2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS 6.2 from North America
Looks amazing, drives far duller than you think, but very well built
Compared to the last Camaro I drove in 2001, Chevy seem to have moved things upmarket a lot. Even compared to the current Mustang, this felt like an upmarket car, well built, comfortable, and pretty good interior ergonomics.
For the listed power output (430Bhp?) the car feels very slow and lazy at slower speeds or from a standing start. I'm not sure if this is due to the weight or the auto box, but it certainly didn't feel any where near as quick as some cars with half the power. It does however put its power done very smoothly, and once on the move at highway speeds, the amount of torque is fantastic and gives great overtaking potential. Shooting up steep mountain passes in California was a breeze, the engine feeling like it was barely working at all. I'd also say the exhaust is pretty lacking in any kind of characterful noise for the kind of car this purports to be, but again, if you are looking for something smooth and quiet, this amazingly fits the bill!
Ride and handling was also very smooth and predictable, if lacking any kind of real character. Given the huge wheels and very low profile tyres I was expecting a pretty terrible ride, but this was hardly noticed. Steering seems really slow, and doesn't have much bite or feel, although the car is certainly very well planted on the road and does not feel twitchy or unstable even at speed. Everything seems really well damped and comparable to supposed 'premium' brands.
The standout feature for me is the fuel economy. I found 25+mpg was easily achievable, which for a 6.2 V8 is pretty astonishing.
Only other comment I have is that the instrument display, trip computer, and stereo doesn't seem to have really changed from the Camaro I drove 10 years ago! Cheap looking green LED displays, other manufacturers seems to be able to offer much more sophisticated technology.
All in all, a very competent, well built, smooth, and sophisticated GT, rather than what I expected from a 'proper' muscle car. Certainly the driving experience does not match up to what you expect from the looks, which are amazing, but nonetheless, nothing whatsoever to really complain about!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 4th April, 2012
5th Apr 2012, 00:01
It's most likely the weight that keeps this thing from being fun, and the electrical aids.
It's nice that GM has decided to try to improve their quality, but a sports car that's no fun to drive is not a very good sports car.
21st Aug 2012, 11:09
I don't get the gripes about the new Camaro.
#1, the visibility issue... yeah, it's low and the windows are small, but just like everything else, you get used to it rather quickly, and it makes you more careful which, is not a bad thing!!!
I just bought a 2013 1LT, and I think it's very fast on the highway, and it feels like I'm floating at high speed. I'm very happy with mine! Stop giving the car a bad rap! If you want to drive like you're in a Nascar race, then go be a professional race car driver!!
22nd Aug 2012, 12:45
I bought a Vette over the window issue in the Camaro. I had a 69 SS for 10 years and was interested. Also it's all or nothing with the throttle response. Hate to say it, but the Challenger also seems more faithful to the past ones than the Camaro. Wish I could have styled it, as I have some great ideas.
16th Oct 2014, 15:48
I have to agree with the OP. I rented a 1LT while out of town for a week, and I just couldn't get past the poor sight lines. The mirrors look great, but only show a very narrow field of vision. I am 6'1", so even with the seat down, I am stuck with seeing more of the windshield header, which means something as basic as seeing the overhead traffic lights is an inconvenience. And the c-pillar blocks everything...
Having said that, my dream package for the Camaro would be a 6spd SS with the 1LE handling package.