Before I tell you why the 2000 Camaro Z28 is the best car out there, I think you would like to know why I consider myself qualified to do so. I have owned a: Mercedes SL500 (V8 engine), Chevrolet Corvette (V8 engine), Camaro coupe (V6 engine), Cadillac STS (V8 engine), Ford Explorer (V6 engine), and a couple of older-model cars that can't really be compared. All of them were automatic transmissions. There. I am experienced.
Before I bought the Z28, I shopped around A LOT. I checked out a: Mustang, TransAm, 3000GT, and many others. I HIGHLY SUGGEST you do the same--start with the Z28, and all others seem inferior! Please do not just take my advice. Test drive a Z28 and you will absolutely fall in love. I will not bad-mouth the other cars I drove, because they are all fine cars. A Trans Am is practically the same as the Camaro Z28. However, I liked the Z28 better. Test drive them both and see what you think.
I have only had my Z28 for a short while, but it is much better than any other car I have owned. Simply stated, it is extremely cool. Although the V6 engine can beat out almost any other V6 on the road, it just can't be compared to a Z28. The Z28 can fly off the line, leaving a Mercedes SL500 in the dust. True, the SL500 will eventually catch up, and it will beat the Z28 in a quarter mile. But, who is going to go about 100MPH for a quarter mile, on regular roads? Furthermore, highway accelerations, when the driver punches the car into the next gear, can be scary at first. The Camaro coupe, V6, would accelerate hard when floored on the highway, but the Z28 is...wow. The driver is pinned back in his or her seat, and the red-lining, roaring engine blocks out any other outside noise.
In addition to being fast, which I think I have made clear, it is fun and enjoyable to drive. ON DRY ROADS, it hugs the ground like no other--very little rear drift. I highly recommend traction control. The engine is so powerful, that even a 4000 RPM acceleration may induce a fishtail. Even dry roads contain loose stones, sand, and other things that normally wouldn't seem slippery, but are. BE CAREFUL EVERYWHERE! The suspension is very stiff, which I love, but many hate. The muffled booms of the suspension may give some people headaches, but it really makes it seem like a stock car. The steering and brakes are extremely stiff. Again, test drive one and see if you like it that way.
Some people complain about the gas consumption, interior storage space, or difficulties in entering or exiting the vehicle. IT'S A SPORTS CAR!!! People who do not want to hear a dominant-sounding roar when they start the engine, people who do not want to feel the V8 engine rumble at a stoplight, people who will be uncomfortable falling in and climbing out of the car, people who do not want SUV headlights shining directly in their eyes, people who do not want to be looked at as they accelerate hard in their T-top (which I highly recommend), and people who want to store all their hurricane supplies in their car, will be disappointed. The gas issue is a tough one. If you buy a $150,000 SL600, you can't complain about the extra $5 you pay at the pump. However, if you buy a $30,000 Z28, it can get expensive. Where I live, premium gas--which is essential for the Z28--costs about $2.20 per gallon. In a 16 gallon tank, that is expensive. Also, they say that the Camaro Z28 will get a little less than 20 miles per gallon. Um...no. It will get a lot less than 20 miles per gallon. In the winter, if you plan on driving it in the winter, that may be true. Hard accelerations are impossible. Although the traction control is great, it is a 300 horsepower V8 engine that will slip in any wet condition. However, in the summer, hard accelerations are a must, and that requires lots of gas. I figured out that in the summer, I average 12 miles per gallon.
Anyway, the interior is perfectly designed. There is enough space to hold a cool pair of shades, some gum, maps, CDs, and some other small things. The trunk is surprisingly large. When the T-tops are on the car and the rear seat is folded down, the trunk can just barely hold a full-sized bicycle! I recommend leather seats. It will get hot in the summer, but the air conditioner is so powerful, that it sufficiently cools in a matter of minutes--and being a little hot for a couple of minutes is WELL WORTH the appearance of T-tops and leather seats.
I got my Z28 fully loaded. The 500 watt stereo system is amazing, power everything is great, and chrome wheels, especially with a silver exterior, look as sharp as can be. Discuss all the options with a qualified dealer and decide which are right for you. I recommend the T-tops. They are quiet, easy to remove and put back on, and they look cool from the inside (and outside) when on the car. This is my complete belief, not supported by any safety info--the T-tops feel safer than a convertible. I find it hard to believe that one reinforced windshield will hold up a 3500 lb car in the event of a roll-over. Well, discuss the options. If you don't want the best stereo system, don't get it. It's extra money you don't need to spend.
Overall, I love my car. It's just the feel of it that makes it stand out from the rest. I keep repeating this, but it's the only thing you really should do. Test drive everything. There's no cost to test drive a car, so test drive them all!
If I left anything out, I'm sorry, but there's so many wonderful things about the Z28, that it's hard to think of them all! Test drive one and you'll see what I mean.
Thanks for reading! I hope I was helpful.
Opinion Additions as of July 8, 2000:
Hi everybody, I remembered a couple of other things that you might want to read about.
Before, I told you about traction control, which I think is a necessity, even on dry pavement. I heard people talking about the Camaro traction control, saying how they hated how it engaged. When it goes on, the accelerator is forced upward to reduce gas flow to the engine. I don't mind it, but that issue might prevent people from buying the car or ultimately make them regret their $30,000 purchase.
I recently read some reviews that criticized Camaro's interior design. They say that the front driver cup holder is not of adequate size and in a poor position. They dislike the little storage space and tiny back seat. I have an automatic, but I have driven a manual. I have to agree that, when driving stick, the front driver cup holder is a nuisance. To shift, I would have to reach over the cup. However, there are three other cup holders in the car. The passenger's is close enough for the driver to use, and the rear ones only require a little flexibility of the driver's right arm. Furthermore, the small back seat doesn't seem to be a problem for me or my family and friends. The small bucket seats comfortably fit two children. I have a large, athletic friend, and he barely squeezed into the back, so it is possible for adults to fit in the back. I heard a joke, but it's really true--not everybody has the same size bucket--but that doesn't seem to be much of a problem. Finally, I previously addressed the subject of interior storage space. All I have to say is that a Camaro is not a luxury sedan, however, certain dimensions may surprise you.... The 2000 Camaro brochure says that a coupe (not convertible) has 12.9 cu.ft. of space with the rear seat up, and 32.8 cu.ft. of space with the rear seat folded down (which is real easy to do). A Cadillac STS, according to <www.cadillac.com/seville/index.htm> has 15.7 cu.ft. of space in the trunk. Enough said.
To end these revisions, I would like to call your attention to the sport appearance package. With ground effects and all the other cool-looking stuff, it really adds a lot to the look of the car. Camaro ground effects make the car look more streamlined, closer to the ground, and more like its potential of being a race car. Anyway, the sport appearance package also includes a raised rear spoiler. My V6 Camaro did not have such a high rear spoiler, and rear-mirror visibility was fine. My V8 has the raised spoiler, and I have to be honest--I only get about half of my mirror's possible visibility. Before I bought the V8, I test drove a convertible, and its rear visibility was about the same as the V8 with the higher spoiler. In addition, instead of a rear-passenger window, as you know, there is a solid area. When that is coupled with the reduced rear visibility, there is a fairly large right-side blind spot. It takes some getting used to, but I honestly don't mind it. If you are constantly aware of your surroundings, checking your mirrors to see who's behind you, approaching you, etc., that blind spot shouldn't be a big problem.