Used 2016 Chevrolet SS Review

Do you wish there was such a thing as a four-door Camaro? Well, the 2016 Chevy SS sedan comes pretty close. It can smoke its rear tires with the best of them, but it also boasts a roomy interior and an impressive level of overall refinement. Ready to learn more about this muscle-bound family sedan?




what's new

The 2016 SS receives visual updates in the form of a new front bumper, LED accent lighting, hood vents, and 19-inch wheels. Variable exhaust is now standard, as is an updated version of the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system.

vehicle overview

The 2016 Chevrolet SS is a large family sedan for the driving enthusiast. It has the equipment you'd expect from a muscle car, including a powerful V8, rear-wheel drive, a no-cost optional six-speed transmission and a limited-slip differential. But its large dimensions and extensive standard features also mean it has the ability to accommodate and entertain occupants other than the driver. That combination sounds American enough, but the SS actually hails from General Motors' Australian arm, Holden. There it's called the Commodore.

Some will say the styling of the 2016 Chevrolet SS is artfully restrained, while others may find it a bit too mild-mannered.

Whatever the name, we're thankful for its presence on our shores, as the SS is huge fun. With the traction control turned off it'll do burnouts to your heart's content, but once the smoke clears you'll also find sophisticated handling from this large sedan. Summer tires and good weight balance make the SS enjoyable on back roads and freeway onramps. Brembo brakes halt the SS with sports car-like urgency. And adaptive suspension (Magnetic Ride Control) provides good control when you're driving fast, but comfort on the daily commute. Its nondescript exterior design makes the SS the performance sleeper of the Chevrolet lineup (your neighbors will probably think you bought a previous-generation Malibu), but it's perfect for those who prefer a stealthy approach to speed.

There are just a couple of other large sedans that offer a combination of family functionality and high performance at the price of the SS. The Dodge Charger is an intriguing option. It's more powerful with its available 6.4-liter V8 and more distinctively styled, but it's also significantly heavier and doesn't offer a manual transmission, making it less appealing to driving enthusiasts. The Ford Taurus SHO takes a different approach, employing a turbocharged V6 and all-wheel drive. It's nearly quick, but just isn't as engaging to drive or own. Overall, we think you'll be happiest with either the SS or Charger, with the final decision simply coming down to what you want most from your big muscle-bound sedan.




trim levels & features

The 2016 Chevrolet SS is offered in a single well-equipped trim level.

Standard features include 19-inch cast-aluminum wheels, summer performance tires, an adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes (front and rear), xenon headlights, heated power mirrors with driver-side auto-dimming, automatic wipers, keyless entry and ignition, remote start (automatic transmission only), dual-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated eight-way power front seats (with power lumbar), driver memory settings, a manual tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and leather upholstery.

Standard MyLink touchscreen functionality lends a high-tech air to the 2016 SS sedan's otherwise rather generic control layout.

Standard technology features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an automated parallel-parking system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, a head-up display, a navigation system, a rearview camera, an 8-inch touchscreen with Chevrolet's MyLink interface, voice controls including Siri Eyes Free, OnStar (with 4G LTE connectivity and WiFi hotspot capability) and a nine-speaker Bose audio system with a CD player, satellite radio and iPod/USB connectivity.

The only significant options for the SS are a manual transmission, sunroof and a full-size spare tire mounted on a matching alloy wheel.



performance & mpg

The 2016 Chevrolet SS is powered by a 6.2-liter V8 engine rated at 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.

In Edmunds.com testing, an SS with the automatic transmission sprinted to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, well ahead of the Taurus SHO but a tick or two behind the 6.4-liter Charger. With the ability to launch harder, the manual cuts the 0-60-mph acceleration to 4.7 seconds.

EPA fuel-economy ratings were not available for the 2016 SS as of this writing, but they shouldn't change from the 2015 model. Those ratings stand at 17 mpg combined (14 city/21 highway) for the automatic and 17 mpg combined (15 city/21 highway) for the manual. That's pretty thirsty, though not unexpected in this segment.

safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2016 Chevrolet SS includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, 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.

Additional features include a multimode head-up display, a rearview camera, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

In Edmunds.com testing, a Chevrolet SS came to a halt from 60 mph in 106 feet, an impressive result from this large four-door sedan.

driving

Don't be intimidated by the 2016 SS's hefty exterior dimensions because, unlike the Charger, it doesn't feel large at speed. You do get a sense of the car's considerable length, but when you're sweeping around turns, its remarkable agility and precision are what come to the fore. Happily, the adaptive suspension offers three settings that let the driver select the appropriate firmness for the occasion. These sophisticated shocks don't penalize the ride either.

The subdued lines of the 2016 Chevrolet SS belie the eight-cylinder beast within.

Wind and road noise are largely held at bay inside the SS, allowing the sweet sounds of the 6.2-liter V8 to filter through. This is an addictive mill, with a classic American exhaust burble, prodigious low-end torque and genuine high-rpm enthusiasm made better through a new exhaust system that gets louder when you stomp the gas pedal.

The manual transmission comes with a short 3.70 rear-axle ratio to enhance acceleration, but no matter which way you slice it, this engine is satisfying. You've got to love the availability of that stickshift if you're a purist — other than the BMW M5, there's not another sizable 2016 sedan on the market with V8 power and three pedals.

interior

The cabin design of the 2016 Chevy SS is subdued, but leather upholstery comes standard, and it's complemented by contrast stitching and simulated suede inserts on the doors and wraparound dashboard. It's a pretty nice look overall, though build quality isn't quite as solid as we'd expect for a vehicle in this price range.

The 2016 Chevrolet SS features simple analog gauges that are easy to read as the big V8 roars toward redline.

The instrument panel features a high-resolution color trip computer flanked by two sporty analog gauges for vehicle and engine speed, with an additional measure of safety provided by the standard head-up display. The 8-inch MyLink touchscreen with smartphone app integration is crisply rendered and user-friendly. Chevy says it's improved the screen this year for quicker processing times, but overall we still prefer the more user-friendly touchscreen in the Dodge Charger.

In terms of passenger space, the SS lives up to its large-car billing. The front seats have enough room for just about anyone, while a pair of 6-footers can lounge in back for extended periods without discomfort. Trunk space isn't quite as enormous at 16.4 cubic feet, but that's still more room than most owners will ever need.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.