- Standout styling
- Great V-6, six-speed manual powertrain
- Powerful V-8 "SS" edition
- Balanced, nimble handing
- Limited outward visibility
- Tight rear seat
- Aspects of interior are dull
After what felt like an eternity of waiting, the 2010 Chevy Camaro is here—and it's good.
In case you've been living outside of the automotive mainstream since 2006 (when the Camaro concept was first shown), the all-new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is a boldly styled two-door coupe. Traditionalists call the Camaro a pony car, named after the 1964 Ford Mustang, the car that created this uniquely American class of vehicles.
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro's styling isn't retro, although it brings forward some visual cues from older Camaros (namely the 1969 model) in a thoroughly modern design. Cues from past models include the vestigial vents ahead of the rear wheels and the hooded headlights.
Inside, cues from the past (the twin-pod instrument cluster) blend with top-flight modern materials and build quality. The front buckets are roomy, but because the 2010 Chevy Camaro is a 2+2, space in the rear is snug, especially when the front seats are adjusted for taller occupants. While the low roofline makes for a great-looking coupe, the outward visibility takes some getting used to because it is somewhat restricted. One's first impression is that the dash is high and the windshield pillars are wide. Taking some time to acclimate to the view is worth the effort. Compared to the 2010 Mustang, the interior of the Camaro is subdued and perhaps even dull.
Base 2010 Chevrolet Camaro LS and LT editions use the 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 that was first seen in the Cadillac CTS. It's a fine motor producing a V-8-like 304 horsepower with 29-mpg EPA-rated highway fuel economy that rivals some four-cylinder cars. City mileage for the V-6 six-speed manual is 17 mpg, and 18 mpg for the six-speed automatic.
The V-8-powered Camaro SS is offered with two distinct engines that correspond to the driver's transmission choice. Both are 6.2-liter V-8s sourced from the Corvette. The L99 V-8 goes with the six-speed automatic, and benefits from variable valve timing and active fuel management (that enables the engine to run in V-8 and V-4 modes). Horsepower and torque are 400/410. The LS3 6.2-liter V-8 is matched to the manually shifted six-speed Tremec TR6060. The LS3 puts out 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The SS engines are rated at 16 mpg city and 24 or 25 mpg highway.
Regarding handling, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro's suspension responds immediately, with little roll. Steering is communicative and responsive. In nearly all circumstances, we'd describe the Camaro's handling attitude as completely neutral, a characteristic that gives the car an exceptionally agile feel. While Ford has elevated the 2010 Mustang's performance and ride using a live rear axle, the Camaro's independent rear suspension simply drives better, smoother, and with less twitchiness.
As with every new car, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro was designed to be a safe vehicle. Six airbags are standard (four in front with side-curtain airbags that extend to the second row). Anti-lock brakes, traction control, and dynamic stability control are also standard. Because the Camaro is an all-new vehicle, it has not yet been crash-tested by the government or the IIHS.
To be competitive, all 2010 Chevy Camaro models are well equipped with air conditioning, power windows, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a rear-window defroster, and a capable audio system. The three trim levels include increasingly more equipment: the base LS, the uplevel LT, and the V-8-powered SS. The "RS" option group can be added to the LT or SS models, and it gives the Camaro a more aggressive look with HID headlamps and "halo" rings, a rear spoiler, unique taillamps, and 20-inch aluminum wheels.