CHEVY GIVES 6TH GENERATION CAMARO CONVERTIBLE A REFRESHING FOR 2019
With the demise of brands like Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, and, earlier, Hudson and AMC, the number of Muscle Car makes on the market today falls considerably short from their hey day of the 1960s and early 1970s.
Fortunately, Chevrolet resurrected a charter member of the genre when it brought back its Camaro for 2010 after ending production following the 2002 model year.
The present Camaro represents the sixth generation of the renown coupe/convertible with the 2019 model getting a mid-cycle refreshing that includes new front-end styling, new rear fascia that features LED taillamps, a new 20-inch wheel design, a 10-speed automatic transmission in place of the previous 8-speed, an updated infotainment system with an 8-inch screen, and revised ambient lighting.
Chevy offers it in several trims and either a turbo 4-cylinder, V6 or V8 power starting at just under $26,000 and running into the $60,000 bracket for the top ZL1 performance model.
This review is limited to the 2019 Chevy Camaro 2SS Convertible that carries a base price of $48,995 (including destination and delivery) plus another $1,595 for the automatic transmission for a bottom line of $50, 590.
That puts the 2SS version at the high end of the portfolio, but it carries a lot of nice features that come as standard. About the only thing missing was a navigation system, but with Waze and other apps available on Smart phones, factory-installed navigation is becoming less and less worth the extra cost.
Powering the Camaro 2SS Convertible is a 6.2-liter, V8 engine rated at 455 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 455 pound-feet of torque at 4400. The automatic transmission drinks recommended premium fuel at the rate of 16 miles-per-gallon city, 27 highway which is very close to the manual numbers of 16/25.
An official zero-to-60 time from Chevy isn’t available, but Motor Trend reported a clocking of 4.1 seconds, or about a half-second or so slower than the top ZL1 model.
Standard features for the 2SS include the 20-inch, bright silver painted aluminum wheels, performance suspension, drive mode selection (tour, sport, track, snow/ice), Brembo performance brakes, HID headlights with LED signature lighting, keyless open and start, dual zone climate control, premium Bose sound system, memory seating, illuminated sill plates, and safety equipment that includes rear park assist and rear cross-traffic alert, HD rear vision camera, and lane change and blind spot warning.
Lowering and raising the top is basically a one-finger operation. You do have to have the trunk divider in place before lowering, but it automatically latches in place when closing.
Connectivity systems on the 2SS model include Chevy’s 3-Plus infotainment system with 8-inch diagonal screen, 4G LTE hotspot, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and, as is customary on GM products, OnStar services.
SiriusXM Satellite radio capability also is included with a subscription fee after 12 months.
Driving the Camaro 2SS Convertible with that V8 power under the hood is a kick, and the ride is unusually civilized for its segment. Even when in Sport mode, it is comfortable and not unbearingly stiff, even for picky riders.
What I liked about the 2019 Chevy Camaro 2SS Convertible: Being able to lower the top by pressing a button on the key fob is a nice feature. It allows you to air out the interior on a hot day. I like it much better than being able to start the engine by pushing another button. Also, this is the first vehicle that I have been able to see the “head-up” display while wearing polarized sunglasses. Infotainment features are plentiful and intuitive to operate.
What I didn’t like about the 2019 Chevy Camaro 2SS Convertible: The backseat is pretty much useless, and the trunk is small even by convertible standards. When the top is down, the available storage is more like a glove box than a trunk. The interior has a lot of hard surfaces and could use some upgrading. Visibility with the top up is restricted.
Would I buy the 2019 Chevy Camaro 2SS Convertible? Yes! And I would stick for the V8 version. If you are going to get a Muscle Car, you need to get a vehicle that matches the description.