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2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Long-Term Update 4

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/31/2015 Scott Evans, Motor Trend Staff

A cursory reading of my previous updates will demonstrate I'm a big fan of the Camaro Z/28. In my experience, though, no car is perfect, and I've found a few things about the Z/28 that mildly annoy me.

The imperfection I think about most often is the lack of an exhaust mode control. The new Corvette has it, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn the new Camaro will have it, too. The Z/28 does not. If you want to hear that beautiful LS7 V-8 uncorked, you've got to be hard on the gas, and in a 500-hp car, that can get you into trouble quick. Although it makes freeway on-ramps a special occasion, I want to hear that sweet, sweet V-8 rumble and roar more often. There is a way to get those exhaust valves open manually, but it involves pulling a fuse in the trunk. That's not much to ask, but I don't want to run back and plug in the fuse every time I come home late or leave early. If I owned this car, the first thing I'd do is rig up a switch.

A sign of the devil; one of the most infuriating things you can see behind the wheel.© Provided by MotorTrend A sign of the devil; one of the most infuriating things you can see behind the wheel. The second thing I'd do is disable skip shift. Technically known as Computer Aided Gear Selection, or CAGS, it locks out second gear under light-throttle conditions and forces you to shift from first to fourth. It's been frustrating drivers of manual transmission Chevys (and some Fords and Mopars) for the better part of three decades, and it drives me insane. My wife is threatening to make me a shirt that reads "#$@!ing skip shift!" which is what I mutter every time it gets me. Before you suggest I just accelerate harder, recall that Motor Trend is headquartered in Los Angeles County, and sometimes that just isn't an option, though I've gotten pretty good at driving to avoid it. Like many, I hate it when a computer interferes with my control of the car unnecessarily, and skip shift is the epitome of this. The real rub is that skip shift exists to improve fuel economy on EPA testing just enough to dodge the gas guzzler tax, but the Z/28 gets such poor fuel economy it still gets hit with the tax. If I'm going to get hit with a $1,700 tax anyway, get this stupid thing out of my transmission. I'm seriously considering disabling it and apologizing to Chevrolet later.

Another frustration is the factory radio. It works fine for the most part, and the audio quality is perfectly decent, but it's got other issues. The user interface is clunky, particularly when pairing a phone. More frustrating is the outdated hardware and software. Like many such systems, its relationship with Bluetooth is rather primitive. As such, when I'm using navigation on my phone, it treats every voice command from Google Maps like a phone call. This would be fine except it takes a good 10-20 seconds after the computer voice has finished speaking for the stereo to end the call, and it does this after every single voice command. When you're trying to enjoy music, a podcast, talk radio, or what have you during your drive, this is immensely frustrating.

2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Long-Term Update 4

If the sun is at your side, just give up. The Camaro's visors are useless on the side windows.© Provided by MotorTrend If the sun is at your side, just give up. The Camaro's visors are useless on the side windows. Next on my list are the trunklid struts. Seems when Chevy engineers stuck that big, awesome wing on the back of the Z/28, no one thought about how much weight it would add. As a result, the standard helper struts are hopelessly outmatched, and it's very easy to slam the trunk lid very hard. Said wing, with optional wickerbill or Gurney flap extension installed, also blocks the entire lower half of the rear window, so the poor rearward visibility is even worse.

Speaking of the trunk, I'm also considering putting some grip tape in there. I appreciate the dedication to weight savings that lead to the removal of the trunk carpet, but I'm tired of my stuff sliding around on the slick plastic spare tire cover and slamming into bare metal.

A lesser but still irritating problem is a lack of USB ports. I don't regularly listen to music on my phone, and if I did, the aux jack in the center armrest would be fine. What I do is charge my phone, and it seems a little silly to be buying a cigarette lighter adapter for a brand-new car in 2015.

Last on the list is the balkiness of the transmission when cold. Until it heats up, the six-speed manual can be a little hard to get into gear and occasionally makes small grindy noises when going into them. Those always make me wince.

I'm sure this update comes off as whiny and nitpicky, but that's for good reason. In order to be objective, I have to tell you about the things I dislike about a car in addition to the things I like, and if this is all I can come up with, it should tell you something about just how good this car is.

More on our long-term Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 here:

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image 2015-Chevrolet-Camaro-Z28-front-three-quarter-in-motion-051© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Chevrolet-Camaro-Z28-front-three-quarter-in-motion-051
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