Chevy's SS combines power, size, rewarding driving character and solid value in a package that's subtly aggressive and fairly utilitarian. It's as comfortable stomping down a back road in anger as it is hauling your kids to school. It's not fuel efficient, but it is priced reasonably, given its many merits.
PerformanceThere's a superb combination of control, power and speed in the SS. It's a great performance sedan that should serve both enthusiasts and casual drivers well.
Though it's properly quick thanks to a 415-horsepower 6.2-liter V8, the SS also accelerates with very little effort. It's got good grip and lots of power, so getting it off the line without wheelspin is easy.
The SS lacks immediate pedal response but demonstrates plenty of modulation and heat capacity. Its brakes don't fade, at least not in our testing.
The SS's steering is quick and its response to inputs is rapid. Overall, this is among the best steering sedans built today.
The SS makes handling numbers on par with the current BMW M5 in our standard tests. It also feels as rewarding to drive as that car.
Torque dominates the SS's character on the road. It pulls hard from low rpm, climbs hills with ease and goes hard when it's asked.
ComfortComfort isn't the SS's biggest strength as its emphasis lies more with performance than with luxury. Still, most people could drive it daily without complaint.
The SS's seats are both comfortable and supportive. They include hard plastic inserts that are pure aesthetic, but they serve their occupants welll. Even the rear seats offer a modicum of support.
Ride comfort suffers in the SS because of its performance-oriented suspension calibration and its lack of adjustable dampers. It's stiff, but not so stiff that someone with sporting intentions couldn't drive it daily.
Road and wind noise are kept to a minumum, but engine noise -- especially at wide-open throttle -- is obvious. For some, this is a good thing.
InteriorThough it's fairly feature laden, the SS's interior is remarkably spartan in presentation. Controls are simple and intuitive for the most part.
Though the SS does use two knobs for individual climate-zone control, its controls are otherwise very average. An 8-inch touchscreen controlling audio, HVAC and other functions is on-par at this price range but can still get a little clunky.
Door openings are average in the SS, as are door-opening angles. A bit of a sit down to get in, but nothing extreme.
Ample rear leg and head room are the best qualities inside the SS. Front seat space is above average. Large people fit comfortably in both the front and back of the SS.
Thick A-pillars limit front quarter visibility while cornering. Otherwise, visibility is good.
Small-item storage inside is good with an abundance of large door pockets and trays. A 16.4 cubic-foot trunk with a pass-through is average for the class.
ValueStarting in the mid $40,000 range, the SS is a solid value. Its performance is on par with cars costing twice as much. Though its interior and ride quality aren't as good as the German sedans that perform this well, it has few competitors at this price.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Leather wrapped surfaces, simple but tasteful style and a thick-rimmed, small diameter steering wheel give the SS's interior a solid sense of quality. It's also rattle free and tight as a drum from behind the wheel. It feels well screwed together.
Ample safety features abound in the SS: Lane departure warning, front collision warrning, back-up camera, parking radar -- it's all there and it's all standard. The SS offers only two options: A full-size spare tire and a sunroof.
Even with this car's $47,170 as-tested price tag, the SS is a solid value. It's performance is on par with cars costing twice as much.
We were able to match the EPA's 17 mpg Combined fuel economy rating in the SS, but that still isn't a great number, even for this class. You'll pay a $1,300 gas guzzler tax as a result.
The SS offers an average to above-average warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles comprehensive, 5 years/100,000 miles powertrain, 6 years/100,000 miles corrosion.
With two years of free scheduled maintenance and five years of roadside assistance coverage, the SS offers genuine ownership benefits.
Fun To DriveThis is a car that should always be in GM's stable: Big, powerful, rewarding, feature-laden and a solid value. That's our definition of a fun-to-drive sedan.
With a stunning chassis, an abundance of torque and a transmission that ofers real control, the SS is a solid driver's car.
Burnouts when you want them, people hauling when you need it. Who could ask for more?