The bowtie division is back in the rear-drive-performance-sedan market with the new 2014 Chevrolet SS four-door, offering V-8 power for under $50,000. Built by GM’s Holden unit in Australia, the handsome SS, which rides on a 114.8-inch wheelbase, is a 3-inch-shorter version of the rear-wheel-drive Caprice sold primarily to law-enforcements fleets. The SS rides on meaty 19-inch wheels and tires and is equipped with Brembo four-wheel disc brakes.
The big difference from the Caprice is that the SS is not only shorter, lighter, and more nimble, but it is far more luxuriously appointed. A full leather interior, including seats and dash, features brightwork inside and out that lends an aura of elegance to this five-passenger vehicle.
The 415 hp 6.2-liter V-8 delivers its output to the rear wheels via a smooth-shifting 6-speed automatic that also features steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifts allowing you to sequentially shift through the gears. The SS is able to accelerate to 60 mph in about 5 seconds.
With direct and nicely weighted steering, the SS offers spirited handling without sacrificing ride quality. The throaty V-8 provides a great sound and yet is able to deliver 14 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
Priced at $44,470, including destination charges, the SS offers great handling, quick acceleration, and handsome looks for thousands less than comparable V-8-powered European sports sedans. (www.chevrolet.com)