I have had the 4 cylinder Camaro 8-speed auto 1LT for about a month (so I missed it by a few days, shoot me.) Here are my impressions thus far:
- It’s a tight car. Like, really tight. I thought my Cruze was compliant (and it was, for its basic roots) but this thing feels so confident on the road. Pretty much on any road. With tar, don’t get all crazy.
- It’s a tight car. It’s big on the outside, small on the inside. Visibility blah blah blah.
- No matter what angle I see it from, I’m intrigued. I even enjoy the base wheels. Base tail lights? Getting new RS ones in the mail any day now.
- The 8-speed auto, when you floor it, tends to hesitate a bit. Until sport mode is activated (more on that later.) It also tends to hesitate and hunt for gears a good bit under mixed acceleration. If you accelerate smoothly, it will return smother shifts. A few times, it has caused a surge and a slam into a gear. Hoping that’s just a break in period thing.
- The interior is whisper quiet compared to my Cruze, which was already a pretty quiet car.
- The turbo four has more than enough power, not only for daily driving but also passing maneuvers. Passing maneuvers are a newfound source of smiles. Will it win a drag race? Not likely. However, you never feel like you don’t have enough. Ever. It’s a smooth, good little motor that does work.
- The seats. Yes. Those things are rather awesome. They strike a seemingly perfect balance between comfort and sport. The side bolstering seems to keep my 5-8 fat ass frame in check most times.
- Cornering is fun.
Look! He found a friend!
The biggest problem I have had with it is that it’s not my Cruze. I have had several Cruze’s and I know them. I know them well. I know how they handle. How hard I can push them on just about any road. How much abuse they can take before telling me to go fuck myself. The Camaro, I am still learning. I came to that very serious conclusion this weekend in the mountains. Curvy roads are awesome but I am nowhere near the point of being able to challenge myself on a curve. I need to learn the car more first. The car will far out-perform my Cruze, certainly. But I am not ready to take the gamble just yet. We’re getting there.
The curves I did take, were fun. How could they not be? The car was composed, flat, direct and comfortable. Turn in was quick, direct and exhibited a small, but predictable amount of understeer. It wasn’t severe, but noticeable. I find myself smiling a lot more while driving. There are smiles at every corner and soon, challenges to be had.
The car has a few different driving modes. There are not a lot of differences, however, I stay in sport. Wouldn’t you? Tightens up the steering and throttle responses. Also, in sport mode, when it detects spirited driving(!) it will go into an enhanced throttle mode where the responses are even quicker and the shifts held longer. 0-60 runs are fun ish. With the base tires, the best I got was 6.1 seconds. It’s rated at 5.4. In ideal conditions. With a tail wind, no doubt.
Coming out of the mountains the breaks were admirable. Quick to react with a strong bite. Something to get used to as my Cruze was a bit soft. Fade wasn’t an issue even in the mountains. The paddle shifters are quick to react for gear changes, however, selecting a lower gear (gear 3) coming down a steep grade did little for controlling speed. A bigger motor has its perks.
I’m not going to talk much about technology, however, I am impressed that this car has so much. It’s a base 1LT car with the 7 inch MyLink system. So you get things like:
- Carplay/Android Auto
- Bluetooth streaming
- satellite radio
- Rear vision camera
Also, in the interior, mood lighting! Not really, but there is a neat light that shines on the center console. Also, door pull lights. A nice feature especially in a base model. It’s the little things that make the difference. The dashboard lights up pleasantly at night and the gauges are a thing of beauty in my opinion. Let’s face it, mine is the only one that matters!
As I said before, the seats are comfortable. All day comfortable.
All in, this is a great car with a lot of features. The details are really what make this car for me. I don’t think I’ve missed anything but as always, you guys will ask me questions and I’ll be like “oh yeah, should have mentioned that!” Get on it! I’ll be in and out all day.