Since high school, my primary car had been a 2009 Impala. I modified it, autocrossed it, road tripped it, and while it had it's merits, change can be good. I drove everything under the sun that I could afford and had any interest in, and once I graduated and got a full time job, I settled on a 2012 Camaro SS. It's a loaded SS, with every option except two: the sunroof, because with it I don't fit, and the automatic, because I can have a manual, so I'm getting a manual. Here you can see the Camaro in its natural habitat:
I'll go ahead and talk about the two things everyone will probably ask about, the gas mileage and the visibility. So how is it to see out of? Well, have you ever tried driving with a welding mask on? Seriously though, when I first drove a Camaro, it was very intimidating, but after about a week I got used to it. Not to say that it has good visibility by any measure, but it has ok visibility, and everything I've driven since has excellent visibility. One of the features I had to find was a backup camera, which this car has. If you've never been in a Camaro, the back window is pretty comparable to a standard letter envelope. As far as the gas mileage goes, I can get up to a hair over 24 mpg on the highway, to heinous when I cane it up and down back roads.
It handles about how you'd expect, there's not too much body roll, it sticks pretty well, and even though you can rotate it with the throttle, with 245s up front and 275s out back, it will eventually understeer. My plan is to run 285s at all four corners like a 1LE, and systematically go through the suspension eventually. One interesting thing to note is that the car is more fun with less grip. I put snow tires on it a week ago, and while they should do well in bad conditions, they have less grip under throttle in normal conditions. With these tires, I can rotate the car, and slide it around pretty easily. On the same road, I had more fun in the Camaro on snow tires than a BRZ I test drove. The engine makes good, linear power everywhere, and the Brembos are excellent.
The interior has some nice features, like heated leather seats, bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and a heads up display. Most of it is made out of...economical materials, and the "squished baseball" shifter will be getting replaced at some point, as will the seats. Daddy needs some Recaros. The back seat will technically hold people, but I don't have more than one passenger for long enough for it to be very consequential. Trunk space is adequate for grocery runs, weekend trips, and one and a half bodies, (if you have access to a sawzall) which is all I use it for.
Overall, the car has been great, it's easily handled everything I've asked of it, and gotten me thumbs ups and smiles (and shrieks from passengers) on a regular basis. Is if compromised? Yes? Would I have it any other way? Of course not.
Robert Denzie is a random schmuck who occasionally writes about his experiences with cars. You can find him on instagram under the name ol_burt, where he posts pictures of cars and cats.