The redesigned ’17 Chevy Camaro sports coupe is light years ahead of its predecessor and the interior is a quantum leap.
In many ways, the old Camaro was a victim of its own success. It led the sports coupe segment in the U.S. for five years running, until the redesigned Ford Mustang snatched that crown away last year with its mix of throwback design cues and modern technology.
The new Camaro -- $46,000 as tested – takes that idea a step further, although perhaps a little less heavy on the nostalgia. The cockpit is highlighted by a beefy, flat-bottom steering wheel replacing the generic hook it had before and giving it an authentic racetrack personality. The gauges are all-new, too, combining digital and analogue readouts with lots of useful, reconfigurable driver information.
Chevy designers also dress up the center stack and console. The area is crowned by an available 8-in. color touchscreen with large, colorful graphics and the Chevy MyLink infotainment comes compatible with easy-to-use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems. Apple CarPlay And Android Auto bring with them a familiar operating system for smartphone lovers, and a nifty feature where passengers can safely text friends and family.
There’s a new shifter design for both automatic and manual models that are more performance oriented, and HVAC controls are uniquely integrated into center-console vents. Our 2SS model for Best Interiors testing included a sporty ceramic-white and black leather combination with attractive white stitching and nickel-like trim. No fewer than 24 colors can be chosen for lighting the dash, console and door panels.
But do not expect an upgrade in rear-seat space. In fact, the new Camaro’s shrunken dimensions may make thing even tighter, and sight-lines are just as tricky as before. But on the whole, General Motors has brought the Camaro’s interior out of the dark ages and into the 21st Century.
– James M. Amend