less than 40K on the clock for $15,000 or so and have it paid for in half the time for $300 or less a month. For the amount of money they’re charging for them, there really is no excuse for the interior.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I still like the bold styling but it’s the details where GM lost me as a buyer. Like the 05 Mustang, this car needs a new interior and some more polish in other areas but I hope a refresh in a couple of years will take care of that.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    “I thought my kids would love it, but instead they seemed puzzled that a car with such exaggerated styling could exist outside of a cartoon.”

    Really? I can’t think of any kid that would think that, much less say it. An adult, yes, kids? Not any i know.

  • avatar
    Banger

    “Everything is big except what you want to be big, and that’s small.”

    ^ My explanation for about half the folks who purchase the Camaro and various other automobiles ill-suited to everyday driving, kid-ferrying, grocery-schlepping tasks that we actually need from our rides.

    FWIW, I like the Camaro styling, except the aforementioned lack of visibility, which seems like it goes with the territory in sports coupes now. Sat in a Nissan Altima coupe– admittedly nowhere near the same league as the Camaro, even if you compare the Altima to the base V6 Chebby– and had the same sensation of not seeing nearly enough outside the car. Huge bulge in the hood didn’t help forward visibility a bit, rearward visibility was basically nil, and the high beltline felt suffocating from the driver’s seat. I’d say, judging from your son’s comment, this is likely the case with the Camaro, as well.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Actually, the visibility out of my Altima sedan is nothing to write home about either. Last week I pulled up next to a Chrysler 300 in my Probe. I was staring at the Chrysler’s door handle. Who ever thought raising the belt line so high was such a good idea?

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      Maybe it’s cheaper to manufacture door sheetmetal than to manufacture glass.  It’s all done for profit, ESPECIALLY at GM.
      All cars now have that high beltline.  Honda is no different.  (Except that their cars don’t look stupid and they actually start.)

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    The 82-87 Camaros were beautiful cars. Chisled. When they were introduced in 82, they were definitely ahead of their time stylewise. Then they became overstyled, but with better performance.

    This current Camaro I don’t like so much. It’s way, way too big. I know it’s a better car. I guess. But it’s truly too big.

    • 0 avatar
      Darrencardinal1

      Oh man I had an 82 Firebird.

      That thing was such a piece of crap. Poor visibility, and a gutless V6 with no pickup that made it feel like you were risking your life everytime you wanted to merge onto the freeway. I remember driving a Tercel and thinking how much sportier and lighter it felt. A Tercel!

      Plus the car just came apart over time.
      These cars were crap.

    • 0 avatar
      FJ20ET

      The 3rd Gen F-Body is not an Attractive or Good Car. At all.

      It seriously is one of the worst cars ever made. I also don’t know why it was equipped with a steering wheel, seeing as it cannot possibly turn. It’s the only car I’ve ever driven that broke traction at 15km/h.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Drove the SS back to back against a GT and a SRT-8. In the end, the SS came across as the unbelievably hot girl from school that you date once to say you did…but couldn’t stand the personality enough to keep around beyond the one night behind the bleachers. For me, between the visibility, seating position and interior, I just couldn’t see having to drive one every day, it just got to be too much work to enjoy the drive as the test drive wore on. I commend GM (oops..we can’t focus on GM, they don’t sell cars as I read somewhere earlier today), er Chevrolet, for putting this on the road, but for me personally, I don’t think I’d want one in my garage. But opinions are like rear ends…:)

  • avatar

    The car is exactly what it should be and what people wanted since the concept bowed.

    The car checks all the right muscle car boxes (more like blows a hole through them) and the sales it has amassed (especially vs 2010+ Mustang) pan that out. GM delivered a car styled virtually identical to the show stopping concept built off their best RWD platform they have in production with awesome performance at an excellent price.

    I own a G8 GXP and rented a Camaro SS in Detroit for a week. For it’s class it is an exceptional car. The styling, the performance, the steering feel, the braking, the dynamics over the third world roads, the rigid chassis, the ride comfort and quiet when you’re relaxing are all first rate. It drives virtually identical to my G8 GXP except turned up a notch or two in acceleration and handling. If anything the car is already much more refined than it needs to be. The interior has plastic yes, but so does the Mustang and Challenger, it is no worse and in many respects better than the other two, especially the seats.

    The new 5.0 has brought the Mustang GT on the same plain as GM following over a decade of being dominated by GM smallblocks starting with the LS1 but the two cars are still very close on the strip and street. The Camaro SS with Brembos and a manual also costs less than the equivalent Mustang GT with Brembos plus you get the control and refinement of IRS as well as the rigid new chassis.

    This is a car that like the current CTS-V, GM did exactly right. GM as a whole needs more cars like the Camaro. Hopefully the next Corvette will regain its original iconic looks too.

    • 0 avatar
      ninja14blue

      Wrong…this car has only sold well due to 7+ years of pent-up demand. And while it’s true that it has outsold the Mustang, I don’t expect that to last for long…Camaro sales have been slipping every month now for awhile and will most likely continue…and if gas prices skyrocket again, this car will sit rotting on dealers’ lots.

      I really wanted to like and buy this car, but GM dropped the ball. The car is too heavy, the interior is a joke, the visibility is awful, the backseat useless, the trunk just slightly less useless, and did I mention that a fully loaded 2SS lists for around $40K?

      Unless GM has some major improvements lined up for this car, it’s going to suffer the same fate as the 4th gen F-Cars.

    • 0 avatar

      My review and the comments that follow suggest that they didn’t quite get the car “exactly right.”

      I’ve been through this first-year sales BS before. When the Solstice came out GM fans couldn’t stop talking about how it was out-selling the Miata.

      My response then: let’s check back in three years.

      So, how’s the Solstice doing compared to the Miata now?

    • 0 avatar

      I should add that I fully agree that the Camaro’s chassis is superior–more on this when I review the Mustang.

      I didn’t include the Brembos in my earlier price comparison. They add $1,500 to the Mustang’s price. With them the Camaro is about $600 less at MSRP, but still $900 more at invoice. The Camaro has about $800 in additional features. Adjust for these, and the two cars’ adjusted invoice prices are very close.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      Michael –

      Your price comparison feature is admirable in its scope, but comparing a Mustang GT Premium 400A with Brembo Package vs a Chevy Camaro 2SS (the closest comparison I could find) it has a few things off.

      For example, it gives the Chevy a $200 credit for a spoiler, saying the Mustang doesn’t come with one (it does) as well as giving the Chevy a $400 credit for OnStar turn by turn directions, even though the Mustang has the same thing with Sync. The Brembo Brakes package also comes with premium wheels, which are an extra charge option on the Camaro, and a sport-tuned stability/traction control setup, which isn’t available on the Camaro.

      I do agree that the cars end up being pretty close in price though, and the feature set is fairly similar.

      I’m looking forward to hearing your notes about the chassis. All of the print magazines have ruled that the Mustang has superior handling compared to the Camaro, so I am curious about what you felt was different. The IRS vs Live Axle debate has been played out to death already so there is no need to rehash it here, suffice it to say that a sufficiently well designed and developed live axle is every bit as good as most IRS setups in 99% of driving conditions. If you feel the need to powerslide over pothole laden roads you might have a case, but unless you’re Jack Baruth, neither of these cars should be driven 10/10ths, or likely beyond 7/10ths of capability on public roads.

      Then again, I’ve only had a couple occasions to drive the new Camaro as they’ve been traded in, and seeing as the worst winter might do down here is force me to throw some blankets and heat lamps around my mango and avocado trees one or two nights a year, the roads aren’t exactly ridden with potholes.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      The car is far from “exactly right”. I had planned to buy one but it has too many flaws for me. Put it on a diet, get some decent GTO like seats, fix the horrid dash and steering wheel then I’d be able to look past the other flaws enough to buy one.

    • 0 avatar

      The spoiler can be deleted from the Mustang, so in my system it gets coded as a no charge option. As a result you have to select the rear spoiler when configuring the car.

      I do need to revisit how OnStar is handled. It came out years ahead of SYNC, so I coded it as a single feature.

      When SYNC came out it included a number of features already in my database, so I coded it as an option package including all of these features, which are itemized in the comparison.

      I need to do the same with OnStar and convert it into a package, to make the comparisons cleaner and possibly more accurate.

      It is very hard to keep up with the respective features sets.

      One remaining difference is that OnStar is self-contained, while you need to link up a cell phone to get similar features from SYNC.

      I code wheels by type: alloy, machined, polished, chrome-clad, chrome-plated. What type are the wheels in the Brembo Package? My info says regular alloy.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      One remaining difference is that OnStar is self-contained, while you need to link up a cell phone to get similar features from SYNC.

      Conversely, OnStar requires a separate cell phone number and an ongoing subscription, where SYNC and the like just bridge through via your phone.

    • 0 avatar

      Good point.
      I base my values on what companies tend to charge for features. One thing I need to sort out is that the $395 Ford charges for SYNC is far below what companies tend to charge for OnStar and similar features–even though they don’t include the device connectivity SYNC does.

    • 0 avatar

      Michael, the Camaro is not a Solstice.  The Camaro has heritage, a huge following and fits its brand.  The Solstice was not any of these things and was not the type of car Pontiac was known for or should have been selling.  It was going into a very very niche market that the Miata fills and satisfies already.  Immense difference.   

      Few cars are perfect right out of the gate.  The current Mustang took five years and a refresh to become what it is today.  The Camaro will recieve new powertrains and a refresh before it is completely redesigned.  A revised interior is in the cards for those who don’t like it.  But again, GM ticked all the right muscle car boxes on the release with this Camaro. 

      Also Nullo is incorrect.  I have had numerous classic muscle cars in and out of my garage, the current Mustang’s rear end behaves virtually the same as the classics do on public roads in normal driving – ie it jiggles, hops and skips.  The roads are smooth here and you still notice it where the pavement is uneven and on expansion joints. 

      I can deal with that in a classic car, but for a brand new car in 2010 that the manufacturer charges the same price as you can get a modern designed IRS car it is simply unforgivable.  Especially after experiencing the Camaro in Detroit.  Even Edmunds wrote about the live axle in their latest Shelby GT500 review.  When I put down serious coin for a modern car I expect it to drive like a modern car, otherwise I might as well just have another classic with more character for its axle hop.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    I wanted to like this car because it is so obviously cool. But when I got a chance to really meet one I was rather shocked at how plasticky and cheap it looked. This car looks substantial, and according to this review it is, but it also looks insubstantial regarding it’s details and finish.

    The mini-windows are impractical, but I never considered any Camaro practical. The cramped and human unfriendly interior is always a Camaro standard feature. That isn’t what bugged me, because as having an old Camaro myself, I know these cars aren’t useful daily drivers. Camaros are bimbos, attractive to strangers and impossible to live with.

    But at this price? This? No.

    And I concur that I haven’t seen anyone under 50 driving one. It seems to appeal to men with E.D. and gray porn ‘staches.

  • avatar
    jimboy

    I have always argued about the questionable styling choices the designers made when developing these cars. Both the Camaro and Challenger NEED to visit Jenny Craig first, and then GM and Chrysler need to give us a pillarless hardtop coupe. that would address the visibilty issues, access to the rear and allay the claustrophobic seeming interiors of these cars. Mustang avoids the problem by not building a coupe, per se;, but still has egress problems in the fastback, although the side windows alleviate the closed in feeling of the other two. And yes,I know its expensive to engineer, but do it anyways or you’ll continue to lose buyers. I would only consider a convertible for those reasons alone, and since I can’t get one in either the Chev or Dodge, you’ve already lost me as a customer. Much as I’d love to purchase one, only a die hard boomer fan will, and that’s the end of your sales. Hope you can make money on 30,000 – 50,000 units a year.

    • 0 avatar

      If GM eliminated the B-pillars they’d have to make the A-pillars, a much larger problem, even thicker.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      The automakers do need to get off their duffs and make this and other coupes pillarless hardtops again. And I don’t want to hear excuses why they don’t, won’t or can’t, either. Drop the beltlines, too. Eventually, the carmakers are going to have to compromise on “safety” and make all cars lighter. Cocooning yourself into an armored personnel carrier is just too expensive, plus safety is compromised anyway if you can’t see out of the doggone thing! Cut open a Mercedes hardtop and see how they accomplish what they do. Until they build these things properly, it’s 4 dr. sedans or convertibles for me. I rest my case.

    • 0 avatar
      FJ20ET

      I love hardtops too, but I don’t think it’s do-able anymore, due to side Impact regulations.

  • avatar
    M 1

    Uh, 2nd-gear lockout isn’t “an old GM trick to bump the EPA ratings,” it’s a federally mandated “feature” required on ALL six-speed manuals. It’s called “skip shift,” it’s about 10 years old now, and the solenoid can be easily defeated with a five-cent resistor and 20 minutes under the car if it really bothers you.

    I’m available to proof-read this stuff at a low rate.

    • 0 avatar

      Um, no.

      I’m not aware of any six-speed manuals with this feature other than those in some GM and Chrysler RWD cars. There are dozens of car models with six-speed manuals and without this “feature.”

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      WRONG. Test drive a VW anything with a 6-speed manual. No skip-shift. How about a Nissan anything. No skip-shift. How about an Acura anything. No skip-shift.

      Article has it right.

    • 0 avatar
      galaxygreymx5

      My 2006 Miata 6MT certainly didn’t have skip shift, neither have any of the 6MT S2000s. Nor the 6MT Tacoma or 6MT GTI I’ve driven.

      Isn’t this “feature” only on Camaros, Corvettes, and Vipers? I believe the author is right in that it’s a stupid gimmick to bump the EPA sticker values.

      The irony is that in order to defeat skip shift (aside from modifying the car) one must drive the snot out of the thing, thereby dropping fuel economy into the single digits. Probably not what the EPA intended.

    • 0 avatar
      mistrernee

      Skip shift was GM’s way to save consumers having to pay the gas guzzler tax.

      It improves city fuel economy slightly and makes one of the EPA numbers slightly higher than it otherwise would.

      However, I think vehicles that end up paying the tax end up with skip shift as well and it doesn’t seem to be helping much compared to the Mustang (which doesn’t have it last I checked). Maybe the new EPA testing methods nullify it, in which case it should go away.

      It’s okay when they are new but as the cars age they really don’t like being put into 4th gear at 15 km/h. My 4th gen LT1 Camaro sounded like it was going to come apart whenever it forced a 4th gear shift.

      I didn’t mind revving it a bit in 1st, but in stop and go traffic it was maddening and the LT1 was especially mean at lower RPM’s.. Made me look like some teenager trying to look cool, popping and snorting all over the place in rush hour.

    • 0 avatar
      M 1

      I HAVE BEEN LIED TO! WHO IS REZPONZIBLE?!

      My Viper has it. “THEY” told it me was those bastards in DC.

      My hatred has been misplaced. TTAC has saved me.

      Still, I refuse to buy Japanese.

      Either way, it sure as sh*t isn’t a GM thing.

    • 0 avatar
      mistrernee

      It might be more of a Tremec TR-6060/Borg Warner T-56 thing than a GM thing, pretty much every American made car with a 6 speed stick has that transmission in it.

    • 0 avatar
      bodayguy

      I have a new 5.0 mustang and it indeed does skip-shift. hate it. but you just have to shift at 20 mph-plus and it won’t come into play.

  • avatar
    86er

    Nice digs, Michael.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Squishing my bulbous nose against the monitor, peering at the image, I can envision a giant hand grasping the vehicle at the bow and stern and squeezing until a few inches length has been compressed with those extra inches oozing out in width and height as compensation.

    But maybe it was just my nose obstructing my view.

  • avatar
    86er

    Then there’s the way the Camaro’s engine sounds and feels when racing for the redline. Its raucous roar (with stray mechanical undertones) borders on violent, with much of this violence seemingly directed towards the engine’s own internals. Put another way, under hard acceleration at high rpm the big V8 sounds like it wants to tear itself apart.

    I prefer Robert Farago’s assessment of this powerplant (well the 6.0L anyway):

    Our test Sierra was powered by GM’s sublime Vortec 6000. Granted, new millennia power freaks will not find the 6.0-liter engine’s 300hp output overly impressive– especially when the horses in question are harnessed to a vehicle weighing 4800 lbs. And yes, GMC slots some bigger, badder units into the Sierra; including a 6.6-liter DURAMAX turbo-diesel with enough torque to pull the Queen Mary into dry dock (640ft.-lbs.). But the Vortec 6000 is a flawless and loveable lump, a V8 from The Old School.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/gmc-sierra/

    • 0 avatar

      Usually when I take an engine to the redline my wife says it sounds like it’s about to come apart, while my ears love it.

      This time my ears agreed with my wife’s assessment. The sound of the engine made me want to go lighter on the gas.

      I recall no such impression when driving the G8 GXP with a related 6.2, or Corvettes with the 6.0 (haven’t driven the 6.2). None of them have been great-sounding engines, but good. This one was different, likely due to differences in the intake, exhaust, or sound insulation.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    The Challenger has the retro thing down better than the Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Yes, it does; it’s a dead ringer.

      Jay Leno did side-by-side photo comparos with his ’08 and ’70 to illustrate as such.

      I sure wish the Challenger didn’t come in any interior colour you want, as long as it’s black.

    • 0 avatar
      GarbageMotorsCo.

      Agree completely. The Challenger is put together nicer and has a heftier feel.

      For such a chintzy, cheap feeling car, I still can’t figure out where all the porkyness comes from. Here piggy, piggy!

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Michael,
    Did you do a review of the Genesis Coupe yet? I tried sitting in the back seat of one, and my head couldn’t be straight up because it was against the window. In fact, I was pretty much looking in my lap. The Camaro back seat is bad, as it is with also muscle cars, but it seems that the worse one I have seen was the Genesis Coupe. What do you think?

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve reviewed the Genesis a few times. From one of the reviews:

      “Back seats in 182-inch-long coupes tend to be short on space, and this one is no exception. Passengers over five-foot-six will have to scunch down to avoid hitting their heads on the hatch glass. And knee room is similarly scarce.”

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    This car is a competitor for the title of: “The ugliest car in the world”

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I really wanted to like this car, mostly because my company has a policy about buying company cars from places we do business with, and we definitely do a lot of business with GM Oshawa.

    But the cabin is really bad. I’m not talking about the materials: they’re ok, given the price and performance, but the trunk is horrific and the rear seats unfit for my four-year-old. I fit pretty well in it, and I can stand the styling, but it’s just so incredibly impractical. The Mustang isn’t much better, but it’s a lot smaller. The Challenger, much as I hate the styling, is a livable car.

    It really does have Bob Lutz’s fingerprints all over it: handles well, rides well, looks like nothing else, fits the driver, but makes big sacrifices in livability. Mr. Karesh, in his review of the LaCrosse, talks about Lutz’ empowering of design at the expense of just about everything else. This car is exemplary of that, just as Kappas were: they work, but only for people who have a “real” car they can fall back on, or travel with nothing more than a toothbrush and a Platinum VISA.

    Man, I so wished the G8 had lived to see Canadian assembly.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The Kappas weren’t that much worse than other roadsters where practicality was concerned. Yes, ther Miata has a more usable trunk, but no two door two seater drop top is going to ever be anything near practical for a primary everyday car for anyone with a family.

      As far as the Camarao is concerned, the biggest issue I have with the cabin is the awkward gauge pack placement at the bottom of the center stack. There is no way to look at those without taking your eyes completely off the road.

      I like the exterior from every view but the rear. The backup lights look tacked on as an afterthought. Would it have been that hard to incorporate them into the tail lights somehow?

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      psarhjinian,

      I’m with you on the G8.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Of this modern bunch I like the Challenger better. 2011 Mustang comes in second.

    On an interesting note, one local guy known for making homemade (and very good looking) copies of cars is developing one of this car. He did himself a H1 Hummer, Ultima MK and has a 57 Chevy with a Duster roof that even with poor paint looks awesome.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    So, does anyone else think Holden designed a nice Chevelle, then GM stuck the wrong name on it?

  • avatar
    cc-rider

    I’d take the BMW E30 with LSX swap that was reviewed recently over this car!

  • avatar

    “Everything is big except what you want to be big, and that’s small.”

    Michael, your nine year-old son is wise beyond his years. He not only perfectly summarized the bloated POS that is the Camaro… he also accurately described each and every fat, balding, insecure male that would want to own one.

  • avatar
    stationwagon

    the problem with this coupe is that it is based a full-sized platform. It is very heavy because of this. The visibility problems stem from the design cues of modern day cars that have low roofs and high belt-lines and a high trunk. If GM wanted to get this right they should have revived the f-body and put an IRS on it than it would walk all over the Mustang. The Dodge challenger actually suffers the first problem too. I read on the internet that the next-gen Camaro will have the same platform as the Cadillac ATS, which doesn’t sound good. I hope the next Camaro is more f-body-like.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      My buddy bought a Challenger and parked it next to my Grand Marquis. The Challenger appears to be larger, from an in-the-person, looking-at-it point of view. Actually, it appears to dwarf the GM. All of these BIG cars remind me of when I was a kid and would put a 1/24 scale Revell model parked next to a 1/25 scale MPG. They never looked right on my shelf.

      I wish the manufacturers would decide on a common scale and stick with it. Are we going to make cars for the BIG folks or for the others?

    • 0 avatar

      The ATS platform is supposed to be sized like the BMW 3-Series. So a Camaro off it would be sized like the Genesis Coupe, and about what many people seem to be asking for.

      The big question is whether there will be a next Camaro if sales of this one drop off. GM has a way of canceling stuff that would have done just fine if they’d executed it better and kept it fresh.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Good job GM. Most Americans are 5’4″ women. You do realize men may be swayed to purchase a car that their girlfriend/wife feel comfortabe driving?
    The original pony car was designed with women in mind. It’s not a complicated business plan; sell to the biggest possible audience.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Well, according to the SAE, the LS3 in Camaro trim makes 300lb-ft of torque at 1000RPM.

    Edmunds dyno’d a Camaro SS and it actually has a decent edge in power and torque over the Raptor 6.2L under 3200RPM. The Ford 6.2L is a LS3-killing demon from 3500-5300 though. Both big-displacement engines hold an edge over the Ford 5.0L until around 4000RPM.

    How many miles were on your test car? Was it a green motor, or did it show any signs of journo abuse?

    • 0 avatar

      It wasn’t a green motor. I cannot remember how many miles were on the car, but I’m never near the front of the line.

      As implied in the review, the perceived lack of punch at lower rpm could well be because of the tall gearing. The Mustang I drove had an optional shorter rear end. Beyond the gearing, the numbers are only part of the story. Tuning an engine so that it not only is strong but feels strong is as much art as science.

      There’s also the matter of curb weight. The Mustang engine has fewer pounds to motivate.

      I should also note that we’re speaking relatively. This is clearly a strong engine. I (and it seems one other person who commented) here expected it to feel WTF! strong from idle on up. Instead, the acceleration of this car never scared me in the slightest. Perhaps this is another testament to how good the chassis is, that it transfers 426 horsepower to the pavement as if it were half that, but so it is.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @MK:

      Thanks for the reply.

      I guess GM needs to throw some 4.10 gears on the Camaro like they put on the Trailblazer SS.

      How did the acceleration feel in comparison to a ChryslerCo SRT8?
      _______
      Also, if you want a car’s acceleration to scare you, you need to snag a C63 or GT500 press car.

    • 0 avatar

      The Chrysler SRT8 felt more powerful if not necessarily quicker to me, but it has also been a while since I last drove one.

  • avatar
    thecavanaughs

    That’s some bad car, Harry.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    How can such a large car have a small trunk AND a small backseat?

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Only the new Taurus gave me more claustrophobia than the new Camaro, while sitting in the driver’s seat.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    After seeing plenty of these in person, it looks to me like the greehouse is out of scale with the rest of the car – it looks like a little bit of a “pinhead” to me. If they either scaled the greenhouse up to match the rest of the body or (preferably) scaled the car down to match the greenhouse, it would have much better proportions.

  • avatar
    Caffiend

    Michael, I was 14 in 1982 as well, the year my step-mom bought a new Trans Am. It was fast enough, and sounded great. Looked better than most crap on the road at the time.

    A buddy bought an 09 Camaro. Love how it drives, and could live with the visibility. But the cockpit felt incredibly cramped. Nothing you couldn’t get used to.

    • 0 avatar
      FJ20ET

      “1982 as well, the year my step-mom bought a new Trans Am. It was fast enough, and sounded great. Looked better than most crap on the road at the time.”

      No, it wasn’t, and no, it didn’t.

  • avatar
    csf

    I agree with “Loser” and “ninja14blue” – the new GTO sold from 04-06 offers 400 hp, a far nicer, upscale interior, a better back seat, a real mini spare, equal acceeration, and overall more refinement than the new Camaro. And its selling on used car lots for under 20 grand.

    I had an 05 GTO and the quality was almost equal to any import I’ve owned. So I could not wait for the Camaro, which was also to be based on a Holden platform. When I saw the Camaro in person the exterior seemed fine but I was seriously disappointed in the cheap plastic retro interior, and bought a V-series Cadillac instead.

    But I still think I would look at a convertible Camaro if they ever sold it – with the top down that mediocre interior would have to feel a bit more spacious and open.

  • avatar
    segar925

    This car is a caricature of itself and looks like it belongs in a Disney movie. The interior really sucks and the rear end isn’t much better. Cars like this are why GM went broke. The last Camaro worth owning was built in 1969.

  • avatar
    MattPete

    In person, these are not attractive cars. As someone said many months ago in TTAC, it looks like a prototype that is awaiting several iterations of refinement.

    I loved the original show car from several years ago. This, not so much. The proportions are oh-so-wrong and the tail-lights look ridiculous.

    I’d much rather have the black-and-gold Trans Am in the previous article. Seriously. Under all of that cheese, there is something seriously sexy. But not here.

  • avatar
    Alexdi

    I tested this car about six months ago. My notes didn’t have the detail for a full review, but generally jibe with Michael’s impressions:

    “Test car was a 2SS V8 automatic with optional 21″ rims.

    Engine sounded rough and noisy over the entire range. Very fast, linear acceleration; feels about the same from 0-40 as 40-80. Giant wheels and tall gearing may be to blame. A little soft down low. A 135i feels quicker and torquier up to 50. Wouldn’t bet against the Camaro at highway speeds.

    Huge doors with high sills, and high hoodline. Feels like peering out of a tank. Poor rear 3/4 visibility, better than the 370Z, worse than the Mustang.

    Interior quality is middle of the road. Decent leather, poor plastics. Livable, better than the base Mustang, roughly on par with the Fusion. Worse than everything else. Wheel doesn’t shift toward you.

    Handling is ambivalent. Light-effort wheel, some on-center slop. Weak centering reflex. Sticks well in the turns. No more fun than a Maxima, not as a taut as a G8.

    Good seats. Not too snug, good support.

    MSRP pricing plus $5000. The Chevrolet dealers are out of their minds; the car just isn’t that good.

    Overall impression: Penis car. What you buy in place of a codpiece.”

    • 0 avatar
      nrd515

      As the previous owner of 3 F-Bodies, I really had hopes for this car.
      I don’t like the styling much at all. It’s a miss all around. The Challenger and Mustang are light years ahead, in exterior styling. The only negative on the Challenger is it’s height.
      I drove one of the first ones built, a friend of mine ordered it as soon as it was announced. I don’t know how much he paid for it, nor do I want to know. He’s got money to burn, so it’s no big deal for him.
      The interior is horrible, I personally always choose black interiors over anything else, if possible, so the color isn’t a problem. The horribly ugly dash and even more revolting steering wheel is a big problem. I don’t really care all that much about dash styling, but the looks of this car’s dash is a total turnoff. The gauge location is a joke. The front seat was comfortable enough.
      I had no complaints in the actual driving, it drove great, had great power, and unlike the reviewer’s car, my friend’s car sounds GREAT, but a little too quiet for me.
      I hope they never go back to the giant window/lower beltline days. It made cars look horrible, IMO, and I was so happy to start seeing cars with sanely sized windows return. I really don’t need bigger/lower windows that ugly up the car and enable me to see more of the car next to me and/or more of the road or guardrail either. I have no problems seeing out of my 2008 Charger R/T in traffic. A backup cam would be nice in some instances, but I definitely want no larger of a greenhouse the the Charger/300/Challenger have now, and like most of the better looking cars of the past had.

  • avatar
    tiredoldmechanic

    I too really wanted to like this car. My Dad tought me to drive in a Camaro. I once owned a hugger orange 1969 Z-28. A real one, solid lifters, 4.10 gears and all. My wife went on our first date with me in that car. The fastest I have ever driven an automobile was a big block Camaro with 3.07 gears. I could go on, but you get the picture. So it really hurt to be so disappointed when my wife (same girl) and I test drove an SS recently. The Camaros I remember were pretty crude, but they were not crude on purpose. They were built to a price and a purpose, and crude just happened. The new one seems to be crude on purpose, almost contrived in fact, and somehow that’s vaguely insulting. Or maybe I’m just getting old.
    Either way, the Mrs. likes the mustang. She says it reminds her of my old car, and she doesn’t know a Z-28 from a Checker cab. From the twinkle in her eye, I’m thinkin’ though. And I’m not thinkin’ Camaro.

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Don’t know why I care about something like the trunk opening on something as impractical as a sports car, but that is quite laughable. They should have just sealed the deck lid and be done with it. Can you even cram a set of golf clubs in that thing?

  • avatar
    segfault

    That A-pillar is dangerously thick.

  • avatar

    Oh Michael. You say GM has “learned nothing”, but they’re selling an awful lot of these, impressive given that it was developed on a shoestring using a platform that nearly everyone agrees wasn’t optimal. Sure it’s too heavy and the interior is silly, but they might have learned more than you think.

    Your comments about the engine’s sound are just bizarre. It sounds like a smallblock V8, IME. Is your experience with GM V8s really that limited?

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t say they’ve learned nothing. Credit is certainly given for a much improved chassis.

      The key lessons not learned involve size, practicality, and refinement.

      It might turn out that these lessons needn’t be learned. Let’s see where sales are from 2012 on.

      I can’t count how many cars I’ve driven with smallblock V8s, going back a quarter-century. I cannot recall having this reaction to the sound of one before. I’m not sure if my expectations changed, or something is different in this case.

      Actually, now that I think of it I did have a similar reaction once before. When driving the original CTS-V I felt the sound of the engine did not fit the character of the rest of the car.

      And the shifter in the Camaro is an improvement over the one in that V.

  • avatar
    Selektaa

    I test drove one of these a couple months back, and honestly, I couldn’t stand it. Granted, I’m currently driving an 06 Civic Si, so it’s a completely different kind of car, but I wasn’t impressed. Visibility was pretty bad all around, with the gun slit windows and even windshield, and the whole car just felt too big. I just couldn’t get comfortable. Acceleration was impressive, but blunted somewhat by being almost 4,000 pounds. I don’t know if I could ever be happy with one of these, even at half the price.

    A few weeks later I test drove a 370Z, and that was a whole different world. The car felt wrapped around me, very tossable, and I was immediately comfortable. That being said, rear visibility was some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Still, that’s a car I could seriously see picking up used when I’m in a position to be able to have a second car that’s basically a toy.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The divergent paths that GM and Ford took with their ponycars makes for an interesting study. While Ford seems to do a much better job of following the market with the Mustang (even if the results were sometimes stuff like the Pinto-based Mustang II which, at the time, was a sales success), GM’s stubborn refusal to substantially change the f-body worked remarkably well for over three decades.

    GM is trying to continue riding the same. tried-and-true crest with this latest ‘Lutz-mobile’ rendition. Personally, for performance, I’d take the Mustang, and if I were looking for more of a retro-type ride, I’d go with the Challenger.

    Seems like GM and Lutz tried to position the Camaro somewhere in-between and it does neither very well.

    OTOH, I can see the dilemma GM had with the retro styling issue of the Camaro. In an ironic twist, had GM made the new Camaro much closer to the 1969 version it seems to have been based upon (and thereby making it a whole lot easier to drive and live with), it would have ended up looking virtually identical to the new Challenger (which is a complete reversal of the original situation in 1969-1970).

  • avatar
    lukemo2

    I’ve had several people comment on how big the back seat of my GTO is.  Most can’t believe how much room is back there.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    Middle aged gearheads are a funny lot all in all. Recently, my ten year old and I saw a new Camaro. He said to me, “Daddy, it looks like a big Transformer. Why would anyone want one of these?”
     
    A short time later, we saw a Honda CRZ. His response was, “Cool and it’s a hybrid.” Yes, at ten years old he knew what a hybrid was.
     
    My 23 year old niece is in the market for her first new car. She has her heart set on a new CRZ, manual transmission. Problem is, there is a three month wait here in Vancouver to get one. I mentioned the 2011 Mustang is a screaming deal in base form and she could have one today. Her reply was:
    “Uncle_____, I wouldn’t be caught dead in an American car and if it wasn’t a hybrid, my friends would never talk to me again.”
     
    The irony being, of course, is that 45 year old gearheads love the Camaro and the ‘Stang, but hate the CRZ, but the youngsters love it.

    • 0 avatar
      jimboy

      Just goes to show you how anti american bias from journalists has nearly ruined the domestic auto industry.
      You ever ask those kids what happens to a used battery in the land fills?, or how much oil/coal/natural gas it takes to generate electricity? or how much electricity/batteries/resources they use in a typical year, mostly generated by gas/oil/coal? Instead of letting the next generation be run by social media/pressure, perhaps you should try talking sensibly to them yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Those hybrid batteries are almost entirely recyclable just like lead acid batteries. What should we do – just keep burning gasoline as fast as we can? So burning gas that fast forever is more environmentally wise than adding some battery cars to the mix?
      I love the Camaro. And my parent’s Corvette. Just have zero interest in owning either. Both are as useful to my lifestyle as a motorcycle. And I’d rather ride my motorcycle.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    You know Jimboy, these kids don’t even care. For them, like kids from time in memoriam, what matters is what is cool to them.
     
    Kids have always been run by social/media pressure. When I was a teenager, I lusted after the 1980 Turbo Trans-am because I thought it was cool. Later I found out it was a POS but  I would have bought on in a second had I had the cash.

    Secondly, where I live, we don’t generate any electricity using coal. I do find it kind of strange trying to make an environmental argument in the context of a 6.2 litre car that weighs 4000 lbs, really only seats two people and gets 17 mpg, but to each his own.
     
    And try talking “sensibly to them yourself.” That’s a good one! I have three kids myself and there is no way on earth I am ever going to convince them what is, or isn’t cool for them.

    • 0 avatar
      jimboy

      point given!

    • 0 avatar
      Canucknucklehead

      Spoken like a man who knows a thing or two about being a parent!

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      My father and I always comment on the lack of 20-somethings, and even 30 and 40-somethings at the hot rod car shows we attend. Same effect at antique car shows though there are a few youngins’ walking around.
      What happens to those cars when the old codgers die off?
      When I was a high school kid alot of my peers avoided Camaros b/c they did not want to be part of mullet team. Mustangs were avoided for similar reasons. I drove a ’66 coupe anyhow and kept my hair short.

      I recently talked to a kid about two seaters like Miatas and MR-2s. He said that alot of the kids he knew liked the cars but wanted to have a backseat so they could carry 3-4 friends with them. Expensive gas and the need to travel in packs.

    • 0 avatar
      Canucknucklehead

      Big back seats, and the want thereof, are nothing new. In my high school days, Hippie Vans were popular for exactly the same reason. Really, how many two seaters are sold, or have ever been sold, compared to cars with real back seats?

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    What is cool is always rather a subjective thing. In my high school, there was the muscle car set. These were the kids whose dad’s had construction businesses and who worked digging holes, for good money, all summer to get their (used) Camaros and Mustangs.
     
    We also had the Hippie set, kids whose flower children parents passed a few bucks onto them to buy VW vans or bugs. In fact, I would say that VW vans and bugs were by far the more popular vehicle over the muscle cars. I always found this rather odd because all the kids who drove them ever talked about was how they fixed them and how often. Even then, it kind of struck me as a waste of time to spend your weekend getting dirty wrenching on something.
     
    My first relatively fast contrivance wasn’t a car anyway. It was a 1975 Honda 550 Supersport, already well used when I got it. I beat the bark off of that thing for three years and it never failed to start, go, or go like snot. Seeing as it was reliable and could blow the doors off of any muscle car of the era, I thought I was onto something good. It was a real chick magnet, too. The really significant thing was that this bike showed me that Honda made really good stuff, no matter what knuckle-draggers drivin’ pick-ups told me.
     
    And every one I have owned has been a good ride (or drive) so I keep buying them and will until I see a better alternative.
     
     

  • avatar
    FJ20ET

    If you want a full-on Muscle Coupe, I really don’t see why anyone wouldn’t by a Mustang. It’s far and away much better than this car, and always has been.

    If you want a powerful Crusier, the Challanger is the one to get.

    The Camaro does nothing well, and to top it off you look like you’re married to your cousin. I looked at a picture of this car and started to hear Banjos.

  • avatar
    tincanman99

    Is this a car for younger people or boomers? Once the boomers kick it, who is going to buy it? I cant see it having a long life span. Like that dismal SSR that Lutz loved as well.
    I dont see the local boy racers buying these over WRX’s and Evos. The youngins like technology and though this car is more refined than in the past and its got tons of power its no WRX by any means technology wise.

  • avatar
    jplane

    My niece has a 2010 Camaro so I got to drive it for a while. Still, I bought the 2011 Mustang for myself.  I have always been a GM man, but the Mustang was just alot better for me.

  • avatar
    achevroletman

     The Camaro is the most easily recognizable car in the world, simply because there is nothing else as unique. It was never meant to be a clone like the Challenger(look at the Sales numbers for that pig), it was meant to be a fusion of the old and the new. Judging by the Sales numbers since Camaro came out in May of 09, GM flat nailed it. Why do you think Ford added a carbon copy power dome to their hood in 2011? To imitate the Camaro of course, and that is the most sincere form of flattery.
     73% of all flats can be fixed with the inflator kit, if you do not order Camaro with a spare. Free Roadsise Assistance for 5/100 takes care of the rest.
     If visibility is your complaint, then buy a Convertible Camaro and put the top down.
     If you want to back up more safely, add a wireless Rear View Camera.
     Ford sells their Mustang for thousands less and still cannot top Camaro sales, so which car really has more widespread appeal to all ages taking that into account?
     Install the Performance Cat back exhaust from Flowmaster and you will never complain about the sound at Redline.
     Also regretted not reading about the addition of HUD for the 2011 2LT and 2SS, great feature that every performance car should have, but most do not.
     Surprised also that there was no mention that Kelley Blue Book and Kiplingers had named the 2SS number one in Performance car value retention.

     The only bad thing about the Camaro is that the owners have to get used to feeling like Rock Stars, because people are always taking pictures of you(oops I mean the car). The General is on the way back strong, so watch out you Rice Burner Junkies. HOOOORAHHHH !!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    bugo

    The Camaro is a beautiful car.  It’s a great all-around performer and a good value.  But it’s unusable for me.  I recently sat in an SS model and if I lean forward at all, my head hits the roof.  And I’m only 6’2″.  Anyone over 6’4″ couldn’t sit in it at all.  And the blind spots are troubling.  It’s sad that GM made such a great car with such a tragic flaw.  The car would still look good if the roof were a little bit higher.  They should have named the Camaro the “HLR” for “Heritage Low Roof.”

  • avatar

    It seems like most of the negative comments about this car are from guys who can’t afford one, or Mustang fanboys, or, even more laughable, guys who plan on taking their family cruising in a sports car. Trunk space? Are you planning on taking this car on a family vacation? Buy a sedan! Small, crampy rear seat? I drive from the front seat, if passengers don’t like being cramped, let em ride in a sedan! Long nose? A big block takes up room, and if you ever plan on doing engine maintenance, you’ll appreciate the extra elbow room that long nose gives you. Flat, blocky rear deck? Look at all the expensive sports car decks. Flat, blocky with big, round taillights. At least this car has better styling with the lights. The Mustang was marketed, originally as a secretary’s sports car, it’s no wonder your wife thinks they look better than a sports car. And, over 50 as the main buyers of a Camaro? Thats no surprise. The original Camaro was a young guy’s rocket. He didn’t worry about whether the kids were comfortable in the back seat, he didn’t have any. We didn’t go away, we just had to raise our kids. Now, we can relax in the best car we ever owned, and not worry about the wife nagging because we were going too fast or squealing the tires around a turn. So, I guess that makes us over 50. Your kids say the new Camaros look funny? I get nothing but, “Nice Car”, and “Sweet ride” from any kid who gets close enough to hear their comments. Maybe, your kids are NERDS! High side rails and small windows? I’m not George Jetson, I don’t need to drive around in a bubble. I appreciate the chopped top, custom body look that were only found on Chrysler cars previously. I also appreciate the engineering that made IRS a BETTER suspension package, used in all the major sports cars. Mustang owners would like to ignore or maybe they don’t even have the knowledge to remember the Jeep of the Vietnam era, the M151A1, built by the Ford Motor Company, because it had better grip than the solid axle Willys Jeep. The Hummer is another example of the increased grip of IRS. So, you Mustang fanboys keep ranting on, maybe someday Mustang will be upgraded to something more modern and effective.

  • avatar
    gonflyn

    Drove both a both a 2010 camaro ss and a 2011 mustang and would have to say that finally after decades in second place to the camaro, the mustang would be my choice between the two. ive owned a 94 camaro And an 02 trans am becuase in those days they were miles ahead, handling, faster, built better, and subjectively better looking.
    when they changed the styling on the stang back in 05, it turned my head and rekindled my appreciation for the model. i would go test drive one occasionally, thinking i really like what they’ve done with the car, i mean it captures the retro look of the original like no other car on the road. but i just couldnt get past the plasticky interior and the live rear axle. i had by then been driving bmw’s for a few years and just couldnt stand taking a step back in the quality and handling departments.
    But now with the 400 ponies and an interior thats getting better, i’d say its looking more and more appealling when compared directly to camaro. But why? Personally, i think they did a good job overall on the camaro styling, its bold and daring, as a muscle car should be, it gets noticed and is downright badass looking. But. Its. Getting. Too. LARGE. Driving it felt like driving a big car, not what i want in a sports car, are ya listening GM? Remember, the first camaros were built on a compact chassis! I think they should trim it down just a little and stick with the pony car tradition if they want to get the title back.


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