This week, I take a look at a very unusual Chevrolet, the 2015 Chevrolet SS. Baby boomers will recall that the Chevy Super Sport was a car to aspire to in the 1960s, and it was reborn last year. Although you can tell from a glance it is a Chevy with the iconic SS designation, that is where the similarities end.
The SS is actually built by Holden in Elizabeth, Australia, and imported to the United States. If the SS reminds you of a Pontiac G8, it should. The G8 was an Australian Holden car too, before GM killed off the Pontiac brand.
The real story behind this attractive sedan is the engine, the handling, and the fact that you can get it in a 6-speed manual transmission, like this week’s review car.
Going under the hood, you will see a 6.2-liter Corvette-derived V8 that is naturally- aspirated. This engine produces 415-horses and 415 pound-feet of torque. It actually feels like more due to a 3:70 rear axle ratio. This car is rear-wheel drive, and in fact, when this car came out last year, it was the first rear-wheel drive Chevy since the Caprice in 1996.
Although this car weighs 4000 pounds, the 6.2 V8 pushes the car from 0-to-60 in an impressive 4.7 seconds. Although this is a manual, you can get this car in an automatic if you wish. Either way, this car has a deep rumbling exhaust that sounds terrific.
Although some think the SS looks too much like a Malibu, you notice something is different. The hood and trunk are aluminum, the rear spoiler is understated, and the chrome 19” wheels look terrific over the large Brembo brakes. Chrome door handles, and Corvette-styled side air vents finish off a refined exterior that is classy and a bit old school. You can get the SS in 10 different colors, including this one, which is Mystic Green.
Moving to the interior, when you sit behind the wheel you get a bit of a cockpit feel. Right off the bat you notice how comfortable the leather seats are. Everywhere you look you see red stitching, and SS logos sit just below the very comfortable headrests. Check out the alloy pedals, they look terrific.
Looking at the dash, you see a large tachometer to the left and a matching speedometer to the right. Between those two is a configurable driver information center. If you look about the dash, you’ll see a color heads-up display that is standard on the SS.
In fact, the SS comes standard with basically everything you could want for safety and comfort.
On the safety front, you get forward collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, rear camera, lane departure warning, and side blind spot monitoring. You also get LED daytime running lights and HID headlamps. Also standard is automatic parking assist, which let’s you know when a space is large enough to parallel park, and it practically parks itself.
In standard comfort features, you get dual power seats that are heated and cooled, dual-zone climate controlled air conditioning, a leather wrapped steering wheel with controls, keyless entry, pushbutton start, and a passive entry system built into the door handles.
The SS also comes with magnetic ride control, which you can also get on the Corvette and other GM cars. The system uses electromagnetic coils that continually adjust damper fluid consistency every 10-15 milliseconds. A new dual-coil damper system reacts 40% faster to enable enhanced ride comfort and body control.
In the center of the dash, a color screen allows you to operate the standard Chevy MyLink system and a host of your favorite apps, including navigation system. You can connect to Bluetooth, and set all your preferences for the different systems on the car. Everything is easy to operate and I love the fact that you can actually turn a knob to change the radio stations.
There is only one option on my tester, and that is the $900 power moon roof with sliding cover.
The SS has a large back seat width-wise, but headroom is somewhat limited for people over 6-feet tall. Visibility from the driver’s seat is really good and the trunk is massive. Note there is no spare tire and wheel with this car.
So, is this the Corvette Sedan we’ve always wanted? In a word, no. I would almost say it is closer to being a 4-door Camaro, at least in my perspective. The SS handles great and has a very special feel, especially when leaning hard on the 6.2 liter V8. This car would make a good daily driver, and a terrific weekend track car, all in one.
Fuel economy isn’t great at 15 in town, but it does OK on the highway at 21. I’m not sure why, but the SS does not have the cylinder deactivation system that most Chevys offer.
So, would I recommend you run out and buy one? Actually I would not. We now know that 2015 is the final year for the SS, and sales have been pretty dismal so far. It is a bit of a shame, because at $45,745 on the window sticker, you get a lot of car, but I think depreciation on the SS will be steep.
With that said, if you wanted to purchase this car and put it up, I think we may be looking at a future classic due to low production and this being the end of the Holden & GM partnership.
For all you get with the SS, and for as well as it drives and handles, I’d give this car a 5 star rating. However, when you factor in the fact it is going away, and poor sales leading to poor resale value, I give it an overall rating of 3 out of 5 stars.
What I liked most: Handling, performance, and abundant standard features.
What I would change: Improved fuel economy.
MSRP: Base price $45.745, as equipped $47,640.
Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 15 City/21 Highway, 17 Combined.
Fuel Tank: 18.8 gallons.
Dimensions: 195” long/74” wide/58” high.
Weight: 3960 pounds
2015 Chevy SS in a few words: Farewell to a great car that should have sold better.
Trailer Towing: N/A
Warranty: 3-year/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5-Year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance,, and two years of free maintenance.
Car Pro Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars.
Miles When Tested: 5100
Manufacturer’s website: Chevrolet