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Can't go wrong with extra hp that's for sure. But the 03's and 04's are sweet too (and cheaper). I have an '04. I've tweaked it a little and I'm a happy camper. It doesn't take much to get more performance out of them. My wife calls it the "zippy car".
 

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Super Moderator
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13,905 Posts
You had best drive both.
The 90 hp doesn't mean too much to about 65% of SSR owners
To the other 35% it means a lot - just like to some the 6sp is a must have.

For the weekend cruiser it probably doesn't matter much.
My observation is that when driving in a caravan through the mountains the 5.3L has difficulty keeping up.

I don't think any 03/04 owner would turn down an extra 90 hp though.
 

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Ex SoCal Nut
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9,907 Posts
Have driven a 2004, nice, great sound........................but I'm torn about missing out on 90 more hp!
Thoughts????
Thanks, Bob
If you're looking for "stop light to stop light" ... Probably "No".. They will Both peg the speedo. A 5.3 w/tune will keep up with a 6.0 w/out a tune, (almost) but it's FUN ! Worry about Stopping, too... What's this truck weigh ? The question goes Both ways....

Welcome ! Regards, Fuji
 

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Tough decision to make depends on difference in cost between 04 and 05-06 and what upgrades and condition each R is in. When I bought mine I went with an 04 with low mileage in great shape. Was all stock but have done almost all recommended upgrades and still have money left over from what I would have paid for an 05-06 to add some bling and super tune gaining some HP there. Unless your looking to race it you have enough power from the 5.3 to get you as many tickets as you want.
Major thing you should be concerned about is overall condition of the truck mechanically,condition of interior and exterior. Important to check the storage compartment for the roof and look for any hydraulic fluid showing a leaking roof cylinder and how smooth the roof operates watching to see if it drops last 2-3 inches when its going down, as this will be the most expensive fix down the road. Good luck in your quest for the right one there's been a few showing up with low mileage lately when you see it you will know it.
 

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I DO WINDOWS
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8,824 Posts
I have the 03
I added the 112HH supercharger to get the extra HP.
It is fun and you can feel the difference in power, but I seldom use the power.
03/04 reg. gas 05/06 high test needed.
Resale better for 05/06 03/04 cheaper to buy

Only you can make this choice.

To live it over I would not add the power. I would just do the 4:56 rear gear change.
 

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RED SLED
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439 Posts
My 03 seemed to drive fine when I first got it. after an exhaust, intake and tune reprogramming is a kick in the ass. You gotta remember that there will always be something faster than you. With all the big horsepower stuff now being produced your way outclassed in HP. I’ll be installing a supercharger this year cause I can and it would be fun. I could have easily just sold this and bought another 05-06 for less than a supercharger costs, but I really love what I’ve done with my 03’ so I’ll put on he supercharger.
 

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Premium Member
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61 Posts
I have both a 2003 and 2006 truth is street red light to red light not real noticable. In fact getting rid of the 2003 to many vehicles..lol. 12500"00
 

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Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda.

If you're on the fence about horsepower, and have the extra $$, go ahead and find a nice 6.0, they're out there. If HP is your thing and you buy a 5.3, you'll always wonder... gee, if I only bought an '05 or an '06...

A 5.3 can easily be made to run well but it will never be a 6.0.

just my $.02
 

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Premium Member
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2,418 Posts
It depends upon what you want. To me, the two positives to a '03 -'04 are price and cost to run with regular fuel. But, if they are the same price I think anyone would go '06.

There are upgrades each year progressively besides the engine.

IMO, if I could afford it, I would get a '06 six speed decent mileage and go. It would be even better if the basic upgrades are already done. If you can't justify that work your way back to your price point. Be patient and you will find the right one.

IMO

Dave
 

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Administrator
PEDIGREE SSR
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8,572 Posts
IMO: I don't try to race anyone from street light to street light because I bought the SSR mainly as a super great looking cruse machine. The 5.3L performance is perfectly fine for me. Yes, I bought mine before the 6.0 engines were available and no 6-Speeds were around. And yes, I would enjoy the extra 95 HP but to be honest with you both engines sound "super" throaty and preform awesomely!

That being said, 98% of the population really don't know what size engine is in the SSR unless you open up the hood. Most don't even know what MY years GM made the SSRs let alone what engines were in them.

Lastly... visually no one can tell what MY the SSR is or even what engines are in them, unless they happen to know that in 2005 and 2006 GM put 6.0 engines in... the only visual difference between the model years is the small GM logo/ badge on the lower side of the front finders.

No matter what year you have the SSR looks awesome and sounds great! Enjoy the ride and make it your own. :)
 

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BAD BOW TIE
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10,869 Posts
Finding an SSR in the color you like and in perfect condition, that you can afford, is much more important than just horsepower in my opinion. Here is an example. I have a 5.3 liter in my Chevy Silverado and did a few external changes on the engine and had it super Dyno tuned and it runs very strong and sounds great. It does everything I want it to do. If bragging rights and speed are your primary goals then eliminate the 03, 04 from your hunt and focus on the LS2 6.0 Liter, 05,06 only. There are three or four on the forum for sale right now. Good luck.
 
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