2010 Chevrolet Camaro
Few cars have managed to endear themselves with the American public the way the Chevrolet Camaro has. The Ford Mustang
may have sold more units and the Dodge Challenger
may have looked meaner, but for high school students at heart all across the country, nothing says muscle like the Camaro. Next year marks the return of the iconic Bow Tie after an eight-year hiatus, and Chevrolet has made sure to give the world more than just a reimagining of a classic. The 2010 Camaro combines styling borrowed from the most popular model-year Camaro ever produced (1969), a mighty pushrod V-8 and the best in modern-day suspension and brakes to create a new muscle car king. Even if you aren’t swayed by the car’s long-standing history of cheap power and style, the thought of a 426 horsepower, all-aluminum 6.2-liter V-8 should be enough to get even the most ardent skeptics of domestic performance curious.
What's to Like
Seriously tough styling, gobs of power in either V-6 or V-8 trim and a retro interior with modern amenities are all plusses in our books. Chevrolet has done an excellent job giving the Camaro a confident feel on the road thanks to its independent suspension and sizeable brakes. We also like the optional console-mounted gauges.
What's Not to Like
Terrible visibility that obscures the light and makes seeing traffic an adventure. Pretty cheap plastics on the interior makes us wish for the days when GM was a world leader in design. No hill holder on the manual transmission seems dated to us, in 2010.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
We love the styling of the new Camaro and find the top-of-the-line SS version with its 426 horsepower, all-aluminum 6.2-liter V-8 mated to a six-speed manual transmission a potent, tire-shredding combination. While we like the sheer G-forces produced by the powerplant, the steering is somewhat vague and the handling could be more fine-tuned. Those looking for a tiny, road-hugging car should be in a Porsche
dealership. Those who want an American sports car to drive like the ones we know and love – with speed, power and some ability to carve canyons – will find it all in the Camaro.
Engine and Drivetrain
General Motors offers two engine choices with the 2010 Camaro: a 3.6-liter direct-injection V-6 engine with 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque and a 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The V-6 is available in LS and LT trim while the V-8 will only be available in SS trim. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on all trim levels, though a six-speed automatic is also available.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
You can opt for an RS package that includes a number of neat appearance tricks. Aside from special 20-inch wheels, the package includes unique, high-intensity discharge headlights and unique taillights as well. Those parts will add a hefty $1,200 to your final price tag, though. If those massive rollers aren’t quite big enough for you, Chevrolet is happy to offer a 21-inch wheel package for the princely sum of $4,680 or $4,865, depending on which style you go with.
Key Technology Evaluation
Most Camaro trims offer Bluetooth hands-free calling, XM satellite radio and OnStar, though past that, don’t expect too much in the way of fun tech goodies. The stereo does offer up an AUX jack for your iPod or other mobile media devices, and a premium sound upgrade is also available.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Surprisingly, both available engines do well in the fuel economy department. The 3.6-liter V-6 delivers an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, while the more robust V-8 is more likely to see 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. Those may not be Prius-fighting numbers, but given the kind of power on tap, they aren’t bad either.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
The Camaro’s retro-cool doesn’t just stop outside. The interior benefits from classically-styled gauges, a steering wheel that nods to the past and optional quad, console-mounted gauges offer a unique feel and useful information on your engine.
It’s hard to deny the Camaro’s looks. With lean, muscular haunches, a scowling grille and high shoulder line, the styling is all retro. We particularly like the wide fender arches and half-moon taillights.
Market Segment and Pricing
General Motors is aiming to stay true to the Camaro’s cheap power roots. The base V-6 car starts at $23,040. While that puts it in play with competition like the Nissan 370Z
at $29,930, it also lines the car up with the likes of the Ford Mustang V-6
at $20,995 and the Dodge Challenger SE V-6
at $22,945. The V-8 Camaro SS, on the other hand, starts at $30,995. The muscular competition for that car includes the Dodge Challengers SRT8
at $42,645 and the Ford Mustang GT
What We Think
For the first time in a long while, General Motors has a Camaro the company can be proud of. While the car still boasts the same straight-line domination that made it a success in the late ‘60s, GM has incorporated a taste of sports car handling. The result is a car that’s as easy to live with on a day-to-day basis as it as a blast to drive. The sexy, neo-muscle styling and classically-inspired interior make for an eye-catching ride, too. All in all, the 2010 Camaro has what it takes to best the rest of the muscle car competition out there and give a few genuine sports cars pause.