When we have a press car, we take plenty of pictures. So many in fact, a lot get left out of the review. To no fault of their own, they just seem a bit redundant, or perhaps they detail an aspect of the vehicle we didn’t discuss in the review. Here’s a collection of these images, along with snippets from the review.
Photos by MyRide Staff
The interior design is straight throwback to 1969, and as a classic gear head, this interior makes me feel right at home. I love the style and fit and finish, but the quality of materials inside lets me down. Aside from the steering wheel, center armrest and seats, there are few places you can touch or tap in the interior without a clunk. There’s a massive expanse of hard plastic, making this otherwise great interior feel a bit sub-par in our $31,450 tester.
Interior: Ellerton’s comments
From merely sitting in the car, our Search Engine Marketing Analyst, Ellerton Whitney commented, “Better than the Rubbermaid Grand Am interiors of yesteryear, but still not up to snuff with the competition.” He went on to say that the styling is “too retro”, and was particularly irked by the odd placement of the door lock button on the center of the dash.
Interior: Sarah’s thoughts
Sarah Fairfield, our Web Content Specialist, thinks the interior is “too retro to the point of compromising practicality.” She went on to point out that the OnStar buttons on the rear-view mirror took up far too much space considering the already limited visibility from the windshield and hood and that entrance to the rear seat is difficult due to the cumbersome two-step process of moving the front seat out of the way. She also commented that the embroidery of the transformers logo on the center armrest (part of the $995 Transformers Edition package) seemed low-quality.
Interior: Backseat entry issue
The lever on the back of the front seat folded the seat back forward, the entire seat had to be slid forward by reaching for the fore-aft adjuster on the front in-board side of the seat. As such, upon returning the seat upright, the front seat passenger would have to adjust the front seat to fit his or her legs without crushing the rear seat passenger. Buyer beware: that certainly got old fast on a daily basis.
Electronics: Bluetooth Connectivity
The Bluetooth connectivity in the Camaro is a pretty easy to use system. Pairing was a refreshingly simple process that required no paging through the manual to complete (press config button, then phone settings, Bluetooth, pair device (phone) and audio prompts take you the rest of the way). A few quick test calls revealed clear sound for both me and the person on the other end.
A lesser known fact about the optional Bluetooth in the Camaro is A2DP stereo audio streaming. No, not a new Star Wars character, A2DP lets you connect your A2DP Bluetooth device to a compatible stereo to listen to audio wirelessly over Bluetooth. That’s right, no USB, no headphone input (though the Camaro has those too), pure wireless goodness. My Motorola Droid was paired within minutes (tap the AUX button, hit the menu button, select the option for Bluetooth audio, follow the familiar pair process), streaming Pandora Internet Radio over the speakers with quite acceptable sound quality. A connection through the headphone jack might have yielded slightly better sound quality, but man is it cool to get in and out of the car without having to plug your phone in (unless maybe to charge).
Electronics: 9-speakers of acoustic goodness
The optional 9-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system cranked out the jams with aural splendor. Easy to tune to meet any sound preference, this is an impressive system. The best part is GM’s method of letting all band presets (AM/FM/XM) live together in harmony on three master sets. AM talk radio can be on preset 1, XM Hair Nation on preset 2, FM 106.7 KROQ LA on preset 3, no need to change bands or preset sets. All included with the 2LT trim that rings in at 26,875? Bargain.
Powertrain: 3.6 liters of fury
300 horsepower is no lie, the 3.6-liter direct injected V6 in the Camaro flat-out goes like stink. Torque is bountiful, throttle is linear, but the exhaust note wheezes of faux G37. Yes, the only complaint with the V6 under the hood is the lame exhaust note that groans with every downshift and tickle of the throttle. Fuel economy is impressive though, rated at 18 city/29 highway by the EPA. Which are impressive numbers for such a rambunctious wheezer.
Powertrain: Automatic transmission isn’t a penalty
The 6-speed automatic transmission feels like it was born conjoined with the engine, as perfect acceleration is but a simple, although sometimes sluggish, downshift away. Rarely hunting for the right gear, the transmission and engine feel like two units working as one. When the road gets sporty, the paddle shifters (buttons, actually) mounted on the back of the chunky steering wheel let you dictate which gear is best, only overriding your command if the tach needles starts bouncing off the rev limiter. However, given the perfect symbiotic relationship of the engine and transmission, you’ll actually get a more rewarding driving experience leaving the gear shift in D.
Drive: Impressive handling
The four-wheel independent suspension helps the Camaro handle surprisingly flat for a 3,700+ lb. car. Grip is certainly adequate, and the steering precise albeit numb. The awkwardly large horizontal spokes on the steering wheel make for a never quite perfect hand grip, and overall, the Camaro’s handling can be equated to a video game: very predictable, though lacking driver involvement.
Drive: Excellent cruiser
On the highway, visibility is naturally limited. Better adjust the side mirrors correctly, because the massive C-pillars create blind-spot city. However, there’s something about peering through the tiny windshield and down the long daunting hood that just makes you feel like you’re in a car that could handle anything. Cruising at 70 mph is a breeze, and the soft leather seats provide plenty of support for long-hauls.
Drive: Takes some time to get used to
As the miles rumble on, the car starts to shrink around you, feeling much smaller than it did when you first sat down. However, it takes practice to learn where the outer boundaries of the car lay. In my week with it, I still couldn’t quite park the Camaro straight in a parking spot.
Bottom line: Introverts need not apply
I’ve never received more honks, thumbs-ups, waves and comments than with the Camaro. This car is clearly designed for an extroverted individual. Or, an individual who prefers driving without anyone in the way. A spirited drive down some twisty roads resulted in three different people pulling over to let the bumble-bee Camaro pass by…a simply unheard-of action from LA’s selfish and competitive motorists.
Bottom line: Transformer badges, but still no autobot
For those of you that missed the past two Transformers summer blockbusters, a bright yellow Camaro played the part of transforming autobot Bumblebee. If you’re a diehard fan itching for a bumblebee of your own, there’s the optional ($995) “Transformers Special Edition” package. Problem is, it just features special wheel caps, black racing stripes (with “transformers” on the hood bulge), a few badges, sill plates and interior embroidery. Despite our hardest attempts, our car just would not transform.
Bottom line: Should you buy it?
Ringing in at $31,450, our tester’s cost is a tough pill to swallow. After all, that’s just a few Benjamins away from 426-horsepower rip-snortin’ 1SS shenanigans. But, if you can do without The RS package (20” rolling stock, HID headlights, rear spoiler, special tail lights) and the Transformers special edition (which except for the most die-hard fan, is just stickers and emblems that add nothing besides $995 to the bottom line), you’re left with a very well equipped muscle car for under 27 grand. That’s a bargain compared to everything else on the market.