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Justin Bimmer

2010 Camaro SS Full Review

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2010 Camaro SS Full Review

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By Justin Loyear

Cheers and Gears

  • Biggest Fan - Head turning looks in a comfortable package. Oh, and 426 horsepower!
  • Toughest Critic - Premium stereo needs improvement for when you don't want to listen to the engine.

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For the driving enthusiast, the automotive holy grail is a performance car that also maintains everyday practicality and affordability. With the Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport starting at $33,725 for V8 power and muscle car fashion, one can expect a lot of bang for their buck.

The exterior is the most important selling point of the Camaro. When driving the Camaro SS, everybody looks at you. The Imperial Blue Metallic paint on the test car is the perfect combination of stealth and notoriety. The Camaro stands out the most when the sun light hits the dark blue and the metallic finish accent Chevrolet's careful sheet metal sculpting. The RS appearance package adds painted 20" rims, HID/ halo headlights, special taillights and body color moldings on the roof for a reasonable price of $1,200.

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Chevrolet's Small block V8 is the centerpiece to the Camaro's Super Sport trim. The SS 6.2 liter V8 engine is offered in two variants. If mated to the standard Tremec T6060 6-speed manual, Chevrolet installs the LS3 variant with 426 horsepower. If the buyer chooses to pay a premium of $1,200 for GM's 6-speed automatic transmission, the L99 variant costs 26 horsepower, but gains Active Fuel Management. From the moment you start the car, you can feel the power. The exhaust note is very subdued, but the engine's powerful growl certainly can be called upon at a moment's notice.

The interior of the Camaro at first glance may appear to be cramped and uncomfortable. At 6'4'', I had no problems finding a comfortable seating position. The test Camaro fortunately didn't have the optional sunroof, which is every tall person's enemy. A 6-way power adjustable seat plus a tilt and telescoping wheel are also standard features allowing for a variety of driving positions.Visibility was only challenged by the large wheel housings covering the rear wheels when trying to make lane changes.

The blue LED accent lighting and the throwback gauges are the two nicest visual features of the interior. HVAC controls are designed artistically and quite functional. The digital information center between the speedometer and the tachometer provides clear and large digital speed readouts. If the driver chooses to navigate to another information screen, the alternative analogue speedometer needle is so large it's not useful. The needle's size causes it to function more like a five mile per hour range finder than a mile per hour indicator.

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The Boston Acoustics stereo was lacking in real rich sound. Both the high and low ends sounded flat no matter what I tried to do with the equalizer. This was a concern for me as it appears it would be difficult to install an aftermarket stereo since the radio is heavily integrated into the center stack. The MP3 integration in the center console is a great feature. Just plug in your MP3 and control it from the radio buttons or the steering wheel buttons. When you leave the car, your MP3 player is out of sight and secure.

I drove the car from Fresno, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. The roads between Fresno and Las Vegas are some of the most heavily traveled in the United States which allowed for a few revealing features in the Camaro. Wind noise was never a problem in the car. However, noise caused by the large performance Pirelli tires was pronounced. The tire noise created whining on the concrete portions of Interstate 15 in Nevada and thunking noises on the cracked and sealed California Highway 99. Some road noise is to be expected with large performance tires, but it was not overwhelming and did not detract from the overall driving experience of the Camaro.

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Round trip to and from Fresno to Las Vegas was 524 miles. The Camaro stood up to its EPA figures with an average fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon. Using Premium fuel is preferred and beneficial to the LS3, however GM does OK the option of using regular. Total fuel used on the trip was about 23 gallons making the total cost $76.00 at $3.34 a gallon. City driving saw the MPG drop to around 15, but utilizing skip shift with 1st, 4th, and 6th gears certainly helped improve mileage without compromising drivability.

The bottom line is: who is best suited to purchase a Camaro SS? Well, anybody who is looking for a powerful car which turns heads and doesn't have to give up an armored truck full of cash. Yeah, the Camaro has a back seat, but only kids in safety seats will fit back there. As the sales have indicated, the Camaro is outselling the Ford Mustang month after month. Although Ford keeps throwing new and different setups at the Mustang including the new 305hp V6 with 31mph highway rating, the Camaro should be able to maintain its sales superiority with the confirmed convertible on the way and rumored more powerful base V6 plus top of the line Z28 both possible. The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport is certainly a market contender, if not the leader, in performance, practicality and affordability.

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Related Links:

2010 Camaro SS Interactive Review

2010 Camaro SS Photo Gallery

Chevrolet Builds 100,000th Camaro

Chevrolet Confirms Camaro Will be on Sale in Europe in 2011

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since you criticize the soudns system. i've very curious what kinda music you like to listen to and what setup you are accustomed to, also what kind of speakers GM uses, are they even a name brand or are they "delco"?

my reference system i'd compare anything to is my MC with 1 gen old polk db speakers. 5 1/4 front and 6 1/2 rears with a pioneer H/U, highpass 12db/oct @50hz slightly boosted bass and treble. with "rock" to "house" as reference music. it struggles with alot of low bass, but overall is really a very good, middle line system i think.

very professionally put together review and the review itself is quite good/thorough for it's length.

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The speakers were Boston Acoustics. I listen to 60s and 70s rock, Country, Hip Hop, and Jazz. For some reason, no matter how much I messed with it, the sounds were tinny in the high and the low would distort at almost all sound levels on the Ipod, XM, and FM. Another issue may have been how the ipod integration worked too. If it was using the amp in the ipod rather than the stereo amp, like on my Alpine system, that could make a difference too.

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Did you exclusively use the Ipod, or did you use other sources for music as well?

I listen to FM radio in the morning on my way to work. I listened to XM radio for the majority of my trip to and from Las Vegas. and I tend to listen to my Ipod when driving locally and not during the "morning drive" since traffic reports are not important going home.

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Got it.

Did you try a CD?

No. I didn't even think about that. Next time for sure I will use a CD.

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Cool, might make a difference.

The only other thing that came to mind for me is the fader setting - that can create the sort of EQ troubles you indicated if not set properly.

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Cool, might make a difference.

The only other thing that came to mind for me is the fader setting - that can create the sort of EQ troubles you indicated if not set properly.

I set the fader to balance and moved the bias front and back and really didn't make much difference in the quality of sound.

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I'd bias it to the speaker that can handle the most bass and work from there with EQ.

Then again, if it's that much of a hassle something is a bit bogus.

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I'd bias it to the speaker that can handle the most bass and work from there with EQ.

Then again, if it's that much of a hassle something is a bit bogus.

i bias it so it sounds barely like it's coming from the front.. good envelopment of sound. BA is supposed to be a very reputable company. hm.... quick look to crutchfield to see what the sizes are...

3 1/2 for the fronts? or at least they're the only ones that "fit"

6 1/2 for the front doors.. that's good.

6x9's in the rear... good bass, but will most likely muddy it because of oval.

i would love to test drive one. but from this "picture" unless it's a cheap BA speaker, either the design of the interior (sound padding/isolation) is lack luster or the head-unit is a horrible match for the equipment. doesn't Ford let knowledgeable people design their "mach" systems in the past? unless i'm missing something, i wish GM would do that for more cars. i thought the monsoon systems were regarded fairly well, if not trouble prone though. ?

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I found the Monsoon in my Firehawk to be pretty good - but I rarely used it. :smilewide:

The Blaupunkt in the GTO was just so-so, but not bad after getting it all set (I used exactly the procedure you did, Loki).

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Camino, you hit the nail on the head. The engine is so nice to listen to, that the stereo only really gets turned up when something comes on that you want to rock out to.

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Absolutely!

If I had a Camaro, the stereo would get lots of downtime.

That sweet V8 music would win out.

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That sweet V8 music would win out.

i had a hole in my regal's system once (just before the muffler), at <10% throttle it sounded mean, but once it got up to speed it was very annoying. i know the camaro wouldn't be tuned like that, but i found it awesome to hear the 3.8 with only the cat and what,7 feet, of exhaust to quiet it. :D lol

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