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american_driver

June '06 C&D Impala SS Roadtest

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The current issue of Car and Driver did a full road test of the Impala SS. Even though the test numbers looked very good, they pretty much panned it. The said that the driving dynamics were unrewarding.

They did say that it was a good effort with an 18 year old platform.......

Thought the LTZ would be a more rewarding drive.

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The current issue of Car and Driver did a full road test of the Impala SS.  Even though the test numbers looked very good, they pretty much panned it.  The said that the driving dynamics were unrewarding.

They did say that it was a good effort with an 18 year old platform.......

Thought the LTZ would be a more rewarding drive.

Well, in C&D's defense, it is an OLD platform that even gets mocked by people here who are GM enthusiasts for it's shortcomings.

But, are you that surprised? It's FWD, has less hp than the 300C, c'mon... it seems as though GM is not going to do any good by critics' standards.

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The GP GXP is tuned to be much sportier. I've heard that people have tested both and the Impala SS floats and wallows in comparison, and isn't as tight as the GXP.

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Too bad the GXP torque steers like hell

Umm, no it doesn't. They did a test in C&D a while ago and it didn't torque steer much because GM put wider front tires on it which reduced torque steer and made it handle better.

But in the Grand Prix GXP, with more horsepower (303 at 5600 rpm) and a lot more torque (323 pound-feet at 4400 rpm), torque steer is not a serious issue. There are hints—a little tugging when the driver cracks the throttle at low speed—but no real wrestling.

Instead of four tires of equal size, the GXP has a lot more rubber up front than at the rear: Bridgestone Potenza RE050As, 255/45-18 front, 225/50-18 rear.

http://www.caranddriver.com/roadtests/9964...d-prix-gxp.html

:pokeowned:

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Umm, no it doesn't. They did a test in C&D a while ago and it didn't torque steer much because GM put wider front tires on it which reduced torque steer and made it handle better.

http://www.caranddriver.com/roadtests/9964...d-prix-gxp.html

:pokeowned:

Actually, putting wider front tires only magnifies the torque steer. The reason why it's mild on the GXP is because of tire design, "the way the piles were wrapped", that prevents the "sidewalls [from distorting]... affecting directional stability".

:pokeowned: :AH-HA_wink:

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Ah, the Impy is more of a cruiser...windows down kinda car.

And you can light the tires every now and again...

for a 18 year old platform, it's about as good as it is going to get...

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Ah, the Impy is more of a cruiser...windows down kinda car.

And you can light the tires every now and again...

for a 18 year old platform, it's about as good as it is going to get...

Except the GXP is better and on the same platform...

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Except the GXP is better and on the same platform...

He said "about" as good as you're gonna get. Let's face it, the platform is old, and it's going. Anyway, I prefer the interior to the Impala over the Grand Prix... so to me, overall they're about equal.

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To be fair, the W-body is about as old as I am, so of course they are going to float a bit-they were developed in the late 80s, back when handling isnt what it is now. I would think that an Impala SS still handles better than a Camry. Still, GM should get some credit for at least trying to make a sporty sedan. It is a nice placeholder for the time being until the 2009 model rolls out.

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Umm, no it doesn't. They did a test in C&D a while ago and it didn't torque steer much because GM put wider front tires on it which reduced torque steer and made it handle better.

http://www.caranddriver.com/roadtests/9964...d-prix-gxp.html

:pokeowned:

Oh? Read this then:

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=106626

Torque Steer City

Stuffing a V8 into a front-wheel-drive platform is a surefire recipe for torque steer, and Pontiac's engineers have cooked up plenty of it. Hammering the pedal at any speed causes the car to dart around like there's a drunk behind the wheel. And laying into it from a dead stop, even with GXP's traction control turned on, results in immediate wheelspin, which slows the Grand Prix's acceleration.

It seems odd that the two road tests had different experiences, but the point is that it exists.

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i waited patiently all last summer for the Impala SS to come out.

then, on the day i finally was able to test drive one, I also drove a new base 06 Passat 4 cylinder automatic.

to sum up, the Passat was much more fun, and in the end i leased a snoozer or snoozers the 500.....because the 500 (as lame as it is and slower as IT is) is a more rewarding daily drive and has more function than the ancient W body Impala SS. The Impala simply was NOT sporting and it really didn't come off as any fun with its lame 4 speed auto and mush handling (for a supposed sports sedan). The SS package for the Impala is merely a v8 engine option for a typical cornfield state intersate highway cruiser car. The Impala also lacks room. The gauges and dash were cheap and the seats had no support.

I never tried the GXP GP, but I assume it would be a lot more to my liking and probably would have been the type of car I really wanted but it was too pricey.

Edited by regfootball

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F_O_G SCREAMS: BIAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ONLY reason the GXP was approved and the Impala panned is because of sales trends.

GXP cannot hold it's own, DESPITE their praise, against the competition. Impala, on the other hand, is lighting up the sales charts (And ESPECIALLY the SS--- as per GM press releases) therefore C&D decided to do the noble thing and bitchslap it around some (What a surprise---their timing is becoming impeccable) JUST like they did with the HHR, G6 and Lucerne.

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F_O_G SCREAMS: BIAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ONLY reason the GXP was approved and the Impala panned is because of sales trends.

GXP cannot hold it's own, DESPITE their praise, against the competition. Impala, on the other hand, is lighting up the sales charts (And ESPECIALLY the SS--- as per GM press releases) therefore C&D decided to do the noble thing and bitchslap it around some (What a surprise---their timing is becoming impeccable) JUST like they did with the HHR, G6 and Lucerne.

Yeh what he said.

And C/D hates the idea that a FWD *GASP* sporty Chevy is selling like mad.

C/D and everyone else wanted it to bomb so they could say "told ya it needed to be RWD and a brand new platform like chrysler"

the impala is an excellent platform, the avg person wouldn't be able to tell you how old the "design" of the platform dates, That just proves how good it is.

Much to C/D dismay, Impala doesn't need to go RWD, there is a chance to alienate alot of drivers, just like killing the DTS is a BAD IDEA.

Again, they rip the DTS, but GM has no problem unloading them like hotcakes!

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The Impala, Lucerne and DTS are all very fine examples of FWD sedans. My buddy and I drove a 3LT Impala with it's 17" tires and were shocked at the handling of this car. We pulled that car around some very sharp curves and were amazed that it didn't even let out a peep from the tires and remained composed throughout. The yuppie crew over at Honda & Driver needed to find a way to justify once again that american cars all suck, the Accord and Camry are automatically superior and should be considered over the terrible GM FWD outdated cars but people are thankfully finding out what a nice job GM did with these refreshes. It's funny but very few car nuts I know even bother with C&D as it is the same ol $h! month after month with them.

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Or, C & D has a point and the biased here at C&G are needlessly bashing C & D.

Do you really think a dated architecture has any place on one of GM's best selling vehicles in the heart of the market??? Is the Impala excellent for what it is? Absolutely. The problem lies in the assumption that its competitors have stood still or not advanced the game a few steps. As to the Accord or Camry, I don't even consider them the problem, its the 300/Charger/Magnum that make GM look silly and unimaginative...tell me that GM couldn't use another model that sells at a higher price point. The current Impala is still a rental car queen. GM sold 30% of its 1st quarter inventory to fleet users...that SS buyer is going to kill himself come trade-in time....the car will be worth as much as used tin-foil...Is that what GM really wants for its customers?

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http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet...=74&docid=24824

From GM's sales PR.

"Consumers and dealers continue to respond very favorably to the new Chevrolet Impala. Retail sales in March were 16 percent greater than February and the sales mix has been very favorable, with strong demand for the SS version."

GM's statements mean nothing.

What does strong demand for the SS version mean?

Without a breakdown of the sales mix, the statement is without context.

Impala Sales March

24,071 2006

25,072 2005

Impala Sales Feb.

18,714 2006

19,135 2005

Retails sales up compared to Feb 2006 but total delieveries are down. How does this compare to the same period last year? Were the March 2005 retails sales up also when compared to Feb.?

Really, relying on the latests sales PR does not mean anything. There are more questions than answers.

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http://media.gm.com/servlet/GatewayServlet...=74&docid=24824

From GM's sales PR.

"Consumers and dealers continue to respond very favorably to the new Chevrolet Impala. Retail sales in March were 16 percent greater than February and the sales mix has been very favorable, with strong demand for the SS version."

GM's statements mean nothing.

What does strong demand for the SS version mean?

Without a breakdown of the sales mix, the statement is without context.

Impala Sales March

24,071 2006

25,072 2005

Impala Sales Feb.

18,714 2006

19,135 2005

Retails sales up compared to Feb 2006 but total delieveries are down.  How does this compare to the same period last year?  Were the March 2005 retails sales up also when compared to Feb.?

Really, relying on the latests sales PR does not mean anything.  There are more questions than answers.

I think that all this means is that the current SS model is selling as a larger part of the model mix than the last model's lame V6 SS attempt.

That shouldn't be a tough task, should it? (Then again, we're still waiting for the 09 Camaro to surface...)

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I think that all this means is that the current SS model is selling as a larger part of the model mix than the last model's lame V6 SS attempt.

That shouldn't be a tough task, should it? (Then again, we're still waiting for the 09 Camaro to surface...)

I think I know what it means also but the problem I have with the PR is that I have to think, instead of laying it all out and being open. A poster above recently referred back to the PR as a supporting claim. My point is that there is nothing in the PR that actually supports anything without a solid model by model comparison instead of a quick snap shot. If it is that important for GM to point out, than have the breakdown in the sales numbers so it can be properly quantified off line if need be.

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Or, C & D has a point and the biased here at C&G are needlessly bashing C & D.

Do you really think a dated architecture has any place on one of GM's best selling vehicles in the heart of the market??? Is the Impala excellent for what it is? Absolutely. The problem lies in the assumption that its competitors have stood still or not advanced the game a few steps. As to the Accord or Camry, I don't even consider them the problem, its the 300/Charger/Magnum that make GM look silly and unimaginative...tell me that GM couldn't use another model that sells at a higher price point. The current Impala is still a rental car queen. GM sold 30% of its 1st quarter inventory to fleet users...that SS buyer is going to kill himself come trade-in time....the car will be worth as much as used tin-foil...Is that what GM really wants for its customers?

I largely agree with that post on the issues with the Impala... It's a good car, but Chevrolet certainly needs MORE.

That said, I do not appreciate C&D's BLATANT disdain for GM and Ford (Notice how DCX is left out now because they are not an american company)

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Except the GXP is better and on the same platform...

.....yet uglier.....

<groan>

Who was the product planner at Chevrolet that didn't have enough smarts to basically duplicate the suspension tuning on the SS to mimic the GXP?

And don't ANYONE on here tell me that the Pontiac is "supposed to have a sportier ride" or that Chevy had to "dumb down" the SS to "protect Pontiac..."

It's crap like that that gave the Lucerne the lower-powered Northstar.....in Bob Lutz' words..."we needed to protect Cadillac."

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I test drove a GXP and was SHOCKED at the LACK of torque steer.

That's one thing GM is getting really good at managing.....

:yes:

Acura and Nissan are just now weening out the torque steer from their high-horse cars.

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