Quite a few shiny new cars have rolled through the Top Speed garage over the last 365 days, we have logged countless miles and spent enough time in drive thrus to thoroughly evaluate the ins and outs of everything from a stripped down fuel efficient Chevy Cobalt XFE that we thought would make a great racecar all the way up to a fully loaded ginormous GL 550 from Mercedes, everything from the gas/electric hybrid king of the road Toyota Prius to just about every iteration of Subaru’s all new Legacy. But it wasn’t until recently when Santa brought us the best early Christmas gift of all time, a Victory Red Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Top Speed 2009 Car of the Year High Resolution Exterior
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Ever since spending an afternoon with the man who drew the car, Luciano Nakamura, we have grown fond of the 2010 Camaro’s sinister grin, broad shoulders and classic Coke bottle shape. However when we received the keys to the more economical V6 equipped RS model earlier this year and we found it to be lacking in a few areas, mainly performance. At the heart of the the 21st century Super Sport pony car is a 426 HP LS3 V8 that breathes new life into the Camaro. The rumble of fuel injected Detroit iron miraculously made the interior much larger and while most journalists have complained about the extra cylinders adding too much weight over the front axle, but we felt the Camaro SS was more then well equipped to hang the tail out or handle a hard turn in.

Top Speed 2009 Car of the Year High Resolution Exterior
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It didn’t matter if we were banging gears or just cruising, we loved the way the retro steering wheel made you drive the Camaro with your fingertips, not to mention staring at those broad shoulders every time you look back at someone who isn’t having as fun as you are in the side mirror. Combine that kind of performance with a mid $35,000 price tag and you have just opened up an entire new audience to a beautifully styled high performance muscle car, and for that we must name the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS as the 2009 Top Speed Car of the Year.

Continued after the jump.

2010 Mazda3
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Coming in as an honorable mention, the 2010 Mazda3 was sensational, the Japanese designers in Hiroshima have proved that economy cars don’t have to be boring with the little entry level Mazda. The car has phenomenal styling, a wonderful interior and outstanding performance for its class. We would recommend spending the extra cash and going with the larger engine, but that’s just the way we are here at Top Speed. Getting behind the wheel even for only a short period of time made us fall in love with the one time scoffed at fish faced Mazda3.

2010 Jaguar XFR
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The one car we would have liked to steal the keys to and run away to Mexico with was the 2010 Jaguar XFR. The top of the line four door fast feline combined the performance of a super car with the fit and finish of a luxury sedan with an interior that rivaled automobiles worth more than four times as much. Despite the value offered by the 500+ HP XFR , it still falls in the category of dream cars that we aspire to own. Perhaps that is one of the contributing factors to our more attainable 2009 Car of the Year.

What do you think?
Show Comments


  (462) posted on 05.25.2010

2010 Mazda 3 is sure a big winner. With a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and available in four-door compact sedan and hatchback body styles.

  (571) posted on 01.4.2010

Camaro SS? Even though I’m not a fan of a Chevy Car but as for the affordability, performance, style and the technology that have this car, that’s so cool. I’m expecting a lot for the Subaru Impreza to be the 2009 Car of the Year but you stated your greatest points to select Camaro SS on the top choices.

Uncia  (868) posted on 01.2.2010

A reader’s choice thing isn’t a bad idea. I just posted a car of the year/decade article on my page so leave your comments there and if there’s enough votes I’ll tally the results and post the result back here in a week.

BMWM6  (488) posted on 01.1.2010

I think it has to be a car that was tested by topspeed
why not make another article and let us say what we think car of the year is heck car of the decade even (all cars) and then you guys tally up the comments and ta da readers choice car of the year and/or decade

Naterade22  (238) posted on 01.1.2010

Thank you Uncia for saving me the time to write the same thing. Completely agree.

Uncia  (868) posted on 01.1.2010

How great can the thing drive when a Supra or Skyline with 100 less horsepower can lap the Nurburgring in 40 seconds faster than the SS? Not to mention its cheap plastic interior and mechanicals which in the Corvette have recieved a "well-below average" reliability rating from Consumer Reports. The Camaro, as with all American cars since the early 70’s, is a joke when there’s the WRX, 370Z and Genesis Coupe to choose from.

TJKEON  (138) posted on 01.1.2010

Test drive an SS

Uncia  (868) posted on 01.1.2010

The Camaro isn’t even a 2009 model, it’s a 2010, but if those count the Lexus IS convertible or Hyundai Genesis 3.8 deserve this more.

Naterade22  (238) posted on 01.1.2010

Not the Camaro. Definitely not the Camaro.

TJKEON  (138) posted on 01.1.2010

As sweet as all those other cars are, and trust us we know they are, only cars that we have had a chance to thoroughly test in our Top Speed Garage.

TJKEON  (24) posted on 01.1.2010

I can not belive what i am seeing, Camaro SS, car of the year ??.......?? , maybe topspeed forgot about Lamborghini Murcielago SV, Ferrari 458 Italia, Mercedes SLS AMG/SL 65 AMG, or the 225 mph Noble M600 and the list goes on and on.

TJKEON  (92) posted on 01.1.2010

I think that the XF and the mazda 3 could belong there, but the camaro????? I’m sorry but NO......... I think that a car of a higher class should take that spot like. The porsche GT 3 RS or the Mercedes SL 65 AMG that complete the list of an economic car, a luxury sporrty sedan andsuper performance car.

TJKEON  (138) posted on 12.31.2009

It was so much fun!!!!!!!

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