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clan0013 06-29-2009 08:16 PM

Review of my Camaro SS (Rental from Avis)
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On Saturday I rented a Victory Red Camaro SS from Avis at the San Jose International Airport in California. It was a little over $175 total for the 24 hours I had it. Well worth the money for the ultimate test drive experience. I recommend anyone who hasn't placed an order yet to rent one first. It might make you change your mind about whether to buy an SS or an LT, or help decide on other features.

Overall, I'd say the SS was a blast to drive. The thing I liked the best about it was how comfortable the driving experience was. The leather seats were soft, it handled well on older freeway pavement (even at 130 mph), and it was really quite (when the radio was turned off). The thing I liked least was the limited visibility. I felt unconfortable backing out of parking spots since the rear glass is not much bigger than a port hole and the rear pillars are a huge blind spot. Even lane changing on the freeway is a bit uncomfortable, since the side windows are so short and the side mirrors are so small over all. I currently drive a Hummer H3, which has low profile windows as well, but at least I sit up higher so I have more visibility than the Camaro.

The SS's 426 horsepower was certainly a lot of fun to play around with, but given the current speed limits of most freeways, within 6 to 7 seconds of the gas pedal mashed to the ground and your already well qualified for a speeding ticket. A few more seconds and you could have your license revoked. I was in the 100 to 130 mph mark several times this weekend, but only for short spurts. I like my clean driving record. As much as I'd like to have unlimited power, which is really what you have with the SS, I'm not convinced that the $6300+ extra dollars you need to spend to get the SS over the LT is really worth it. Not that you don't get a signifiant power boost with the SS over the LT, you do, but how frequently are you really going to use it? Other benifits of owning a LT over an SS are, better fuel economy, the ability to use regular vs. premium gas, cheaper oil changes, and the ability to order a spare tire and engine block heater (if you live in a cold climate).

I know I probably sound like a big ***** with what's written above, but hey, I'm also trying to be practicle as well.

On other aspects of the Camaro...

- The bluetooth phone calling feature is really cool, I must have called 10 people and said, "hey guess what I'm driving right now?". It sounded like the person I was talking to was right in the car with me and they had no problems hearing me.

- The sunroof was small and the opening (fully opened) was even smaller. You really only get a half of a sunroof. With that said, it's noisey at speeds over 40 mph. Same thing goes for the window. As soon as I hit 50 with the windows down I started to get a loud buffeting noise. Basically anytime I started to enter a freeway, I rolled the windows up and closed the sunroof.

Well, that was my opinion. Now go out and rent one for yourself and develope your own opinions. The Avis I went to had 2 SSs and 10 LTs, and that's just what I saw on the lot, there may have been more that were currently being rented. If other Avis locations have as many as San Jose, then Avis must own half of all Camaros currently built!

Take Care!


Indpowr 06-29-2009 08:18 PM

Fun, but still rather have the V8

ljustin293 06-29-2009 08:20 PM

very cool~ :thumbsup: thanks for the review

Rob Vega 06-29-2009 09:13 PM

you know the visibility problem is good to know. but when you are used to driving coupes and small cars you get used to the visibility:readthethread::coolpics:

jdbaker82 06-29-2009 09:34 PM

Joe thanks for the write up I really like it, I like you have rented one from Avis but only the LT is available. I got to drive it for an entire weekend and it was a blast. This past weekend I got to drive the SS but only for a quick "ride and drive" at Carlisle car show so I did not really get to "drive" it only got to get on it up a small hill just enough to shift into 2nd gear.....

Have you drove the LT? If not you should go test one and tell me what you think of the differences... From what I felt of the V8 it was impressive with torque but not quite as much as I was expecting... but then again I did not really get to drive it.

clan0013 06-30-2009 12:14 AM

I actually originally reserved a LT on the Avis website, because they were not showing that they had SSs at the San Jose Airport. When I got there to pick up the LT, I saw 2 different SSs, and asked if I could have one of those instead. The Avis dude said that it would be no problem to make the switch, but that they'd have to charge me $20 more. I told him, make it $15 and we'd have a deal. He said, "OK".

Yeah, now that I've driven a SS, I'd like to drive an LT to compare the two. Although, I'm pretty sure what it's going to be like...same basic car, but with a little less acceleration. The SS emblems are pretty small on the inside, so it's not blatantly obvious that your in an SS visually. Even the rear of the car is extremely similar from a distance, if it's an SS/RS or LT/RS. You have to be pretty close to notice the size difference of the exhaust pipes or the fact that the rear emblem says SS versus RS.

Another observation I made of the SS...the hood scoop is fake. That was hard for me to belive.

JewelZ 06-30-2009 12:26 AM

I'm doing something similar probably weds. almost around a month left to go, I can't take it anymore... I gotta rent one! $100 is worth driving it around for a day...

bobby35ny 06-30-2009 01:11 AM

Wait till Avis start dumping the cars on the used market, boy are we in for it, LOL


Vash 06-30-2009 01:13 AM

There is no way I would buy an Avis. At first I thought it would be good to save money. But since every person wants to do performance driving they are gonna be so much more dogged than the typical one owner ride.

tom_vilsack 06-30-2009 01:21 AM

How can you compare a SS to a LT when you have not yet driven a LT.....

OrangeCruSSh 06-30-2009 08:12 AM

I have rented from Avis 2x now both were 1LT (SIM & RY). I definitely got a feel for the car. And ditto to what Vash said. There is no way I would buy a Camaro from Avis since I'm sure everyone really "tested" it. I was informed yesterday that they put some sort of monitoring box in the car to determine how you drove it...needless to say I'm sure Avis will never let me rent from them again! LOL Just beware fellow Camaro lovers...Big brother (Avis) is monitoring your driving habits so don't drive it too over the top.

maguilar496 06-30-2009 08:41 AM

it tells you on your paperword that they have a gps in the car.
i rented a SS this weekend too.

jdbaker82 06-30-2009 08:56 AM


Originally Posted by Vash (Post 633691)
There is no way I would buy an Avis. At first I thought it would be good to save money. But since every person wants to do performance driving they are gonna be so much more dogged than the typical one owner ride.

I already inquired about this possibility... Avis never sells the cars used they ship em back to GM.

Rockies4 06-30-2009 08:59 AM

Thanks for the review, Joe.


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