2010 Chevrolet Camaro

5th Generation Chevy Camaro Review

Chevy Camaro 5th GenerationThere are some who work in the halls of General Motors' newest partner, the federal government, who might find a V8-powered sports model like the Chevrolet Camaro the wrong car at the wrong time, but we believe consumers voting with their hard-earned dollars will feel otherwise. Whether in V8 trim or powered by the also-available V6, the 2010 Camaro is not just a car to be respected; it's a car to be celebrated. Not only does the new model evoke all the good emotions of an earlier time, it also should provide just those same kinds of emotions for new generations who remember the Camaro only as the noisy relic owned by the old guy at the end of the cul-de-sac. The 426-horsepower SS model certainly grabs the headlines, but the 304-horsepower V6-equipped LT offers significantly more performance than you might expect, while turning in laudable fuel efficiency.

While we had a chance to sample every level of the Camaro from the V6-powered LS to the 426-horsepower LS3 V8-equipped SS with its six-speed manual transmission, we have to admit that we spent most of our time in the SS. Power and torque are effortless and ever-present, making it an easy car to drive fast, and its 0-60-mph acceleration, aided by electronic launch control, is a more-than-respectable 4.4 seconds. But while you might expect excellent straight-line acceleration, you might not expect the sophisticated handling offered by its multi-link rear suspension, rack-and-pinion steering and substantial tires. Further, the handling is enhanced by the StabiliTrak electronic stability control system that incorporates anti-lock braking, traction control and an active braking system to control wheel slip. Old-school drivers might object, but electronic launch control reduces the level of skill required to get off the line quickly, while "Competitive/Sport" modes for the stability system allow turning off many of the electronic aids, for doing your own thing. And, you would not be wrong to opt for either the less-expensive 304-horsepower V6 version or the 400-horsepower L99 V8 with active fuel management and its six-speed automatic with paddle-activated shifting.

From where we sit the 2010 Camaro is a design tour de force. It is great looking from every angle, and it is definitely identifiable as a Camaro without drawing too heavily on designs from previous generations. While the front Chevy Camaro accessories with a bold grille immediately grabs your attention, our favorite portion of the design is the interface between the roof and the ultra-wide rear fenders. GM designers told us it was hard to accomplish this using factory stamping techniques, but in the end GM production engineers were able to make it happen. We also like the tail with its hooded classic Camaro taillamps.

Frankly, the interior of the Camaro doesn't win as much applause as the truly striking exterior. Several of our colleagues complained about the large expanses of hard plastic, and we have to agree that we wish the dash were a bit more inviting. On the positive side, the key gauges are very readable; the steering wheel has a nice heft and feel and the action of the manual shifter is excellent. We're not fans of the placement of the optional gauges for oil pressure, oil temperature, volts and transmission fluid temperature low in the center console, because it is difficult to scan them quickly, but we do like that old-school touch. We also like the supportive and adjustable front seats, while the back seats are just as small and confining as you would expect.

From where we sit the 2010 Camaro is a design tour de force. It is great looking from every angle, and it is definitely identifiable as a Camaro without drawing too heavily on designs from previous generations. While the front end with its bold grille immediately grabs your attention, our favorite portion of the design is the interface between the roof and the ultra-wide rear fenders. GM designers told us it was hard to accomplish this using factory stamping techniques, but in the end GM production engineers were able to make it happen. We also like the tail with its hooded classic Camaro taillamps.

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