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#3

in Affordable Large Cars

MSRP: $43,475 - $43,475
Invoice: $41,736 - $41,736
MPG: 14 City / 21 Hwy
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Chevrolet SS Performance

Reviewers say the 2014 Chevrolet SS is a true performance sedan with an incredibly smooth and powerful V8 engine. Acceleration is lightning fast, they say, and the engine has a thrilling amount of torque. The SS’ handling is sharp, the steering is communicative and the brakes are strong, test drivers report. The SS feels firmly planted around corners and offers a ride that’s firm, but still comfortable, they add.

  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • “The sensitivity of the SS' steering or its reaction to throttle and brake inputs or the consistency of its opposite-corner tire patches don't fall off dramatically when it reaches the limits of grip. Call it organic or holistic or integrated. Whichever label you prefer, it was reserved for BMWs and a handful of other sedans when the 1996 Impala SS roamed the earth. Now it comes with a big ol' trunk and a bowtie." -- AutoWeek
  • "But nobody is likely to cross-shop the Impala and the SS for one simple reason: The SS is a performance sedan of the highest order." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Chevrolet SS comes with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that makes 415 hp and 415 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The SS gets an EPA-estimated 14/21 mpg city/highway, which is on par with the V8-powered Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300, but low for the affordable large car class.

Test drivers say the SS’ engine is very smooth with satisfying bursts of torque. The SS is incredibly fast off the line, they add, likening it to a Corvette or Camaro. Several reviewers say that the automatic transmission delivers power briskly. However, one critic is disappointed that the transmission can be slow to shift and the paddle shifters are made with cheap plastic.

  • “It's not afraid to rev, and it's much better than acceptably smooth. Most significantly, it delivers giant wads of torque right where you want them. In the SS, the transition from part throttle to full-on is sweetly smooth, without no angry reaction from the rear end." -- AutoWeek
  • "At any speed, it has that eager, straining-at-the-leash feel unique to cars with a powerful normally aspirated engine. The price for such preparedness is putrid fuel economy -- 14 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. However, what you get is a $45,000 Chevy sedan that'll go toe-to-toe with a $65,000 BMW 550i or, for that matter, with a two-door sports car like the Camaro SS." -- Automobile Magazine
  • “Thanks to its relatively svelte 3931-pound curb weight, sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires, and easy-to-launch six-speed automatic transmission, the 415-hp SS sprints to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 111 mph. That's comparable to the times of the quickest stick-shift Camaros we've tested and only half a second or so behind the illustrious C7 Corvette." -- Car and Driver
  • “Not only is GM's unit a few gears short of most of its competitors, the Hyrda-Matic 6L80 can sometimes be a bit slow to shift, either when left in Drive or when using the TAPShift paddles. In order to make the gearbox shift up at the perfect time ahead of redline, the driver needs to pull the paddle, which is cast from an unfortunately flimsy plastic, a split-second earlier than expected, else the LS3 V8 (borrowed from the C6 Corvette) will bounce off its hard rev limiter a bit past its 6,000-rpm redline." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

Test drivers like that the Chevrolet SS offers athletic handling and a firm, yet comfortable, ride. The SS also earns praise for its strong brakes, and test drivers love its responsive steering, which they say offers plenty of road feel.

  • "The Impala handled well for a big car. The SS handles well, period -- tons of grip, surprising balance, excellent body control. It actually feels nimbler and easier to place in a corner than the smaller Camaro (the fact that it has real windows helps)." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The body structure is solid and rattle-free, and the electrically assisted power steering is calibrated for quick turn-in and a linear rise in effort. The 153-foot fade-free stopping distance from 70 mph is only two-thirds of a car length greater than the best C7 Corvette performance we've measured." -- Car and Driver
  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "Ride and handling is another area where the SS excels. Grip from the 245/40ZR19 front and 275/35ZR19 rear Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires is plentiful, and its ability to stick in a corner doesn't result in a harsh ride. Instead, the SS is firm, comfortable and never floaty on the road, and I never hit any bumps large enough to upset its chassis." -- Autoblog
Review Last Updated: 5/19/14

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