REVIEW: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2LT Coupe – I Could’ve Had A V8!

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So you want a 2016 Chevy Camaro, but you’re opting for an engine other than the legendary small block V8?  This is the one you want.

What is it? 

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The Chevrolet Camaro is new for 2016, though, at a glance, the look continues on, and that is a good thing.  The Camaro Coupe has masculine haunches and gun-slit windows, and its big rims have attitude in spades.

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The 2016 Camaro is the real deal of sports cars, or more accurately, pony cars as we enthusiasts call the Camaro and Mustang.  The 2016 Chevy Camaro has the aggressive and sexy looks, the attitude and the performance to back up its legacy.  Our tester is the Camaro 2 LT Coupe.  That’s Chevy’s name for it.  You may also know it as the V6 RS.

Pricing and trims

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The 2016 Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe starts at an enticing $29,800, making it only a few grand more expensive than the base Camaro, which costs about $26K.  Our tester had a lot of options, and they brought the price up to $39,940, including destination.

At $40K this Camaro starts to come close to the price of some very refined coupes like the BMW 428i and Lexus RC 200t.

Safety

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If this were a Chevy Malibu review or even a Chevy SS performance sedan review, we would go deeply into safety.  However, Ithe Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has not yet tested the 2016 Camaro, and our media vehicle had zero active safety equipment, but did have a rear-view camera and all the legally-mandated safety content like airbags.

If you are looking for an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus car in this segment, they are out there (Lexus RC), but the Camaro is not one of them.

Performance

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The 335-horsepower V6 engine in this Camaro is one of the many gems from General Motors.  It has ample power to push this car around quickly, but it does not have the low-end grunt of the V8 engine GM puts in Camaros.

But if you plan to use this Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe as a daily driver and cruiser, it is hard to argue against the V6.  With 23 MPG combined and 28 MPG highway, fuel efficiency is not bad.

Unlike the turbocharged four-cylinder and V8 engines Camaros can come with, this V6 uses regular unleaded, making it more economical when you fill the tank.

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Neither of my two teenage boys can drive a stick shift, but when they saw my test Camaro had a V6 and an automatic transmission they were horrified.  Not me.  I understand the value of a smooth-shifting, eight-speed transmission having owned many sporty cars with a stick.

Still, if you are shopping for a Camaro, do some soul searching.  If you want it strictly for fun, then at least test-drive the manual.

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On the plus side, the Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe has two modes other than “normal.”  Touring and Sport make the car either more comfortable or more aggressive.  Move the gear shifter to “Manual”, enable “Sport” and use the paddle shifters.  In this fashion, you are in a very sporty car that is thrilling to drive hard.

Ride and handing

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If you are expecting the Camaro 2LT to be nimble and tossable like a Miata, then you are in for a rude awakening.  On the other hand, if you know how pony cars usually handle, this one will exceed your expectations.

GM and Ford have refined these cars now so that they don’t lean in corners or have notable bad habits.  The most pleasant surprise for us was that over rough roads this Camaro was very comfortable.  It sucked up the bumps with ease and there was no rattles from our 5K miles test car.

This Camaro is not a razor-sharp track version, but that’s a good thing.  Without the V8, and with an automatic transmission, this Camaro 2LT Coupe is set up as a cruiser, not a bruiser.

Seating

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The front buckets of the 2016 Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe look good and are very comfortable.

These seats are just right for this car’s mission.  As an added bonus, they are trimmed in some nice material that is apparently not leather.  The front seats were ventilated and heated, they also had power adjustment and memory.

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Predictably, the Camaro’s rear seats are tight, and they’re better as a padded shelf for gym bags and such. When the front seats are set all the way back, they touch the rear seats leaving no legroom. That’s understood to be case in sports coupes, where seats are for temporary guests.

Cargo

The trunk of our Camaro was typical for the class, and it wasn’t unusually small.

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This Camaro 2LT had run-flat tires, so there was no spare tire under the floor.  In a family car, we would now go on a diatribe about why spares matter (like here.) In a sports coupe, run-flats are more understandable.

Infotainment and controls

Our 2016 Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe had an easy to use infotainment system with an intuitive touch-screen.

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Like many GM vehicles, the navigation is not built-in, but rather, it’s part of the On Star package.  However, if you have an Apple phone you can connect to the Apple Car play via your cable and use Maps instead.  In-car navigation is handy, but expensive.  These are sensible alternatives.

Being an Android user, I was out of luck, since my vehicle did not have Android Auto.  However, I could use Google Maps streamed through the Bluetooth for directions spoken through the Camaros audio system.

On an inexpensive vehicle like a Cruze, we would say this all makes sense.  At $40K, not so much.  Like all GM vehicles this car had 4G LTE WiFi.  In a family car, we understand the value of that.  The rugrats can use the internet while you drive (at a cost).  In what is effectively a two-seater, it is less of an advantage.

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Our test vehicle also had a head-up display.  This is one of the best in the industry and can be adjusted for location, brightness, and content.

Overall

The 2016 Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe has the looks, attitude, sounds, and vibe of a powerful sports car.  Even with the V6 and automatic transmission the Camaro is a very capable, fun car to drive, and it’s an easy car to recommend.

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And then we’d follow that with,  “get the small-block V8 engine.”

On the other hand, if you have a winter vehicle, and are planning to use this 2016 Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe as a daily commuter and daily driver it can fill that role. Just be sure to consider the Camaro’s options.

Search for a 2016 Camaro LT here on BestRide.com!

2016 Chevy Camaro 2LT Coupe

Base price: $29,800

Price as tested, $39,940 including $995 destination charge:  

Options:

RS Package $1,950

3.6L V6 Engine $1,495

Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission W/ Remote Start $1,495

Dual Mode Exhaust $895

Bright Yellow Paint $395

20″ Wheels $100 (Odd option charge since it is also part of the RS Package)

License Plate Bracket – Front $15

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John Goreham

John Goreham