By on March 21, 2016

2016-Chevrolet-Camaro-1LT

Sometimes, in the wasteland that is the rental car lot of the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, fate can smile upon you. Most of the time, however, it doesn’t. When I hopped off of the bus this past Monday, I was confronted by rows and rows of Altimas and Passats, each of them just as base and boring as the next.

I had just resigned myself to a week of paying the automotive price for whatever sins I had recently committed when I noticed a glistening, dripping wet 2016 Camaro being driven slowly into the Emerald Aisle by a lot attendant, practicing his best pimp lean and blasting XM Radio Hip-Hop from the pony car. I didn’t even wait for him to fully exit the car before positioning myself behind the rear bumper, ready to place my bags in the trunk. As I situated myself behind the wheel, I noticed that the Camaro had a whopping five miles on the clock. It looked like I’d be the one responsible for a gentle break-in period.

Child, please.

Moments later, I was sending a Slack video of a I-94 60-100 MPH pull to my TTAC colleagues from the Panzer-like cabin of my V6-powered 1LT Camaro. “Isn’t driving like that in America dangerous?” wondered my friend from the other side of the curtain, Vojta Dobes. Eh, it’s Detroit. The cops have better things to do than pull over speeders.

The 2016 Camaro has been widely lauded by the automotive press as a “revelation,” or some shit like that. They slobbered all over the chance to drive the pre-production car at Belle Isle last year, and the early production model reviews have largely been along the lines of “The new Camaro is here to tell the Mustang to STEP OUTSIDE! OH YEAH!!!!” 

Eh.

Mark Reuss, grand poobah of all things GM America, has been on record in multiple outlets trumpeting his pride about this new 3.6-liter V6 motor, which generates an impressive 335 horsepower. It certainly sounds the business, too. The Camaro is undoubtedly fast in a straight line (Chevy claims a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds), and even with out of the box tires, it does mind-bending tricks through the on-ramps of Metro Detroit. In fact, with an optioned sticker price of $29,685, it’s quite difficult to make any case at all for 95 percent of the general public to step up to the SS. The V6 is more than strong enough to satisfy most shoppers’ thirst for power—it’s certainly faster than nearly any V8 Camaro that you might have lusted over as a child.

IMG_9790

I opted to drive the car in Sport steering, and the feedback that I got from the flat-bottomed wheel in this mode is tough to hate. I even liked the Automatic transmission, which senses aggressive throttle inputs and immediately switches to a “performance” mode. If you want to use the paddles, go for it—on the street, I found just leaving the car in “D” to be more than adequate.

However, while this might be the All-New Whiz-Bang Mustang-Beating Camaro, it’s still a Camaro, and it still likes to do Camaro things.

First of all, you really can’t see a fucking thing when you drive this car. The sightlines forward, back, and rear are perilously bad. It’s a good thing this pony has plenty of muscle, because lane-changing was a downright adventure. I found it best to just flip my signal on and mash the go pedal to the floor. That way, if anybody was next to me, I’d likely manage to avoid them. I will admit that I got somewhat used to the limited visibility after a couple hundred miles behind the wheel, but lobsters have been known to sit in boiling water, too. Doesn’t mean that it’s acceptable.

IMG_9792

The backup camera on the Chevrolet MyLink screen resembles nothing so much as the camera images I used to get on my Sony Ericsson T610 camera phone in 2003. The vague blobs that appeared on my screen could have been cars, trash cans, trees, or children. I have no idea.

IMG_9796

The back seat is completely and utterly useless. I put my 5’9″ self in the seat behind the driver’s chair, which was also set up for my 5’9″ self, and my knees were buried deep into the cushioning of the poor driver’s back.

IMG_9794

The plastics on the dash would be unacceptable in a Chevy Spark, much less a car that costs $30k. Keep in mind, this comes from a guy who daily drives a Fiesta ST. The entire interior is utter crap. There’s just no other way to put it.

The heating and cooling system doesn’t seem to provide much in the way of actual heating or cooling. In theory, you can select a temperature. Doesn’t seem to do much.

Getting in and out of the car was a chore. I couldn’t imagine a day of start-and-stop errands in this thing. My feet scraped the door sills, my knees banged into the doors, and there was no graceful way to enter or exit. You just sort of fall into the car, and then you scramble out of it.

The entertainment system is awful. Apple CarPlay integration was the worst I’ve experienced yet, so much so that I just stopped using it and switched to Bluetooth stereo. The sound produced by the base stereo is akin to using a $10 set of Skullcandy earbuds with an iPhone 4S.

IMG_9763

Oh, and did I mention that the tire pressure monitoring system reported a complete failure within three miles? Because it did.

Got all that? Okay, good. Because despite all those annoyances, there’s a truth to the V6 Camaro that bothers me.

It’s still a great car.

Well, scratch that. It’s a great driver. I would never want to deal with it day-to-day. But the combination of the engine, braking (my rental just had the standard brakes, but they were completely sufficient for the road), suspension, and chassis is downright unbeatable at this price point. Yes, that includes the V6 Mustang. I’d love the opportunity to drive one on track soon, because I think it would be a joy to pilot this car around a road course. But at $30K, I’d sacrifice a little bit of performance and go with a hot hatch like the GTI or Focus ST that I could actually live with every day.

The good news for GM is that I don’t think I’m the target customer for this car. While a good number will undoubtedly end up in the rental fleet, I think that the same kids who spent their retail job checks on 3.7-liter Mustangs in 2011 will find this car completely compelling and much more fun to drive.

You hear that, Mustang? You’ve been called out, son!

Sorry, I can’t. I tried.

[Images: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars]

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168 Comments on “2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT V6 Rental Review...”


  • avatar
    NormSV650

    I wondered how this compared to your Boss Mustang?

  • avatar
    a5ehren

    I get the feeling that the interior would look somewhat better with the larger infotainment screen option that I assume is available. Looks heinous with the small screen, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      That’s correct. There is a larger MyLink system available, which comes with a bezel that looks far more integrated into the dashboard. I noticed that GM also did this with the new Malibu. But BMW’s been doing it for years, and Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Audi just began the practice on their lower-end models.

      If there’s one thing I wish GM would change, it’s that loud “bong” warning chime that plays through the radio.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        “If there’s one thing I wish GM would change, it’s that loud “bong” warning chime that plays through the radio.”

        Same thing on the Mustang, I hate the “do-da-do, do-da-do” sound for door ajar, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Same thing on the Mustang, I hate the “do-da-do, do-da-do” sound for door ajar, etc.”

          I use that as my notification sound for text messages.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            I think the first time I encountered the noise was on my Grandma’s 2G Ford Focus (the cheap nasty one between the two good ones) and so ever since then I’ve associated it with cheap and nastiness.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            The regular “bong-bong” in my grandma’s ’91 Tempo was..ELEGANT!

            I’d never have passengers along if I had a modern Ford product, simply out of embarrassment if I forgot to buckle up before turning the key or pressing the button! (I think 2009 was when they changed things; my buddy’s wife’s 2008 Edge still has the single-toned dinger.)

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          I don’t mind Ford’s musical chime on the new cars. It’s pleasant, and part of a nice presentation. I also like BMW’s longstanding chime (except for the i models) that debuted with the E65 7-Series in 2002. Although the new 2016 G11 / G12 7-Series has a brand-new chime.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I thought it was funny that Rolls Royce was using the standard BMW chime. for $400,000 they couldn’t have come up with something unique?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Rolls-Royces have a different chime now, as of 2013 or so. It’s clearly based on the BMW chime, but a bit more regal-sounding.

            All of the BMW Group cars with the latest NBT version of iDrive (2013 / 2014), or one of its derivatives, include four BMW Group chimes, which are:

            -The standard BMW chime
            -The chime for the i cars (i3 and i8).
            -The MINI chime
            -The Rolls-Royce chime

            And you can code the car to activate one of the other chimes. The new chime from the 2016 7-Series may also manifest at some point.

            Here’s the new Rolls-Royce chime:
            youtu.be/ZYWDvBOMsqY?t=161

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            I like the reverb they gave it. Like it was meant to sound as though it’s being strummed by a minstrel with a lute, after you’ve chucked him down a well for trespassing on your land.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Bahaha! Sounds about right.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I want the Rolls-Royce chime to be an old British lady (Keeping Up Appearances like), who goes.

            “Oh dear, caution!”

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the worst was on my 2010 Mustang; sometime shortly after it went on sale they changed it to a higher pitched chime. It was irritating beyond belief to have to hear this wimpy thing prior to firing up a V8.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmTOAr1Px-s

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      It needs something. There’s just a vast expanse of nothing across the whole dash.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      That’s what happens when you settle for the poverty bezel.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    “First of all, you really can’t see a fucking thing when you drive this car. The sightlines forward, back, and rear are perilously bad.” I always hated this about this car. It was especially bad in a Camaro convertible rental I had.

    I personally prefer the new Mustang over this. Had the pleasure of renting a new Mustang GT a few months ago. Just more comfortable, better sight lines, and just me…more fun. But that is my comparison to the previous gen Camaro. I’ll have to rent the new version the next time I travel to compare. Shouldn’t be hard, they are pretty common on any rental lot.

    • 0 avatar

      “The sightlines forward, back, and rear are perilously bad.” I take it the view out the back is doubly bad.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yeah, I walked up to a ’16 Camaro last week and I boggled at the tiny glass area. All I could think was “…seriously?”

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I sat in a ’16 V6 RS version at a Chevy dealer, although I didn’t actually drive it (was not there on my own behalf, or I would have asked for a drive). The visibility is worse than the previous model, which is a real accomplishment. You would be relying entirely on mirrors for most rear and side visibility, which is a scary thought given how ineffectively almost all Americans set their mirrors. Forward visibility? Who needs it? You’ve got airbags, right? I’m 5’10” with a tall torso and felt like a little kid looking over the dash.

      On the other hand, I thought the materials were much better than Bark is reporting. They were much better than the ’15 and seemed on par with a Mustang — not great, but fine for what the car is. Maybe there is a difference between base and loaded models in that respect.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        I agree. The interior is a big improvement over the previous Camaro and Mustang too and both current models are very comparable. Most every other outlet that has tested the new Camaro agrees too so I question this review especially having sat in several brand new Focus models that were beyond slip shod in there interior material fitment and plastics. Starting with the ultra cheap feeling overhead sun glasses holder that feels super flimsy and the piss poor fitment of the headliner and the rear door moldings on several leather seat examples. Oh and when my 6′ friend adjusted the driver’s seat to his liking my knees were smashed into the seat back, another hall mark of the current Focus which is supposed to be “all the car anybody needs” according to testers on this site.

    • 0 avatar
      slap

      I really want to like the new Camaro, but the sightlines are just bad. The Mustangs are bad too, but sufficiently better enough that I would buy that instead even though the Camaro is a better performing car.

    • 0 avatar
      dougjp

      It just shocks me, the total arrogance of GM.

      Right from day one with the previous model, nearly every review went out of its way to lambaste the major visibility problem. Many of us walked away from buying one for that very reason, and set the timer with major patience for when the replacement model would come along and surely fix all these problems, making the car equal to or better than the Mustang in terms of visibility.

      They totally ignored everybody!

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        GM is betting that the styling will attract more buyers than the lack of visibility repels. From the sales figures I’ve seen over the past 5 years, GM’s strategy with the Camaro seems to be working.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Looks like you get a cheaper instrument panel (which, yes, is still better than the one in the ATS, DeadWeight) and a smaller MyLink screen with the 1LT.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    No, you’re supposed to straddle your front seat “partner”, knees/legs splayed out, like “riding b!tch” on a bike. What part of “Pony Car” don’t you understand?

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Did they use bowlers as the focus group when deciding on the vent placement?

    Is the ingress/egress really that much different than a Mustang? My FR-S is very much fall in, scramble out, but I can now do it somewhat gracefully after 18 months of ownership.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Government Motors “New Amazing Camaro!” Checklist – 6th Edition:

    1) Insanely sh!tty plastics in interior. Check.

    2) Really poor ergonomics. Check.

    3) Horrendous fit/finish. Check.

    4) Laughably bad stitching and leather fitment on seats. Check.

    5) Unavailable outward visibility. Check.

    6) Ridiculous looking. Check.

    7) Despite being one of GM’s two legendary sports cars,” shares same V6 as many other pedestrian GM vehicles. Check.

    8) Will be seen slumming the streets on the wrong side of the tracks, already beginning to self-disintegrate, within 3 years of born date. Check.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Well, this V6 is fine in an ~$30K car. It is much less okay in a $50K+ one.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It’d be awesome if there were more/better “pony car” competition, and as affordable. Until then, thank god for what you have.

      The Camaro does force a better Mustang, every year it actually “competes”.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      In all fairness—and I do like you, DeadWeight—I’m not sure you’d give GM credit if they *did* make a car that was the best-in-class.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        ^ This is the truth.

      • 0 avatar
        otaku

        Not sure if this is a theory that can ever be tested.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        GM does very few few vehicles well, but in current lineup terms, they are:

        1) Chevy Cruz

        2) Chevy Silverado w/5.3 liter

        3) Corvette (when it’s not heat soaked)

        4) Tahoe (there are better vehicles in’segment, but it’s at least a workhorse and durable)

        Pretty much everything else GM makes is crap and/or overpriced and/or disposable and/or massively unreliable and/or generally uncompetitive.

        • 0 avatar
          energetik9

          I rented a Chevy Impala LTZ recently on a trip to Anchorage. I tend to agree with your comments. It was too big for my tastes, but that’s my own opinion. The obnoxious light bars on the inside seemed overdone and distracting and the steering wheel had a vague on center feeling which I also noticed in a recent Cadillac rental. Both cars had less than 4k on the odometer. There was just nothing compelling about either one.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    +1 for any use of “grand poobah.”

  • avatar
    AK

    Wow if the interior compares poorly to a Fiesta ST, it must be really bad.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “Moments later, I was sending a Slack video of a I-94 60-100 MPH pull to my TTAC colleagues from the Panzer-like cabin of my V6-powered 1LT Camaro. “Isn’t driving like that in America dangerous?” wondered my friend from the other side of the curtain, Vojta Dobes. Eh, it’s Detroit. The cops have better things to do than pull over speeders.”

    I’d advise you not to be so cavalier. the airport is actually in Romulus, not Detroit, and Romulus police are notorious for patrolling that stretch of I-94 and popping speeders left and right.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Allen Park PD will get you on the way to the airport as well.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        ISTR a few years ago, the state was getting involved and asking them to back off. Nothing says “Welcome to Detroit” better than getting a speeding ticket as you’re leaving the airport.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      DO NOT speed in excess of 75 mph on I-94 between the Grosse Pointes and Saint Clair Shores, either (about a 8 mike stretch).

      Anywhere else on I-94, 75 mph to 80 mph is more like keeping up with traffic, yet pushing north of 80 mph will put you at high risk of a speeding ticket in even the less strictly enforced stretches.

      80 mph is the new de facto upper limit of what’s allowed without too much risk on most sections of I-94 and a good portion of I-75 and I-696.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I only ever see it patrolled by MSP on weekends. during the week (if traffic isn’t backed up) 70 mph is typical even in that stretch where the limit is 55.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Even 696 west of 75, heading out to Farmington Hills and the northwest suburbs?

        In my experience, anything less than 90mph is asking to have someone’s grille in your backseat!! Several years ago when heading up to see my Grandmother in St. Clair Shores, I went up I-275 to I-696 and across because I-75 through the downriver area was under some sort of construction. Got it behind a Camaro doing a dollar just east of 275, and slingshot myself to Schoenherr in nothing flat before he exited! My own personal autobahn that day!

        As was a year or so ago, when there was some sort of problem on SB 75 out of town, and an accident on 94; so i found my way to the west side on 696 again. Once the rain had cleared and the pavement dried, I ran the length of U.S. 12 from Plymouth to Ann Arbor at my adaptive cruise Vmax of 90mph, being passed by two other drivers on that stretch, and no MSP in sight!

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Whoops..meant M-14 between Plymouth and A^2.

          Also reminded of a trip between I-75 and Romulus at a gen-you-wine buck-twenty behind a Grand Prix doing at least five more! My 2006 Accord was as steady as a 747 in clear air. (Maybe like the Delta Cargo bird that leapt off the southwestern most runway at Metro and flew over so low that it seemed that I could have touched a wheel!)

          Michigan driving, with reasonable 85th-percentile speeds, is a breath of fresh air compared to the drudgery of the at-the-underposted-numbers crap endemic to the Toledo area! I normally have my ACC at about seven over, and most times, it’s at work!! Never will have another car not so-equipped.

    • 0 avatar
      Not2Bright

      Good advice. I hear the Romulans have no patience for speeding humans.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I-275 between Romulus and Novi after morning rush hour can be bad as well with a steady stream of Michigan’s finest shaking down drivers….er I mean making the roads safer.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    At least the Camaro is the best form of transportation in your lead photo. It beats the People Mover in all test categories besides interior materials. However, the People Mover’s interior may be covered in hobo urine.

  • avatar
    multicam

    My wife has this exact car, except the 2012 equivalent and with manual transmission.

    A review of it from me would be similar to Bark’s above (if I could actually write).

    It’s borderline dangerous to drive because of the visibility, and don’t let any Camaro fan tell you otherwise. It’s like being in a pillbox. The ergonomics are terrible,the back seat is indeed useless, and it just seems cheap and tacky inside.

    It does have a good feel going down the road, though, what with the IRS and the heft of the car planting it firmly. It feels as heavy as it is. The Tremec transmission has a solid feel, even if the throws are a bit long. The clutch has a springy quality to it that creates some weird results… It seems like the resistance of the clutch isn’t the same throughout the travel of the pedal.

    All in all, pretty terrible car, but my wife loves it, so it’ll be in the family for a while. I don’t think she has a good handle on the automotive world… When talking about its “classy” looks she said, “doesn’t it look like something a CEO would drive?”

    No, hun. It doesn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ multicam…Your wife loves it…A happy wife ? I don’t see a down side. I once traded my 97 full size, reg cab Silverado, in on a 2003 Jimmy. I hated the thing ,and so missed my truck.

      My wife loved that Jimmy.

    • 0 avatar

      The ’16 is a new car from the ground up…and the visibility is WORSE than the ’12.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “It’s borderline dangerous to drive because of the visibility, and don’t let any Camaro fan tell you otherwise.”

      I dunno. I think most drivers can make the determination of what’s borderline dangerous to drive and what isn’t.

      Or am I missing something?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        that’s along the lines of someone delaying medical treatment for their kid because “I know what’s best for my child!”

        No, some things are just objectively bad.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          I didn’t say it wasn’t bad. I do question borderline dangerous.

          Your comparison is way off the mark but you knew that when you typed it.

          • 0 avatar
            multicam

            hubcap, that’s why I say “borderline.” Because for some drivers the visibility won’t be an issue, and for even more drivers once they get used to it, it won’t be an issue. But for many, especially those new to the car or who don’t know how to properly adjust their mirrors, I could see it causing problems.

            If it is indeed worse on the ’16 than the previous gen, then… Damn.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “It’s borderline dangerous to drive because of the visibility, and don’t let any Camaro fan tell you otherwise. It’s like being in a pillbox. The ergonomics are terrible,the back seat is indeed useless, and it just seems cheap and tacky inside….

    …All in all, pretty terrible.”

    It’s 2016 and even after a screwing-of-thousands-of-creditors-government-enabled-billions-in-debt-shedding-prepackaged-bankruptcy-and-start-again, General Motors still can’t manage to put together an interior of formulate basic plastics worth of a Hyundai Elantra on its “legendary” Camaro.

    Mark of Excellence.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Show us on the doll where Rich Wagoner touched you..

      • 0 avatar
        Snail Kite

        At this point the bailout was worth it just to see him moan.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          he does have something of a point, though. even though this Camaro is all new, it’s barely selling better than the Challenger, and getting its a$s handed to it by the Mustang. There’s got to be /some/ reason for that.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Thank you for your refreshing honesty.

            When those who agree with me AND some of my detractors (like even Bunkie who admitted that I am correct about Cadillac’s many & serious failures – past, present and pending), it gives me warm vibes because it confirms that truth nor facts nor objectivity nor reason nor good taste aren’t dead yet.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Ha! Deadweight is easily the equal of at least four disgruntled mkiv owners. Possibly double that if you award points for frequency.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Two separate parent comments saying essentially the same thing? This one’s really got you worked up.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Yes this car is so bad it won Motor Trends COTY and beats out both the Stang and Challenger in most every comparison. The side visibility does still suck though.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    But, but, but, what about the dash cluster? We all know this is the most important thing…

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Upper-level Camaros come with a nicer cluster with a wide, full-height LCD in the middle and gauges flanking it. That same cluster can be seen in the Regal, Envision, LaCrosse, Yukon Denali, Sierra Denali, Corvette, and a few other GM models.

      Which should please a certain member of the B&B.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I’ve owned a 70, Camaro, a 2000 Firebird,a 2011 2SS, and i’m on my second Mustang.

    IMHO.. The Mustang is more user friendly. The Camaro is a whole different car. I believe that the Camaro,is designed for a different demographic. I’m 62 years old 5’9 and 175 lbs. I found the Camaro, hard to get in, and out of. The visability was a nightmare. The looks ? Its subjective??

    The 2010 version of the Camaro vs the Mustang of the same era, were neck and neck, as far as sales go. Will that hold with the 2015 versions??? Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Prediction: no. If you’re shopping V6, Mustang is probably a better choice. If you’re shopping a ridiculous V8, I say up it ten grand and check out Corvette.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the downside with the V6 Mustang is that it’s limited to rental-car trim levels. There’s no longer a premium trim for the V6 Coupe.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          You can option up the V6 Mustang pretty nicely, Jim…but, no, you can’t get the fancier trim levels. Still…one with the right option package is a dead ringer for the 5.0, and that is a Very Good Thing.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          The V6 Mustang convertible I rented last month seemed pretty nice. I actually prefer cloth seats. The only low-rent item was the small LCD screen. Other than that it was a pretty pleasant place to be. I also found it to be a great driver.

          • 0 avatar
            baconator

            I rented the same thing out of San Diego a few weeks back. The interior was really nice, especially for the mid-$20s sticker, but I didn’t think the rear suspension was much more planted than the prior model. I was really surprised, after reading all of the car journos describing the new one as “like an M3.” It didn’t strike me as being that m3-like, or even that much more nimble than a V-6 Challenger.

            It’s also a gigantic car: Very wide, with a high cowl. My ’02 S-class feels smaller in traffic than the Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Mustang GT PP is a $35k car sticker, probably close to $30k on the street. That’s huge versus both the Camaro and Corvette. Plus back seats are vital for those of us with kids.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Based on what Bark’s saying, sounds like Mustang is the only choice then between the three. He demonstrated rear seating for children in his Boss.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          @S2K Chris

          You have a S2000. Does it have a back seat? How vital is one to you?

          I don’t get the comparison between Corvette and Mustang. Yeah, they both have a V8 but they’re totally different types of cars.

          For those that don’t have kids, or those whose kids are out of the house, or those who have another car for kid hauling duties, or for those who, for whatever reason want a two door sports car, I’m glad the Corvette exists.

          It’s not for everyone, neither is the Camaro or the Mustang. Choice is good.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Pretty vital, because I can’t have TWO cars with no back seat.

            Maybe I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that most people don’t have a pony car as a second car, it’s an only car (or 1 of 2 in a 2 car family).

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            I haven’t a clue as to the family make up or lack therof of pony car owners.

            I do know that you have a car with only two seats. And you have a family. But you say the Camaro should have more space in the back for kids.

            The S2000 doesn’t but you don’t have a problem with that.

            If it’s an issue for prospective Camaro owners they’ll buy a different car. If it’s not, they won’t.

            And it’s possible that they too, have another car that’s more family friendly. Isn’t it?

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            I’m not saying the Camaro (or Mustang) should have bigger back seats, I’m saying that the presence of back seats in either is likely a substantial advantage over the Corvette for most pony car buyers. I can’t prove it, but I bet that their relative utility (Inc. back seats) is what helps them maintain their sales success, if they were two sweaters they’d sell in much smaller volumes to people who can’t justify a two seater.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The new Corvette looks so good in red, saw one this weekend. And it’s not even that expensive (compared to this).

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Oh the irony in your statement is delicious.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Stingray as a daily driver?

          A pony car of any sort would be better, I’m thinking.

          And you know what? Sexy as the Stingray is, I’m going with a properly optioned Mustang as better looking…and doesn’t give up all that much usable performance.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Based on my recent experiences, I’d like a Stingray and I’d keep one of my POS cars for a beater. If I had a wife I’d tell her she has to have a practical vehicle for us to use/be seen in. Depending on the limits of my hyperbole, its either going to be a real SUV or a van, I won’t pay for that fake truck crap.

            The Stingray sounds and feels so nice when she moves and yet has nice oopmh at low gears just cruising the boulevard.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            SS Sedan and Caprice PPV forever.

            … Or at least until the factory closes.

            If GM would make a V8 ATS (or even better a Camaro-priced Alpha platform Nova/Chevelle) I’d be all over that, but that’s never happening.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I drove a 2016 2SS and really the only thing I have to complain about is the visibility. It would take some getting used to, but the rest of the car was a gem.

    I don’t know how much difference, interior wise, there is between the 1LT and the 2SS, but was impressed with what I saw and felt in the SS. It’s leaps and bounds above the previous gen car and it’s also a much more engaging car to drive.

    Yeah, there’s not much room in the back seats but when has a pony car ever had an abundance of room in the back? Complaining about that, to me, is like being upset that water is wet.

    If you haven’t seen the car up close and driven it, I’d highly recommend it. Don’t be led by impressions from the previous car. Sit in it. Drive it. Then form an opinion based on your experiences.

    Recently, because of actually driving the cars, I’ve learned that I really like the WRX and the 2SS Camaro. Funny thing is, because of my experience with the previous version of each, I wen into it kinda thinking that I wouldn’t like either.

    And now, I think the WRX is best in its segment and the 2SS Camaro is very good. The ZL-1 will be an absolute beast.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    I loved my 89 camaro. Interior was just fine.. How did they screw this one up so badly?

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Have you seen the new one up close? Driven it? I don’t know about the 1LT but I liked the 2SS.

      These things are mostly subjective. Go look at one. Drive one. Decide for yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      If you thought an ’89 Camaro interior was “just fine” then you’ll think this one is a Rolls Royce.

      I think if I could pick one car in history to showcase crap interior build quality it would probably be a third-gen F-Body. I like them anyway — the styling was beautiful — but the interior is a bucket of parts from other GM models hastily slapped on.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Lol. Those Trans-Ams. So good on outside, so bad everywhere else.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          True, but the last-gen LS1 Trans Am and Z28 are also relative bargains used, and they go, handle and stop just fine. Find the right one and you’ve got a cut-rate ‘Vette of sorts (and the C5 had an even more craptastic interior, if you ask me). You can do worse.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I prefer a nice C4 anyway, like thiiiis.

            http://www.ebay.com/itm/152020242467

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Nummy…I like that color combo too.

            But I’ve been in a few C4s and they are all rattle traps. I worked for a Chevy store in the mid-1990s and even then, it had all the structural stiffness of one of those bendy Hot Wheels racetracks.

            The C5 is a much better platform. Plus, no exploding fireworks gauges.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I know they’re no good. I just can’t get past the looks of the C4. It’s a design classic! Don’t get no more ’80s than white directional wheels. I’d only have one as a tertiary+ car for fun drives only.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Gotta go C6 at this point, IMO.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Exactly, C6 has the basic C5 architecture (which is brilliant and still underpins the current Stingray as I understand it) plus far better styling and an acceptable interior. The C5 was beyond craptastic inside. If I’m looking for something used with the LS1, and can handle the gawdawful millenium-era GM interior, I take a last-gen Z28 and save some money.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Slavishly aping 1st gen styling!

  • avatar
    DIYer

    My neighbor rented a Camaro for a week out in Colorado, and he had the same complaints about driver visibility, getting in and out of the vehicle. He’s a big guy and said only teenagers should buy this car.

    He said controlling this on snow-covered Colorado roads was nerve-wracking, something he would never do again.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Really? I wonder did your neighbor check to see if the car had snow tires?

      Is your neighbor, or yourself for that matter, aware that plenty of people drive Camaros and other powerful rear wheel drive cars in the winter without any problems?

      But the clincher has to be… “this is a car only teenagers should buy.” Are you sure it was the car and not your neighbor? Have you no doubts?

      • 0 avatar
        CarnotCycle

        As sometimes-operator of wife’s 2012 V6 manual (not stock at all) Camaro on 22″ rims, I can vouch for controllability problems on ice starting on an incline. This particular vehicle also has a blacked-out tint job, and ‘visibility’ is a relative term, especially at night; I can vouch for the reviewer’s experience in lane changing via throttle inputs to go along with the steering.

        I’ve also never been in a car that kids loved more; it is the ultimate car-as-cartoon and they seem a natural audience for the spectacle of the thing barking through the custom stainless Magnaflows – which make this particular Camaro’s V6’s among the best I’ve ever heard. These Transformer-era Camaros are like tattoos; I would never get one myself, not my style at all, but I can see the appeal. New one seems more of the same that way, so Chevy got it right sounds like for the target demo.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well, yeah, powerful RWD car + snow = lousy traction. Add in sport tires and you probably aren’t going anywhere in the snow.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            @FreedMike

            You’ve been on patrol in Romulan space too long.

            Come back to Federation space. You’re getting confused about what a vehicle can and can’t do.

            We can straighten it out.

            Signed,

            Fleet Admiral Heihachiro Nogura

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’m on my way to the Enterprise now with Commander Sonak, Admiral. Just try and stop me.

            (And, yes, Scotty tells me that a Camaro with summer tires in snow Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.)

      • 0 avatar
        05lgt

        Winter in the mountains is a bit different than winter on the plains. The grades and turns and drops are still there, just slippery.

  • avatar
    devonair

    Your experience with this car pretty much matches my own recent time with a similar rental. It sure does look cool, and is fast as hell in a straight line — but the visibility to the front is only marginally better than the horrible visibility to the sides or rear. Making any kind of turn or lane change was doubly-interesting because the car feels heavy as hell (not sure of the actual weight), and didn’t feel built for doing anything more than going straight. The thirsty engine and bloated weight also had me filling up 3 times during my 4 days of renting it.
    The most frustrating part? It may have felt claustrophobic for your 5’9 self, but it felt just as cramped and impossible to get in and out for me at 4 inches shorter. This is the first car that I’ve almost felt too tall for, and I’m usually the shortest guy in any lineup.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Huh???? Are you sure you rented a 6th gen? The rental spec sixxer weighs just under 3500 pounds for 2016.

      Or do you daily drive something more svelte and tighter handling?

      • 0 avatar
        devonair

        Haha, apparently I never confirmed “subscribing” to this article to get notifications of comments. So, months later…
        Yes, that’s probably a big part of it: my daily driver is a Mazda3 hatch. Significantly less power, but much more nimble and responsive in the “twisties”.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    My last Camaro rental was a loaded V6 convertible in SoCal. Dropping the top improves the visibility immensely. Still kind of sucked, but it was kind of fun too. For a week in the sun. Would be a cold day in Hades before I ever bought one.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Yikes. Expect for throttle response the review trashed the Camaro, or should I say GM failed?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This, like the ATS/CTS, was built to win magazine comparos first, and be a usable car 7th or 8th. You could almost hear the GM brass’ eyes welling up with that claimed 0-60 time. They should have the guy (or girl!) who fixed the Malibu literally run the company. That person could teach Team Camaro about things like windows, and team Ring Time Caddy about the importance of competitive rear seat comfort in a 4 door car.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I have to agree with you. GM tends to design its performance-oriented cars for the arrogant, pompous journalists—who will nevertheless proceed to diss it like a dog as soon as the next model debuts. Ford’s stuff isn’t always as good on paper, but is much better in execution. For people who don’t drive at 10/10ths, the Mustang is probably the better, more-livable car.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      also “make sure your ‘all new’ model is distinguishable from the outgoing model from more than 3 feet away.”

      that IMO was the ’13 Malibu’s biggest problem, it looked almost the same as the outgoing model.

    • 0 avatar

      Excellent point. This thing would likely win a lot of “track test” comparos by people who don’t know how to drive on a track.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Bark, retail job kids making $10-12/hour can’t afford $30k cars. Do you work in the marketing department at one of the automakers? Those people, and typical auto buyers who can’t do math, are the only people who think that.

  • avatar
    carguy

    If ever there was a GM product that needed the LCD panoramic rear-vision mirror, it is the Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      And they stuck with that same wimpy-looking JOKE of a frameless mirror from the ‘Vette that looks for all the world like it’ll break off the mount the first time it’s adjusted, right?

  • avatar
    multicam

    Oh, I almost forgot- no mention of the e-brake? It was my first thought looking at the interior shots because it always annoys me in my wife’s ’12 Camaro, being on the passenger side of the center console. I prefer the Mustang’s e-brake which is on the left side.

    I had to use Google to find the 2016’s e-brake. It’s an electronic one activated by a button. I’m sure that will upset many keyboard warriors across the net.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      It could be worse. The Challenger is still using a foot brake! That’s a car that could really use an e-brake, with all that space inside.

      • 0 avatar
        ptschett

        Once I’d worked out the routine, the Challenger foot parking brake worked fine for me for the rest of the 5 years that I had my 2010 6-speed. (Now I have a 2015 8-speed auto and barely need to use the actual parking brake.)

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    Wow! An honest assessment of the Chevrolet Shamaro. I don’t know if I can take it!

    This car is complete garbage – but most Total Recall Motors products are awful – I have never understood how a company that claims to spend so much development money on products spends so little on design and actually building quality interiors that aren’t like looking out a gun slot at a German defense hole at Normandy.

    I knew that switching to the rathole ATS platform would make the Shamaro a cramped product – but the only thing the old product has was room (that is a stretch), but this ATS derived product is a joke.

    Interior design continues the industry’s worst honors that went to the prior generation Shamaro – and this looks even cheaper (how could you do that – that took sooo much effort)?

    The new Mustang is a superior product on all levels to live with – the Shamaro is only good to race in a straight line – and then you are reminded every time you get into it why you should not have gotten into it. This is a torture chamber like no other.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Haven’t driven this new Camaro yet, but did give it some seat time at the auto show this weekend, along with the Mustang and Challenger. Impressions (and keep in mind I haven’t driven any of them, at least lately):

    1) Bark is spot on about the Camaro’s interior – visibility is insanely bad. And I don’t like the ergonomics either. This thing may be a great drive, but that interior was a big bunch of no-sale. And I’ll be kind and say the styling is overwrought.

    2) LOVE the Mustang’s styling. Hell, even my significant other, who is absolutely NOT into cars, said it was mad sexy. Hard to get in and out of, though…plus, lots of hard interior plastic bits, and the one I saw had the base infotainment system, which was lame and had a tiny screen.

    3) I’m going to make our old buddy BTSR happy here and do some HEMI love here…I’ll represent for the Challenger. It fit me like a glove, entry and exit is a breeze, and it also had by far and away the nicest interior, and best seats of the bunch. Plus, U Connect is awesome. Plus, Plum Crazy with the Shaker hood scoop. Plus, heritage styling. It’d probably get its’ lunch eaten by the Camaro and Mustang on a track, but I don’t live on a track.

    So…Challenger for the Auto Show Win. Maybe I should drive all three…hmmmmm…

    • 0 avatar

      If you’ll never see a track in your car, the Challenger is the easy winner. No contest.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Yes, but then you are stuck with all the assumptions people make about people who buy Challengers.

        “Nice toupee, Melvin!”

        “How far behind are you with the child support payments?”

        “You couldn’t fit on a Harley?”

        “The Cream CDs are in aisle 5”

        “How long has it been since your wife left you?”

        One thing I’ll say for the Challenger is that resale values are quite high.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          “The Cream CDs are in aisle 5″

          Then Aisle 5 is the place to be!

          “Yellow tigers crouched in jungles
          in her dark eyes…”

          By the way I was seated about 10 feet from David Freiburg last night and, even in his 70s, he sings far, far better than almost anyone else on the radio these days.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          “Yes, but then you are stuck with all the assumptions people make about people who buy Challengers.”

          Yes, as opposed to all those positive Camaro-driver cliches.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Pretty much the same assumptions folks make about any “man of a certain age” driving a pony car, VoGo. But you know what? If were driving a hemi Challenger and some guy wanted to hate on me, I’d just show him my taillights. In perpetuity.

          No f*cks given, y’know?

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “If you’ll never see a track in your car, the Challenger is the easy winner. No contest.”

        Lots of assumptions being made with that statement. I don’t know how many pony car/muscle car owners track their cars but I think it reasonable to assume less than 10% and there’s probably a lot of slack with that number.

        The winner, is whatever car has the most pros and the least cons. It’ll be different for different people depending on their wants, needs, and desires.

        Look at the sales numbers for Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger. How much of an easy winner is it?

        Are those buyers who purchased something different, with no intentions of going to a track, just stupid or maybe, just maybe, they have different priorities than you?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I didn’t read any snobbery in to Bark’s comment. We all have our priorities. In my case, I’d be inclined to look for style, acceleration and overall comfort. Others might be more inclined to look for 10/10ths performance. These folks would probably be happier with something other than a Challenger.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            I didn’t read any snobbery either. I can see how you could come to that conclusion based on my comment but that’s not what I meant to convey.

            I could be mistaken but I don’t think the defining question for most pony/muscle car buyers is whether or not the car will see the track.

        • 0 avatar

          You might not be aware of this, but I’m a car reviewer. It’s my job to give opinions.

  • avatar
    DIYer

    I was sent down on business to the GM Arlington plant in suburban Dallas, and it was necessary to rent a GM vehicle, and the only one available happened to be a yellow Camaro SS.

    It was like riding in a bathtub, you had to really sit up to see out. The performance was lackluster, and I had to open the hood to see if there really was a V8 in there.

    I have a red 93 Firebird Formula, and back then Pontiac’s philosophy to avoid accidents was “see and be seen”. It has a big glass rear hatch, and the color and styling make you noticed going down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      LoL that’s a new one. Lackluster performance out of a honking 6.2 liter V8. You are aware that the current one gets to 60 in 4 seconds. What in the world are you comparing this to?

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Indeed, a 3600 pound car with over 450 horsepower at the crank (closer to 480 is what I’ve read based on rwhp) and it offers lackluster performance? That’s like the “only good in a straight line” comments. Seems like a lot of belief perseverance going on.

        I’m pretty much a Mustang guy (every car I’ve ever financed has been a Mustang from 1994 until now – when I go to look at a new car, invariably when it comes down to making a payment its on a Mustang) and I can admit the Camaro at least from a performance stand point is knocking it out of the park.

        Based on what I’ve read and what I see it seems like a repeat of the SN95/4th gen years. Ford had the easier to live with car with understated styling that offered decent performance while GM had the fire breather that had in your face styling and sacrificed comfort in the name of that styling and performance (albeit to lesser and greater degrees – The Mustang is a pretty capable car in its own right and the Camaro isn’t quite the engine in a box with a driver strapped to the side as the earlier 4th gen car was).

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    “It’s a great driver. I would never want to deal with it day-to-day.”

    Isn’t this the consensus for every Camaro generation? How is it that GM takes the same approach with every model and never addresses the shortcomings as a livable daily driver? Amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      To an extent this is true of all pony cars. They all have restricted visibility (though, to be fair, not even remotely as bad as it is in the Camaro), are somewhat difficult to get in and out of (particularly in small parking spaces, due to those huge doors), and have tiny back seats and a lousy trunk. They all get lousy mileage and have a rougher ride than the average family sedan. All this stuff definitely makes them less of a “livable daily driver”.

      But we key on GM’s “constant inability” to do what Ford and Chrysler can’t.

      Okey dokey.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    “Rolls-Royces have a different chime now, as of 2013 or so.”

    I am disconcerted, yet impressed, that you know this.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Totally with you on the bad visibility. I mean, it is horrendous. Who approved this?

    As for interior, to give a comparison I rented a premium package Ecoboost Mustang that was $37k, and the interior while laid out well was extremely poor in quality with very hard plastics everywhere. The base 9-speaker system was the worst factory stereo I have heard for a newer car. Just abysmal. The gauge cluster in the car looks bad and the changing of colors doesn’t excuse that when BMW can do the most simple gauges and still look decent.

    I was able to do a very small demo with the 2SS Camaro and the interior is miles better in quality. Maybe the LT V6 is bad, but the “premium” Camaro is a legitimately good interior.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’ll buy a minty IROC-Z off eBay for 10 grand instead. Even with sh*tty 80s build quality you can at least sorta see out of it and it has less stuff to fail.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    Briefly considered one of these. I wasn’t turned off by the worthless trunk and awful visibility as much as I was by the $37,000 MSRP of the V6 2LT/RS I wanted. That includes $2800 to get the convenience package with the blind spot monitors you need to drive the stupid thing in traffic.

    Typical GM. When they actually do deliver an appealing, dynamically good car, it’s overpriced, ill timed and/or buried underneath pants-on-head-stupid ergonomics.

    Bought a Mustang Ecoboost Premium with the Performance Package instead. Saved over $5k. No regrets.

  • avatar
    cheesy619

    Bark, you cannot use a 4s iphone on Apple Car Play it has to be a 5 or 6. It has to be the original cord, not a dollar general cord. Why do you think they put mirrors on cars. Have you driven a semi or a U-Haul truck that is right you can’t see behind you. I think this is stupid when you talk about visibility. I love driving the car Chevy is the stuff right now the Manual SS 2016 and the Impala great cars lots of fun.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    All the attention goes to the V8s and the turbo 4s in the Camaro and Mustang but the V6 option is a damn good one in both cases. As this review points out, for 95% of buyers the performance is more than adequate, plus the price is right and the fuel economy is great.

    The bezel around the LCD screen is pretty ugly. Perfect spot for some no-smoking stickers.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Although somebody needs to take a box of pistons and hurl them at Ford product planners until enough hits to their collective heads fixes whatever screws are loose.

      In Ford’s zeal to get everybody under the sun to buy a direct injected turbocharged engine equipped car they blatantly railroad buyers into the Ecoboost car by decontenting the V6 Mustang making the EB car more attractive.

      On a brighter note though the GT350 apparently had an issue going into limp home mode unless the buyer opted for the track pack and then if you opted for the track pack you couldn’t get the electronics package.

      for 2017 all GT350’s come with the track pack and the electronics pack is now called the convenience pack.

      Mark Reuss rightly called out the GT350 and Ford by saying you wont have to buy a “track pack” with the upcoming ZL1 to get reliable on track performance.

  • avatar

    The prior V6 (LLT) does a great job pushing my much heavier CTS around. I can only imagine that the newer version is kickass in the Camaro Body, but I’m guessing that the money in the Camaro is ALL in the engine. I’ve never been impressed by Camaro or Mustang interiors. I know it is a Pony car, but that does not justify the Ford Fairmont interiors.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    +1 for the photo illustrating back seat room.


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