Camaro Convertible

What it is: The Camaro is Chevy’s classic muscle car that received a major update for the 2016 model year and is now the sixth-gen version of the car. They are easy to pick out on the streets because the front end has much narrower headlights. The improvements are not just aesthetic, though, and the Camaro has made large strides to becoming a better car. 
I was most excited about the diet that Chevy put the Camaro on. The sixth-gen Camaro has lost between 223 and 390 pounds depending on the trim level. The old Camaro felt heavy and bless Chevrolet for fixing what I thought was the biggest issue with the older Camaro. The interior still has the same retro-but-modern  feel, but has been improved with an eight-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Chevy has done a great job, and the Camaro is my favorite interior of the three modern American muscle cars.
Also new for the sixth-gen Camaro is the addition of a four-cylinder engine. No one will be writing songs immortalizing the 122 cu. in. displacement like Chevy V8s of the past, but it’s a welcome addition to the lineup. There is performance in mind with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder as it is turbocharged and it delivers 275 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s actually more torque than the 3.6-liter V6 produces, and it does it lower in the RPM range. The V6 is rated at 335 h.p. with 284 lb.-ft. of torque and the V8 is rated at 455 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. or torque. 
My test model was the V6 2LT and the Camaro feels so much more alive without those few extra hundred pounds holding it back. The V6 is $1,495 more than the turbocharged four-cylinder, and is likely to be a common upgrade much like the eight-speed automatic transmission (also $1,495). The 2LT trim also adds heated/ventilated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and Bose premium stereo for $3,700. 
One completely addictive option was the dual-mode performance exhaust ($895). The exhaust uses a system of baffles to keep your exhaust mild-mannered for your drive to church on Sundays, but automatically opens into more of a roar when you put the pedal to the metal when trying to beat everyone to Luby’s after the service. Knowing that the roar is available at the touch of your foot is hard to resist, especially with the top down. 
My test model was also packed with all of the nicety options that come with a loaded modern car. A $2,800 convenience and lighting package adds controllable colored interior lighting, the eight-inch infotainment screen, head-up display, heated steering wheel, illuminated sill plates, and other visual touches. It also was equipped with the RS Package ($1,950) which adds 20-inch wheels, HID headlights with LED accents, LED tail lamps and unique grills. Also added was $500 for a Ceramic White interior accent package, $495 for navigation and $100 extra to make those 20-inch wheels black. All of the options add up to $9,730 but none are priced unfairly. It’s actually nice of Chevy to allow you to order some things a-la-carte extra, as many manufacturers don’t give you the choice.
MPG: 19 city/28 highway/23 combined
Price: $31,905 for 1LT (base) convertible. 2LT starts at $36,800. $47,525 as-tested.
Upsides: Flexibility with choices. New model provides more performance.
Downsides: None.
Wrap-up: The new Camaro is a winner. There are lots of reasons for Camaro owners from a few years ago to update to the new model that I’ve described above, even if the cars do look mostly the same. The biggest question that most Camaro buyers will face is do you spend the extra money to move up to the 455-horsepower V8? It’s a $7,300 step up so would you rather have a flashy exterior and interior features or the big V8 under the hood? I think the sweet spot is the 1LT for a coupe and the 2LT for the convertible (ventilated leather seats mandatory for a Texas convertible) both with the V6 engine. 

Wilson Calvert
Author: Wilson CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist / Director of Operations
I am a long-time Houstonian and am obsessed with cars, soccer, traveling, bourbon and airplanes. I write a regular car review column for The Tribune and travel articles a few times per year.

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