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z28luvr01

Chevy’s big new V-8 Impala

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from Newsday: Tom Incantalupo ROAD TEST Chevy’s big new V-8 Impala is in a power class of its own It's an exaggeration to say that the Chevrolet Impala SS has no equal. But, for the money, the 303-hp. V-8-powered SS has no direct competition. There are few other front-wheel-drive cars available with V-8s. One, the Pontiac Grand Prix, is smaller. The new Cadillac DTS and upcoming Buick Lucerne are more expensive, and, as of the end of the '05 model year, the Pontiac Bonneville is gone. The Cadillac STS V-8 and the V-8 sedans from Ford and Chrysler are rear-drivers. V-8 sedans from Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes, Jaguar and Volkswagen are rear-drivers or all-wheel-drivers - and expensive luxury models, too. Partly, the dearth of competitors for the Impala SS is because it's unlikely that anyone but an American automaker would put a V-8 in a car for ordinary folks. As high as we think gasoline prices are, they are even higher in Japan and Europe, so automakers based there tend to offer fewer cylinders. Offered for the first time as an '04 model, the SS had a 240-hp. supercharged V-6. Even then, this variant of the front-drive Impala added some fun to a car that, while a good value, is more utilitarian in nature. The V-8 ups the fun quotient again. But it comes at a price; SS versions for '06 start at $27,130. My tester, with leather seating and a few other options, came in at just under $30,000. And, while front-wheel drive has its benefits in winter driving, the forward weight bias of such vehicles make it not the best layout for a performance car. The SS is a bit crude around the edges, too, with a ride that seems unnecessarily jiggly and four-wheel disc brakes that don't feel quite up to the demands of a performance car, especially one weighing more than 3,700 pounds. The SS interior isn't trimmed well enough for a car that, at $30,000, nears the "luxury" classification. Even on moderately hard acceleration, the steering pulls to the side, a phenomenon known as torque steer, a once common affliction among front-wheel-drive cars with powerful engines. And a four-speed automatic transmission is hardly anything to brag about in an era when almost everyone else offers at least five forward speeds, while six is becoming common and seven is available in some luxury models. But the SS is an interesting solution for the buyer who needs a big sedan, can't spend a lot and doesn't want to be bored. The payoff for the firmness of the fully independent suspension is deft handling that makes this car feel livelier and more agile than its bulk would lead one to expect. And there's nothing quite like the torque and throbbing exhaust tone of a V-8. The Impala displaces 5.3 liters, has variable valve timing, prefers premium gas (but will accept regular), delivers zero-to-60-mph acceleration in 5.7 seconds according to GM, and brings the new Impala a step closer to the last great Impala SS, the 1994-'96 models that were rear-drive and had 5.7-liter V-8s. The Impala's last redesign was for the 2000 model year. What it lacks in finish, the interior makes up for in equipment and user friendliness. Switches are where they should be and are large enough and clearly marked. Gauges are clearly readable day or night. The heater/AC system allows the driver and front passenger to set their own temperatures. Also standard in the SS are antilock brakes, traction control, head curtain air bags, fog lamps and a tire pressure monitoring system. Available options include a Bose eight-speaker sound system and XM satellite radio capability - sold separately for $495 and $395, respectively. Unfortunately, neither a navigation system nor stability control are available in Impalas. For those more interested in value than performance, the more basic, V-6-powered Impala is well worth considering. A freshened version for '06 includes new flip-and-fold rear seats for cargo carrying, what Chevrolet says are suspensions revised for a better ride and handling; stronger brakes, improved ABS and traction control; improved seats; and exterior aesthetic touches such as new head lamps and tail lamps. With three-across seating available in front, the Impala will seat six adults. Impalas start at just under $22,000 with freight, without any factory or dealer discounts. A $1,000 factory rebate is being offered on '06 Impalas until Jan. 3. The standard Impala engine, which is new, displaces 3.5 liters and delivers 211 hp. That might not sound like a big deal, but it's one more horse than you'll find under the hood of a Camry V-6. Torque ratings are nearly identical. Opting for the more expensive LT and LTZ versions of the Impala puts a 3.9-liter 240-hp. V-6 under the hood. While we're on the subject of Camrys as competition, note that the Impala offers more shoulder and hip room and a bigger trunk than the Camry, with legroom virtually identical. Quality? Consumers Reports gives the Impala the magazine's "recommended" designation for better than average quality and overall features, although it also thinks the Impala is a bit rough around the edges. Although it comes in below average in the J.D. Power and Associates survey that measures things that go wrong in the first three months of ownership, Chevrolet scored above average in the Power surveys that measure overall customer satisfaction and dependability over three years. All of which is not intended to dissuade you from a Camry if that is your preference, only to point out that the smart shopper no longer has to dismiss American brands out of hand because of concerns about quality. 2006 Chevrolet Impala SS As tested: Engine: 5.3-liter V-8, 303 hp. Transmission: Four-speed automatic, front-wheel drive Safety: Dual front and side- curtain air bags; four-wheel disc brakes with antilock; tire pressure monitoring system; fog lamps, daytime running lamps. Place of assembly: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Weight: 3,712 pounds Trunk: 18.6 cubic feet EPA fuel economy rating: 18 mpg city, 28 highway Price as driven: $29,980 including destination charge
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Camry has 193 hp under new SAE ratings? Fair review overall.
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only to point out that the smart shopper no longer has to dismiss American brands out of hand because of concerns about quality.



only to point out that the smart shopper no longer has to dismiss American brands out of hand because of concerns about quality.




only to point out that the smart shopper no longer has to dismiss American brands out of hand because of concerns about quality.

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only to point out that the smart shopper no longer has to dismiss American brands out of hand because of concerns about quality.


Yet....

The SS is a bit crude around the edges, too, with a ride that seems unnecessarily jiggly and four-wheel disc brakes that don't feel quite up to the demands of a performance car, especially one weighing more than 3,700 pounds. The SS interior isn't trimmed well enough for a car that, at $30,000, nears the "luxury" classification.


That's still not THAT impressive for a $30k car that already just went through a pretty heavy redesign.

But, okay looks, great power, strong MPG's, relatively roomy, and rebates to be had, so B) I guess. Edited by caddycruiser
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All of which is not intended to dissuade you from a Camry if that is your preference,


Typical media 'disclaimer'

Okay, yeah, we all know the domestics don't need to conquest sales or anything and we all know that GM doesn't build cars to competitively sell them :rolleyes:

This article wasn't well written and carried the same "Well, if you want a rental" bias that most GM W-Body articles carry.
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"And there's nothing quite like the torque and throbbing exhaust tone of a V-8. The Impala displaces 5.3 liters, has variable valve timing, prefers premium gas (but will accept regular)," i didn't think the 5.3L has vvt yet.....anyone else catch that?
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I don't think anyone's 'preference' is a Camry. A Camry is the car you get when your wife/finances/parents won't let you choose the car you want.
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Yeah, this guy's a serious import humper. I have the (dis)pleasure of reading his drivel every Friday. Once he went on and on about how the bad his experience with the GTO was because when large drinks were in the cupholder they interefered with the shifter. It probably wouldn't surprise most of you if I told you that this newspaper is intended to be read on a 4th grade level.
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this car needed more wheel base. 2 more inches or so would have made a world of difference in the ride portion of this review.
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The Impala was at the top of JD Power quality reports. Where did he get below average? The Impala plant is also at the top of the report, above the camry plant, though as typical it was not mentioned in the article.
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I got pulled over by some cops last week(long story)and they found out I worked at GM. They asked me when is GM going to come out with a proper cop car again. I told them I didn't know but I said you can get the V-8 in the Impala. They were like it is driving the wrong wheels right, enough said. Oh I didn't get any tickets or get handcuffed btw. So a happy ending.
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The Impala was at the top of JD Power quality reports.  Where did he get below average?  The Impala plant is also at the top of the report, above the camry plant, though as typical it was not mentioned in the article.

[post="32835"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Silly GM fan, don't you know that REGARDLESS of facts GM cars are ALWAYS inferior? It's called; the need to justify selling out and buying a BLAND, UNINSPIRED import. (IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, it's called cognitive dissonance; if this person feels guilt for not supporting domestics, then he'll find some way to justify his actions rather than retrenching and looking like a fool, the fool that he actually is.)

As for the 4th grade reading level comment... I agree BUT according to all of those "studies" aren't import fans more intelligent than domestic fans?!?!?!

Seriously, all sarcasm aside, it's nice to see import people at least acknowledgeing GM's new offerings.
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I would like to see Chevy put darker tans and grays in there cloth seat options and make the lower portion of the dash look less cheap. Also I would like to see a return of gear indicators on the floor shifter as it just doesn't look right. Lastly where did the rear legroom go? These minor carpings aside I think the new Impala will do well.
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Yeah, this guy's a serious import humper. I have the (dis)pleasure of reading his drivel every Friday. Once he went on and on about how the bad his experience with the GTO was because when large drinks were in the cupholder they interefered with the shifter. It probably wouldn't surprise most of you if I told you that this newspaper is intended to be read on a 4th grade level.

[post="32353"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


z28, where are you from on Long Island. I'm from Lindenhurst.
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There's only one quality test that matters and that's resale. Resale is the market's view of quality and the market is always right. It's resale that determines whether you have equity in the car at the end of the lease, and that will be key when you decide to stick with the same brand. Camry owners have consistently done well on this score over a long period of time.
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That is a pile of bullcrap. Toyota dealers are directly responsible for keeping the myth of higher resale value going. They gouge like crazy on used cars. $5,000 profit in some cases. In this market, it is supply and demand, plain and simple. 150,000 "new Canadians" move into the Greater Toronto Area every year. They don't buy American cars, plain and simple. They have no credit/poor credit so they buy used Asian cars because it is all they can afford, thus propping of the "value" of Toyotas and Hondas. When GM's market share (not IF) is tied with Toyota (which it already is in the GTA) the market will stabilize, and with the newer (better?) products GM has out now it will level things out. Besides, as I've said before, nobody -not Blue Book, nobody - has access to the true selling price of vehicles. They can only compare MSRP to what used vehicles sell for. On that basis, a Cavalier or Impala would look pretty bad. Compare actual selling prices of new to actual selling prices to used and the Japanese Myth falls apart.
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