- 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.
2010 Chevrolet Camaro
The sculpted exterior of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro evokes just the right emotions, but the dark interior can suck some of the joy out of driving this reborn muscle car.
The concept car for the new Chevrolet Camaro burst onto the auto-show circuit several years ago and received instant critical acclaim. After a long wait, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is here, and thankfully not much has changed on the styling front.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com tend to view the 2010 Chevy Camaro as the most appealing of the trio of Detroit pony cars (the other two being the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger). The new Chevrolet Camaro, which is available in V-6-powered LS and LT trims, as well as the V-8-powered SS, strikes an unrivaled balance between retro styling cues and modern elements. Cars.com comments that, "though loosely styled after the 1969 Camaro, the 2010 model lacks the vintage look of the current Dodge Challenger or Ford's 2005-09 Mustang." Car and Driver agrees, praising the 2010 Chevy Camaro for its "evocative, contemporary styling" that recalls the nameplate's late-60s glory years but "thankfully misses being totally retro." Automobile Magazine says that, "out among traffic, the Camaro stands out," and not just for its unmistakably loud exhaust note. In a nod toward Chevrolet's other sportscar, Autoblog points out that "the reverse Mohawk in the roof is meant to tie the car to the twin-cockpit silhouette of the Corvette," a vehicle that also lends its V-8 engine to the Chevrolet Camaro SS. All told, reviewers are hard-pressed to find anything disappointing about the exterior, and early consumer reaction seems to be very positive as well.
While Chevrolet has, by all accounts, nailed the exterior design, reviewers aren't as impressed with the interior. Cars.com reviewers find that the interior "looks more retro than the exterior," with a few elements that are clearly reminiscent of the 1969 Camaro, and "the unique center controls may be off-putting for some." Car and Driver faults some of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro's ergonomics, claiming that, "as great as the high-mounted squircle-shaped gauges and cool center stack look, the script is tiny and the buttons can be ergonomically challenging in operation." A couple of reviewers point out that the 2010 Chevy Camaro's interior is rather dark—Autoblog warns that "the high beltline, low roof and black interior don't let bundles of excess light to play within the cabin," creating a "somber" environment. Not everything about the interior is bad, however; Automobile Magazine praises the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro's instrument panel, noting that "the gauge and console layout is clean, tasteful, and modern."
2010 Chevrolet Camaro
Powerful for the straights, capable in the corners, and reasonably fuel-efficient—could the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro mark a turning point for GM?
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.
2010 Chevrolet Camaro
Comfort & Quality
If your joyriding plans don't include more than one passenger, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro offers a high-quality alternative to other sports coupes.
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro wins praise for its comfortable front seats, but loses it just as quickly once you focus on the rear seating arrangements and available cargo space.
It's rare for a performance car like the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro to offer just one type of seat across its lineup, but such is the case with the new Chevrolet Camaro. Autoblog reports that the "seats, even in cloth, are compellingly sculpted," and other reviewers agree that the front seats are quite comfortable. Reviewers at Cars.com easily "found enough headroom and legroom up front," although they warn that "the optional moonroof takes away about an inch of headroom." Autoblog remarks that "the front seats will be friends to anyone of almost any size, and in back there's a pleasant amount of space for heads and feet," although most reviewers would dispute that second assertion. Cars.com, in particular, is critical of the rear seats on 2010 Chevy Camaro 2+2, noting that the "two-position backseat" is "tiny."
Cargo space doesn't receive much press in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com—in fact, Cars.com's assertion that "the trunk...[is] tiny" represents the whole of the discussion on cargo space in the Chevrolet Camaro. Suffice it to say that consumers probably won't be lining up to buy the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro for trips to Costco.
GM's old, and at times deserved, reputation for poor quality is on its way out the door, thanks to interiors like the one found on the 2010 Chevy Camaro. Cars.com notes that the interior "plastics are hard to the touch, but they don't look that way, and low-gloss finishes across the doors and dash impart quality." Car and Driver reviewers are in the minority when they complain about the "oceans of plastic" inside the Chevrolet Camaro, as most reviewers tend to side with Cars.com, which declares that the Chevrolet Camaro's "quality is impressive...from the window switches and A/C dials to the turn-signal stalks and radio buttons, there's no shortage of well-oiled precision."
Vehicular build quality manifests itself in many ways, but one of the most noticeable is cabin noise. Simply put, vehicles with better build quality should do a better job of suppressing road noise, and the 2010 Chevy Camaro offers one of the most isolated driving experiences in its class. Automobile Magazine says that, "surprisingly, road noise is almost nonexistent, as is wind noise," while Car and Driver reviewers are astonished by the "eerily serene ride and utter absence of wind noise."
2010 Chevrolet Camaro
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro has all the right standard safety features, but it's held back by poor rearward visibility.
As is the case with most new models, the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro has not yet been crash tested by either NHTSA or the IIHS. However, the Chevrolet Camaro earns some major points in this category for its long list of standard safety features.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com give the Chevrolet Camaro lots of credit for the fact that all of its safety features come standard on even the base LS model. Reviewers at Cars.com report that the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro's "standard safety features include side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system." TheCarConnection.com points out that dynamic stability control comes standard on all 2010 Chevy Camaros.
Autoblog points to the tremendous stopping power of the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro as one safety feature that it can hold over some its competitors, reporting that the Camaro offers "optional Brembo brakes, which aren't even an option on the Mustang Track Pack."
Unfortunately, the 2010 Chevy Camaro suffers from one major safety flaw: visibility. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com point out that styling takes precedence over driver visibility in some cases, which leads to what Car and Driver terms the "horrendous vision out the rear." Automobile Magazine also acknowledges that "there's a huge blind spot in the C-pillar," and "the view out the front is like looking through a mail slot." These issues could potentially lead to some serious run-ins on the road, but that is the price one pays for a car as stunning as the 2010 Chevy Camaro.
2010 Chevrolet Camaro
The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro doesn’t lead the pack for features, but it offers a lot of value for the money.
As good as the new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is, the folks at GM knew they wouldn't be able to sell many unless the cars boasted the requisite modern features that consumers demand while coming in at a reasonable price. Despite some doubts in the industry about GM's ability to deliver such a product, the Chevrolet Camaro scores on both counts.
All variants of the 2010 Chevy Camaro come with quite a few standard features, like a "six-speaker CD system with an auxiliary input jack" that Cars.com says, "for a base stereo...doesn't sound too shabby." Cars.com points out that other "standard features include power windows and locks, keyless entry, A/C and cruise control." Motor Trend reviewers are pleased to report that the "base price for the V-6 edition is just $22,995—and that car is by no means a rental-fleet special." Motor Trend adds that "standard features include XM Radio...a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and turn-by-turn OnStar voice prompts," although they note that "a nav screen is not offered." While the base features on the Chevrolet Camaro are perhaps higher than what you'd expect on a sub-$23,000 model, Autoblog points out that, "based on features, the Mustang owns the modern convenience battle inside."
For those with a little extra dough to spend on their 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com note the availability of a few options that might be worth the money. Cars.com says a "nine-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system" can be called upon to pump tunes throughout your 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, but "while it does crank out more bass, it doesn't do much to improve sound clarity." This probably says more about the quality of the base system, however, than it does about the upgraded package. Autoblog also states that "the best you can get from the factory is a single CD player," although the 2010 Chevy Camaro can be had with "Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port and iPod controls [that] come with the Connectivity Package." How much can you spend? Cars.com informs us that "fully loaded—with heated leather seats, a moonroof and a litany of exterior add-ons—the V-6 Camaro can top out around $40,000," while SS versions of the 2010 Chevy Camaro approach the $45,000 mark.