This is my sisters 2017 Camaro RS convertible she got earlier this year. Shes in the Navy and bought this as a going away present for herself before she shipped out earlier this year. I told her not to get it because its just going to be sitting but apparently she lets my mom use it here and there. But Like I said in the title, it has flaws. Annoying ones that would bug me living with it on a daily basis. But lets start with the good things.
The Alpha Platform itself: Chevy engineers really did a good job with the handling and sportiness if the chassis. The Camaro is the best driving of the pony cars and even in this V6 version it’s more sports car like than either the Mustang or the Challenger.
It looks great: The redesign the Camaro saw for 2016 modernized its retro design that has been around since its debut back in ‘09. It looks great. The RS package adds unique 20’ wheels, additional LED running lights up front along with with RS specific grills and badges front and rear.
The V6/8 speed auto combo is damn good: GM’s 3.6 high feature V6 is used in everything from Cadillac’s to Buick’s and its good, especially in the Camaro. In this application, it puts out 335 horses and 284 ft/lbs of torque. It even seems to be better on gas than my Ecoboost. Under cruising conditions, its switches to V4 mode to save gas, and it helps. My sis just drove to Arizona a few weeks ago and averaged over 35 mpg. Under full throttle in those instances you need it, especially in sport mode, power delivery is smooth with the 8 speed shifting fast. The exhaust even emits a pop and good snarl in tunnels too.
The ability to switch drive modes on the fly: In all Camaro’s outside of the SS, Z/28 and ZL1 trims, there is a mode selector behind the gearshift that lets you select from 3 drive modes: Touring which is normal driving and throttle, Sport which is a more aggressive throttle, better steering and seems to open up the exhaust, and Snow/Ice, which honestly being in SoCal it never gets used. The V8 models get a Track mode in addition to the other 3. The ability to switch is easier to do than in my Mustang and its great for those instances when you need to leave those annoying people that try to race you because they see you in a Camaro.
The Mirrors/Visors are dumb: chalk it up to this being a convertible maybe, but the visors in this car border on pointlessness. Not only do they not detach for those times where the sun is coming through the door window, but they are offset as shown in this pic:
I’m sitting directly behind the wheel, yet you cant see me in the mirror. To look in the mirror you have to lean right, and vice versa if you’re a passenger. On top of that, even if they are simply down, the spacing between where they are attached to the frame is wide enough to let sun through still.
The top system itself: Its slower than a Mustangs. Whereas I can quickly lower my top at a stop light, the Camaro would require you to pull off on the side of the road. And it opens in 3 parts vs the Mustang’s one smooth lowering: first the rear window area lifts, then the rear tonneau raises skyward, then then top folds down, then the tonneau closes and that’s that. The one thing it does have over the Mustang top wise is the fact that you can lower the top in the Camaro while moving up to 31 mph. The Mustang you have to pretty much stop the car or the top will pause however its positioned. The most annoying part about the top though? The top wont lower unless this flimsy cargo area “cover” is snapped into place. If it isn’t you’ll get a message in the dash saying “secure cover” . Annoying as hell.
The 20’ wheels: They look great, but let me say this now: 20 in wheels combined with low profile run flat tires don’t make for a great ride. Speed bumps feel like potholes and driving over streets with a lot of cracks will make the tires sound as if they are on a flat.
An audio system power button that had to have been a design oversight: You can’t just simply press the power button to turn the radio off in this car. Nope, engineers decided that’s too easy. A simple press of the power button will do nothing but mute the audio.
You have to long press the power button for at least 5 seconds to turn the radio off.
Rear legroom/headroom is nearly nonexistent: To the point of making you wonder why the Camaro has 4 seats at all. No one but children can fit back there and 4 people can fit but it’s a hell of a pinch. With the top up it’s even worse. We went out to eat for my birthday and I rode in the back with the top up, and not even being in the car 15 minutes I began to get a crick in my neck. Even for children its terrible. My son, who’s 6, has to sit either Indian style or on his feet to fit. And if you attempt to move the front seat up to make room for anyone in the rear, front legroom gets dangerously tight in the footwells.
And the most glaring, unacceptable miss of them all?!: Look at this.
This is still pretty much a new car. There is just over 17 thousand miles on it from 10 months of driving, and the fucking rear window is coming off from the top in 3 different places. Over half of the left side, and on both the top and bottom half on the right.
Seriously GM wtf. My sis is going to take it to the dealer this week to see if this can be fixed under warranty.
But there you have it folks. The Camaro is arguably the sportiest of the 3 pony cars, but its misses, while trivial to some, bug me too much to ever really consider buying one. Worse still the fact that its not even a year old and the rear window is coming off and the fact that interior wise its so tight it borders on impractical make it a no go for me (ok I might make an exception for the V8 models but still). But damn does it sound better than my Mustang while seeming faster