What is it? The Chevy SS sedan is the last gasp for big rear-drive V8 sedans, at least from GM’s end of the market. Production ends in 2017.
Key Competitors: Dodge Charger R/T, BMW M5, Chrysler 300, Kia Cadenza
Base Price: $48,920 As Tested: $49,820
Highlights: The Chevy SS sedan gets the company’s 6.2-liter V8, tuned to 415 hp. It’s offered with a manual, but our tester was outfitted with the optional six-speed automatic transmission.
Our Opinion: I have nothing bad to say about this car; why aren’t you all buying this car!? Feb. 19 was the last day to order the SS, and by the time you read this, you’ll have to buy it privately (or from dealer stock, if you can find one).
Even though the SS weighs in at 4,000 pounds, it doesn’t feel ungodly heavy or overdone. The steering ratio is quick with a good amount of feel for expressway cloverleafs, and the brakes and throttle are quick, too. The brakes have a few inches of travel with a light bite before they dig in and haul this thing down. I had to quickly bleed off 30 mph on the expressway when an errant cube truck entered my lane; the SS’s binders took care of things in a hurry.
The V8 sounds awesome and shoves this car around without working too hard. The six-speed automatic is a little slow on the uptake so you’ll have to plan your downshifts early, but once it starts howling, and you keep your foot down, it’ll hang in gear until redline. Chevy’s traction control system offers some leeway, which makes this extra fun to hammer on, even without deactivating all of the nannies.
It doesn’t feel as stiffly sprung some of the mid-sized BMWs or sporty Cadillacs, but the tires are sort of low profile, so I did my best to avoid the new potholes that have appeared since our last monsoon, in Detroit, in February.
I think it looks great too. I don’t love the chrome side vent, seems a little cheesy to me, but otherwise the shape and front end look tough. The hood vents are cool too.
Inside, the seats are supportive, but not super soft. The D-shaped wheel feels comfortable in the hands and the gearshift is perfectly placed for a hand rest. Of course, both hands should be on the wheel, but it IS there if you need it.
Pedal placement is good with a lot of room for your left foot to dance around. Since this is an automatic, there’s really nothing for it to do. The dead pedal is well placed too. The center stack is mostly basic stuff, which I like. There are knobs for volume, tuning and climate, and it read and played my iPhone instantly.
I don’t really know what this car competes with, probably the Dodge Charger, but dammit I wish it sold better. Graham and I were talking and I guess people that need more space just buy crossovers now, or the Charger. The SS name doesn’t really have any cachet either, so that hurts it as well. And I suppose people looking for something bigger in northern climates are scared of rear-wheel drive. C’mon guys, we have traction control now, and winter tires. It’ll be fine!
–Jake Lingeman, road test editor
On Sale: If you can find one in dealer stock
Base Price: $48,920
As Tested Price: $49,820
Drivetrain: 6.2-liter OHV V8, RWD six-speed automatic
Output: 415 hp @ 5,900 rpm; 415 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,975 lb
Fuel Economy: 14/22/16 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Options: Power sunroof ($900)
Pros: Loads of space, plenty of power
Cons: Chrome trim looks cheap, six-speed auto is a little sluggish