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The Chevy Silverado SS Was Kind of Unnecessary

In the early-to-mid-2000s, Chevy was adding a SuperSport trim to everything. We’ve shown you the Malibu Maxx SS, the HHR SS and the Trailblazer SS, all of which we labeled as cool. But the Silverado SS was a bit of a misfire.

Of course, saying the Silverado SS was a misfire isn’t saying that it wasn’t good. For a truck, it was actually quite capable. Launched in 2003, the Silverado SS was widely praised for its 6.0-liter V8 with 345 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, which was enough to get it to 60 miles per hour in an impressive 6.3 seconds. The Silverado SS also received a sporty suspension upgrade and all-wheel drive — and inside, it was comfortable, even with the sporty suspension. By all accounts, it was nicer to drive and easier to live with than high-performance rivals like the Ford SVT Lightning and the Dodge RAM SRT-10, even if those two trucks were much faster. See the Chevrolet Silverado models for sale near you

But the Silverado SS was far too expensive. While $40,000 may seem like small potatoes for a truck now, it wasn’t back then — and the truck just wasn’t sporty enough or refined enough to justify that price tag. It also just wasn’t crazy enough for people to slobber over, like the Viper-engined RAM SRT-10 was.

In order to lower the price and increase sales, all-wheel drive became optional in 2005 before being completely phased out in favor of rear-wheel drive in 2006, and the rear disc brakes were replaced by drums on the rear-wheel-drive variants. This cheapening only served to dilute the meaning of the SS badge. At the end of the day, the SS trim for the Silverado SS was really just that: a trim. It just didn’t mean as much for the Silverado as it did for the Cobalt SS or the HHR SS, which were both radical transformations of otherwise boring cars. The Silverado SS just wasn’t that radical. Yes, it ended up driving more like a car — but most truck buyers didn’t seem to care about carlike handling for their pickups.

If the Silverado SS still sounds like your cup of tea, you’re in luck. There are currently 43 Chevy Silverado SS models on Autotrader, with an average price of $15,223 and fairly high miles across the board. Find a Chevrolet Silverado for sale

MORE FROM OVERSTEER:
When Lincoln Tried Again to Make a Pickup: The Mark LT
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A Year With My Aston Martin: Saying Goodbye

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5 COMMENTS

  1. With racing experience, this is the best vehicle I’ve owned.  I test drove a 2003 Corvette prior to the 2003 Silverado SS.  Consequently I’ve purcheased that 2003 Silverado SS & owned it since driving it off the show room floor.  With it’s AWD, it is the most AWSOME vehicle I have ever driven & owned. It’s been capable to easily pull heavy loads & be driven daily. My wife confiscated it from me for her personal use & calls it her truck. To this day we get comments on it’s looks & offers to buy it.  We love it, STILL!!!!

  2. Your opinion is what it is. I drove a 2003 SS Silverado for 15 years on many many trips. It was a tank in mountain snow and ice. It got us to ski areas on powder days when the roads were not yet plowed,- even once when I-5 was closed due to snow (who knew). 

    We drove our beloved SS on rough forest roads for camping trips and to wilderness trail-heads where the factory 2 and 3 inch lowering never was any problem, but the AWD always shined. Where we live it rains hard and the wet-weather traction on narrow winding mountain roads was outstanding. 
    That 6.0 high-output V8 could pass on the uphill grades like nobody’s business; it could flat-out fly. Of course mileage was a downside.
    Maybe it wasn’t every-man’s truck. Maybe it wasn’t the most economical. In real life, however, that SS Silverado wasn’t a bit indispensable for us. 
    I would buy that truck again – if only I could.
    • I have a silverado ss. My volant cai goes straight down to the right front duct. Basically a true ram air style, without dishing out the money for a hood. And I mean literally that tube goes straight to that duct. Wanna tell me how it isn’t functional again? Lol 

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