Some cars are classic for a reason. My tester this week is a perfect example. The 2015 Chevy Camaro is at the end of its fifth generation life cycle. But that doesn’t mean that this iconic muscle car, while virtually unchanged for this model year, isn’t worthy. In fact, facing a complete redesign for the 2016 model year, fans of the look and styling of this generation of Camaro will look upon the 2015 version fondly.

The Camaro is available as a coupe or a convertible. My tester was the coupe. As much as I love convertibles, the Camaro looks so much better as a coupe, with its aggressive styling and muscle car mojo.

Exterior

2015-Chevrolet-Camaro-011The brash Camaro is a muscle car in the truest sense between its engine and certainly in its exterior styling. The grille isn’t overtly aggressive. Divided into two horizontal parts, the grille is prominent and has a beaked appearance. The real focus is on the big, heavy hood which, unlike most cars, has a lot of styling on it. The curvaceous wheel wells give the Camaro a sexy profile.

I’ve seen the 2016 Camaro and this feature is still there, as well as some really attractive styling on the side panels that make it very distinctive.

Engine / Performance

The Camaro has two engine options – a V6 and a V8. Of course I’m of the opinion that a muscle car should always be a V8, but there are great advancements in the V6 power. The 2016 Camaro will actually receive a third engine, including a turbocharged 4-cylinder. The V6 engine in the 2015 Camaro makes an impressive 323 horsepower. My tester, however, was the 2SS which has the 6.2-liter V8 engine. It growls its way around the road while producing 426 horsepower and 420 lb./ft. of torque. For the true muscle car enthusiasts, this is the engine to choose.

2015-Chevrolet-Camaro-003My tester drove as you want a muscle car to drive. Bold performance, with fantastic straightforward speed. The six-speed automatic transmission was adequate, but many would prefer the optional manual transmission. The next generation Camaro will receive a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which seems like a good idea so it can shift quicker and keep up with the power of this car.

The Camaro handles as you expect a heavy muscle car to perform. The Camaro weighs more than 3,900 pounds, so it’s unreasonable to think it will corner like it’s on rails. The power is always noticeable, especially on the V8.

Interior

Inside, the Camaro has an attractive interior. It’s important to note that on the lower trims, there are lower-quality materials used and harder touch points. Whereas in my tester, soft materials were used, including leather on the steering wheel and seats. A $500 interior accent package added blue accents and stitching to the seats, shift knob, door panel and steering wheel. This option adds significantly styling to the Camaro and is highly recommended.

2015-Chevrolet-Camaro-004The dashboard has an old-school vibe where the speedometer and tachometer are squared off and located just over the gearbox. This is a nod to the 40-year history of the Camaro. A 7-inch touchscreen drives the infotainment system using GM’s MyLink system, which I find intuitive. It integrates flawlessly with smart phones and devices and has several useful downloadable apps.

Front passengers will find the seats comfortable. Headroom is a little limited and obviously less of a problem as a convertible. With the aggressive styling of the roofline, there’s a give and take, and headroom is one of those things you have to give. The rear seat is more for show than for actual use. Legroom for even teenagers is quite limited and uncomfortable, as is headroom.

Additionally, there is only 11.3 cubic feet of trunk space for the Camaro. So the Camaro is not really a practical family vehicle, but more for fun and weekend cruises. And no doubt every trip in the Camaro will be fun.

Trims / Pricing

There are eight various trims over the two engine options, as well as the coupe and convertible options. My tester was the 2SS with a base price of $37,305. With several options, my tester had a final MSRP of $43,800.

Fuel Economy

I’m obligated to talk about fuel economy, for you my readers. But obviously, a V8 muscle car is not going to be fuel efficient. The V8 Camaro has an EPA rating of 15 mpg/city and 24 mpg/highway. In a week’s worth of driving that tested its muscle, I averaged 17.8 mpg.

Final Thoughts

Camaro enthusiasts will look upon 2015 fondly. With an eye on the past and an eye on the future, the Camaro’s legacy revs ahead.

Specs

2015 Chevy Camaro 2SS Coupe

Price/As tested price……………………. $37,305/$43,800

Mileage…………………………………… 15 mpg/city; 24 mpg/hwy

Engine……………………………………… 6.2-liter V8

Horsepower…………………………… 426 hp/420 lbs./ft.

Transmission…………………………… Six-speed automatic transmission

Drive Wheels……………………………… Rear-wheel drive

Final Assembly Point………………… Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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Jimmy Dinsmore

For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - jimmydinsmore@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @driversside.

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