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2005 Chevrolet SSR Overview

The SSR retro pickup truck makes nostalgic hot rodders sigh. The lack of sales probably has the same effect on Chevrolet executives. The Super Sport Roadster harkens back to the 50s bubble-fendered pickup trucks in form and to 60s muscle cars in name and performance.

This model year, Chevrolet added more "nostalgia" by swapping engines with a Corvette sourced, slightly detuned, 390-hp, LS2 6-liter V8. The Corvette Tremec six-speed manual becomes an option with a new four-speed automatic as standard issue. This blasts the 4,760-pound pickup to a 5.3 second 0-60 time.
The SSR's underpinnings are SUV (TrailBlazer/Envoy) based. To add more "sport," Bilstein sport shocks and heavy-duty sway bars were ordered up. For 2005, a new steering system corrects the numbness of the initial offering. Along with modern traction control, the SSR does better than its 60s muscle car counterparts once the corners appear.

As for the "R" in SSR, the retractable hardtop sure attracts attention. Push the embossed SSR button, the roof lifts up, splits in two, and settles down into a nook behind the cab with the tonneau cover closing over it. However, the SSR reinforces that drop-top nostalgia with excessive top up wind noise and good old body shake and cowl shudder.

Under those blue skies lays an interior that reviewers unanimously criticized for lack of storage space. The leather bucket seats provide support with good legroom, but the windshield top ended up directly in the face of a 5'11" test driver.

With overall mileage from 12 to 18-mpg, lack of cockpit storage space, and a rather high price tag for a two-seat pickup truck, how practical is the SSR? One reviewer pointed out that as fun road trip roadster with a hardtop, the SSR with its 23.7 cubic-feet of carpeted bed space capped by a hard tonneau cover offered more space than any two seater out there. Another suggested adding a little more and getting a Corvette!

Updated by Anonymous

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