2006 Chevrolet SSR

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2006 Chevrolet SSR Review

A unique truck that is all entertainment, attitude, and fun.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2006 SSR classifies as a retractable hardtop convertible pickup truck by Chevrolet. The truck debuted in 2003, based on the Chevrolet EXT platform, which the TrailBlazer uses as well. The nameplate SSR stands for Super Sport Roadster. The 2006 Chevrolet SSR predominantly gets recognition for its retro styling, including the use of a curved hood and headlights, similar to those in old Chevrolet trucks. Although production began in 2003, the SSR can be traced back to 2000 when Chevrolet unveiled the Super Sport Roadster concept car at the 2000 Detroit Auto Show. An early version of the production SSR served as a pace car for the 2003 Indianapolis 500.

The first models of the SSR use the Vortec 5300, V-8 engine that propels the truck from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. The 2005 model SSR, however, introduced the LS2 V-8, also found in the Pontiac GTO and Chevrolet C6 Corvette. It also offers the six-speed Tremec transmission gearbox for the first time as an option. The V-8 engine in the 2005 model rates at 390 hp, but the 2006 Chevrolet SSR features small modifications that increase the rated output to 400 hp with the manual transmission and 395 hp with the automatic. This year also marks the introduction of GM badges on the vehicle.

The 2006 Chevrolet SSR, with its unique retro styling, clearly aims at auto enthusiasts. The rear-drive SSR remains smaller than most pickups on the market. The vehicle has been dubbed the ?American Street Machine,? and according to Chevrolet, it offers refined roadster handling and a boulevard-cruiser ride.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door convertible pickup
Engines: 6.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet SSR

What's New

The engine under the hood of the 2006 Chevrolet SSR has been revamped. The V-8 now delivers an additional 10 hp, bringing the total rated power to 400 horsepower. Other than this, the roadster-truck remains mostly unchanged, except for a new chrome package, a two-tone exterior paint option, and some new dealer accessories.

Exterior

The unique exterior of the 2006 Chevrolet SSR gains inspiration from Chevrolet’s line of Advanced Design trucks that saw production from 1947 to 1953. These trucks feature the flared fenders and sculpted hood that make the SSR stand out from the crowd. The hardtop retracts within 25 seconds with a push of a button, and the roof panel stacks vertically in the space between the cargo bed and passenger compartment.

The SSR uses a modified Chevrolet TrailBlazer SUV platform. It uses full-length hydroformed steel rails, and the clearance reduces to improve stability and reduce roll while cornering. The SSR sits on 19-inch tires in the front and 20-inch tires in the rear.

Interior

The Chevrolet SSR has modern-day visual appeal and comfort in the form of aluminum-like interior trim and leather upholstered seating. The four-spoke steering wheel looks very retro, but the mounted controls for the audio system and the trip computer give it a modern touch. In fact, such combinations of old-school Chevrolet and modern convenience appear everywhere in the SSR.

For example, the gear selector looks like the one in the 1968 Corvette, while the optional small gauge set down the console recalls the Camaro of the 1960s. Despite great interior styling, the passenger may find space a bit of a problem. The power seat controls in the 2006 Chevrolet SSR sit so close to the door that only a small child’s hands can reach them and operate the seat without opening the door.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Chevrolet SSR comes fitted with a six-liter, aluminum, V-8 engine that delivers 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet offers no engine options, but it doesn’t really need to offer more. The V-8 offers a unique and admitted beautiful exhaust note, similar to that in the old Chevrolet SS. This truck does not disappoint when it comes to performance either. While the V-8 engine powers the car forward, the SSR holds its own and gives a composed feel. Handling feels just about as good, but the combination of ride quality, handling, and performance makes the SSR a satisfying, comfortable, and stylish cruiser.

Safety

Safety features in the 2006 Chevrolet SSR include anti-lock brakes, side airbags, and traction control. However, it lacks a stability control system. The IIHS and NHTSA have not conducted crash tests on the SSR.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet SSR 6.0-liter V-8, automatic: 14/18 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Retro, unique styling
  • Quick-folding hardtop
  • Aggressive exhaust note
  • Comfortable interior

You Won't Like

  • Heavy weight for a two-seater
  • High price tag

Sum Up

A unique truck that is all entertainment, attitude, and fun.

If You Like This Vehicle

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  • GMC Canyon
  • Mazda B3000
  • Toyota Tacoma
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