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Thread: my new ride! Full review!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gods Country, USA

    my new ride! Full review!

    well boys i bought a 2002 camaro z28 and im loving it!

    I bought the car in dallas texas at about noon yesterday and drove it clear though (nonstop besides gas and 1 macdonalds stop) to nebraska which was about a 10 hour drive, so needless to say i got to know the car pretty well.

    During this reivew i will mostly be comparing it to my first car (1996 honda accord coupe with intake/header/exhaust/chip/strut braces/new springs/50 shot nitrous), my old camaro (92 z28), my suburban (1997 350), and my friends 2001 bmw 330i. i have spent a lot of time behind the wheel of all three cars and i drove my buddies bimmer for about a year after he got a dui and he still wanted to take his car out and i became his driver haha. Also, i have done similar long distance drives in all three cars (8-12 hours) so im in a good position to compare them.

    1. Comfort. I was pretty worried about driving this new camaro all the way home because my old camaro beat you up so much while you were driving that you were usually exhausted after 5 hours but luckily i was wrong. the new camaro has much more comfortable seats and a much more forgiving ride, it was like night and day. At the end of the drive when i got home my fiance wanted to go on a ride and i jumped at the opportunity, and i wasn't sore or anything. The car soaked up the bumps pretty well, didn't dart or pitch with variations in the road, the controls are simple and easy.

    My major complaint is noise. its a pretty loud car so the exhaust noise did get a little tiresome after hour 6 or so, it wasn't nearly as bad as the old camaro but the bimmer was super quiet and the accord was quieter too.

    I used to drive the accord from Chico to Anaheim california pretty regularly when i went to school up there and I could do the drive in one sitting but by the time i was done i was sore as hell and i couldn't really do much more than stumble inside and fall asleep. I think a lot of it had to do with the constant upshifting and downshifting in the accord, and i could never really get my arms and legs in a comfortable position. Also keep in mind i was 19 then, and im 23 now so you'd think id be a little less picky about comfort in my younger years. So i give a big edge to the camaro vs the accord in comfort.

    In the bimmer my friend and i made the trip from san fran to anaheim and obviously the bimmer was more comfortable. however not as much as you would think. Im not saying the bimmer didn't give a great ride, im just saying that the camaro's ride was good enough to not give the bimmer a land slide. so i give the edge to the bimmer but not as big of an edge as i gave the camaro over the accord.

    Compared to my old camaro its night and day. the old camaro darted and pitched and rattled and shook and shimmied and did everything. driving that car long distance wasn't really like driving, it was more like wrestling. Landslide 02 camaro vs 92 camaro.

    However, the king of the road comfort wise is the suburban. The suburban first of all sits very high up, its got a couch-like bench seat, tons of room, it rides like a caddilac, soaks up every bump like they arent there, its very smooth. on a short trip(4 hours) the bimmer is prolly better than the subub, but in the long haul you cant beat the suburban. I have done the drive from nebraska to california about 8 or 9 times in the subub and i would never want to do it in ANY of the other cars ive owned.

    1st place Subub, 2nd place bimmer, 3rd place 02 camaro, 4th place accord, 5th place 02 camaro.

    2. Handling. I knew the handling would be pretty good (contrary to what everyone says on here all the magazine all said the 4gen camaro's handled pretty well) and it was about what i would expect.

    Compared to my old camaro, the new camaro is about the same. The old camaro actually handled like a dream, it could turn very sharply and was a very stiff car although it couldn't drive straight worth a damn. The new camaro is about the same handling wise but it can drive straight no problem. also, while the old camaro handled well in turns, heaven forbid there was ever a bump in the turn because it would send the camaro darting to the left or the right the new one is much smoother and more stable. the new one does feel a little bit heavier around corners though. I noticed that i usually went a few mph faster during sharp turns and onramps and stuff in new camaro though. So ill give a very very slight edge to the new camaro, i think they handled about the same but the new camaro feels a lot better doing it.

    its almost not worth comparing the honda with the new camaro, the honda was fwd and any time i tried to take a turn at speed it would squeel the tires and fight me and just feel kind of crappy. it exuded very little confidence handling, no matter how much i spent on it. New camaro all the way.

    The new camaro compares well with the bimmer. Speeds during turns were usually about the same. The big difference is that the in the bimmer its so easy. There were a lot of times i would look down at the bimmer's speedomoter and go "wow i cant believe im going that fast" where as in the camaro im going the same speed through the turns its just a lot more dramatic. The bimmer makes you feel more confidant turning than the camaro does. Decent edge to the bimmer.

    Trying to take any turn at speed with the suburban is like trying to throw a slider with a brick. In the suburban you usually have to go 5 mph below the speed limit on turns to feel safe doing it haha.

    1st Bimmer. 2nd 02 camaro. 3rd 92 camaro. 4th Accord. 5th Subub.

    3. Acceleration

    I knew before i even bought the camaro that the acceleration was going to be great but i didn't know it was going to be as good as it was. The 02 camaro is fast as hell! You step on the gas and it slams you back in your seat. when i took my fiance out on a drive I gunned it pretty hard and she yelled "Sh#t!!" pretty loud (she doesn't cuss much either). She never ever did that or even seemed excited in my old camaro. The 02 camaro has so much power that its very easy to light up the tires if your not careful.

    A great real world example of this power came in texas. I dont know my way around dallas very well and i was in the slow lane and needed to get to the far left lane to make an onramp and there was a 18-wheeler and two cars in front of it blocking my progress. normally i would have just slowed down and gone after the semi but i decided to gun it (i was in 4th gear going about 45) . The car took off like a bat out of hell and i effortlessly passed all three cars and i had no problem getting over. the main problem was that when i looked down at the speedomoter i had gone from 40 to 90 in what seemed like no time at all. i could see myself getting in trouble with this beast.

    Likewise the 02 camaro still pulls pretty well in 6th gear which really surprised me. has plenty of power to pass at 80mph in 6th gear which is always nice. once i got on the highway and out of traffic i never had to take it out of 6th gear.

    Compared to the 92 camaro the 02 camaro blows its doors off. There is about a 100hp and 50lb torque difference between the two and you can really notice it both in the highway and around town. There were several stretches of road where i would have to drop from 5th to 4th in the old camaro to pass someone going uphill where was the new camaro could stay in 6th no problem. and while the old camaro was pretty quick racing and ate 5.0 mustangs for lunch all day long, it cant even shake a stick at the new camaro. 02 camaro over the 92.

    No real comparison with the honda. Even with the 50 shot, the honda would get smoked by the 92 camaro. i would hate to see what would happen to it compared to the 02 camaro. to put it into perspective,with the 50 shot and pretty much everything but the drivers seat taken out the accord's best ET was 15.5. The best i ever ran in my 92 z28 (bone stock) was 14.6. And while i havent ran it yet, most magazines put the ls1 camaro's at 13.8.

    Also, in the honda i was constantly having to downshift to pass, or go up hills or really do much of anything. honda really had to work hard to go 80. 02 camaro by about 10 miles :^)

    Compared to the bimmer the 02 camaro wins. while the bimmer was definately a fast car its not even close to being close with the camaro. I remember when my friend got it he thought he had the fastest car in the world and he did when he raced honda's and acura's but he would always get torn apart by the mustangs and camaro's. the bimmer was probably a bit faster than my 92 but dirving my 02 is like driving a rocket compared to the bimmer. The bimmer never had much of problem passing other cars or going up hills but i never looked down at the speedometer and felt surprised by how fast i was going because it didn't have that kind of power. 02 camaro by a landslide.

    Do i even need to compare it to the suburban? Although to be while the subub was probably slower 1/4 mile than the honda it was worlds better at passing on the highway and going up hills.

    Words cannot describe how much faster the camaro is that all these other cars.

    1st: 02 camaro. 2nd: Bimmer. 3rd: 92 camaro. 4th: suburban. 5th:honda
    A woman goes to the doctor to figure out why she is having breathing problems...The doctor tells her she is overweight. She says she wants a second opinion...the doctor says, "your ugly".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gods Country, USA
    my review is so long i had to devide it in two.

    4. Interior.

    Camaro's will never win any prizes for interior fit and finish or quality. however it is all leather and was actually nicer than i thought it would be. also, the factory monsoon 500 watt system is pretty nice.

    Compared to the 92 its way better. The guages are about the same and i love them because they show you everything. the dash and seats and buttons and everything else is better in the 02. one big thing i hated about the 92 was that it didn't have a glove box and it didn't have cupholders. The new camaro has 4 very useful cupholders.

    The 02 camaro is better than the honda because the buttons are more logical, the stereo is waay better, and it had leather seats. and none of the buttons were broken (several of them were on the honda). The accord only had 2 really crappy almost useless cupholders (they couldn't fit any big drinks)That said, im sure part of the reason the honda's interior wasn't as nice as the camaro's was because it was a 96. im sure if it was a 2000 or newer accord i would probably like the interior more. I give the edge to the camaro but a very slight edge.

    Obviously the bimmer's interior is much much much nicer than the camaro's. I even like the cupholders and stereo on the bimmer compared to the camaro. landslide bimmer over camaro.

    The camaro's interior is about even steven with the suburban. the suburbans interior is more comfortable but the camaro's is better looking. The cupholders on the suburban are the best cupholders inthe world. ill call it a tie because the camaro's is prettier but the suburbans is more comfortable.

    1st place Bimmer. 2nd place tie camaro/suburban. 3rd place accord. 4th place 92 camaro.

    5. Fuel economy. (highway, i didn't really drive in the city)

    This is going to shock you guys, but the 02 camaro has delivered the best fuel economy i have ever got in any vehicle.

    I filled up twice (i just filled up when i had to pee the tank never got below a 1/4 tank) on my drive and i was running my air conditioner the entire time.

    1st tank. 10.4 gallons. 289 miles. thats 27.7 mpg. and thats with my first hour and half in traffic and traffic in oklahoma city and construction zones also and like i said the AC was running the entire time and i spent about 10 minutes driving on surface streets.

    2nd tank. 8.2 gallons. 235 miles. Thats 28.6 mpg. No traffic this time although there were several construction zones and once again the AC was on.

    This mileage shocked me but after i thought about it, it made sense. On the open highway, any time i got over 70mph i had the car in 6th (below 70 i had to be in 5th because i didn't want to bog the motor). and in 6th going about 78-80mph the motor is turning 1600-1700 rpm's. So its barely working at all, and that doesn't take much gas at all. the traffic and constuction zones killed me cause that meant i was going 50-55 mph which means im in 5th gear at about 2100-2300 rpms and i know it doesn't seem like much of a difference but it is.

    Obviously i know if i was in town for more than 10 minutes those numbers would have been much lower. but think about it for a minute, we are talking about a 13 second car that gets the same mileage as an accord/malibu/camry/altima/ect... and isn't gay and boring like those cars. its like i get the best of both worlds.

    the best mileage i ever recorded in my 92 camaro was 25.5. to go 75 in the old camaro the motor was spinning at close to 3k (the car redlined at 4500) so it had to work a lot harder. plus it was only a 5 speed.

    The best mileage i ever got on a long road trip in the accord was 26.2. The accord was great around town and even below 65 but when on the open highway where the speed limit is 70 or more the accord really had to work hard and like i said i always had to downshift and give it extra gas to get up hills and pass. where as on the camaro i just left the cruise control on and it was never an issue, i never even felt it work. im sure if both cars went head to head on a road trip where the speed limit was 65 the accord would win, but above 65 the camaro takes it. I give the edge to camaro but its a slight edge because the speed limit was in my favor, had i been on different roads the mpg would have been a little different im sure.

    The best mileage we ever got on a long road trip in the Bimmer was about the same as the accord. obviously the bimmer had a lot more power than the accord. but it didn't have as much as the camaro so it still had to downshift or work hard at times.

    The best recorded mileage on a long road trip in the subub is a stunning 23.5 mpg. this was in the middle of winter with a rediculously strong tail wind. on most of my long road trips in similar conditions to the one i just took i usually average around high 20's to low 21's.

    1st: 02 Camaro. 2nd: Accord. 3rd: Bimmer. 4th: 92 camaro. 5th: Subub.

    Thats my review for now. Tell me what you think.

    here are some pics for you to enjoy.
    A woman goes to the doctor to figure out why she is having breathing problems...The doctor tells her she is overweight. She says she wants a second opinion...the doctor says, "your ugly".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Just out of curosity, do you have the standard 310hp 5.7L or the 325hp 5.7L?

    Congrats on the new car, it sounds like a blast.
    Hang on when ya had enough, give more when ya feel like givin up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gods Country, USA
    the 310. the z28 has the 310 and the ss has the 325.
    A woman goes to the doctor to figure out why she is having breathing problems...The doctor tells her she is overweight. She says she wants a second opinion...the doctor says, "your ugly".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Not a big fan of Camaro's but then again its not my car and I can see that you are. I'm sure you're gonna enjoy the hell out of it
    I am easily satisfied with the very best.

    "It is a very good looking car, If you have cataract" - JC about the Alpine A610

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Northampton, Pennsylvania
    TLDNR. Where's your mullet?
    [O o)O=\x/=O(o O]

    The things we do for girls who won't sleep with us.

    Patrick says:
    dads is too long so it wont fit
    so i took hers out
    and put mine in

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Could you please upload your pictures using the UCP attachment system? Tripod isn't exactly fast.

    Anyway, sounds like a nice car, congrats on the purchase.
    Reginald *IB4R* says:
    it was a beautiful 35 seconds.
    David says:
    that's what she said

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Adelaide, Australia
    Congratulations roosterjuicer. I hope you enjoy your new car.
    "Take my swimming trunks, I won't need them." - Frank Costanza. "What does he want with your swimming trunks." - Estelle Costanza. "Why should they go to waste." - Frank Costanza - Seinfeld

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Goshen, IN
    Sounds like you're going to enjoy the heck out of that thing. The results surprised me somewhat, especially because I thought you could never compare those 4 cars but you did a good job without being too biased towards your newest car. The Accord results are perhaps most surprising but then again you had it moded and I wonder what the effects of that were on it's mpg.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    The car looks fantastic and by the review I can tell you're falling in love with it. I'm glad you really like your car and look forward to some more great pictures featuring the Z28. Congratulations again and as always: Drive it like you stole it (safely).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    US of A
    Welcome to the dark side
    FYI, all LS1s (no matter what they are rated make roughly 345hp. So you're making no less power than an SS(assuming it wasn't optioned with the SLP exhaust).
    If you haven't already, join LS1tech, its an awesome site for learning about your car.
    My first suggestion for mods would be Koni single adjustable shocks. Total night and day difference in handling and ride quality. Rides similar to a BMW 3 (firm, but no jarring) and handles so much more predictably, with way more feel. Bumps no longer make the car unstable around turns. The stock DeCarbon shocks are total shit, trust me.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gods Country, USA
    thanks for the support guys.

    slicks...i have been on the dark side for a while since i had a camaro before :^)

    BTW the fiance and i went on a nice sunday drive today and i got my first sunburn of the summer...gotta love the t-tops.
    A woman goes to the doctor to figure out why she is having breathing problems...The doctor tells her she is overweight. She says she wants a second opinion...the doctor says, "your ugly".

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Surrey, England
    Cowboys lol, only in Texas...
    Nice car rooster, nice review too, those posts were even longer than one of Clivey's!

    Motion & Emotion

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Gods Country, USA
    haha i know when i was finished i looked up and thought to myself, "if only it was that easy to write stuff for school" haha.
    A woman goes to the doctor to figure out why she is having breathing problems...The doctor tells her she is overweight. She says she wants a second opinion...the doctor says, "your ugly".

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