2010 Chevy Camaro SS

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2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby camera_man » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:21 pm

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So, GM has this program called the Ambassador Program. The idea is to get newish GM vehicles out into the market so friends and families of employees can drive new models, with the aim of attracting new customers. For most of the employees, this just means you get the chance to drive a cool car for a week. The vehicles aren't brand new, because they've been run under a quality review program for the first year or so of their life before they became part of this program.

A couple weeks ago I got the chance to drive a 2010 Chevy Camaro. Looked just like the picture above, except it was black.

Performance - 7/10

This particular model came with the 6.2L V8 mated to a 6 speed manual. It's rated at 426 hp and 420 ft-lbs of torque - more that enough to get you in all kinds of trouble. The acceleration of this is what you would expect from a muscle car. There is no peak of power as with smaller cars, rather, the torque is just always there. Stomp on the gas, the car takes off. Simple as that. The SS models also come with traction control, which is very cool. Engage it, mash the gas and it holds 4100 RPM until you dump the clutch. At that point, it sorts everything out to get the max traction off the line and then goes from there. Works really well on dry pavement, not so much in the wet (but it's not calibrated for wet pavement so that's not surprising). It's fast, but it's not FAST. I was able to drive a Corvette Z06 about two weeks prior to having this, and that was FAST. The Camaro didn't quite match up to the raw power of the Vette.

Handling was surprisingly good for a muscle car. It was very competent in the corners, which was made better by the very wide stance of the vehicle. I didn't have too many opportunities to get into twisty corners, but it seemed like it could hold it's own if asked to. Understandably, it was rather tail-happy when pushed in the corner. Keeping stability control on helped, but it was very twitchy - not my favorite characteristic.

Braking was very good as well, almost savage at times. The rotors are huge, so it's expected.

Looks - 8/10

Love it or hate it seems to be the saying with the Camaro. Personally, I love it. It's aggressive without being over the top. The body lines are clean and muscular, with the v-shaped front grill adding to the wide stance. I wasn't really able to find a bad angle on it. I'm not the biggest fan of the brake lights, but then again if you owned one you wouldn't be looking at them that often anyways. The big 20" rims seemed to fit the vehicle and didn't looks too bling.

Interior - 6/10

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Being the 1SS model (versus the 2SS) model, it lacked many of the interior features that one would expect from a car such as this. The seats were cloth (instead of leather like the 2SS gets), and while they were very comfortable and had quality fabric, the leather is so much nicer for this vehicle. The dash also gets color accents, which brings it away from the all-black that this car had. The interior was just very drab in my opinion, and felt like a cave. The center console was okay, although some of the buttons are in kind of goofy places. After the end of the week, I was undecided on the retro gauges - leaning more towards the don't like them side. The upscale 2SS is a much better option if you're going to drop the coin for the SS.

Comfort - 7/10

This car is very comfortable to cruise in, given the aggressive nature of it. The seats are very supportive, and are some of the best that I've sat in. The suspension is on the firm side, as to be expected, but I never felt like I was going to be thrown out of my seat or have my bones turned to dust. Being six-foot one, I was able to find a comfortable driving position with no problem at all. Although, the "rear seats" suffered with the driver's seat back almost as far as it would go. Longest drive I made was 45 minutes one-way, and I felt fine when it was done.

Practicality - 5/10

While there is a back seat, it's not usable by any one over 3 feet tall. The trunk is not particularly large, and while it is decently wide, it's very shallow. I would presume this would make loading grocery bags and such a pain. I don't know, only put my backpack there while I had it.

Economy - 3/10

No. Didn't keep track, but it like gas, and lots of it.

Driveability - 4/10

This brings me to my biggest complaint about the Camaro, by far. Blinds spots. You think your car has blind spots. Drive a new Camaro, it's worse. Guaranteed. I have no idea how the massive blind spots made it past the HMI testing at GM, but they did. I know the rear pillars are as large as they are for roll-over ratings, but come on, this thing feels like a tank to drive around, and is a nightmare to park.

That aside, all the controls were very good, and provided a very direct, positive feel. No complaints there.

Value - ???

Can't really say. For about $40K you could buy a lot of other cars, many with similar performance. If you are a muscle car fan however, but want something new, I don't think you would be disappointed. Good mid-life crisis car? Yeah, it is.

Sexual Encounters - 1/10

Back seats too small, center console is too high, roofs too low... probably not gonna happen. Do the ladies like the muscle cars? Sure they do! Just gonna have to take the fun somewhere else.

Overall - 7/10

I enjoyed driving the Camaro for the week, but when it was all said and done, that's all the longer I wanted to drive it. Sure it was fun to stomp on it and have instant torque, but it wasn't fast enough to wow me every time. The fact that it felt so big and had those massive blind spots outweighed the fun stuff, and by the end of the week, I was ready to give it back.
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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby Rope-Pusher » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:34 pm

I'll have to let you borrow the Ram 3500 for your next date. The front and rear seats are huge, and.....





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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby theholycow » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:40 pm

camera_man wrote:Practicality - 5/10

While there is a back seat, it's not usable by any one over 3 feet tall. The trunk is not particularly large, and while it is decently wide, it's very shallow. I would presume this would make loading grocery bags and such a pain. I don't know, only put my backpack there while I had it.

I imagine shallow and wide would be optimal for groceries but rather difficult for larger items like boxes and bicycles. Groceries do better all next to each other than they do piled up.

I feel that my Buick's otherwise cavernous trunk is limited by being shallower than I would like.
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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby six » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:49 am

I wish I had your life.
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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby camera_man » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:06 pm

It has it's highs and lows. For every awesome day at work there have been and equal number of boring days to offset it.
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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby 94Corolla5Speed » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:08 am

camera_man wrote:It has it's highs and lows. For every awesome day at work there have been and equal number of boring days to offset it.

Awesome mixed with boring sounds like a dream job, to be honest.

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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby six » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:32 pm

+1

That fact that you have awesome days at work at all is something to celebrate. Be thankful that your lows are just "boring" days, not "horrible" days.
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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby theholycow » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:44 pm

^What those guys said.
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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby theholycow » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:11 pm

^What he said too.
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Re: 2010 Chevy Camaro SS

Postby camera_man » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:27 pm

I agree with all of you - I wasn't complaining! I'm very grateful to have a job right out of school.
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