2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 Review

Photography by: ©2016 Toni Avery

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 lower grille badge

Since inception, the Chevrolet Camaro has enjoyed decades of hardcore Bowtie aficionados taking to the streets in perfect factory examples or modified marvels. With the exception of a lapse in production, the Camaro has given Mustang and Challenger owners and fans some tough competition.

The 2016 model year is no exception. With a completely redesigned exterior, interior and all-new lightweight platform, upgraded infotainment and the first-ever implementation of a four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the new Chevrolet Camaro offers so much more to buyers than just brute muscle.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 engine

This Camaro is equipped with a 3.6 L V6 producing 335 HP and 284 lb-ft of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with stopping power provided by optional Brembo brakes.

I have to give it to Chevrolet for taking advantage of a small segment where competitors like Ford haven’t bothered to invest. The 3.6 L V6 motor in the Camaro is now an optional step up from the standard turbo-charged four-cylinder and is significantly more powerful than Ford’s rental fleet V6. Just to give you an idea of how much more powerful, Ford’s Ecoboost turbo four pumps out more power (10 more HP) than the six. Here is where Chevy swoops in by seizing an opportunity to offer buyers the option of a much more satisfying V6 than Ford has.

And satisfying it is. While it may not sound or behave like the incredible V8 I had an opportunity to take for a short spin, it does provide just enough ear satisfying, grin inducing fun to make the $1495 option price worth it.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 gear shift

It’s a high-revving engine with redline at 7,000 RPM and power coming in at @6800 RPM with torque kicking in at @5300 RPM. While it goes from 0-60 MPH in 5.1 seconds, it doesn’t feel quick as much as it does fast at higher speeds. I enjoyed winding it up to redline to hear that distinctive exhaust noise.

While the new eight-speed automatic transmission this Camaro was equipped with wasn’t objectionable, I feel as though this engine might be better suited with a manual transmission. The beefier V8 does pair well with the eight-speed auto I took for a short run.

The RS comes equipped with three drive modes to customize your driving experience. Tour Mode is used in normal city and highway driving to provide a smooth ride. Sport Mode is selected for a more responsive experience. The car will shift higher in the rev range (when in full auto), and the steering will provide more precise control. Other changes are also possible if the car is equipped with Magnetic Ride Control or Active Exhaust. Snow/Ice Mode is for use in slippery driving conditions when more traction is needed. Acceleration adjusts to provide a smoother launch and the transmission will shift differently to assist in maintaining traction.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 drive modes

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 Brembo brakes

The electric power steering offers much more road feel than its close competitor, the Ford Mustang. While it really depends on your driving preference, the amount of road feel mixed with ease of turning makes for a very engaging driving experience. It’s a nice handling car with just enough finesse and muscle to satisfy most any general enthusiast.

You can definitely feel the weight difference between the 2016 and 2015 model Camaro. The V6 is even lighter than the V8 while you can feel its 3469 lb. curb weight (manual) when powering around town. And coming to a stop is immediate with an aggressive bite thanks to the optional heavy-duty cooling and brake package featuring Brembo brakes.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 rear 2

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 front end detail

The exterior of the Camaro features some RS specific upgrades including 20” wheels and run flat tires, HID headlamps with LED signature, LED tail lights, unique front grilles, and rear spoiler, all finished in Bright Yellow paint.

While I was a fan of the previous body style I do have to say that the updated styling is refreshed, modern and very much in line with the Mustang’s major refresh. The front end is by far my favorite angle on this car while looking down the side brings you back to the Camaro’s heritage.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 interior

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 apple car play

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 interior front

Inside the Camaro is an all black interior with Convenience and Lighting Package specific features including illuminated sill plates, interior lighting spectrum, wireless charging, 8” driver infotainment center, head-up display and Apple Car Play.

The interior of the 2015 Camaro I tested was disappointing at best. I would have rather have been a driver than a passenger in the previous car simply due to the fact that the interior wasn’t much to look at and as a driver you aren’t looking around inside. In the 2016 car, I could happily be a passenger or driver. The upgrades are significant and in the right direction. Fit and finish is excellent, materials are miles better, overall appearance is significantly improved and the infotainment system is the most needed change from 2015.

Apple Car Play is a great system that is operated through your Apple phone. The screen acts as an iPad with touch capabilities, music streaming, navigation through Maps and even text dictation. The standard system without Apple Car Play in use seems to operate substantially better than last years. And the Bose sound system plays crisp, clear quality music.

Even with all the interior improvements, the back seats are near impossible to get to. Yoga might be in order just to successfully get to the back without pulling something. While all four seats are comfortable, the back is quite cramped if you have anyone over 5’ 8” in front and if you are over that height as well in back.

The trunk offers deep storage with plenty of room for a long getaway or just a big Target run.

The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is an overall improved car with upgraded materials, updated styling and handling, and a lighter performance oriented platform. I look forward to testing other engine configurations and variants of the Camaro in the near future.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6:

Base Price: $29,800

Options

convenience & Lighting Package (memory drivers seat & outside mirrors, sill plate

illumination, lighting interior spectrum,power outside mirror & driver side auto dimming,

wireless charging, rear park assist, rear cross traffic alert, driver infotainment center,

side blind zone alert w/ lane change alert, head-up display, heated steering wheel)

RS Package (20″ aluminum wheels w/ run flat tires, HID headlamps w/ LED signature,

LED tail lamps, unique front grilles, rear spoiler) 

3.6 L V6 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, Exhaust dual mode performance,

heady duty cooling & brake package (Brembo), Bright Yellow paint, 

front license plate bracket 

Price with Options: $39,430

Destination Charge: $995

Total Price: $40,425

Fuel Economy: 19 City, 28 Highway, 23 Combined 

 GirlsDriveFastToo gives the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 an overall rating of (out of 5 total):

3.5 helmets

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5 comments on “2016 Chevrolet Camaro RS V6 Review
  1. For the record, I love the work you do. Every car should have a review like this. Here is my current situation. I am hard pressed between the V6 Camaro, Challenger and Mustang. The Camaro’s 335 HP and exhaust note are currently swaying me in that direction, along with the rave reviews. My biggest concern is visibility and size. More so visibility. Of the three, is the Camaro ahead, behind, or average? I test drove a V6 Camaro with dual mode performance exhaust, which is why I probably quickly forgot about the V6 Mustang I test drove minutes before. Is there a noticeable difference between the performance exhaust and the stock exhaust? I only found 2 Camaros with this feature across 10 different dealerships. I am wondering if not having it is a deal breaker. Also, when you say power comes in at 6,800 RPM should that concern me or is that typical of every sports car? Thanks for the feedback. Looking forward to your next review.

    • Hello,

      Thanks for reading my work! Your question is a great one. I just did a video review of the SRT 392 Challenger (written to come later this week) where I spoke a little about the key differences between the three cars (V8 not V6). My question for your is, what is your reasoning behind a V6 vs. V8? Cost?
      Yes, you are right about the V6 Mustang. It’s a rental fleet, base car and I wouldn’t recommend one. If you are sticking with a V6, I’d say the Camaro is a good choice. I have not tested a V6 Challenger, so I can’t say if that would be a good choice or not. If you love the Mustang, I’d go with a 4 or 8. The 4 has more power than the 6.
      I always try to opt for whatever sport exhaust is available on a car. I’d say go for that.
      When I said power comes in at 6,800 RPM that doesn’t mean every sports car is like that. If you look at other reviews on my site it varies depending on the car. What is the reason that would be a concern for you?
      I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing which you choose!

      • Thanks for the quick response. Yes, the reason I’m going with the V6 is mainly due to cost (insurance, fuel consumption, overall price) since this car will be my daily driver. I think for a V6 the Camaro gives you the best bang for your buck. The only thing holding me back now is finding a Camaro with all of the features I want (1LT, Auto V6, performance exhaust). In a perfect world it’d also have a black racing stripe, black rims, black emblems, and Bose speakers. Which, by some chance of luck, just happened to be the exact car I test drove minus my blackout obsession (1LT, Auto V6, performance exhaust, Bose speakers). It wasn’t until I got home and searched through 10 dealerships that I found out this was only 1 of 2 cars with these features and it also had Bose speakers. As much as I wanted to like the V6 Challenger (for its appearance and cost) it just didn’t have that wow factor once you got behind the wheel like the 335 HP Camaro. The V8 might be a different story, but I think the Camaro is the only exception that can be made for a V6 of those three. Do you have an idea of what changes Chevy will make for the 2017 Camaro? Thanks for the help.

      • The best advice I can give for getting exactly what you want is to order your car. If you are under time constraints, I can understand that, but take it from someone has ordered before. Dealers will always try to get you to purchase what’s on the lot. Have you tried the manual Camaro?

      • Yes they will and they did, but I have no regrets. I am still adjusting to the paddle shifters. My only disappointment was there’s no 0-60 timer? Or maybe I just haven’t found it yet. But as far as I can tell there is only a manual timer that doesn’t even display tenths of a second. Not to mention when I get to 60 a notification pops up saying “performance shifting activated” so I can’t stop the timer anyway. Other than that I’m very happy with it. The 1LT has pretty much all I need and I got the Bose speakers and performance exhaust (still haven’t driven one without performance exhaust so I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes). Any tips on using the paddle shifters? I have never driven manual in my life (to answer your previous question). Thanks for all of your help!

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