Ever find yourself wishing for a four-door Camaro? Neither do we. But if we did, we'd be happy with a 2017 Chevrolet SS. A large, five-passenger sedan, the SS is for the driving enthusiast who can't fit the family in a two-seat sports coupe. It's made of all the parts and pieces you'd expect of a muscle car, including a powerful V8 engine borrowed from the previous-generation Corvette, rear-wheel drive, an optional six-speed manual transmission, even a limited-slip differential. But large dimensions and a long list of standard features also mean the SS can accommodate and entertain more than just the driver.
But the Chevy SS isn't just a family-friendly burnout machine. High-performance tires and an adaptive suspension also give the SS surprisingly good handling. The brakes do an exceptional job hauling this big car down from high speeds. Heated and cooled front seats, leather upholstery and driver aids such as lane departure warning and parallel parking assist give the SS a high-end feel. The MyLink tech interface includes a large touchscreen, a navigation system and control of certain smartphone apps.
There are some blemishes we can't overlook, though. Contrast stitching and suede accents are nice touches around the cabin, but they can't mask the rental car feel of some of the materials or the inattention to some details. The trunk, too, is small, and rear seats that don't fold down hinder the SS' cargo utility. The exterior styling, which you might mistake for a bloated version of Chevy's compact Malibu, looks unremarkable.
Most of these shortcomings diminish once you lay your foot into the gas pedal. Simply put, this kind of car, especially with a manual transmission, is in short supply in our country. Soon you won't be able to buy a new one because Chevy intends to cease production of the SS after the 2017 model year. If the idea of easy power, tons of grip, great brakes, four doors and a manual gearbox makes you smile, go buy it before the combination disappears forever.
- Standard V8 engine delivers thrilling acceleration
- Spacious interior with a sizable backseat
- Handles remarkably well for a large sedan
- One of the few large sedans available with a manual transmission
- Standard V8 engine returns poor fuel economy
- Interior materials feel low rent for the car's price
- Single trim level means less ability to tailor to preference
- Tech/entertainment interface can be slow and frustrating