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The O.C.

2006 Chevrolet Impala LTZ

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My Summary?

The GM enthusiast in me likes this car and would actually even consider purchasing one in SS trim! However, the realist in me recognizes that this car is at best a "has-been" in the marketplace and at least a solid decade behind where it needs to be in order to effectively compete in the mid-to-large sedan segment.

Now my impressions.......

I like the updated appearance of this car and the updated interior with quite good fit-and-finish and a more modern appearance (even if some of the trim pieces are of dubious quality.) However, actually driving this car reminds me of almost every single GM sedan I've driven in the last 20 years......and that's not a good thing.....

Strangely-enough, the 3.9L in this LTZ is not anywhere near as responsive as I remember it being in the Monte Carlo I drove in this very same city (Las Vegas.) I have no explanation but had to even check under the hood to make sure "fleet" LTZ Impalas didn't have a 3.5L installed.....'cause that's what it feels like. It's still a good example of a GM pushrod V6. That being said, it still groans and moans at part-throttle to full-throttle. It's sluggish off the line (where's that good ole fashioned pushrod-level low-end torque?) but impressive at highway speeds up to 90mph-plus.

The overall architecture shows it's age in the way the nose bobs up and down relative to your level of aggressivness with the throttle or brakes. Taking off aggressively from a start sends the nose aiming for the clouds....while a somewhat-aggressive application of the brakes at 80-90mph (after a strong acceleration run getting on the freeway) sent the nose diving into the ground. Not what I'd call confidence-inspiring.....or classy-feeling....

The chassis feels very solid over bumps and at 5/10ths driving around some nice curves reveals a decent level of roll control. The body drifts in turns, but takes an easy set and pulls nicely around the turn. However, up the driving level to 7/10ths or 8/10ths, and major understeer and front-tire scrub sets in sending the nose wide of the curve and no amount of throttle or brake action will bring the back end around to tighten the curve.

One annoying thing I've noticed inside this car.....(and a major area where GM is seriously behind the curve) is the steering wheel and steering column. It seems like the steering wheel is WAY out towards my chest relative to it's distance to the dash....and, alas, with GM, there is no telescope feature on this wheel. I have to move the seat back an almost uncomfortable distance from the pedals in order to have the wheel at a decent position for me. I don't believe this car has adjustable pedals....but why not just engineer a new wheel/column with tilt AND telescope functions?

Another annoyance is having ONLY auto-down on the driver-side window. NO auto up...and no auto down on any other window.

Finally.....why is the trunk so HUGE that you can't even reach into the very back of the trunk....yet the rear seat space is so lacking? (answer....the ancient architecure.) I'd LOVE to give up some of the huge trunk space in return for a much more accomodating back seat. That, however, can't happen until the car is developed off a newer, more modern platform.

Also, speaking of the architecture, the car looks all discombobulated with those HUGE front-and-rear overhangs underpinning sheetmetal that's actually quite attractive.

Sounds wierd to have me tell you I actually liked this car after reading my comments.....but I do. However, when I look at it in the grand scheme of things, the new Impala is a most forgettable rental-queen that not only sets no new ground in the marketplace, it actually reminds you of the GM sedans of a decade ago.....just with a more modern wrapper and a cleaner interior. I'm forever hoping for WAY more with this car.

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The overall architecture shows it's age in the way the nose bobs up and down relative to your level of aggressivness with the throttle or brakes.  Taking off aggressively from a start sends the nose aiming for the clouds....while a somewhat-aggressive application of the brakes at 80-90mph (after a strong acceleration run getting on the freeway) sent the nose diving into the ground.  Not what I'd call confidence-inspiring.....or classy-feeling....

Blame this on the suspension setup, not the chassies. I'm familiar with the TBM-style diving of the MS2000 Impala (in my case, a 2005 model), something that the '98 Regal GS we had for a few years, nor the 2004 GP GTP I drove exhibited.

Its something not unexpected on the Impala I rented (it was a base...who cares?), but something that shouldn't occur on a midlevel LTZ.

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The GM enthusiast in me likes this car and would actually even consider purchasing one in SS trim!  However, the realist in me recognizes that this car is at best a "has-been" in the marketplace and at least a solid decade behind where it needs to be in order to effectively compete in the mid-to-large sedan segment.

Exactly. A lot of GM cars are very likeable, IMO, but nowhere near good enough to justify buying one with your own money.

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Blame this on the suspension setup, not the chassies. I'm familiar with the TBM-style diving of the MS2000 Impala (in my case, a 2005 model), something that the '98 Regal GS we had for a few years, nor the 2004 GP GTP I drove exhibited.

Its something not unexpected on the Impala I rented (it was a base...who cares?), but something that shouldn't occur on a midlevel LTZ.

I'm no engineer....but isn't this architecture designed around a front MacPherson strut setup? I've always felt that this arrangement is more cost-effective than a multi-link arrangment but not nearly as efficient at snubbing ride motions....unless you resort to an overly aggressive level of firmness in the suspension tune.....

My parents' '99 Regal GS exhibits the same ride motions......in fact the ride-and-handling feels very similar to the '06 LTZ......

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I also noticed how the Impala 3900 didn't really seem any faster than the basic 3500 version. And it's strange that my 00 Impala had more rear seat legroom than the current version despite identical 18.6 cu ft trunks so I guess this one can be partially blamed on the chunky clunky seats taking up more space. It's sad that a smaller in length 2006.5 Kia Optima utterly obliterates the Impala in rear seat legroom and that the smaller, cheaper Chevy Malibu offers power pedals and telescoping wheel whereas the Impala has neither. I can't explain the engines feeling similar in power though. Maybe they need to be fully broke in to really feel there power potential.

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Well, I am tooling around in a 2006 Impala LT, black with graphite cloth interior, and I have to say that for $26k (Canadian) with XM, I am wholly impressed. So I went over to our sister store and grabbed a new Camry and took it for a spin.

Both cars are nice. I like the Impala's graphite interior better, but for the $4,000 price difference, plus taxes, etc. , I would take the Impala and its monster trunk any day.

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Well, I am tooling around in a 2006 Impala LT, black with graphite cloth interior, and I have to say that for $26k (Canadian) with XM, I am wholly impressed.  So I went over to our sister store and grabbed a new Camry and took it for a spin.

  Both cars are nice.  I like the Impala's graphite interior better, but for the $4,000 price difference, plus taxes, etc. , I would take the Impala and its monster trunk any day.

Did you compare it against the Honda Accord? All the TV commercials I keep seeing in my area target the Accord. Even on the wesbite mentioned in the ads CT Chevy.com They even look similar!

My dad had a 2000 Buick Regal GSE (supercharged!)...handled well with the Grand Touring suspension but MAN did it ride poorly over broken pavement! That car lasted 6 months before he launched it! He drives a 2006 Infiniti G35x these days...and he's in his 60s...

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See how many more times you can slot the term "ancient architecture" into the write-up before my head f@#king explodes.

165409[/snapback]

Impala

Ancient architecture

LaCrosse

Ancient architecture

Grand Prix

Ancient architecture

Lucerne

Almost-as-ancient architecture

DTS

Almost-as-ancient architecture

:banghead:

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Lucerne

Almost-as-ancient architecture

DTS

Almost-as-ancient architecture

:banghead:

165878[/snapback]

The current Avalon uses some suspension and chassies componants from the Avalon dating back to this time frame as well.

And regardless, the G-body is still the single best FWD car platform today.

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Again (deep breath) WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS???????

Let me see, when is the last time a customer climbed under the body of an Impala and declared: "Lands Sakes, Carbiz - that's ancient architecture under there!"

Maybe the pinheads at MT or R&T, but who else cares? If the car does what it is supposed to, is affordable and reliable - who cares?

Tyranny of the Enthusiasts. That is my new catch phrase.

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Again (deep breath) WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS???????

Let me see, when is the last time a customer climbed under the body of an Impala and declared: "Lands Sakes, Carbiz - that's ancient architecture under there!"

Maybe the pinheads at MT or R&T, but who else cares? 

166082[/snapback]

  • Those of us who don't want a car that dives, rolls, bucks, bobs and bounces when we get even slightly aggressive with it.

  • Those of us who prefer cars without excessive overhangs and dated proportions.

  • Those of us who care about packaging and don't need a large car with limited rear-legroom.
:wink:

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Well, then don't buy a Camry....The Impala's interior dimensions are nearly exactly the same as the Camry, so piss off about the limited rear leg room...and the big overhang gives the Impala a huge trunk...also, much bigger than the Camry...so I don't see where anyone who would CONSIDER an Impala to give a damn.

But when the media exercises their agenda and moans and whines about stuff that you just mentioned, then some members of the public begin to wonder if maybe that should be important to them, too

All of this stuff matters in an Audi or a CTS, but not in an Impala or Camry, is my point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with an Impala's handling or ride. I much prefer it over a BMW 3 series ...that is my opinion. I have no illusions about driving at 120 mph or driving on switch backs in northern Italy. But when I drive to my cottage and set the cruise at 120 km/hr, I want a quiet engine, smooth ride with all my junk in the back and will go 720 km on one tank of gas, and at a price that is going to leave me some money to buy a new boat lift next year.

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  •   Those of us who don't want a car that dives, rolls, bucks, bobs and bounces when we get even slightly aggressive with it. 

  •   Those of us who prefer cars without excessive overhangs and dated proportions. 

  •   Those of us who care about packaging and don't need a large car with limited rear-legroom.
:wink:

166141[/snapback]

TOTALLY :pokeowned:

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Well, then don't buy a Camry....The Impala's interior dimensions are nearly exactly the same as the Camry, so piss off about the limited rear leg room

166256[/snapback]

Uh....yeah.....okay.....

Like try sitting in BOTH.....(which I can tell you haven't sat in the back of the Camry).....and look at how little foot room you have in the Impala....and then try getting OUT of the back seat....trying to swing your feet up and out of the floorboard over the sill and behind the B-pillar....

Camry is WAY more accommodating in the back seat......but then again, so is just about any other midsize car. Hell, a G6 or Malibu is more accommodating.

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  •   Those of us who don't want a car that dives, rolls, bucks, bobs and bounces when we get even slightly aggressive with it. 

  •   Those of us who prefer cars without excessive overhangs and dated proportions. 

  •   Those of us who care about packaging and don't need a large car with limited rear-legroom.
:wink:

166141[/snapback]

TOTALLY :pokeowned:

166504[/snapback]

You both realize none of those apply to the almost-as-ancient Lucerne?

  • The Lucerne offers a suspension that's farthest away from dives, rolls, bucks, bobs and bounces.

  • The Lucerne's proportions and overhangs are inline with its direct competition: the thoroughly modern Avalon:

    Avalon

    Length: 197.2

    Wheelbase: 111.0

    Difference: 86.2

    Lucerne

    Length: 203.2

    Wheelbase: 115.6

    Difference: 87.6

    1.4" difference between their overhangs. Lucerne's extra length is all in its wheelbase advantage, not in "dated" proportions or overhangs... and Lucerne offers larger wheels.

  • The Lucerne is a large car, but packaged with plenty of front & rear leg room... not to mention a larger trunk than the direct foreign competition.
As Fly stated, and I agree... the G-body is still the single best FWD car platform today

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Speaking of poor packaging, how can a car as large as the Avalon (as well as being shaped in such an ungainly matter) have such a pathetic trunk? 15.2 cu ft is it? Granted, I have 16.5 cu ft, but damn, my car looks good from the rear. Looking at the Avalon, you should be able to fit a basketball court inside.

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As Fly stated, and I agree...  the G-body is still the single best FWD car platform today

166644[/snapback]

On what basis? Certainly not passenger cell strength (marginal)...

Posted Image

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  •   Those of us who don't want a car that dives, rolls, bucks, bobs and bounces when we get even slightly aggressive with it. 

  •   Those of us who prefer cars without excessive overhangs and dated proportions. 

  •   Those of us who care about packaging and don't need a large car with limited rear-legroom.
:wink:

166141[/snapback]

Sounds like you're describing the W-bodies, not the G-bodies. The LaCrosse, Grand Prix, and Impala have unbelievably poor interior packaging, IMO.

http://www.cheersandgears.com/forums/index...ndpost&p=145807

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On what basis? Certainly not passenger cell strength (marginal)...

Posted Image

166666[/snapback]

Uhm... go back and reread your own topics:

IIHS Crashes Lucerne

New IIHS side crash results (I always found it interesting that you posted every vehicle crash pic but the Azera's :huh: )

And check this one out also.

As you can see the Lucerne was "acceptable" not "marginal" for side-impact results :rolleyes: :

In the world of large sedans* equipped with side airbags, some do a better job than others at protecting occupants according to the latest results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Achieving the top score of "good" are the Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Camry (this serious group of testers does not issue any scores of "excellent" or "exceptional" or even "super marvelous"). The Buick Lucerne and Hyundai Azera both earned an "acceptable" rating, while the Chrysler 300 and Buick LaCrosse came in with a "marginal" score.

What's wrong with the G-Platform's Passenger cell strength again? Maybe you were talking about Chrysler's new LX platform. Oh wait... that's RWD.

In terms of safety, features, ride, performance, & packaging... the G-platform is still the best FWD platform around.

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Uhm... go back and reread your own topics:

IIHS Crashes Lucerne

New IIHS side crash results (I always found it interesting that you posted every vehicle crash pic but the Azera's :huh: )

I could, but I didn't think anyone here cared about Hyundai.

And check this one out also.

As you can see the Lucerne was "acceptable" not "marginal" for side-impact results :rolleyes:  :

What's wrong with the G-Platform's Passenger cell strength again? Maybe you were talking about Chrysler's new LX platform. Oh wait... that's RWD.

In terms of safety, features, ride, performance, & packaging... the G-platform is still the best FWD platform around.

166688[/snapback]

Look for yourself... the Lucerne has a "marginal" structure and safety cage:

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=670

B-PILLAR TO LONGITUDINAL

CENTERLINE OF DRIVER'S SEAT*

(cm)

Buick LaCrosse with side airbags

model tested: 2006 -6.5

Buick Lucerne with side airbags

model tested: 2006 -3.5

Chevrolet Impala with side airbags

model tested: 2006 -11.0

Chrysler 300 with side airbags

model tested: 2006 -6.0

Chrysler 300 without side airbags

model tested: 2006 -5.5

Ford Crown Victoria without side airbags

model tested: 2006 6.5

Ford Five Hundred with side airbags

model tested: 2006 -11.5

Ford Five Hundred without side airbags

model tested: 2006 -10.5

Hyundai Azera with side airbags

model tested: 2006 -1.0

Toyota Avalon with side airbags

model tested: 2006 -9.5

*Negative numbers indicate the amount by which the crush stopped short of the seat centerline.

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