By KBB.com Editors
There are some who work in the halls of General Motors' newest partner, the federal government, who might find a V8-powered sports model like the Chevrolet Camaro the wrong car at the wrong time, but we believe consumers voting with their hard-earned dollars will feel otherwise. Whether in V8 trim or powered by the also-available V6, the 2010 Camaro is not just a car to be respected; it's a car to be celebrated. Not only does the new model evoke all the good emotions of an earlier time, it also should provide just those same kinds of emotions for new generations who remember the Camaro only as the noisy relic owned by the old guy at the end of the cul-de-sac. The 426-horsepower SS model certainly grabs the headlines, but the 304-horsepower V6-equipped LT offers significantly more performance than you might expect, while turning in laudable fuel efficiency.
If you want a great-looking car that expresses your personality without forcing you to take out a second mortgage on the declining value of your home, you have to like the Camaro. In SS form its performance-per-dollar ratio is outstanding as well.
If you have two kids who are older than toddlers the Camaro's minimalistic rear seat area might just be too tight for them
After a seven-year absence that to Chevy fans felt like a century, the Camaro is back and better than ever in just about every way you could imagine.
Driving Impressions While we had a chance to sample every level of the Camaro from the V6-powered LS to the 426-horsepower LS3 V8-equipped SS with its six-speed manual transmission, we have to...admit that we spent most of our time in the SS. Power and torque are effortless and ever-present, making it an easy car to drive fast, and its 0-60-mph acceleration, aided by electronic launch control, is a more-than-respectable 4.4 seconds. But while you might expect excellent straight-line acceleration, you might not expect the sophisticated handling offered by its multi-link rear suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and substantial tires. Further, the handling is enhanced by the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system that incorporates anti-lock braking, traction control and an active braking system to control wheel slip. Old-school drivers might object, but electronic launch control reduces the level of skill required to get off the line quickly, while "Competitive/Sport" modes for the stability system allow turning off many of the electronic aids, for doing your own thing. And, you would not be wrong to opt for either the less-expensive 304-horsepower V6 version or the 400-horsepower L99 V8 with active fuel management and its six-speed automatic with paddle-activated shifting.
Great Exterior Styling
Certainly beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we are of the opinion that the new Camaro looks like a car that could command a much higher price tag. The details like the grille, rear roof pillars and taillights are simply gorgeous.
Camaros of old were great in a straight line, but a lot less great around corners, especially if the road surface was uneven. With its multi-link rear suspension instead of a live axle, the new Camaro is much more at home in those challenging situations.
Frankly, the interior of the Camaro doesn't win as much applause as the truly striking exterior. Several of our colleagues complained about the large expanses of hard plastic, and we have to agree that we wish the dash were a bit more inviting. On the positive side, the key gauges are very readable; the steering wheel has a nice heft and feel and the action of the manual shifter is excellent. We're not fans of the placement of the optional gauges for oil pressure, oil temperature, volts and transmission fluid temperature low in the center console, because it is difficult to scan them quickly, but we do like that old-school touch. We also like the supportive and adjustable front seats, while the back seats are just as small and confining as you would expect.
From where we sit the 2010 Camaro is a design tour de force. It is great looking from every angle, and it is definitely identifiable as a Camaro without drawing too heavily on designs from previous generations. While the front end with its bold grille immediately grabs your attention, our favorite portion of the design is the interface between the roof and the ultra-wide rear fenders. GM designers told us it was hard to accomplish this using factory stamping techniques, but in the end GM production engineers were able to make it happen. We also like the tail with its hooded classic Camaro taillamps.
Perhaps the most notable standard item is the Camaro's good looks, and they are accompanied by a supple and responsive suspension that makes this the best handling, most comfortable Camaro of all time. Cloth-upholstered, four-way manually-adjusted driver seat and two-way-adjusted front passenger seat are standard. The 11.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity can be increased with the standard fold-down rear seat. All models include a three-spoke steering wheel with manual tilt/telescope adjustment, plus cruise control and rear defogger. The Camaro's standard entertainment system is a single-CD radio with six speakers, and it offers XM Satellite Radio. All models also include power door locks and express up-and-down windows. Standard safety technologies include front dual-stage airbags, front seat-mounted thorax side-impact airbags, head-curtain side-impact airbags for front- and rear-seat occupants, front-seat safety-belt load limiters and pretensioners and a front-passenger detection system that senses children and small-stature adults and suppresses airbag deployment when appropriate.
While the base Camaro with V6 engine is reasonably well-equipped, some judicious checking of option boxes can add up to a more comfortable while still reasonably priced car. We liked the optional heated, leather-trimmed seats with driver six-way power adjustment. On SS models, the seats feature a distinctive SS logo on the headrests with contrasting stitching, and an "Inferno Orange" interior trim package is also available with leather interiors. A leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; redundant steering-wheel controls; Bluetooth and USB port are part of the available "Driver Convenience and Connectivity" package, which also includes remote start on automatic transmission-equipped vehicles, as well as an interface module for iPods and the like. The available premium audio system is by Boston Acoustics, with nine speakers and 245 booming watts. An optional short-throw Hurst shifter provides quick, concise shifting, and there are a variety of available wheel-tire packages, including 21-inch machined aluminum wheels.
The Camaro offers three engine choices - 304-horsepower 3.6-liter direct-injected V6, 400-horsepower 6.2-liter L99 V8 with active fuel management or 426-horsepower 6.2-liter LS3 V8. The V6 can be backed by either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The L99 is accompanied by a six-speed automatic with paddle-activated driver shift control, while the LS3 has a six-speed manual.
304 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
273 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/29 (automatic) 17/29 (manual)
6.2-liter V8 (L99)
400 horsepower @ 5900 rpm
410 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25
6.2-liter V8 (LS3)
426 horsepower @ 5900 rpm
420 horsepower @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24
By chalee on Saturday, February 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great design, fun to drive."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Great performance and mileage. Average 25 mpg in town and 304 hp. Fun to drive, trouble free, zero issues, bought new."
By Gearz on Saturday, February 28, 2015
I owned and sold this car
Pros: "Power.Fun To Drive,Comfort"
Cons: "Transmission,Rear End Problems"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"The manual six speed transmission was overhauled twice then the rear end was making a noise so the axle seals and fluid were updated plus there was a oil burning smell and the dealer said the rear main seal would need to be replaced. There were some minor issues with squeaks and rattles. The engine had no issues. All the concerns were fixed under warranty but it was at the dealer for a total of a month."
By contractor on Wednesday, February 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,445overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fast for a stock car & fun to drive."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It had 6 miles in the showroom in 2009. It did have small oil leak noticed at around 4k miles. Gasket replaced at block/oil cooler. Next year was still leaking & coloring added to oil by dealer to find the source at 7k where rear main seal was replaced (still keeping an eye on it but OK so far). Removed factory mufflers w/ Magnaflow Axle-Back Exhaust System - Competition Series (part#0053593)for an inexpensive increase in volume! With out mufflers it does "cackle" at downshift but I get compliments & inquiries. Reminds me of "cherry bombs" but not over powering inside. I actually had a Sevier County TN sheriff pull me over to tell me so. I think the paint had something to do with it also. No citations were issued!"
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By ts on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Muscle car that is great for daily use"
Cons: "backup sensors a must; small trunk opening"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Over 120K miles and still no issues, around 20MPG even with fairly aggressive driving. Comfortable seats with nice sound system and luxury car ameneties. Even has hooks in back for child seats. Large trunk with drop-down rear seat gives great utility, somewhat limited by small trunk opening. The backup sensors make up for limited backup visibility. RS package has great headlights--especially helpful in areas with heavy deer population. Brembo brakes are smooth and effective in turns. Can be hard to avoid spinning the tires even on dry pavement, but it looks great and gets moving fast when you ask it to. Although it's a full-blooded muscle car, it's as comfortable as a luxury vehicle and still useful for family, daily driving, and long trips."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By jimmy on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "a real blast to drive"
Cons: "some blind spots that you have to get used to"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this is my second Camaro the first was a 2010 and this 2013 is even better I added a k&n cold air box and really pepped up an already impressive 323 hp v6 a true driver."
32 people out of 54 found this review helpful
By Tchrspet on Thursday, February 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Do a cost per horsepower analysis. Impressive."
Cons: "Blind spots."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Lugs a little bit in 6th gear (auto) but not a problem. Sound system is difficult for me to understand, but a younger buyer would have no problems with it. It's simply the fastest, nimblest car I've ever driven. I have the 438 HP V-8. Unless you have an exceptional need, I would forgo the ZL1 even though it has 580 H.P. The car is red and has black bow ties, wheels, etc. and gets dozens of compliments wherever I drive it. The 19' Pirelli tires are like new after 17K. I thought they would wear faster. I don't think there are enough interior lights, the only ones being center front. The heating/air is phenomenal. I can't believe how fast the car heats up inside, when the outside air is in the teens, or cools down when in the hundred degree range (I live in the Mojave Desert). I would guess 5 minutes either way. It also has remote start, which I've never used (other than to show off), but would be handy in much colder climates. I had a 1973 457 Chevy Monte Carlo, which up to now I thought was the best American car I'd ever owned, but this Camaro exceeded my expectations. Just for fun I put myself on the waiting list and am next in line for the 707 Dodge Charger Hellcat. I think I will forgo that. This car has enough power to cut almost an hour off my trips to Las Vegas--not because I speed, but that I can get around 18 wheelers on two lane roads that are impossible to pass in an "ordinary" car. Hope this helps."
25 people out of 44 found this review helpful