The untrained eye will probably be unable to discern a Camaro SS from a V-6-powered model like this one. A deaf person riding in the car might also mistake this peppy base model for the racier small-block model.
The V-6 is quite impressive, which isn't surprising since it has more horsepower than the 4.6-liter V-8 in the 2009 Ford Mustang GT. The combined fuel economy rating of 22 mpg is pretty decent, too. The V-6 Camaro will even do a burnout, which is important in a pony car. Like Joe D, I think I prefer this car to the pricier SS we drove a couple months back; I bet I'd like the $23K base Camaro LS even more.
Still, my primary issues with the Camaro remain: Visibility is terrible, especially over-the-shoulder blind-spot checks (as Evan noted). The interior design is not to my liking, and it's very dark in this example; I'd like to see if the beige or gray interiors feel less claustrophobic. Also, I found the seat cushions to be a bit flat, particularly in the seatback, which doesn't have a lumbar adjustor. There are so many gauges in this interior that you'd think there'd be a legible analog speedometer, but you have to either guess what number is beneath that superthick needle or call up the digital readout in the gauge cluster (which precludes the display of trip-computer or other useful information).
Still, the Camaro's smokin'-hot looks are tough to ignore. And the automatic is actually quite good and relatively involving, although the plastic +/- markers tacked on the back of the steering wheel are somewhat silly; the "paddles" themselves aren't bad, though.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor