2016 Chevrolet SS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Chevrolet SS was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 9.4

Test drivers say the 2016 Chevrolet SS delivers an exciting driving experience. Its powerful engine provides eager acceleration, and it has agile handling. The sharp steering and solid road grip increase the SS' stability when cornering.

  • "Get behind the wheel, and the SS quickly impresses … because it's able to combine quick acceleration with agile handling that makes you feel like you're in a much smaller car. You're not, as the SS weighs in at a whopping 4,000 pounds, but thanks to fine-tuned suspension and a brute-force engine, the SS certainly doesn't feel like the large sedan that it is." -- AutoTrader
  • "Equipped with electric power steering, the SS is first and foremost a driver's car." -- Left Lane News
  • "And like the Dodge Charger SRT and Ford Taurus SHO, the Chevy SS serves a small but fervent audience of performance enthusiasts who want family-hauling practicality in a sedan that will embarrass most sports cars." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The SS feels like it's built for shaking off pricey German hangers-on in one quick shot of back-road glory. From behind the wheel, where it matters, the SS is clearly dedicated to just that task." -- Edmunds (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 SS features a 6.2-liter V8 engine that puts out 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and a six-speed manual is a no-cost option. The SS gets an EPA-estimated 14/20 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission, which is one of the worst ratings in the class and poor even among the high-performance sedans it most closely competes with. Models equipped with the six-speed manual return 14/22 mpg.

The SS moves with an alacrity normally reserved for sports cars, going zero to 60 mph in under five seconds. The powerful engine runs smoothly, but test drivers have different opinions about the automatic transmission. Some say that it delivers timely shifts, but others lament that it only has six gears (fewer than some other high-performance vehicles) and that it's unresponsive.

  • "In a straight line, the Chevy SS hits 60 mph in 4.7 seconds - faster than many sports cars." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "In the SS, the transition from part throttle to full-on is sweetly smooth, without (sic) no angry reaction from the rear end. This car tolerates bravado or silliness without vengeance. The transmission works for every purpose, be it lazy, comfortable self-shifting, precise, speedy manual operation or something in between." -- AutoWeek (2014)
  • "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 (2014)
  • "The most notable nit to pick with the driving experience is the SS's six-speed automatic transmission. 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." -- Autoblog (2014)

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard on the SS. The ride is comfortable, and the standard adjustable suspension has three settings that allow drivers to further tailor the driving experience. The SS handles responsively thanks to its sharp steering and tires that provide excellent road grip. The SS has an athletic feel and is fun to drive.

  • "The standard Magnetic Ride Control uses fluid-filled shocks that can change their viscosity based on magnetic charge. Those changes are dictated by sensors that read the road surface every millisecond, providing a more responsive ride in all driving conditions." -- Left Lane News
  • "In corners, direct steering, an adaptable suspension and sticky tires conspire to deliver capable handling and, consequently, fun. Really push the handling limits and you're greeted by docile understeer, making the Chevrolet SS a thrilling but manageable car to drive fast." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Ride and handling is another area where the SS excels. Grip from the … 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 (2014)
  • "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 (2014)

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