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PERFORMANCE | 9 out of 10
The V-6 moves with authority and refinement, and it returns decent gas mileage
Camaro SS can hit 60 mph in a scant 4.6 seconds
Car and Driver
Quite simply, a breakthrough drive
With the return of the Chevrolet Camaro, a 40-year-old automotive rivalry is finally resurrected in full force. The battle between Ford, Chevy, and Dodge muscle cars is just as tight as it was in the 1960s, but many reviews read by TheCarConnection.com give the performance edge to the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro.
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro debuts with more than enough power to handle its closest competitors. Car and Driver reviewers proclaim that, "with a 304-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, the base Camaro is nearly as powerful as the Mustang GT," which features a V-8 engine. Meanwhile, the V-8 version of the 2010 Chevy Camaro, distinguished by its SS badging, gets "400 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque" when paired with the automatic transmission, and a full "426 hp and 420 lb-ft" of torque when mated with the manual, according to Car and Driver.
Both versions of the Chevrolet Camaro are more than up to the demands of daily driving and impromptu stoplight drag battles, as the sparkling acceleration numbers show. Cars.com reports that with the 2010 Chevy Camaro SS, "60 mph comes in 4.7 seconds with either the automatic or the manual," while the "V-6 Camaro goes from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds." Automobile Magazine reviewers are pleased to report that, "for the first time in history, the base Camaro is no slouch." They also point out that the 300-hp V-6 in the base Camaro is "ninety horsepower more than the base V-8 found in a 1967 Camaro." In terms of daily driving, Autoblog says "the car pulls so well that you'll never worry about having enough power to have fun on steep grades or pull off racy passing maneuvers."
Whether you opt for the V-6 or V-8 version of the new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, Cars.com states that "either engine comes with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic." Reviewers are generally impressed with both transmissions, but surprisingly, the V-6's manual proves to be the highlight of the bunch. Cars.com says that "the stick shift has medium throws and good overall precision" with the V-6, but the SS's heavier-duty six-speed "feels more trucklike than the one in the V-6, with muddier linkages and more force required to shift gears." Car and Driver feels that "the shift and clutch actions of the six-speed manual transmission were amiable enough for an average commute," while Automobile Magazine praises the "smooth and largely unnoticeable" action of the automatic.
Surprisingly, for all the hoopla surrounding the 2010 Chevy Camaro's top-notch performance credentials, there is also quite a lot being written about its fuel economy. While that in itself isn't surprising, the shocker comes once you realize that reviewers are praising the Chevrolet Camaro for its superb highway economy. The EPA estimates that the V-6 Chevrolet Camaro will get 29 mpg highway with either transmission, along with 17 city mpg with the manual and 18 city mpg with the auto. Even the V-8s return decent numbers, posting 16 mpg in the city and 24 or 25 mpg on the highway, depending on choice of manual (24) or automatic (25) transmission.
Whereas the old pony cars focused almost exclusively on drag-strip numbers, the latest generation places just as great an emphasis on daily drivability. To that end, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro features "stellar" road handling, according to Car and Driver. They credit this street performance "in part to the independent multilink suspension out back and the stickiness of the fat, Z-rated 245/45 front and 275/40 rear Pirelli P Zero tires mounted on 20-inch wheels." Cars.com reports that, in addition to its tremendous power output, "other aspects [of the Chevrolet Camaro], from handling to ride quality, augment the car's big-tent potential." Cars.com also notes that "the steering wheel has enough power assist to make the daily drive bearable, yet feedback and turn-in precision are good enough to suit curvy roads." The suspension is wonderfully compliant, and Car and Driver reviewers are happy to report that "the Camaro showed remarkable poise, with the suspension handling the pockmarked roads with hardly any disturbance to the cabin." Unfortunately, Cars.com says that the Chevrolet Camaro V-6's "brakes are mushy," but the SS gets a much-improved set of Brembo brakes.
Powerful for the straights, capable in the corners, and reasonably fuel-efficient—could the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro mark a turning point for GM?