Big & Beautiful no short & squeeze to get into. GM took its Vette engine and put into a sedan so that instead of a stogy ride they gave a family car the kind of Zip in 1996 terms that made that car into a screamer. In all respects this car is fun to drive and a beauty to be seen in.
This car reminds me of the "lead sleds" that I grew up driving (my first car was a '65 Impala SS 396), with a notable difference. While it encompasses everything I love about a muscle car, it's also a luxury sedan with all the creature comforts that we "older folk" learn to appreciate. When you're a kid, you don't care if your car is a little rusty and rough around the edges, as long as it's cool. It doesn't even have to be reliable. But this '96 Impala SS is solid, reliable, and a rust-free, one-owner original that has stood the test of time. It turns heads and gets comments almost every time I go out. It still looks like new, inside and out. The lumbar support in the driver's seat is unsurpassed, and the comfort is perfect, on a short drive or a road trip. I fully anticipate another 20 years worth of joyful and comfortable driving in this big iron beast!
4/26/16 Update: I've had to replace the tires, fuel pump, distributor, catalytic converters (including 4 oxygen sensors), front shocks, and the stabilizer bar links. The repairs were shockingly expensive, but necessary, and now the car performs even better than before, is always reliable and drives like a dream!
10/26/16 Update: Still loving this car! Still runs and drives like a dream!
I have seven cars, including a Porsche Boxster, Jaguar XJ8, Honda S2000 and some winter AWD/4WD vehicles. Driving the SS is somehow very very satisfying, it lopes along, big, black, bad, and then, when called on, just puts you into the comfy seats and gets to really outrageous speeds in a blink. I'm sure that more modern vehicles beat the numbers on acceleration, etc, but blasting around a freeway on ramp at 80 to 90 in a couple of heart beats with this beast is extremely fun!
comfort, torque, handling for a large vehicle, bullet proof feel, stability at speed, great stock engine, wheels, tires, brakes package!
can really tell the build quality difference from GM to the overseas marques, just little stuff -- knobs, trim, window guides, handles and such -- would be nice if they didn't break or fall off when I'm a little ham fisted.
I am an enthusiast and love to drive. I did not really need to order a new SS, but I wanted a toy that would be a fun investment. My SS delivered, yeah it was politically correct with lighter & ashtrays; room and comfort for both my wife & grandmother in the same trip. My SS has been driven primarily as a highway cruiser, and has driven 300 miles in three hours, on regular gas an gets 25-28 mpg. I only need to pull it out of the garage to turn heads and there is always someone asking me to 1st bidder when I sell.
Smooth, quick and efficient, The LT1 V8.
In 1996 the build quality was lower than todays standard and thats my only complaint. Panel gaps were much larger then. The only thing I replaced are tires (road hazard) and brakes, they just got old, due to not using them, rust.
Have enjoyed owning & driving it for nearly 13 years, transmission & engine have been flawless, water system/radiator/cooling required replacement, been thru 3 sets of tires, still turns heads. I am very proud to own such fine machinery that gets rarer yearly, get offers to sell all the time, have driven across country north-south & east-west, makes for great made-in-America advertising, insured as 4-door Caprice but is actually a Super Sport (no complaints), passes state emissions/safety tests without fail, plan on keeping all the way
Awesome power, beckoning looks, engine, solid mechanicals, ease & price for repairs, longevity, roominess, handling at high speeds, wide tires, no road noise, engine purrs at 2000 RPMs at 70MPH, uses regular unleaded, stainless steel exhaust, LT1 engine, chassis/rear diff
Body assembly quality, the famous rear diff gasket, speaker quality, odometer, door window glides (failed on all four windows), turn signal lever robustness, steering at low speed, engine heats in heavy slow traffic, wide tires slick in rain (but love 'em), spoiled me against all competitors