After spending 500 miles behind the wheel of a new 2016 Camaro, we were impressed with quite a bit about the car. But, what really stood out were the improvements Chevrolet made to the interior. Both the quality of materials and technical touches makes it something special indeed.
When the fifth-gen came out, the interior was several levels better than what was in the fourth-gen, but it wasn’t long before annoyances popped up. The first steering wheel was awful, the rearview mirror was clunky, and the cup holders were poorly placed in the manual transmission equipped models. As the fifth-gen evolved, GM fixed everything except the cup holders. Well, they finally addressed this minor annoyance in the sixth-gen Camaro. Is that nitpicking? Yeah, but it was a pain to shift with anything in the cup holder, so we’re glad for the change.
The new steering wheel is also a nice size, and the D shape provides for extra leg clearance. The rest of the interior was very carefully thought out in terms of ergonomics, but more importantly the Camaro now has many of the technical tidbits from the Corvette, so you no longer have to feel like you “settled for a Camaro.”
The whole car is filled with tech, and we thought we would cover some of the cool bells and whistles available on new Camaro.
The interior is available in five color choices, but no matter what you choose you’ll find that everything from the stitching to the material choices are equal to, or better than, what was in the 2015 Camaro. GM also tweaked the ergonomics quite a bit, especially for the driver.
The lighting package option is pretty cool and includes doorsills that light up with the Camaro logo.
The Interior Spectrum Lighting system offers 24 different ambient lighting effects on the door panels, dash, and center console cup holders. It’s just one of the many ways to customize your new Camaro. They even have a “car show” mode for when the vehicle is parked.
The main display screen is high-def and ours measured out at 8 inches. The surface is high gloss, so it slants back and downward to prevent glare. The navigation system was easy to use and could be programed by hand, by voice, or by calling OnStar and having them download the destination into the nav system. Navigation instructions can also be displayed on the main dash and HUD.
We really liked the dash display and how the designers laid everything out. The bezels for the air vents are also the controls for temperature, which was clever. We were also happy to see the cooled seat option was brought over from the Corvette. The center console also had padded knee braces to help the driver and passenger hold steady during hard turning.
The D-shaped steering wheel was the perfect size and the control buttons were all laid out intuitively.
Like the C7 Corvette, the 2016 Camaro has a configurable LCD dash screen. This made it easy to set the car up for cruising, track, or just to suit our mood at the moment. There’s also a gear indicator just like the Corvette has.
Lap timers, performance timers, and a cool Friction Bubble that shows g-forces in every direction, shows Chevrolet knows some of their customers will be hitting the track. We messed with the dash for quite some time and we’re sure we didn’t find all the cool stuff it could do.
The full-color high-definition heads-up display (HUD) had lots of different settings and offered navigational directions as well. We thought it was a bit easier to see in bright sun compared to the Corvette, maybe due to the windshield angle.
Finally! One of our pet peeves with the higher-end fifth-gen Camaros (like the ZL1) was the lack of memory settings for the seats. Given how many seat adjustments there are, nothing was more frustrating than someone moving your seat after you had it adjusted perfectly. We also thought it would be nice to be able to set up dual positions; one for street driving and one for the track.
One of the best things about the new Corvette was its Rev Matching option and we’re happy to announce that it’s on the new 2016 as well. For those of us that like manual transmissions, it just makes life easier and we drove with it engaged even on the street. When it’s on, the gear indicator on the dash will be orange instead of white.
When we explored the back seat area of the Camaro (still small like the fifth-gen) we found this cool bit of tech. An induction charging system for devices such as phones. Yep, no charging cord, just place the compatible item on the pad and it charges. Now this is the type of tech we were promised in Back To The Future!
GM worked with Apple and Google to offer CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility in the new Camaro. Our car had the 8-inch version of the MyLink so it seamlessly paired up with our iPhone. They are still working on the Android stuff, so expect it later in the year and it should be cool since it’s built around many apps like Google Maps, Google Now, and other Android favorites. Even cooler is that the car has its own 4G LTE WiFi system.