With the '10 Camaro finally hitting the streets (very slowly, mind you. It seems GM is having trouble keeping up with demand-that's a good thing), there's a good chance you've read about the car's driving characteristics from just about every automotive magazine journalist and online "critic" in the industry. But what about everyday people who don't get a chance to testdrive new cars on a regular basis? A good percentage of these folks will (at least GM hopes so) be shelling out the dough for one of these late-model hot rods (sorry, GM. I know you don't like it when we refer to the '10 Camaro as a hot rod).
So we got our hands on a stock 2SS (our latest project car) and turned the keys over to a few Camaro Performers magazine publishers and salespeople and let each one have the car for one day to do with what they will. The idea was to get a driving impression from people who know cars, but haven't been spoiled by having access to press vehicles as their daily driver.
We're happy to report that our "testdrivers" supplied us with tons of valuable feedback (likes and dislikes) on the car. So, if you are in the market to purchase a new Camaro, we think you'll find some useful information here on GM's latest thrill ride.
•I found the ride quality of the new Camaro to be stiff and secure. A firm suspension should be expected in a sports car, and this was. With that said, it wasn't jarring or uncomfortable. It felt very connected to the road and stable through corners.
The car was easy to shift. Finding the gears and working the clutch was smooth and swift. The gears are very long and do require a downshift from Sixth to Fifth gear for passing on the highway. The taller gears are probably great for fuel economy, but not for quick response.
The space and seating in the front was great. I am 5 feet 7 inches tall and my boyfriend is 6 feet 3 inches tall, and both of us had plenty of head and footroom, and didn't feel closed-in, plus the seats were comfortable and supportive. I could definitely spend hours in this car. The back seat is another story, and is definitely an obstacle for someone with kids or frequent backseat passengers. It's hard to climb in and out, the legroom is minimal, and headroom is not great.
I've heard the visibility of this car described as a cockpit or gun-turret view, and I definitely agree. The windows are short, and there are some blind spots that will take time to get used to. The rear and sideview mirrors are placed and sized well, so you can still maneuver through traffic and keep an eye out for the highway patrol.
I love the looks of the car. The exterior styling is very aggressive - it looks mean and gets a lot of attention while going down the road.
I also like the interior. The seats are sporty and I like how the gauges, radio, and other controls are clustered together.
I'm currently in the market for a new car and I want something fast, and would prefer something American-made this time around (just doing what I can for the economy and the U.S. auto industry). Also, considering my budget limitations and personal taste, I have basically three choices: Camaro, Mustang, or Challenger. Thanks in part to some of the guys I went to high school with, I've never been a fan of Mustangs or Mustang drivers, so that is never going to be my first choice. As for the Challenger, other than a long-standing crush on Bo Duke, I've never been a Mopar person either. However, I have always loved the Camaro, and not just the first-gens. I like them all. I had a white '89 with T-tops that my dad gave me when I was 19 years old. I loved it, and I still miss that car. So I was really looking forward to driving the new Camaro, and was so excited my friends at Camaro Performers magazine gave me a day with this car.