$8,774 - $9,560

2010 Chevrolet Camaro Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro was new.


Performance: 9.1

Reviewers are impressed with the all-new Camaro's strong powertrain and sporty handling dynamics -- which give V6 competitors like the Mustang and Challenger a run for their money.

  • "The 426-horsepower SS model certainly grabs the headlines, but the 304-horsepower V6-equipped LT offers significantly more performance than you might expect, while turning in laudable fuel efficiency." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "On the road, the Camaro's ride matches its muscular appearance. This car has more than enough power, and actually more than some might want to experience." -- Carseek
  • "The good news for Chevrolet is that the Camaro LS might be the best base car among the current crop of ponies, at least if measured by its high-tech powertrain." -- AutoWeek
  • "Buckle up, because the new Camaro runs like a cheetah escaping the zoo. The engine twirls for the 7000-rpm redline as if were born to live there, but at cruise it withdraws, like a fine personal valet, almost into invisibility." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Camaro's engine, transmission, steering, and suspension work together in such a way that the entire car feels engineered, not simply bolted together from spare parts. There's actual, tangible feedback from the controls, the engine is more than up to its task, and the chassis exudes a level of polish rarely seen on cars from Detroit." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The Camaro LS, 1LT, and 2LT feature a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 304 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 273 pound-feet of torque at 5,200 rpm. Critics commend Chevy for engineering the Camaro to be more powerful than its V6 competitors, but find its low-end torque lacking.

Car shoppers should note that unlike its rivals, the Camaro is only available with two engine options, the 304-horsepower V6 and the high-performance SS trim's 426-horsepower V8. Meanwhile, competitors like the Mustang and Challenger offer intermediate trims that provide V8 power, but don't directly compete with the SS. For that purpose, each muscle car offers its own high-performance model.

The V6 Camaro is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission. However, a six-speed automatic transmission with tapshift control is available. According to the EPA, the manual Camaro nets a city/highway fuel economy of 17/29 mpg. The automatic nets 18/29 mpg. Altogether, the V6 Camaro's fuel economy is competitive for this class.

  • "The V6-powered base Camaro can sprint to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, thanks to 300 horsepower, yet it costs the same as competitors like the considerably slower Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0T. Heck, even the V6's fuel economy is impressive compared to its competition." -- Edmunds
  • "The V-6s found in the current Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger SE (240 and 250 hp, respectively) are smooth, economical engines, but they're by no means asphalt shredders. The six-cylinder Mustang and Challenger exist because of their relatively good fuel economy and their accessible, Joe-Everyman MSRPs. The base, V-6-powered 2010 Camaro, on the other hand? It's going to be cheap. But it's also going to be fast. And that ain't just numbers talking.  ... Things feel a little soft off the line, but the six is at least flexible enough to pull cleanly and strongly from just above idle in almost any gear, and it's remarkably linear across the rev range." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Make no mistake, the V-6 whips the base 6-cylinder Mustang and Challenger in both power and sophistication. Yet it still doesn't feel like a muscle-car motor. With little low-end torque, there's no hold-on-tight sensation when you floor the gas. And while the engine will spin to 7,000 r.p.m., keeping the revs high is a strange way to drive a Camaro." -- The New York Times 
  • "GM's Hydra-Matic SL50 6L50 6-speed automatic gearbox does...do an excellent job of keeping the V6 on the boil, particularly in 'sport' mode. It's one of the quickest-to-shift slushboxes we've experienced and never seems to find itself in the wrong gear. In fact it's so good that it renders the steering wheel-mounted shift buttons largely irrelevant. The 6L50 is clearly better than any of the Camaro's domestic rivals." -- Jalopnik
  • The manual shifter, complete with hardball-size knob, isn't sports-car grade--not really even quick. Yet it's solid, without slop, and it makes it easy to find and recall gear positions.  ... Yet we like it more as an old-fashioned automatic--kicking down as it should, quickly and smoothly, and appropriately matching upshift points to applied throttle." -- AutoWeek

Handling and Braking

Test drivers are surprised by how well the Camaro handles. In fact, many critics report that it easily keeps pace with the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger. Some even find it more entertaining to drive. Nevertheless, muscle cars are better known for their straight-line performance than ability to cut twists and turns with ease. Those in the market for an affordable, agile performer will be better served by a traditional sports car, like the Nissan 370Z.

  • "Riding on a shortened and reworked version of GM's Zeta platform, which it shares with the Pontiac G8 sport sedan, the Camaro boasts an independent rear suspension and refined handling characteristics." -- Edmunds
  • "On the road, the V-6 Camaro is surprisingly nimble and light on its feet, especially given its rather hefty curb weight. And though you'll never mistake it for a stripped-down sports car, the '10 Camaro's handling limits are more approachable and, ultimately, more entertaining than those of a Mustang or a Challenger." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The first thing you notice is how solid these cars feel. There is virtually no flex in the body, nor rattles or looseness to distract from the driving experience.  ... The Camaro - with its tauter dimensions than the Dodge Challenger and the advantage of an independent rear suspension over the live-axle Mustang - flatters with its linear steering and brake response and nicely weighted clutch takeup in the manual version. This is an easy car to hustle down the road, predictable in its manners and forgiving if you overcook a corner." -- Road and Track
  • "The car's chassis is rock solid and the ride surprisingly decent, even on the massive optional 20-inch tires. There's remarkably little body roll in fast turns, and the brakes are tremendous - both the standard four-wheel discs and the stronger, optional Brembo racing brakes." -- The New York Times

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