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February 19, 2006
Around the Block
2006 Chevrolet SSR: A Halo Truck Gets Its Wings
By PETER PASSELL
TESTED: 2006 Chevrolet SSR

WHAT IS IT? Two-door pickup that doubles as a roadster-convertible.

HOW MUCH? $39,890 base. $47,795 as tested with $815 manual transmission; $3,200 Preferred Equipment Group 3SS (includes heated seats with memory, running boards, premium audio); $1,995 chrome wheels; $1,000 chrome interior package; $895 simulated oak trim in cargo compartment.

WHAT'S UNDER THE HOOD? 6-liter V-8 (400 horsepower) with 4-speed automatic or 6-speed manual.

E.P.A. MILEAGE: 13 m.p.g. city, 20 highway. (Observed overall mileage: 17.)

GENERAL MOTORS' marketing mavens thought they had a sure thing when they rushed the head-turning SSR design study, the toast of the 2000 Detroit auto show, into production in 2003. Part retro truck (think 1949 Chevy pickup), part two-seat hardtop convertible (think Mercedes SLK), it would surely ride the same wave of nostalgia that made the New Beetle and Mini Cooper such hits.

But the SSR turned out to be more like the Plymouth Prowler and resurrected T-Bird: a tepid performer that cost way too much to be an impulse purchase. The 5.3-liter V-8 couldn't deliver satisfying zoom for a 4,700-pound vehicle with sporting pretensions, and the sole transmission — an uninspiring four-speed automatic — compounded the problem. Reviews, and sales, were tepid.

Give the General credit for trying again. Reworked last year, the SSR has been transformed by the substitution of the LS2 engine from the base Corvette — increasing horsepower by 25 percent — and a six-speed manual transmission, which is now optional. Road & Track magazine says the big toy can sprint from a stop to 60 m.p.h. in a mere 5.3 seconds.

Did I say "toy"? A vehicle that growls like a hot rod and looks like a prop from a "Tom and Jerry" cartoon certainly fits the description. But this toy is now a blast to drive. The bucket seats are supportive, the controls are nicely laid out and the chrome interior trim fits with the retro theme. I could have used more headroom when the top was up, but that's the price of the ultracool roofline. And speaking of roofs, the retracting hardtop works fine: at the push of a button, it disappears behind the passenger cabin in an intricate dance of machinery.

The stylized cargo area holds less than the business end of a small pickup. But at 22 cubic feet with the cover shut, it is bigger than the trunks of most full-size sedans. To keep stuff from rolling around back there, you need the optional cargo organizer ($125) or net package ($220). Drop $460 for a trailer hitch and you can tow 2,500 pounds.

If you expect the Chevy to handle like a sports car you will be disappointed. The humongous tires and tight suspension make the SSR sure-footed on curves and broken pavement, and the big engine guarantees plenty of grunt even at low speed. But the SSR never lets you forget that it's rather portly. Under full thrust, vibrations make this Chevy feel more like a truck than a car.

Given how much Americans love trucks, that is probably not the problem. Rather, a high sticker price, wretched mileage and limited functionality have kept the SSR, even with its improved powertrain, from flying off dealer lots.

What's more, the SSR will soon go to hot-rod heaven. G.M. is closing the Lansing Craft Center, the Michigan plant where the truck is assembled, on March 17. The SSR will die with it.
 

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woohoo said:
sad, but true. :cry :cry
yes sad indeed but i have alot of fun with my 04 5.3. here in hawaii all the young'uns like them there rice burners as i know alot of mainland kids do also but unless they go all out with turner performance(note,not just a fart muffler)once i get the old girl rolling,which isn't as bad as some make it out to be,they will move over rather quickly and see a bowtie looking at them in front.
 

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Zoom said:
February 19, 2006
Around the Block
2006 Chevrolet SSR: A Halo Truck Gets Its Wings
By PETER PASSELL
What's more, the SSR will soon go to hot-rod heaven. G.M. is closing the Lansing Craft Center, the Michigan plant where the truck is assembled, on March 17. The SSR will die with it.
The factory may die, but the SSR shall not die anytime soon. Not as long as there are people on the website and on the roads driving and styling it.

Perhaps Peter Passell should visit this website, for a follow up.
 

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Good basic review

Pretty much sumed it up for sure. What he fails to say however is that this truck is the most head turning car on the road and will be from here on out. THe 5.3 was porttly for sure. In fact I did not buy the SSR initially (03, 04) because of it's lack of power. It looked faster than it was. Once the LS2 came out (along with GM's head out of their A double S,) it was a hit that not only showed but also go'ed.

I love the power of the 6.0. I wonder how many were aware that they finally put an engine in it? I say this becasue just last Sunday while getting gas a guy came up to me and said he loved the truck but when he test drove one 2 years ago he was unimpressed and called it a "dog". I indicated to him that they put the much needed 6.0 in it and popped the hoodto show him. He loved it. I told him to get down to the dealer because they were going by the way side. He told me that he would go down that next week to buy one.

4700 lbs is just to heavy for any thing less than the 6.0 .....stock of course. I'm just glad I have a 75 horsepower head start!
 

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Smug Ass ---e

Typical negative reporter,why,thats what sells,I thought the article had bits of truth,but it came across to me as smug,like I drive a beamer A-Hole Iam sorry
but these guys piss me off!Forgive me Father,I am disconnected right now!

I must have had a tough day when I first read this article,and hearing and already knowing Gm was going to axe the SSR,my emotional state of mind didn't want to accept the reality I suppose?! After re-reading
the review it was fairly honest ,I would have been more subtle with the last sentence,not useing the word
die,I think that was the trigger word for my intial reaction,not that anyone cares what I think?! I didn't
like reading what I said I guess.
 

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I don't care what ANYBODY says I would NOT let my 5.3/04 go for anything ! ! ! !
Plus what is wrong with being in a class with Prowlers and T-Birds, I'll bet those folks feel exactly as we do. Besides if everybody on the block had one the novelty would be gone.:thumbs
 

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All I can say is.....

I'm glad I've got mine and if those that think they are cute, but wouldn't buy one.....send me your T.S. card and I will punch it for you.:rolleyes:
 

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The fact remains that the Prowler was good looking but couldnt get out of its own way.
The T-bird is very small inside and has a trunk that holds a few envelopes.
Yes the Ssr did not sell but my feeling is that the marketing wasnt focused to sell the car.These babies arent cheap but nothing nice is.
Anyone ever see an SSr advertised as much as a Cobalt, every 10 minutes you see a commerical.
I wouldnt give up my 05 for anything, will they go down in price, I guess but does it matter I dont thing anyone out there bought this for an investment
 

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I don't think GM ever intended to sell many SSRs. That's the only reason I can think of for the lack of advertising and poor dealer attitudes that many of us experienced. I DO know that I have mine and wouldn't trade it for ANY other vehicle on the market today. :cool
 

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Well if they are going to stop making them, then we will have to live with that, so if that is going to be the case then I will be happy when they are out of the dealers hands and into ours. Then we as the few lucky ones that have them will give us more of a hand in the fate of the vehicle. GM has kept giving rebates on rebates. Dealers lowering them trying to rid themselves of them has buyers watching all this waiting for that bottom number. With people on the side lines waiting and not buying has just driven the prices right down in the bucket. I feel when they are mostly out of the dealers hands then we can start sitting our own prices. I know I will keep mine and if any one wanted it they are going to have to cough up some dough. Not going cheap here. If everyone did that and buyers started seeing the upward trend I think you could see some great prices for the people who wants to or in some cases have to sell their toy. It is too much of an attention getter for people not wanting one. I think there alot of buyers out there and are just waiting for the bottom number. Lets fool them.... PS.... Wife and I drove 3,000 miles round trip to the Barrett Jackson Auction and seen 2 SSR's on the trip. Got home in our small Oregon town of 14,000 and seems like there was one on each street corner. I think there are 5 in this town. 2 reds, 1 blue, 1 aqua blur,1 yellow. So much as to having the only 1 in town...
 

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It wasn't a horrible review, but I think he missed the point about this truck. Yea, we all want the power, but the real thing is the truck itself. What other vehicle on the road has the feel, the power, the pizazz, the turn head ability. NOTHING!!! Everything else out there looks the same regardless of what it is.

If someone wants to talk dog, look at the PT cruiser. I had an early one before the turbo charger, and you couldn't pass a pony cart going down the freeway with it. I still loved it UNTIL there were two on every block. The difference between it and the SSR is that Chrysler MARKETED the PT Cruiser. IT WAS A HIT!! and still is. However, Chevy decided that the SSR like the Corvette, didn't need any advertising. They thought it would sell itself. But any new item on the market needs some advertising. Teasing us with a shot of it in a few commercials isn't enough. Then there's the pricing issue. Those that wanted one, had to have $$$. Even though you loved it and had to have it, you had to have big bucks.

I knew from the first time I ever laid eyes on it I HAD to have one. Didn't know when or how, but knew that I would do it. 18 months later I had my first one and would still have it IF I hadn't seen my 2 tone 06 and IF chevy hadn't said "we stopping production." Once they said that, I didn't have a choice but have to get the one I really wanted with all the power and the look as I couldn't come back 2 or 3 years from now and buy the one I wanted.

I'm sure most of us here had the same type reaction the first time you saw the SSR. YOU JUST HAD TO HAVE IT, especially after you had driven it with the top down just once. But once again Chevy made a mistake only this time it was the dealers. When I bought my first one, I couldn't even take if for a test ride UNTIL the deal had been struck and financing agreed on and approved. I think if they had done a better job of selective selling, a lot of tire kickers would have bought IF they had been allowed to test drive it and see what a blast it is. Even at the high price and with the smaller power plant, Chevy could probably have sold 2-3 times the number they did and the SSR would not be in the boat it's in.

IF ONLY Business men ran Chevrolet, instead of corporate thinkers. They would actually listen to the American public, and build what we want instead of what they think we want.

Fock's you're right. The SSR may stop being built, but the SSR WILL NOT DIE!! I know that I never plan on getting rid of my truck. I can't think of anything else that I'd rather have that has even 1/2 the eye appeal and fun factor that the SSR has. Too bad Chevy corporate couldn't figure it out.
 

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Nancy24 said:
Fock's you're right.
Okay, everyone make a note here... A woman said I was right. Will you please tell my wife this, she doesn't believe me. :lol
 

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A slug, true, but that's why God invented Supercharging ! !

I thought the article was fair, considering it was written by a New York Times writer! I'm surprised, and quite pleased for a change, this writer didn't blame the closing of the Lansing Craft Center on "George Bush's War". :glol
 

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Nancy and I have the same dilema - I wasn't ready to buy a new 6 spd until 08 or so. We're halfway through building a house, so the timing is way off.

My wife is at the "I don't know what you're up to but I don't think I want to know" stage. That leaves her the option of disagreeing with a new baby coming on the scene if it affects the house building (actually paying) process.

Putting new wheels on the 03 turned out to be a very expensive decision. Whenever I balk at her choices in materials, appliances, etc the standard question is "How much were your wheels again?"

The new SSR may make the balance of the house finishing and furnishing process somewhat difficult to manage for me.

Yesterday, for example, we accidentally discovered the only Stickley furniture store in British Columbia. OK - for me it was an accident, but now I know why she was asking where Kerrisdale was, and I further understand how I was manipulated into taking her there to check out this "quaint" section of Vancouver.

Holy crap, some dining table and chair sets can be expensive!!!!!! I thought the price tag was for the whole set, but it was only for one of 6 chairs. We didn't buy anything, but I greatly fear what might happen once a 2nd SSR rolls in.:eek

I think I'm being set up.

Ray
 
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