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Impala VS. Grand Prix VS. LaCrosse

Which W-Body is Best for Us??   17 members have voted

  1. 1. If You Were in My Position, What W-Body is Best?

    • 2007 Chevrolet Impala LT1 - 3.5L 3500 VVT V6
      9
    • 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix - 3.8L Series III V6
      0
    • 2007 Buick Allure CX - 3.8L Series III V6
      8

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17 posts in this topic

So the 2007 Leasebacks will be in at our dealership in mid November-Early December. After the Cobalt fiasco my dad wants to get the floatiest, wallowiest rental queen we can find. Lucerne CX would be perfect but it's beyond what we want to spend with the Allure only a bit less equipped for a few grand less.

The leaseback figures our salesman has quoted us with says that prices would be nearly the same for all 3. He says he likes the Impala himself, but the seat issue continues to nag. My dad has a bad back from when he was run over by a stolen car at a police roadblock in the 1970s so he'd have to revisit the lumbar support to see if it makes any difference, but that's a strike against the Impala... He's a Pontiac man, but is unimpressed by the roofline of the Grand Prix cutting into the rear cabin so much... he also doesn't like the harsher than Impala front seats and non-standard head curtain airbags. the Allure has a pull of sorts because he likes the seats best out of the W-Triplets, and is swayed by the 4/80K bumper to bumper warranty.

Here are the particulars... Money is irrelevant as long as it falls within Base GP, CX or LT1. Full Cash Purchase... one transaction.

Which W-Body is best and Why? Which one would you pick? What are some pros and cons for each of them?

Any assistance in helping us make a decision is greatly appreciated.

Chris

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How about none of the above? Why not go with an Epsilon like the Aura or wait for a new Malibu?

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My dad likes the W. My mom likes the Epsilon because it's more solid and firm which is her preference, my dad, like me, likes a big floaty ride... Like I said before, he Hates fours and the 3.6L 'Bu will be too expensive unless we lease again which is unlikely (fuel econ. is also crap). He equates Saturn with Communism and refuses to buy one (he's one complex individual). It's also a matter of we can't wait. Venture Lease is up in January, incentives to get out of it (the lease) should become available in December.

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Out of the three, I guess I'd go with the Buick...but I'd have to at least get a CXS with the 3.6L.

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I could talk your ear off for 1/2 an hour on this conundrum alone. I am going through the exact same decision process, with the Impala being switched for a Monte Carlo LT, however.

In this case, I said LaCrosse/Allure because, if you are specifying a 4-door sled, then this is the one.

A little bit about the others, from my vantage point, having had an Allure for 7 days in Quebec a month ago and having had a Monte Carlo 3.5 for 7 days in Sac/Northern Cal more recently than that.

For overall quality and functionality, the LaCrosse/Allure is it. The car is quite user-friendly and the engine is faultless. In terms of appearance, the rear is appealing and proportioned, as is the side silhouette. I like neither the old front end nor the new one. The old one said Medicare and the new one says bling...they failed to strike a compromise. The dash is also kind of blah, compared to the other 2, though it is sensibly arranged. The seats are nicely shaped but the fabric is so bargain basement. The little extra opera window to the rear of the rear doors creates a little bit more "pillar action" than needed, but it is manageable. The 3800 V6 in my October stay in an Allure wasn't as quiet as others I've rented and I don't know why. The ride is supple and controlled and certainly good enough for everyday maneuvers.

The Grand Prix shares the same mechanical underpinnings as the LaCrosse/Allure, so all comments for reliability are ditto. The suspension underpinnings are different, making this one the most fun to drive. The lack of rear pillar for the rear doors makes this one the easiest to see out of. The shape of the dash kicks ass...I love the canted wrap-around effect, though the materials tend toward the cheap. From some vantage points, this is a svelte and appealing vehicle. From others, particularly the front, it appears to be demonic and overstyled. Again, the side and the rear are quite nice. And yes, the new rear is sooooo much nicer than the 97-03 run with the "grafted-on pumpkins," now in season. With all those nice things to say, there are some clear demerits. The seats are not comfortable and the more I test sit those bolstered buckets that knife at you, the less inclined I am to buy this car. I am 5'-10" and have a 33" +/- waist and I feel boxed in like an astronaut...I think that was the intent. The roofline also affects rear seat comfort, as your Dad accurately pointed out. (Sidebar: I look at this vehicle as one that greatly enhanced its styling in the current model run and went overboard on a few things that alienated the upper end of their buying age range: 1) the front end didn't have to be THAT provocative, 2) it could have been just as svelte without as much horizontality in the rear backlite and this would have benefited the comfort in the rear of the cabin as well, and 3) the front buckets could have followed the contours and profile of the 97-03 series, making for more comfort on longer trips and ease of use....but they probably wanted to craft a midsized 4-door GTO, so there you have it).

The Impala (and Monte Carlo sibling) are just fine. I love the Monte Carlo and just rented one, though I have rented about 3 Impys over the last 24 months. Both of these cars are competent in virtually every aspect. The ride and handling balance the opposite personalities of the GP and the LaX/Allure. It is certainly quiet. The dashboard is nicely arranged with nicer dials (why, this is a Chevrolet?) and I absolutely love the blue illumination at night. In the Monte, there is a slight cant in the dash while they Impy's is flat, but nicer via its wood grain accents. Again, I don't know why, as a Chevy, this has these more nicely upholstered plump bucket seats that are incredibly comfortable and finished in a richer fabric. I didn't want to get out of my Monte Carlo last week and hand it back for this very reason. Let's talk mechanical bits. The transmission is a known quantity as it probably is the same one that propels the GP and the LaX. The engine is a different story. It's both been around and it's kind of new. First and foremost, the gas mileage is stellar...it is mindboggling that such a heavy and comfortable sled can manage 32-33 mpg at a non air conditioned cruise speed of 60 to 65 mph, so I feel patriotic driving one. The 3.1s and 3.4s of which the 3.5 is derived have exceeded 200,000 miles (320,000 km) for many owners...but the 3800 goes even longer....my current one has 240,000 miles (385,000 km). The new part is the VVT. I have tried to read and ask a lot about this, even talking to service advisors who tried to shed some light on this one. First, unlike other manufacturers, VVT is not accomplished with an extra lobe in the cam...it is accomplished with a "phaser" up in the pulley and above the crank that modifies the cam angle. Thus, it just pulls off when R&R is needed and a new one is installed...but this should not occur under normal use. It would be much like changing a water pump, I think. Also, you can see the electrical attachment for the sensor at its side. This is called the actuator, I think, and would be a "plug and play" type of fix. I think that GM had beaucoup time to think this one through (since others preceded them in this technology) and I hardly doubt they would crank out some 300,000 units annually of their "bread and butter" passenger car with a system that isn't fully worked out...I'd like to think they were smart about this.

For your Dad, I'd say LaCrosse/Allure. For me, it will be Monte Carlo LT (if I find one after Christmas and after I move with the stuff and in the colors I want), but, if not, then LaCrosse CX and lastly, the Pontiac Grand Prix base.

Good luck with the purchase and many years of happy motoring! PM me if you have any comments or questions.

Edited by trinacriabob
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I'm kinda rooting for the Buick, because, since the 1940s, it's the only existing GM brand aside from Saturn and Saab my family hasn't had yet. That will change, I will own many Buicks in my life, god-willing.

Edited by vonVeezelsnider
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Mmm... Thinking solely on your perspective (not mine since I'd rather have just about anything over those, Kia's included), I'd say the LaCrosse/Allure.

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None of the above. If I had to pick, I would pick Impala. 3.5L makes more power, and will get better gas mileage. I would actually take a 500/Taurus or 300/Charger over all 3 choices.

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the Impala has the most updated w-body, right?

but

the warranty is a + on the Buick and sounds like it's what would fit the best anyway.

too bad it'll be a 07, the 08's grill does look so much better.

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I'm kind of partial to the 07 Fascia... the 'bling was better executed on the Park Avenue of late than the Allure. That being said, I like the Lucerne and Allure with the Blacked out grille.

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None of the above. If I had to pick, I would pick Impala. 3.5L makes more power, and will get better gas mileage. I would actually take a 500/Taurus or 300/Charger over all 3 choices.

What he said.

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The LaCrosse is nice, but the Impala offers more for the money.

Examples;

1. The LaCrosse backseats are useless for anyone over 5'5".

2. The LaCrosse does not have an IPod hook up

3. The LaCrosse costs more money new & used

4. The LaCrosse has a smaller trunk

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Sounds like you'd like us to endorse the LaCrosse because that's what your dad is getting... fine with me. I'll go along with that. The LaCrosse should run like a Swiss watch for a lot of years.

We just had a white '05 CXL (?) in the shop... chrome wheels, tiny decklid spoiler, tan leather, tan pinstriping to accentuate the flanks, spotlessly clean with a small parking-lot bump on the rear bumper that we fixed. A couple in their 50's were the owners. They are in love with that car, and were pleased it turned out nice.

Edited by ocnblu
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Well... it's not that simple. I'm trying to get info mainly I guess about the 3500 vs the 3800. The MAXX has an LX9 which is the 3500 sans VVT... It's ultimately a matter of what is available at the time. If the leasebacks only return CXLs to the dealer (like last year)... than there's always gonna be Impalas there ripe for the picking. The iPod plug is something he's thinking about, as well as the newer stereo in the Impala will play iTunes CDs while the other one will not (?). Impala's got standard lumbar, and since it's a rental queen it won't come with many options, meaning the Allure won't have it. That could actually make the decision. I certainly am intrigued by what Bob said about the 3500... Fuel economy is also a potential deciding factor. Needless to say, I'd have some fun driving either of them. When it comes to which car will hold its good looks longer... I'm gonna have to say Impala, the Allure's styling looks more like a fad to me... won't always look good. Impala is a nice, unoffensive shape.

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Having driven all three (the LaCrosse being a CXS), I'd say that either the Impala or the LaCrosse would fit the bill. The GP ride, even in base trim, is pretty firm and not floaty at all. And the seats were not comfortable at all for long trips.

Look for an Impala review from me in a couple of days. I put 424 miles on a '08 LT yesterday.

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