Who can recall the last rear wheel drive 4 door SS that Chevrolet had? If you can, you’ll remember it to be the 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS. A barge of a car, the Impala SS was essentially a Chevrolet Caprice with the package that their police counterparts came with, along with some body colored bumpers, different wheels, oh, and an engine derived from the Corvette’s LT1. I must admit I was never a fan of the Chevy Caprice in stock form, but the ’94-96 Impala SS always caught my attention, to the point that I even looked for one for my first car.
10 years after the 1994 Impala SS came around, Chevrolet has introduced the 2014 Chevrolet SS, which is essentially a new and improved Pontiac G8 that made it to our shores from GM’s Australian division before Pontiac got the ax, and guess what? This car is good. It checks all the boxes needed if you’re a dad who wants to have a fun, sporty car with room for a car seat.
The SS is pretty much a 4 door Camaro SS. It has the same 6.2l V8 engine found in the Camaro SS(a little less HP, 415hp vs. 426) and the same 6 speed automatic transmission. Oh yeah, hope you don’t mind an automatic, as thats the only transmission available, but hey, you’ll appreciate it when you’re trying to stop little Timmy from hitting his brother. This car comes pretty much with no options available, but thats because it comes with the majority of normal optional features standard. However, you do have the option to choose whether or not you want a full size spare tire and wheel, as well as a sunroof.
For a price tag of around $46,000 you get a slew of standard features, some of which include such premium features like keyless push button start, an 8″ color touchscreen with navigation, heated and ventilated seats, heads-up display, remote start and a plethora of safety features like lane departure, blind zone alert, rear traffic alert, forward collision alert, parking assist, and a rear view camera. All-in-all a great set of features for what you’re paying.
This car was very well composed, a little stiff, but surprisingly comfortable. It is something you could live with on a day to day basis, but still tackle the corners when you’re all alone. Handling was very crisp, and provided pretty good feedback. The flat bottomed steering wheel was a very nice added touch to enhance the sportiness feel. With all the safety nannies on I was surprised at how well they were able to keep that rear end planted to the ground and keep the car composed when pushing it hard into turns. It reins you in pretty well in case you push a little too hard. There isn’t really much you can say about the 6.2L 415hp LS3 V8, it’s a big thunderous V8, which is quiet when you want it to be, but the burble lurks subtly so you know its ready to go whenever you are. As for the people behind you, they’ll be well aware of when you step on the gas, as it’s not a polite exhaust full out, but damn does it sound great.
Inside you’ll find all the comforts you need, from a decently appointed dash with some nice leather and alcantara touches, to nicely bolstered and supportive seats. The seats were a little wide for my body type, still very comfortable, but for your average American these were perfect. The only quibble I had was with the cheap chrome-looking pieces located throughout the dash and center console. To me they felt a little cheap, and were a little gaudy looking.
Overall the Chevrolet SS is a great car. It hits all the points in sportiness and comfort. If you’re looking for something fun and to tide over the 25 year old in you, all the while having a completely capable family sedan for a day to the zoo, then this is an ideal car for you.