Reviews

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Walk Around

This latest-generation Camaro captures the look of the original '67, though it's bigger in every dimension: longer, wider and taller. For 2014, changes include a new front fascia with a lower, wider front grille and new headlights.

The shapely strong hips stand out, like the long hood, an edgy element the designer is most proud of, because they took so much work. The rigid B-pillar is blacked-out, thus creating a clean outline for the side glass, blending into a handsome hardtop roofline. The short rear deck climbs upward and looks hot.

Viewed from the rear, and especially from above, the lines suggest the 1963 fastback split-window Corvette. Revisions for 2014 include a new spoiler, redesigned exhaust tips and new single-piece taillights, replacing the old double-rectangle design that like found on the current Corvette Stingray.

Convertibles have a reinforced frame, with additional branding that helps it handle more like the coupe. Chevrolet says the convertible chassis is rigid enough that the suspension didn't need to be changed from the coupe, and that the Camaro convertible has more torsional stiffness than the BMW 3 Series convertible.

Interior

The cabin of the Chevrolet Camaro is oriented more around style than function. The standard cloth bucket seats are good, although the bolstering isn't fully there for hard cornering. It's a tough compromise to make, given the spectrum of Camaro buyers. The low bolsters make getting in and out of the Camaro easier. Excellent leather upholstery is available in black, gray, beige and two-tone Inferno Orange, and interior materials are good.

The front seat slides 8.5 inches and the steering wheel tilts and telescopes, so drivers of all sizes will fit. The stitched leather wrap on the steering wheel is nice; the ZL1 uses a smaller, race-inspired flat-bottomed wheel.

A recessed speedometer and tachometer are set in square housings, a nod to the classic Camaro interior. Between those two big gauges is a driver information center controlled via a stalk on the steering column.

The climate control buttons on the center stack appear to have been designed for looks, and thus aren't as functional as they could or should be. An optional console-mounted gauge package includes oil pressure, oil temperature, volts and transmission fluid temperature. The information is good, although the location down by the driver's knee makes it difficult to see while driving.

The windows are small and the A-pillars are wide, so it makes the cabin feel a bit cave-like. Visibility through the windshield is compromised by the long hood and raked windshield, although careful location of the driver's seat helps. Rear visibility over the driver's shoulder isn't very good, but then it's impossible to make it good with a roofline this sporty.

The trunk is deep, but the opening isn't large and it's almost flat. This compromise is worth it for the handsome rear deck. There's a pass-through to the trunk behind the rear seat, which isn't easy to crawl into, and feels like a pit.

Rear-seat legroom measures 29.9 inches, a distinction, as few cars today break below that 30-inch mark. You'll want to avoid riding in the back seat.

The convertible's soft top is made of thick, durable canvas. An acoustical headliner material is designed to provide a quiet, coupe-like ride when the top is up, and the soft top incorporates a glass rear window and rear window defogger. The power folding convertible top retracts in about 20 seconds. It folds in a simple Z-pattern and latches with a single handle located at the center of the windshield header. The transmission doesn't have to be in Park for the top to be activated, allowing fast lowering while stopped at a red light, or when it starts raining in a dead-stop traffic jam.

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