Monday, May 16, 2016

Chevrolet Camaro test drive.

 Let me start by saying that yellow is really not a color I would ever get on a car.
(The one pictured here is actually called "Bright Yellow"...)

Besides the color, I was still able to appreciate the design. The new Camaro does look great in person.
A perfect blend of retro cues and a very modern design. Even futuristic from some angles.

I think it looks better than the current Mustang. Which never grew 100% on me.

By the way, here is what the yellow looks like at night. Parked in a street.
At least it's easy to find your car.

 The interior is a huge improvement over the last generation.
The model I was driving was a "2LT Coupe". With the RS package.
So it was loaded. With pretty much anything you can think of, except a sunroof.
It even has cooling seats and a heating steering wheel.

The lower vents might seem strange at first but they work great.
The seats are very comfortable.
The screen is a bit tilted down which is weird at first. (Most other new GM cars seem to have that)
I guess it is to avoid reflections from the sun. But I wouldn't worry about that in the Camaro.
As the windows are even slimmer than before, so not much sun will get in there. Ever.

 The Bose system sounds excellent. Much nicer than in most other cars.

BUT.... There is still a problem between GM and the iPhone.
I wrote before about my frustrating experience with CarPlay in the Volt.
And guess what, same thing here. It just only works when it wants to.

It does recognize the phone.. always. But only the first few playlists.
Switching to the regular MyLink system is a bit better. But often doesn't recognize individual songs within the lists. Reading "playlist empty".

So you end up listening to radio. A lot.
Or, other times it works perfect.

Which is really, really bad and frustrating.
 As I mentioned before, visibility up front is limited. Sure, you don't need to see the sky in order to drive.
But it is something that takes a bit of time to get used to.

Looking to your right, the tiny rear side window does provide a bit of help.
 But not so much from the other side. Looking left from the driver seat is a bit of a challenge.
I guess that's what the electronic blind spot monitor is for...
 Even with tiny rear windows, your rear seat passengers won't feel so chlostrophobic after all.
Since they won't be able to sit back there in the first place.

I can't image adults of any size fitting back there.
It's mostly for car seats or dogs.
 The model I was driving had a 335HP 3.6 Liter V6 (a $1495 option).
With an 8 speed automatic (another $1495 option)

While it has plenty of power all the time, it sounded more like a 4 cylinder. (Which was fine, but felt kind of weird)
It has a high pitch exhaust that made me wonder if it was really a V6 at first.

I also wasn't a big fan of the exhaust note. ( I have seen a few other reviews where people loved it, but not me)
My car had a $895 Dual mode exhaust system option. So that might have been it.
It gave me a choice between Stealth and Sport. And I couldn't really tell any difference.

Same thing for the driving modes. Touring or Sport.
I could only feel a very slight change in the steering feel.

The steering is actually one of the best part of the car.
It feels just about perfect. With plenty of feel.

I could feel small vibrations in the seat at idle. At the same time the engine was whisper quiet when not pushed. (Until that exhaust starts up...)

 The suspension was very firm but always comfortable. Even with the big 20inch run flat tires.
(It was better than the Jetta GLI I had the previous week.)

The whole car feels like a tank. A very solid ride.
It actually drives more like a European car than what most people would expect of an American muscle car.
The 8 speed automatic is great.
It doesn't take much to get it to downshift at all.
And it is always super smooth.

The Camaro V6 is rated at 19/28MPG.
I can tell you that, just like with any big V6, it is not possible to actually get 19 in the city.
Trying hard, I could only get 17. Which is not bad at all for a 335HP engine.

But I easily got 32MPG on the highway.

I really enjoyed my week with the new Camaro.

Again, I wouldn't get yellow. (a $395 option by the way)
And I would skip some of the options my car had. Like the $895 Dual Exhaust.
Or even the RS package. ($1950). I know the wheels do look great. But I am not a fan of spoilers. 
$2000 isn't cheap for these wheels. And a bunch of other stuff you could do without.

If you get this car with the 2.0 Liter and a 6 speed. It is under $30 000.
Still a very well equipped car with Bose and leather.
The one option I would get is the sunroof. Which would help a lot in this car.

The new Camaro is a very nice car and a very engaging drive. 
If a bit flashy. Even in this "non V8" form.

The Mustang is still a bit more subtle.
And like most people will tell you, more livable on a daily basis.
Visibility is better. The trunk is easier to use. The back seat is a little bit roomier.
And the whole thing doesn't have that tank/cave feel to it when you drive it.

It all comes down to personal preferences really.
I cannot wait to try other versions. I am really curious about the 2.0 Liter Turbo.
And the convertible.

Here is the official window sticker for the car I was driving. So you can click on it and see all the prices and options.


Anonymous said...

Wow $10K of upgrades! I can't believe with that much $$ of upgrades and yet the car still drives the same way as the Base model.

Anonymous said...

But, more importantly, it is still a GM...

Anonymous said...

The new interior may be "vastly improved" over the previous generation's. (But that sure isn't saying much).

Unfortunately, it is still unattractive. No way would most people call it a great design. It is really, really ugly. And kind of cheap looking.

The Mustang's interior is hands-down better. Looks very classy, and uses higher quality materials.

sowhatelse said...

I just don't know how you get beyond the limited visibility, no matter how nice it drives. I sat in one at the dealership and thought it should come with a periscope, so you had a clue what was going on around you.

douchbagjhones said...

the best keeps getting better this is much better than crap from german y or theasian stuff