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2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS Update 3: Burning Rubber

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/9/2016 Motor Trend Staff
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2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS rear three quarter in motion 02© Motor Trend Staff 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS rear three quarter in motion 02

At roughly 11,300 miles (just 4,200 miles after its first service), the Camaro SS was showing a conspicuous lack of rubber on its tires, especially the rears. You see, when I'm not driving "my" Camaro, the rest of the staff are welcome to it, I welcome the miles being added, and I welcome hearing their perspective/experience. There are, however, more than a handful of drivers at Motor Trend who are capable of sideways antics in a powerful rear-wheel-drive car and still more who know a thing or two about burnouts, so let's just say "our" Camaro is a well-loved member of the MT extended family that reaches farther and wider than the magazine itself. You might have seen Carlos Lago driving it in one of his Daily Fix videos on Motor Trend OnDemand. And as Jonny Lieberman's mantra goes, "We hate tires."

At about the same time, the left rear rubber collected a small screw and was losing about 5 psi each day, causing it to sit while we were all traveling. In an effort to nurse it along until new tires arrived, I took it to a tire shop for a patch. It turns out reputable tires shops won't patch or plug a run-flat with as little rubber as the Camaro's tires were showing. Luckily, there's an air compressor at either end of my commute. That said, our friends at Tire Rack sent us a new set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric RunOnFlat tires ($879.96 retail). We had them mounted and high-speed balanced locally for $112 (including the $3/tire recycling charge). That's a Hamilton away from 10 Benjamins in tires in just eight months. The timing for new tires couldn't have been better, as fall has finally arrived in the chaparral we call home. That occasionally means rain-slicked streets. And after so long without it, the first rains pick up all the collected oil and grime before it runs off. Fresh rubber indeed helps.

Updating the fuel log, we've not a seen a miserly tankful in months. One was just 11 mpg, and the resulting running average has dropped from 16.7 mpg down to 16.4, or still at the EPA's city estimate. I once managed to drive slightly more than 30 miles after the low-fuel warning illuminated with an indicated 30-mile range. Although that cautionary lie is intended to keep you from thumbing a ride, I had another 25 or so miles left—as I discovered when I put 17.587 gallons in the tank. Good to know. By the way, at $3.15/gallon for premium in Southern California, that transaction cost $55.40, resetting the highest-priced fill up.

After bouncing from car to car to SUV to truck these past few months with Best Driver's Car and all three Of The Year contests held back to back, I came back to notice a few things I wish were better about the Camaro SS. Besides the blasted 1-4 skip-shift I've already cursed (and at least one reader considers a bog-inducing safety hazard), I've come to terms with putting my seat belt on with the door open, but I wish there were a handle on the underside of the dirty trunklid. The lack of easily accessible places for small stuff is sometimes inconvenient, too. Door pockets are too shallow and too far aft to be of any use beyond holding a spare pen, and the cupholders are often occupied with a coffee tumbler and a mobile phone, so that leaves no place for much else, such as a garage remote, house keys, wallet, key card, etc., besides the little center console or the glove box. Also, due to the prolonged, hot summer, our HVAC was rarely used for heat, perhaps causing a bit of a musty smell coming from the vents.

Yet wear and tear at this point in our Camaro's time with us has been commendable. It's even been drafted into carpool duty, hauling three semi-responsive seventh-graders to and from school; they all appreciate the in-car Wi-Fi (naturally) but little else about the car. There have been no electronic gremlins haunting the MyLink system or display. Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth audio work great. The seats show no signs of undue degradation or discoloration. The shifter and clutch operate just like they did from day one. The engine and brakes feel as strong as always, so other than a door panel that buzzes in sympathy with certain bass frequencies on the stereo, the Camaro still feels and sounds showroom fresh—especially shod with new Goodyears.

More on our long-term 2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS here:

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