By Joe Bruzek on March 29, 2013
One of the unfortunate effects of Pontiac getting the boot back in 2009 was the G8's premature departure. We don't miss much else of Pontiac, just the V-8-powered, rear-wheel-drive G8 GT. With the 2014 Chevrolet SS, we kind of get the G8 back in the form of a full-size sedan with a V-8 and rear-wheel drive but with a Chevrolet badge instead of a Pontiac one.
The Chevrolet SS takes a huge leap forward in offering a more upscale interior experience compared to the now 5-year-old G8. While both the G8 and SS share development with the Australian Holden Commodore, the SS is based on a next-generation successor of the car the G8 was based on.
Soft-touch materials, red stitching and suede-like highlights on the doors look much more upscale than the somewhat barren G8. Limited use of hard plastic is done well with textures that look like soft-touch materials on the upper dashboard. That area doesn't often come into contact with the driver, so the hard-plastic materials work well in this case.
One area where the G8 still holds up well is the exterior. The SS doesn't look quite as aggressive as the G8's low-slung raked profile. The SS has a little too much Malibu midsize sedan in its rear styling and more of a family-car exterior look instead of a dedicated performance sedan.
It sure is a practical full-size sedan, however, with backseat and cargo room in spades. The rear seat is slightly reclined for a lounging angle, and the trunk's wide, flat floor is gigantic. Three people may be able to fit in the back, though the person in the middle seat might not be too happy with the tall floor hump they'll have to straddle.
Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Email Joe