Test Drive Notes Library
- If you missed your chance to have the coolest car in the parking lot in high school, now you’ve got another shot at it. Unfortunately, people are going to find it extremely creepy that you’re lurking around the high school parking lot at your age.
- If you like American muscle cars, you’ll like the way this car looks.
- Our 2SS test car came with a whopping 6.2 liter V8 engine. That’s between 3 and 4 times the size of the three different engines that come with, say, the mid size Chevy Malibu. The Camaro 2SS engine produces 455 horsepower. You want a stupid amount of power? Here it is.
- Surprisingly, the Camaro does a better job of going around corners than it used to. The Camaro has long had a reputation for going really fast in a straight line, and not doing anything else well. The 2016 chassis is definitely improved, and the car holds the road a lot better than previous Camaros. It also absorbs road imperfections better than previous Camaros, too. Not that it’s a luxury car — it’s a hard ride, in the SS version at least. But it’s not crazy hard.
- The interior is improved, too. Gone is the cheesy retro stuff (that’s now limited to the exterior). Instead, there’s an up-to-date touch screen, and up-to-date steering wheel, and a fairly modern looking dashboard and console.
- Available with some modern safety equipment, including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and heads up display.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Many people will find this car garish.
- If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be blind, you might get a sense of that trying to see out of the Camaro. You actually cannot see well in any direction while driving this car. Out back, you see nothing. Out the rear three quarter view, you see nothing. Out front, a big, high hood prevents you from knowing where the front of the car ends. And making turns, the huge A-pillars and tiny side windows make it all too easy to take out a pedestrian in a cross walk, or an errant Prius. The rear view camera and blind spot monitoring help, but visibility is terrible.
- It’s a beast. At least the 2SS model we tested is a beast. We’d be interested in driving the more reasonable versions of the Camaro. You can get a Camaro LT with a four-cylinder 2.0 liter engine, or a 3.6 V6 with an automatic transmission. We’re guessing the suspension is a lot more forgiving in those “civilian” models, and they might be a lot more pleasant to live with everyday. The SS, with it’s huge engine and heavy clutch, felt, in some ways, like driving a truck at city speeds.
- It’s loud. Granted, someone who buys a Camaro with a 6.2 liter V8 wants to be noticed. So there are various settings for the exhaust sound level. When our test car arrived, it was set on one of the middle settings (“Annoy your neighbors”). When started up, it produced a roar like a small jet, regardless of whether you stepped on the gas pedal. We quickly figured out how to set it to “Stealth” mode, which quieted it down to a witches cauldron burble. Hardly stealthy, though. We also had to turn off the LED rave lighting in the passenger compartment. There’s a certain tackiness that, presumably, Chevy believes buyers of this car want. We prefer to limit our tackiness to Car Talk bumper stickers.
- It won’t be much of a surprise, given the nature of this car, that it’s not very practical for back seat passengers or cargo. Actually, the trunk is fairly good sized. But unfortunately the trunk opening is tiny, so it’s hard to get much in there.
- The window ledge is so high (to accommodate the small, gun-slit windows) that it’s awkward to pay a toll or take a ticket in a parking garage. The bottom of the window was actually above our shoulder height, so when you stick your arm out to pay a toll, your arm goes up at a 45 degree angle.
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