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There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a brightly colored, sporty truck with a roadster vibe. This would be a great showpiece at a car show, where you see lines of creative colors and low-riding beauties. Unfortunately, it’s not a practical option in a pickup truck. The Chevy SSR was more than just a cartoonish truck; it was an abomination, a failure, a flop, and a vehicle that Chevrolet wants us to forget they ever made.

What is the Chevy SSR?

The SSR name stands for Super Sport Roadster. That sounds great, and with some of the iconic sportscars, Chevy has produced, the name could get us excited to see what it would be. Unfortunately, it failed. The combination of truck, retro design, convertible roof, and low riding position didn’t quite sound right. This Chevy convertible truck looks more like something you’d buy your child in the toy aisle at the store than a serious truck.

This Chevy truck has the right stuff but in the wrong build

Red Chevy SSR Convertible Truck Parked and Posed
Chevy SSR | Chevrolet

The power for the Chevy SSR came from a strong V8 engine that churned out 300 horsepower. This could have easily made this retro-styled truck a huge success, except for the indecisiveness at Chevy. Although car/truck combinations had worked fine in the 1960s and 1970s, the early 2000s wasn’t the time to bring this combination back to the market.

So much potential never realized

On paper, the Chevy SSR could have been a popular small Chevy truck that many would have loved. There’s a subset of the market that likes quirky things, right? The car/truck packaging was cool and retro, often getting attention. If this vehicle had offered anything redeeming, it might have been a success. Instead, it’s a vehicle that Chevrolet wants us to forget and had a ton of potential that was never quite realized.

More power didn’t save this strange Chevy convertible truck

Rear 3/4 View of a Yellow Chevy SSR With All Doors Open
Chevy SSR With All Doors Open | Chevrolet

The original 5.3-liter Vortec V8 engine should have been enough for the Chevy SSR to succeed, but it wasn’t. Eventually, Chevrolet upped the game with a 392-horsepower LS2 V8, but that wasn’t enough to change the fate of this strange vehicle.

Why did the Chevy SSR fail?

Although this vehicle (calling it a real truck is a bit insulting to other trucks) was powerful enough, it lacked the performance to excite consumers. The horsepower number was impressive, but at 4,700 pounds, the Chevy SSR was heavy. This meant a 7.7-second sprint time to 60 mph and terrible handling, which removed any hope of a performance-oriented roadster. To make matters worse, it takes 15.9 seconds to complete the quarter mile in the SSR.

How much is a Chevy SSR worth today?

Today, you can find a used version of this Chevy convertible truck with prices that range from $15,987 to $33,995, according to TrueCar. Some owners have kept their SSR models garaged and barely driven, while others drive them regularly. For this reason, the odometer readings can range from a low of 8,480 to 120,762.

Chevrolet wants us to forget they made the Chevy SSR

Purple Convertible Chevy SSR Parked and Posed
Convertible Chevy SSR | Chevrolet

The SSR never lived up to the hype. The styling was a bit bizarre, even though some thought it was cool. The powerful engine was on point, but the sheer weight and lack of handling reduced the strong V8 engines to nothing. Toss in the high starting price of $42,000 in the early 2000s, and you can see why this retro-styled Chevy convertible truck failed.

Next, check out the value of the new 2023 Chevy Colorado, or learn more about why the Chevy SSR failed in this video below:


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