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ponchoman49

Life with the 3900

11 posts in this topic

ponchoman49    23

My buddy has now had his 2006 black Impala 3LT 3900 for a year now as a fleet car for Fuji medical and gets to take it home every night for his daily driver. I have driven the car many times with him so have made the following pro and con table:

Pros: Spacious, quiet at cruise, lots of std features for cost, trunk space, performance, mileage, handling, workmanship, reliabilty

Cons: Anonymous rear end styling, engine noise at more than half throttle, hard seats take getting used to, no floor shift indicators or glove box light a minor annoyance

Now that the 06 Impala is fully broken in with 35,000 miles, performance and mileage have improved to quite respectful levels. We timed it with both a stop watch and G-force at 0-60 in 6.8 seconds with 2 of us aboard! The trip computer is now reading 24-25 combined mpg which is about a 60-40 ratio of highway to city driving which is an improvement of almost 2 mpg compared to when it was new. The engine has settled down a little and is a little quieter but still in our opinion makes more noise than it should. Still if your used to a 3800, you will love the 3900! It offers 40 more hp, similar combined mileage and a lot more driving fun. It's pure highway mpg may be slightly less but then again it has 3.29:1 gears vs 3.05:1 for all the 3800 Impalas. The seats are very firm but once we got used to them, they weren't a bother. The lack of a glovebox light was annoying at night and the lack of gear shift indicators made the center console look cheap. We also wish Chevy would put some padding in the door armrests like they used to. Rear seat legroom is slightly reduced from the 00-05 cars but worse, toe space is compromised because the seat comes almost to the floor from the covers. Ride and handling remain very good. This car can really pull around a sharp corner with the 17" tires. This car has only been in the shop once for a purge solonoid but otherwise has been trouble free with no squeaks and rattles, tight build quality and seamless interior fits. Overall it is an impressive car for the money and one that I can endorse to anyone looking for a medium to large sized sedan but go for the 3500 if you want steller highway mileage!

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loki    287

know how well it performs w/ the cruise on in hilly areas going ~ 55? the 3500 my family had for a couple days ( other car getting dents out) seemed very anemic in that area, and when it kicked up to 3rd it was too sudden to be smooth.

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razoredge    0

Im not totally impressed with 3900 performance. In the 60+ passing mode I dont see an engine that takes its job seriously. Perhaps Im too used to 3800's that kick down into 2nd in this 55+ range and get down to business. Myself Im only seeing the better stats on paper. Yea, ours goes like a raped ape from 0-60 with the low ratio finals and close ratio 1st & 2nd of 6 sp standard but after that its just not the killer I was expecting. Put it up against the supercharged 3800 and forget about it for passing. Maybe 0-60 but def not 60-90 and beyond.

Mileage on the other hand is 1 or 2 MPG better than 3800 average. I find it to be a quiet engine at any driving level, in fact it doesnt bark enough a WOT. It has a strange shudder at idle but I dont get worked up over this, Im sure its not good for conquest sales however.

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ponchoman49    23

Im not totally impressed with 3900 performance. In the 60+ passing mode I dont see an engine that takes its job seriously. Perhaps Im too used to 3800's that kick down into 2nd in this 55+ range and get down to business. Myself Im only seeing the better stats on paper. Yea, ours goes like a raped ape from 0-60 with the low ratio finals and close ratio 1st & 2nd of 6 sp standard but after that its just not the killer I was expecting. Put it up against the supercharged 3800 and forget about it for passing. Maybe 0-60 but def not 60-90 and beyond.

Mileage on the other hand is 1 or 2 MPG better than 3800 average. I find it to be a quiet engine at any driving level, in fact it doesnt bark enough a WOT. It has a strange shudder at idle but I dont get worked up over this, Im sure its not good for conquest sales however.

201839[/snapback]

My buddys 3900 didn't seem too quick in the 60-90 range either, that is until it had about 25-30k miles on the odometer. Now it spanks any 3800 car we have driven in that range. Also idle quality has improved after the same mileage period. All 3900 Impala/Monte Carlos use the same 4T65 4 speed automatic transaxle as the 3800 cars with slight differences in final drives.

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The O.C.    2

My buddy has now had his 2006 black Impala 3LT 3900 for a year now as a fleet car for Fuji medical and gets to take it home every night for his daily driver. I have driven the car many times with him so have made the following pro and con table:

Pros: Spacious, quiet at cruise, lots of std features for cost, trunk space, performance, mileage, handling, workmanship, reliabilty

Cons: Anonymous rear end styling, engine noise at more than half throttle, hard seats take getting used to, no floor shift indicators or glove box light a minor annoyance

Now that the 06 Impala is fully broken in with 35,000 miles, performance and mileage have improved to quite respectful levels. We timed it with both a stop watch and G-force at 0-60 in 6.8 seconds with 2 of us aboard! The trip computer is now reading 24-25 combined mpg which is about a 60-40 ratio of highway to city driving which is an improvement of almost 2 mpg compared to when it was new. The engine has settled down a little and is a little quieter but still in our opinion makes more noise than it should. Still if your used to a 3800, you will love the 3900! It offers 40 more hp, similar combined mileage and a lot more driving fun. It's pure highway mpg may be slightly less but then again it has 3.29:1 gears vs 3.05:1 for all the 3800 Impalas. The seats are very firm but once we got used to them, they weren't a bother. The lack of a glovebox light was annoying at night and the lack of gear shift indicators made the center console look cheap. We also wish Chevy would put some padding in the door armrests like they used to. Rear seat legroom is slightly reduced from the 00-05 cars but worse, toe space is compromised because the seat comes almost to the floor from the covers. Ride and handling remain very good. This car can really pull around a sharp corner with the 17" tires. This car has only been in the shop once for a purge solonoid but otherwise has been trouble free with no squeaks and rattles, tight build quality and seamless interior fits. Overall it is an impressive car for the money and one that I can endorse to anyone looking for a medium to large sized sedan but go for the 3500 if you want steller highway mileage!

201712[/snapback]

Nice writeup. However, I doubt that car is accurately capable of 0-60 in under 7secs......

C&D timed a (lighter) Malibu SS from 0-60 in 6.9secs with the same powertrain.

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razoredge    0

I may get to drive ours again this Sunday, Autumn is upon us and I think we will head down into the Catskills for a drive.

I believe C&D gives all American cars a 1 second delay, just because.

The GTP is a little Tiger in 1st and 2nd, I know I dont have time to look down at gauges, just shift and shift. People are claiming low mid 14's, which prove its quick and with my opinion about the 60-90 range it must be making up for it in the 0-60.

I so wish they would adapt and interface the Eaton M90 to this 3900, then we would really have something. we'd need 92 octane but we would really have a monster. Maybe for RWD they could do it.

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ponchoman49    23

Nice writeup.  However, I doubt that car is accurately capable of 0-60 in under 7secs......

C&D timed a (lighter) Malibu SS from 0-60 in 6.9secs with the same powertrain.

202136[/snapback]

And did that Malibu in C&D's test have 35K on the clock? I highly doubt it. Also the Impalas 3900 is tuned for slightly more hp and torque than the Malibu. As I stated in the write up, the 3900 in his Impala didn't feel all that fast when it was still green. It didn't fully come alive until it had well over 20K miles.

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bcs296    0

Im not totally impressed with 3900 performance. In the 60+ passing mode I dont see an engine that takes its job seriously. Perhaps Im too used to 3800's that kick down into 2nd in this 55+ range and get down to business. Myself Im only seeing the better stats on paper. Yea, ours goes like a raped ape from 0-60 with the low ratio finals and close ratio 1st & 2nd of 6 sp standard but after that its just not the killer I was expecting. Put it up against the supercharged 3800 and forget about it for passing. Maybe 0-60 but def not 60-90 and beyond.

Mileage on the other hand is 1 or 2 MPG better than 3800 average. I find it to be a quiet engine at any driving level, in fact it doesnt bark enough a WOT. It has a strange shudder at idle but I dont get worked up over this, Im sure its not good for conquest sales however.

201839[/snapback]

The 3800 may be decent when it shifts down to 2nd, but I always thought it was rather unimpressive once it shifted to 3rd at what, 75-80? At that point, the short gearing of 2nd isn't there to make up for the engine's incredibly weak top end. I seriously doubt that a car with 40 more hp and shorter gearing is slower than a 3800 powered equivalent.

Edited by bcs296

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Drew Dowdell    5,159

The 3800 may be decent when it shifts down to 2nd, but I always thought it was rather unimpressive once it shifted to 3rd at what, 75-80? At that point, the short gearing of 2nd isn't there to make up for the engine's incredibly weak top end. I seriously doubt that a car with 40 more hp and shorter gearing is slower than a 3800 powered equivalent.

206214[/snapback]

he was refering to the supercharged 3800 which has 240hp and 280 torque compaired to the 3900 which has 233hp and 240 torque.

yeah, I can see how the s/c 3800 would be faster.

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ponchoman49    23

he was refering to the supercharged 3800 which has 240hp and 280 torque compaired to the 3900 which has 233hp and 240 torque.

yeah, I can see how the s/c 3800 would be faster.

206227[/snapback]

The 3900 in my buddys 2006 Impala had the 242 hp motor not the 2007 AFM 233 version.

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