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Macho Camacho Camaro

2010 Chevy Camaro in Rally Yellow
2010 Chevy Camaro in Rally Yellow

OK, so the headline makes no sense, but the 2010 Chevy Camaro did win me over after I drove it for a week—even in the late-winter, early-spring sloppy weather we are noted for in Boston (the winter tires on the car did not spoil the fun, either).

I'll admit I'm not a Camaro guy, ever since the '60s, and always saw myself more of a Mustang fan. And when Chevy announced they were bringing back the marque, I wasn't impressed with the looks of the car.

But that aside, a few days in the 2LT coupe may not change your mind about the styling, but the ride is a lot of fun—especially with the car painted in attention-grabbing Rally Yellow. Handling and the variable-ratio power steering are quick—it's point-and-shoot with flat cornering. The 3.6-liter V6, with direct injection, puts out a more-than-adequate 304 hp (227 kW) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque—and does it using regular gas. Added to this is a nice exhaust tone.

In about 120 miles of driving, much of it on the expressways around Boston, I averaged 23 mpg. EPA estimates are 17 mpg (city) and 29 mpg (hwy) for the 6-speed manual transmission this car had. The transmission reminded me of the one in my BMW in that there is no detent to pull or push to go into reverse. Instead you basically slam it hard left through a spring "wall" to get reverse—which sometimes can bring about a surprise (ending up in reverse!) if you're downshifting or too heavy handed when getting away from a light.

But the major negative for the Camaro is its rear visibility, especially out toward the quarter panels where the rear (C) pillar comes far forward. While some would say in this car you won't be looking back that much (except for the police), an angled intersection requires a lot of neck swiveling and craning.

Finally, there are a couple of styling notes that evoking the original Camaro. First is a set of four auxiliary gauges at the front of the shift console (a rather useless position, but again these aren't vital (oil pressure and temp, voltage, and transmission temperature)). And like some older models, the hand brake on the console is on the passenger seat side.

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