Can a car intimidate its driver?
You betcha, and I’ll be the first to admit that the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro intimidated the heck out of me for the first few days of a weeklong test drive.
It’s big, it’s powerful and its exterior boasts that it’s a modern incarnation of a muscle car. (The test vehicle’s color, which the manufacturer promotes as “rally yellow” but which I call “screaming yellow,” amplified its mighty attitude.)
On my first day of driving, I felt like a fraud—like I wasn’t badass enough to be behind the wheel. Maybe some dark shades or a leather jacket would help. I doubted it.
Once I got past both the vehicle’s mystique and the voices in my head, I relaxed into a fun, enjoyable and confidence-building driving experience.
Here are the stats: The Camaro 2LT Coupe is equipped with a 3.6L engine, dual six-speed manual/automatic transmission and sport suspension, rear parking assist, stabilitrack with traction control and antilock brake system.
The standard price for the vehicle I drove was $26,875 but with options, which included 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, high-intensity headlamps, rear spoiler and unique tail lights, six-speed automatic transmission with remote vehicle start, it totaled out at $30,455.
From an interior and exterior design standpoint, there are a tremendous number of features to appreciate. Outside the vehicle, Camaro’s design signature is solidly incorporated all over—from the elongated front and side windows to the wide but narrow front grille and distinctive molding along the wheels and the sides. Even the hexagon-shaped side view mirrors are unique. The interior mixes old school and new school styling. Directly in front of the steering wheel are twin analog gauges (displaying speed and rpm’s) that flank the driver information center gauge, which displays messages about low tire pressure and gives weather warnings. Serious enthusiasts will likely appreciate the cluster of four auxiliary gauges showing oil pressure, oil temperature, volts and transmission temperature. The car comes with leather front bucket seats with an attractive double stitch on the seats, steering wheel and armrests.
My only complaint is that the Camaro’s doors are so wide that one practically has to take two parking spaces to avoid hitting another car parked alongside. However, once one gets used to making sure a hand is firmly planted on the door (and telling passengers to do likewise), it’ll be OK.
The ride was awesome. It behaved itself while in my neighborhood, delivering expected maneuverability and braking, but when it came time to “hit it” on an open stretch of road the power was immediate and breathtaking. (Speeding tickets would definitely be routine if I kept this car for long.)
The Camaro averages 18 miles per gallon in the city/29 mpg on the highway.
Without a doubt, the 2010 Camaro Coupe is one fun and well equipped performance ride.
Stats: Dual exhaust with polished stainless steel tips, heated power outside mirrors, nine-speaker audio, Bluetooth phone, heated front seats, dual stage front airbags with passenger sensing, OnStar and XM satellite radio.
Pricing: Chevrolet’s 2010 Camaros start at $22,680, however the test vehicle had a standard price of $26,875 and with $2,785 for options (six-speed automatic transmission with remote start, halo ring high-intensity headlamps, rear spoiler, tail lamps, 20-inch wheels, etc.) the total price was $29,660.
For more information, visit www.chevy.com.