Used 2014 Chevrolet SS Sedan
Used 2014 Chevrolet SS Sedan for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
A modern take on the classic American rear-wheel-drive V8 performance sedan, the 2014 Chevy SS hauls the mail, no doubt. But it's the car's unexpectedly sharp handling and impressive refinement that make it a winner.
To us, the 2014 Chevrolet SS seems like one of those off-the-books sleeper sedans built exclusively at the pleasure of and for use by a General Motors executive. In what other scenario could you imagine transplanting a Corvette's powerful engine into a family sedan, then fitting aggressive transmission gearing, racecar supplier Brembo brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and every single mechanical and electronic option available? Yeah, right, they'll never sell that Chevy here at any price. Or so we thought.
The genesis of the SS can be traced back to, of all places, Australia, where GM's subsidiary, Holden, builds the Commodore full-size sedan. The Commodore did serve as the basis for the short-lived Pontiac G8, but it's the newest, latest version that's being used for the SS. Also in the family is the Chevrolet Caprice PPV, an even bigger version currently only sold to American police departments. So, yes, you could get away with telling your friend as he hops into your SS: "Yeah, it's got a cop motor. It's got cop tires, cop suspension and cop shocks."
Unlike Elwood's old Dodge Monaco, though, and even the G8, the SS is a thoroughly modern and refined vehicle for 2014. Of course, firepower for the rear-drive SS is amply supplied by a 6.2-liter V8 good for 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. But crank around a turn and the SS's impressive stability and driver interaction will have you fully believing Chevrolet's claim that it benchmarked the iconic, early-2000s BMW M5 for handling precision. Inside, the SS is trimmed out with leather and simulated suede sport seats, a driver-oriented cockpit, and a premium infotainment system. And just like legendary American sedans of our past, the SS has ample seating, a large trunk and a sizable fuel tank to devour road trips in comfort.
There are only a few comparable sedans. Both the brawny 2014 Chrysler 300 SRT8 and 2014 Dodge Charger SRT8 supply a similar experience, packing big V8 punches and a big load of features for about the same cost. They also boast a more dramatic presence on the road, though neither can match the SS's blend of handling and ride comfort. As for other choices, Ford's underwhelming Taurus SHO tries to get by with a turbocharged V6, while the often-overlooked 2014 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec features a powerful V8 and perhaps a touch more luxury, but doesn't have the sporting aspirations. Within this group, the SS does the V8-powered large sedan tradition proud. Somewhere, there's a GM executive to thank.
Trim levels & features
The 2014 Chevrolet SS is a five-passenger full-size sedan offered in a single, base trim level.
Standard equipment is extensive and includes 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, high-performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, xenon headlights, foglights, heated power mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, remote start, automatic wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar), driver memory settings, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and leather upholstery. Standard technology features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an automated parallel parking system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warning, frontal collision warning, a navigation system, a rearview camera, an 8-inch center touchscreen with Chevrolet's MyLink interface, OnStar, voice controls and a nine-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, and iPod/USB connectivity.
The only major options for the SS are a sunroof and a full-size spare tire mounted on a matching alloy wheel.
Performance & mpg
The 2014 Chevrolet SS is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine delivering 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission directs that power to the rear wheels.
In Edmunds.com testing, the SS sprinted to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, which is exceptionally quick for any sedan, be it a high-performance European flagship or a comparable muscle-bound American super sedan. The EPA's fuel economy estimate stands at 17 mpg combined (14 mpg city/21 mpg highway). That's no worse than the Charger SRT8's economy, but you're still going to be paying a lot at the pump.
Standard safety equipment on the 2014 Chevrolet SS includes antilock disc brakes, stability- and traction-control systems, front- and rear-seat side airbags, side-curtain airbags, and front-knee airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
Furthermore, the SS comes with a standard multi-mode head-up display and rearview camera, along with numerous warning systems, including forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts.
In Edmunds.com testing, the Chevrolet SS came to a halt from 60 mph in just 110 feet.
With all the talk of how large and powerful the 2014 Chevrolet SS is, one might get the impression that it would offer as much finesse and maneuverability as a naval destroyer. Not so. Because the body structure is so rigid, the SS's suspension is able to do the job it was intended to do -- and make the car responsive and confident when it matters. This, along with its impressively stout brakes, helps the SS feel like it's built for shaking off pricey German luxury sedans in one quick shot of back-road glory.
The tradeoff is that the ride is decidedly firm with a busy feel over some types of pavement, though Chevrolet has indicated it might offer its adaptive magnetic-ride shock absorbers (already used on the Corvette Stingray) to improve ride comfort in future model years. Still, both wind and road noise are held to muted levels on the highway so you can hear the reassuring V8 burbling away. Like many modern cars, the 2014 Chevrolet SS has an electrically assisted power steering system. Thanks to careful tuning, the SS's steering provides good feel and precision in this large, rear-drive sedan.
And what more can we say about the SS's centerpiece, its 415-hp V8, other than it has an addictive quality to it? It makes glorious noises, and when you hear them, you can't help but feel almost invincible on your drive to work. At least for the first few days, months or years of ownership, don't expect to meet the government's fuel economy estimates. And don't say we didn't warn ya, either.
The interior of the Chevy SS sedan exudes quality as well as quantity. Leather seating comes standard, and it's set off with high-quality stitching and simulated suede details. Predictably, the accommodations are spacious, and the SS will comfortably accommodate four adults, or five in a pinch.
The instrument panel features a driver-oriented multi-page information panel flanked by two large analog gauges for vehicle and engine speed. The standard head-up display (HUD) is also multi-configurable, and it can project an impressive array of information onto the windshield. The central MyLink touchscreen display is also configurable. The interface is straightforward, and you'll adjust easily to its menu and command structure if you already have a smartphone. However, it can be distractingly slow to respond at times.
Maintaining the tradition of the full-size American sedan, the SS boasts a massive 16.4-cubic-foot trunk that can be supplemented with an optional full-size spare tire.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
America, it seems, remains bent on ignoring some truly good stuff. Stuff like wagons, diesels and Parker Posey, not to mention big, fast, domestic sedans like the new 2014 Chevrolet SS.
This is, after all, the sort of car that built this country. Heck, it's the car that built Chevrolet. So there's some irony in the fact that the Chevrolet SS sedan is assembled in Australia, not to mention that it's sold in that country as the Holden VF Commodore.
But there's no irony in the fact that the Chevy SS is a for-real driver's car and a genuine people hauler. After all, its hard parts are the same as those of the 2008 and '09 Pontiac G8, which was a fun and respected machine. But you may already know that. What you don't know is how it drives, how it rides and whether it's worth the asking price. We're here to tell you it does all of the above better than you might think.
Will Hold Its Own Against the BMW M5
With 48 percent of its mass on the rear axle, the SS has physics on its side when it comes to spreading out the load of hard driving. Also aiding that task are standard 19-inch Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires: 245/40 up front and 275/35 out back. Along with the balanced chassis, these meats aid the SS in a 0.92g circumnavigation of our skid pad, making it marginally less grippy than the wildly athletic and more costly 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport sedan.
The SS confidently slipped through our 600-foot slalom at 68.8 mph while exhibiting a level of control more often demonstrated by cars lighter than the SS's 4,016 pounds. Also consider that both of these handling numbers are virtually identical to those of the last BMW M5 we tested.
Electrically assisted steering is used, but it hasn't dulled this sedan's responses compared to more traditional hydraulic setups. In fact, one of the SS's biggest strengths is steering so well endowed with feedback that we'd confidently toss the big sedan into a powerslide with our mother-in-law in the passenger seat.
A Little Bit of Corvette Under the Hood
GM's proven LS3 V8 powers the 2014 Chevrolet SS. It was used in the last-generation Corvette and in this application it's rated to produce 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A standard 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission snaps off downshifts with aggressive rev matching actuated by wheel-mounted paddles. Power hits the ground through a clutch-type limited-slip differential, which also comes as standard equipment.
It's disappointing but not surprising that Chevy's latest Gen 5 direct-injected LT1 power plant isn't found under the SS's hood. Steve Manson, the SS's program development manager, told us that the LS3 met the car's power targets and the program's budget.
The use of the older engine became less of a downer after the SS ripped off a 13.2-second quarter-mile at 107.4 mph at our test track. In the process it hit 60 mph in 4.9 seconds (4.7 seconds with a 1-foot rollout like at a drag strip). That's a fast sedan, new V8 or not.
It has no trouble slowing down either. Four-piston Brembo calipers coupled with 14-inch front rotors combine to consistently haul the SS down from 60 mph in 110 feet with no fade.
All that and the engine still managed to match the EPA's combined fuel economy rating of 17 mpg (14 city/21 highway) after 475 miles of driving.
A Firm Ride That You Will Like
But it's not the powertrain that validates the Chevy SS to enthusiasts and family haulers alike. Rather, it's the chassis — MacPherson struts up front and a multilink arrangement in the rear — that deserves attention. Sure, these are essentially the same hard parts that have been around for the better part of the last decade in various Australian and American models. But here they've been retuned specifically for hard-charging-sedan-loving Aussies.
Sure, there was development work done on the SS in the U.S., but this doesn't feel like a sedan tuned for American roads. The SS feels like it's built for shaking off pricey German hangers-on in one quick shot of back-road glory. From behind the wheel, where it matters, the SS is clearly dedicated to just that task.
There's solidity to every response that's becoming more common in GM products and was, for years, the sole domain of the Germans. Now, however, taut dampers and an unyielding structure are the realm of this American performance sedan, a change that makes the SS's ride busier than an equally capable German sedan.
Manson stands by the SS's static suspension tuning, calling it a "solid compromise," but he's not shy in pointing out that GM's Magnetic Selective ride control can be adapted to the SS. He says the car's primary benchmark was the 2014 Dodge Charger SRT8, which comes with two-mode active dampers but lacks a compliant ride and can't match the SS's handling numbers.
This Is Not a G8
If you remember the Pontiac G8's basic proportions you'll likely recognize the SS despite its distinctly different look and feel. The revisions are vast enough that Manson discounts comparisons to former Commodore-platform cars sold in the U.S.
"People like to think because the SS shares hard parts with previous cars that it's the same," says Manson. "But so much is different. We've got an aluminum hood and trunk lid that save 22.1 pounds over the old Commodore, and we save another 27 pounds using high-grade steel in critical areas."
The result of that latter change is a 5-6 percent gain in torsional rigidity. In non-engineering-speak, that means the chassis flexes less, which contributes to the more precise handling.
Spacious, High-Quality Interior
Possibly the most easily appreciated differences are inside the 2014 Chevrolet SS. Leather-wrapped trim covers the dash and door panels. The heavily bolstered leather seats offer suede detailing, and a proprietary thick-rimmed steering wheel adds a sense of purpose. There's an 8-inch touchscreen display for navigation, audio and other functions, plus two knobs to manage dual-zone climate control.
Possibly the only interior component of the G8 that remains is its biggest strength: ample rear-seat room. Whether you plan to haul full-size adults or install child seats you'll find enough space to accommodate your needs. Rear access, thanks to wide door openings, doesn't hurt, and neither does a massive 16.4-cubic-foot trunk.
Front collision and lane departure warning systems as well as Automatic Parking assist — which manages steering during parallel parking maneuvers — are standard equipment on the SS. Only two options are available: a $900 sunroof and a $500 full-size spare tire.
A Smoking Deal
In probably the least fortunate car-launch timing in history, GM announced — just as SS sedans rolled onto dealer lots this month — that it plans to close the Elizabeth, South Australia, plant that builds the Chevy SS in 2017.
Does this mean the end of the SS before it's even had a chance to get started? We have no idea. After driving the 2014 Chevy SS we sure hope it finds a way to stick around. With a starting price of $44,470, the SS is a solid value among large performance sedans. Our test car fitted with both options, and including the $1,300 gas-guzzler tax, totaled $47,170.
That's no small price for a Chevrolet sedan, but compare its capabilities to the competition and the value is clear. At that price, America's wholesale rejection of good stuff (especially the V8-powered rear-drive sedan) looks even sillier.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
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Should I lease or buy a 2014 Chevrolet SS?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.