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2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT RS V6 Convertible Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Chevrolet, Test Drives

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The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Camaro has gone in a new direction to slim down on weight, size and improve upon driving dynamics and overall performance. The new Camaro in a drop-top variant has entered the spectrum to convey the new design and performance attributes but with a soft-folding power top.

>> Get the best price on the Chevrolet Camaro from a network of local dealers now. <<

As with the outgoing generation of the Camaro, the latest sixth generation embodies the same convertible principles using an insulated fabric top. Though, for the 2016 model the Camaro Convertible no longer requires the placement of a manually-placed tonneau cover and does away with the clunky manual latch for un-securing or securing the top after or before its electrical operation. The new fabric top is a seamless operation that now has a flush tonneau cover with the matching body color paint for more of a harmonious and sleek look, somewhat like a proper roadster.

See Also: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Review & Test Drive

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My 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible test vehicle came in the RS trim and featured the brand’s latest 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The V6 engine, producing 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque is a respectable powerplant. The power sent to the rear wheels is consistent and predictable, while the sound muddles through an optional performance exhaust with quad pipes and a dual-mode actuator to either quiet matters down or allow the V6 to breathe better at the sacrifice of an earful of V6 clatter. While it’s rather difficult to ever produce a decent sound from a V6 engine, Chevrolet as at least allowed the V6 in the new Camaro to have somewhat of a throaty tone, one that emits a creditable metallic clangor nearing the end of its rpm range. In many ways, the new Camaro equipped with the V6 engine and a snappy-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission is a mix of the Cadillac ATS 3.6 Coupe’s straight-line athleticism, and the Corvette automatic’s rear-end’s audible clap when making shifts through the lower three gears of virtually the same 8-speed automatic transmission. It all comes together well to get the Camaro Convertible RS V6, which carries a bit more weight than the coupe, to 60 mph in about 5.3 seconds in our tests.

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Fuel economy was mostly consistent, and thanks to a clever cylinder deactivation system limiting the engine to a 4-cylinder mode during light loads or coasting, I saw fuel my highway fuel consumption figure as high as 30.1 mpg on a 25-mile trip. Even around town, I was able to best the EPA figure to get about 19.8 mpg. EPA estimates are 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined for the new Camaro RS V6 Convertible.

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Chevrolet’s brand recognition is alive and well in the new 2016 Camaro Convertible. The new design is much tighter than the outgoing model receiving sharper edges to emulate more of a toned structure. Riding off of the same platform as the Cadillac ATS, the new 2016 Camaro Convertible retains a good amount of rigidity without much cowl shake or give in the body when making sharp turns or going over large road imperfections. Though, I did take notice to some body flexing going over inclines with the top up where the roof emitted a slight creeping noise, which is somewhat of an expected part of owning a soft-top convertible. Thanks to larger 20-inch wheels wrapped with runflat tires, part of the RS package on my test vehicle, the overall handling of the Camaro Convertible V6 was decent. Though, things started to waver at no fault of the chassis and composed suspension system when I thought I could push it harder, which may have been to the smallish-patched 245/40R20 runflat tires. Overall, the 2016 Camaro RS V6 Convertible is a much more poised and eager vehicle than its predecessor that feels lighter, more capable, much more rigid in a good way.

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The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 is a champion in the way it mimics much of the sporty and demanding looks of its top-tier SS V8 trim. Moreover, my fully-loaded Camaro Convertible 2LT RS V6 embodied a decent interior that incorporates just enough soft-touch areas not to allow its otherwise dull-looking black plastic surfaces to cheapen the cabin. The new simplistic climate controls, all cluster in a single wide row of buttons with the addition of the large center-vent-dials for adjusting the dual-zone temperature of my loaded test vehicle, are unique, to say the least. The 4-seater cabin of the 2016 Camaro is small and gives you a sense of being closed in without a way out until you let the power soft-top down. The cabin has a high belt line, which adds to the hindrance of visibility as does the smallish rear window of the soft-top when it is up. During my drive, I tended to heavily rely on the optional blind zone alert with lane change alert system as part of the extensive $2,800 convenience and lighting package equipped on my test vehicle. The new 8-inch infotainment touch screen has an odd negative degree (downward) cant that has an abundance of reflections from either your hand or the lower dash console. Otherwise, the latest iteration of Chevy MyLink, including Apple CarPlay integration, works well and proves to be quite user friendly.

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The power-driver’s seat requires several adjustments to find the optimal driving position as does the power passenger’s seat to allow enough room out back for a passenger, which only has enough room for someone child-sized. Though, the comfort of the front heated and ventilated front seats was ideal but could have used some extra bolstering and softer support. Headroom remains mostly the same in the Convertible compared to the Camaro Coupe. Though, once again, the front seats may require some extra adjusting for taller individuals while rear passenger adults who are normal to large sized will not need to even try to enter in the back unless you plan on keeping the top down. Speaking of keeping the top down, the Camaro Convertible retains a decent amount of isolation with the top down as to deflect wind and minimize buffeting. I was quite surprised, even more so with the four power windows up while the top was down.

Trunk space in the new Camaro Convertible, while it is easily section off with a removable partition to allow storage of the top, space is reduced to only seven cubic feet of storage. It’s possible that the Camaro Convertible’s back seats are ideal for additional storage provided you don’t have to tote around more than two occupants in the front seats.

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The new 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT RS V6 Convertible is a sweet-looking ride that backs up its sporty visual appearance with decent performance, several luxury-like creature comforts, a couple of active safety features, and decent gas mileage. The new 2016 Camaro Convertible with the base 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (275 horsepower/295 lb-ft torque w/6-speed manual transmission) starts $33,695 for the 1LT trim and brings the price up to $47,320 for my loaded-up Camaro 2LT RS V6 Convertible 8-speed automatic test vehicle, which includes a $995 destination charge.

>> Get the best price on the Chevrolet Camaro from a network of local dealers now. <<

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Camaro 1LT Convertible 2.0 4-cylinder Turbo $33,695 / As-Tested Camaro 2LT RS V6 Convertible $47,320
  • Engine: 3.6-liter DOHC V6 335 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm / 284 ft-lbs. torque @ 5,300 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 110.7 inches
  • Total length: 188.3 inches
  • Total width: 74.7 inches
  • Total height: 62.5 inches
  • EPA cargo volume: 7 cu.ft. with partition in place allowing roof storage
  • Curb weight: n/a
  • Fuel tank: 19.0 gallons
  • 0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 19 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 mpg combined

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