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Ever driven a cigar? Try the new Camaro

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2014 Chevrolet Camarp

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Although Steve McGarrett of Hawaii 50 may like Danno's Camaro police vehicle, it's possible that Danno may way to consider something else. After crawling all over a 2014 Camaro recently, here are some of the facts about this vehicle:

  1. Most of them, even the ones with the dual white rectangles that look cool -- the ones that stretch from the hood to the so-called trunk -- are using the 3.7 fuel-injected six as their base powerplant. If you just want to look cool driving to Home Depot on Saturday or to the local market, then this is a great engine. If you are up even a the Dodge R/S police package, you might as well forget the pairing.
  2. The 0 to 60 clock on the standard six-speed, V-6 Camaro powerplant -- which is powerful but slanted toward economy -- is still in the 12s with a quarter-mile exit over 10-seconds at about 92 mph. The R/S is in the 10s for 0 to 60 and the quarter-mile exit is in the upper 90s.
  3. The Camaro just has no visibility. The belt line is absurdly high (looks cool, though) so that unless you are either somewhere over six-feet with a long body (not legs), then be prepared to spend a LONG time playing with the 10-way electric seat adjustment to raise yourself into a position where you can actually see out of the long-bodied Camaro.
  4. The seats, though rather thin, are one of the better features with of the 2014 Camaro. You must know by now that Detroit has been cutting weight out of their offerings in key places such as seatbacks and frames so that by the time you get into the seat, it's little more than a stuffed doll's worth of padding over rather hard plastic shell. Yet, for some reason they work not only keeping comfortable during maneuvering or in just commuting, but also by providing support in places you never thought you needed support such as under your knees or at the base of your hip and where the hip and back join. Plus, the seatbacks are actually made for performance with plenty of side and back support.
  5. The interior is, at best, a two-seater. Yes, Chevy wants you to believe its a 2+2 (two people up front and two people in the rear) unless you are dealing with The Muppets as your rear passengers or tiny people like infants or children or two small adults who know each other very well and who can put up with a rear seat that's little more than a piece of plywood with some padding (it felt that way), you're only going to use the front sets.
  6. The layout of the instrument panel is surprisingly clean and provides you the key info about speed and revs on the tachometer right in front of you. The center console and its many buttons is where you find or set the rest of the information you need. The instrument panel and dash are nice and clean and the stitched piping is a nice offset in the black-on-black model.
  7. Headroom is reasonable for anyone, if you don't mind spending a long time adjusting things again. In standard mode, headroom is good for people of about 5-foot-four and under without adjustment. From the seat, all of the controls are an easy reach away.
  8. The Camaro -- even the six -- has a six-speed automatic and allows you to shift with the paddles that are just to the rear of the tilting steering wheel. The wheel contains secondary controls for audio stuff like the radio and your cellphone.
  9. They've finally done it, cross the two-handle barrier into three so that you now have three levels of control through the maze of hands behind the wheel (though to be honest once you've driven this model more than a day things become pretty straightforward and you never think about it).
  10. The center console contains the shifter and cuts the interior into two distinct sections
  11. Outward visibility is very limited by the high belt line and narrow windows. You can work with the sideviews and rear, but you still have a huge blindspot at the sail panels and the rear window is nearly useless its rake is so great. You must order the warning package (blindspot car warning as it's easy to miss something back there and rear warning system for the same reason)
  12. The ride is a bit on the stiff side, but it is something you would expect from a vehicle that corners as if there were rails under the wheels. It is flat going into cornerns and coming out and you easily hit the apex so you feel as if the line is always straight.
  13. Though stiff, the ride isn't unpleasant or harsh, it's just something to be noted.
  14. The stuff you can't miss -- even with the slower-performing six -- is the handling. The Camaro isn't perturbed by the dips and bumps of life that have other vehicles going all over the place. It's plainly obvious the 19-inch tire/wheel combination and a decent suspension system have a lot to do with it. The front suspension is coil-over-shocks with independent wheels. The rear uses a multi-link independent suspension and a tube to set things up. The anti-roll bars are in the right place.
  15. As to safety, the Camaro is all over it with airbag curtains and at least six other (or more) airbags so Camaro is a safe vehicle.

Don't get us wrong, we actually liked the 2014 Camaro, but like any review, we hope we can influence a good car and make it even better and if we can get them some more information then we've done our day's work, and, the Chevy rep drivealong guy couldn't help but nod yes as the maneuvering was a bit much after his tasty 10 cups of foffee by 10 a.m.

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