When the initial reviews of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro were released, there were some complaints about the interior of the new muscle car. As the vehicles hit showrooms, public opinion honed in on the interior of the 6th generation Camaro. However, after spending a week driving the new Camaro 1LT convertible, I believe that the critics of the 6th gen car were too harsh in their judgment of the cockpit. In my view, the interior of the 2016 Camaro is exceptionally well-designed.
My Test Car
Before diving into my thoughts on the interior, let’s take a brief look at the test car I drove. The car was a 2016 Camaro 1LT Convertible equipped with the RS package, the Technology Package, unique wheels, and a strip package. The total price, including the optional V6 engine, the standard 6-speed manual transmission, destination fees, and the mentioned options, came to $39,405. It’s worth noting that the convertible feature increases the price by around $7,000, and a 2016 Camaro 1LT coupe with the same features as the convertible I drove has an MSRP of $31,510 including destination and options.
Price aside, I want to highlight that the 2016 Camaro I drove for a week was a base model, with the only interior upgrades being the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and a Bose 9-speaker sound system. Everything else was standard for the base model car.
First and foremost, let’s discuss the interior space of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT. The seats are upholstered in black cloth with contrasting light grey inserts and stitching. The driver’s seat features 8-way power adjustments, while the passenger seat has 6-way adjustments. Being 5’10”, I found the best clutch pedal control when I positioned the driver’s seat approximately halfway through its range. This means that both shorter and taller drivers should have no trouble finding a comfortable seating position with easy access to all of the vehicle controls. To test this, I had my 5’1″ wife and a 6’4″ friend sit in the driver’s seat, and in both cases, they were able to adjust the seat to their liking, ensuring that the pedals, steering wheel, and other controls were within reach.
Moving on, headroom is not an issue when the convertible top is down. However, during my time with the 2016 Camaro, I experienced various weather conditions, including snow and temperatures ranging from the 30s to the low 70s. With the top up, I had ample headroom, but it’s worth mentioning that I am only 5’10”. When my 6’4″ friend sat in the driver’s seat with the top up and the seat adjusted the same way, he found that his head was a little too close to the top for comfort. However, by adjusting the other seat parameters, he managed to sit comfortably with access to all controls without his hair brushing against the inside of the retracting top.
Lastly, the back seat of the 2016 Camaro is as cramped as its predecessors or the 2016 Ford Mustang. While I could adjust the front seats to accommodate two adults in the rear seats, I found myself uncomfortably close to the steering wheel and pedals. Driving in this configuration was possible, but I wouldn’t recommend it for long road trips. In this scenario, both myself and the other passengers in the car were cramped and uncomfortable. It’s important to note that GM does not market the Camaro as a spacious vehicle for four near 6-foot tall adults. However, with my wife in the passenger seat and my child in the back seat, I was able to find a comfortable driving position while ensuring their comfort as well.
One issue I encountered, which is commonly brought up by readers, is the limited visibility at high angles, especially for taller drivers. While I am not a tall driver, I raised the seat to experience this problem firsthand. It became apparent that when being the first car at a red light around Metro Detroit, the traffic light housing would often be directly behind the top windshield support. With the top up, I had to lean down to see the stoplight, and with the top down, I had to look over the windshield frame. I faced a similar visibility challenge when trying to read street signs alongside the stoplights. However, this was only a significant issue in specific circumstances: being the first car at the light, with the top up, and with the seat adjusted higher than usual. While this can be a nuisance, the conditions in which it occurs are infrequent enough for me to refrain from overly complaining about the matter.
To summarize, the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is a sports car with a cockpit-like cabin design that wraps around the driver. It offers ample space for the driver and front passenger while maintaining a tight back seat. Regardless of your height, you should be able to find a comfortable driving position in the new Camaro, but you may not want to spend too much time with other adults seated in the back.
My 2016 Camaro 1LT was equipped with the $800 Technology Package, which includes the 8-inch touchscreen-based Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system and a premium 9-speaker Bose sound system. This infotainment package provides touchscreen access to the sound system, navigation system, hands-free phone system, and vehicle settings. There is a small panel of buttons and a single knob located just below the touchscreen to aid in controlling these functions. It’s important to note that individuals who dislike touchscreen technology may have reservations about the Camaro’s MyLink system, as it does require touchscreen interaction to fully utilize its capabilities. However, essential controls like volume, track/preset selection, and the Home button can be accessed via the control panel below the touchscreen or on the steering wheel.
In addition to track/preset selection, volume control, and cruise control buttons, the sporty, leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed steering wheel features controls for the driver information screen in the gauge cluster and a voice control button for the hands-free phone system. The driver information screen provides various readouts, including a digital speedometer, media information, and navigation commands. While it may not be as sophisticated as the cluster found in the Camaro SS, this gauge layout is visually appealing and well-suited for the base model Camaro.
Finally, although the heating and air conditioning system is not as advanced as in some other vehicles, I appreciate the unique functionality of the 2016 Camaro’s HVAC controls. Located at the bottom of the center stack, just below the infotainment screen and directly in front of the shifter, the climate control system interface consists of a row of simple buttons for fan direction, power, and front and rear defrost, along with two large knobs that also serve as the lower central air vents. Rather than having separate vents mounted higher up on the dash, the central vents are positioned low on the console. In addition to directing airflow, they control the interior temperature and fan speed. The outer ring of the driver’s side vent adjusts the desired temperature, while the passenger’s side vent controls the fan speed.
The interior of my 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1LT test car may not overwhelm you with the latest gadgets on the market. However, with the inclusion of the $800 Technology Package, it provides a significant array of features. This base model Camaro boasts a fantastic Bose speaker system, a premium touchscreen infotainment package, a comprehensive driver information screen in the gauge cluster, and convenient steering wheel controls for making adjustments without taking your hands off the wheel.
The 2016 Camaro 1LT offers ample space for the front passenger and all the high-tech amenities one would expect from a $30k car. Additionally, I truly appreciate the overall layout of the 6th gen Camaro’s cabin, with its clean black and silver accents.
I particularly like the refreshed dual-hump dash design of the 2016 Camaro, featuring two prominent analog gauges flanking the driver information screen. The flat dashboard layout positions the infotainment touchscreen conveniently to the right of the steering wheel, ensuring that the driver doesn’t have to divert their gaze too far from the road to glance at the navigation or radio screen. I appreciate how all the essential controls are within easy reach without requiring me to lean forward from the seat. With the top down, the dashboard design gives the interior a sleek appearance, accentuated by the compactness of the infotainment and HVAC systems.
Some critics may describe the 2016 Camaro’s interior as “plain,” but in reality, this car offers everything you could desire from a base model muscle car, packaged in an organized and elegant manner. The 2016 Camaro is proof that a well-appointed interior doesn’t have to be cluttered with buttons. Honestly, I can’t think of anything I would change about the cabin of GM’s latest muscle car.
For an in-depth review of my first drive experience in the 2016 Camaro 1LT Convertible with the V6 engine.