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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala



  • hvanhvan Posts: 56
    The recall happened about two months ago. Get the recall done first (it's free), and see if the problem will go away.

    I don't know how much the software upgrade.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100

    I am researching the Impala, haven't taken a test drive yet. I'm looking for a smooth ride--the Camry I test drove just floated over the road! The salesperson said it was the double wishbone suspension.

    What is touring suspension? Is it a smooth ride like the double wishbone suspension?
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Your salesman was lying to you. Camry does not have a double wishbone suspension. About the only reasonable priced car that does is Honda Accord, but it does not have a boulevard soft ride. The type of suspension has little to do with ride, it is more how the suspension was tuned. Smoother ride generally means poorer handling, though there are quite a few vehicles on the road that are a good combination of both these days.

    Impala has a decent ride without sacrificing handling too much. Very similar to the Taurus I drive. You might also want to try the new Ford Five Hundred.

    The softest rides in the GM lineup are from Buick. You can probably grab a good bargain on a leftover 2004 Century or Regal as they are being replaced in 2005 by La Crosse. Century/Regal are not my cup of tea as I do not like floaty boat riding cars.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    The base model Impala (3.4l engine) is going to have a "smoother" ride than will one with the touring suspension. I've got a 2000 base model with the 3.8l engine, which came with the firmer suspension. I like the handling of my car, but had the opportunity to rent a base model Impala recently, and found the smoothness of the ride to be very pleasing. However, when I bought mine, if you got the 3.8l engine, you had to get the firmer suspension - which also included traction control, ABS, and some other features that were not available with the base 3.4l model. I live in a rather hilly area (Little Rock, AR), and I can't tell you how many times traction control has helped me get going on an incline in wet weather - the payoff of a slightly rougher ride has been more than made up for me by the availability of traction control and ABS.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Thanks guys!

    I'll look at the base 2005 Impala, then. I have some choosing to do then. I just learned that the base has a split bench seat, which I am used to. But it doesn't have ABS, some air bag options--unless that option is easily available.

    So it looks like smooth ride and bench seats or slightly rougher ride, bucket seats (which seem to have a short seat pan, usually), and more safety features.

    Thanks for the feedback on the Buicks and Taurus. I'll give them a look. I think I am used to "boaty" cars." I just don't know if I'll be able to make up my mind while they still have the 2004s~~ :(
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Gee, nosirrahg, I found another one of your helpful messages (see below)!
      I've been looking at the LS because of the more powerful motor, extra air bags, ABS... But I am going to look at the base one definitely, now. I don't mind poor lumbar support--the ones they have are too low for me. I just use a rolled up towel. I just wonder if those options are easily available; I'll check
    "I'm also 5'11", and have a 2000 base Impala with bench seat (but w/3.8l engine). Other than the pretty non-effectual lumbar support, I've been very pleased with the comfort of this car - I can drive this car all day while on vacation, and get out and not be fatigued at all; not the same story with my wife's new Accord. "
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    bh628 if you are interested in an Impala for whatever your reasons and you are not in a hurry, my understanding is that the 2005 Impalas are on a short run. If you can wait until May of 2005, the 2006 Impalas are to hit the streets. The base 2006 Impala will have a 3500 engine that has 200 hp equal to the 3800 now......The 2006 LS will have the 3900 engine with 240 hp (not supercharged) ...The interiors are to be upgraded considerably. The rear and front of the Impala is to be freshened as well. The 2006 Impalas are to debut at the Detroit auto show in January or the LA auto show I believe in March.
  • hvanhvan Posts: 56
    LA Auto Show is in January. Orange County Auto Show is end of this month. Hopefully, I'll get to see the new 2006 Impala this month. I'll take some photos....

    Right now, I'll keep my 2000 Impala for another two years. After that, my choices are:

    1) Preown 2003 Cadillac STS
    2) Preown 2002 Infiniti Q45
    3) New 2007 Impala
    4) New 2006 Chrylser 300
    5) New Pontiac Solstice
    6) Preown 2001 MB E320
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    OH! Thanks, guys! It may te me awhile to choose. I don't know how much longer my car will hold up, but I dont drive much. Wow, I wonder if I can hold up till the LA sow in January.

    How reliable is a car the first year if they make changes? I would like that 200hp engine.
    It sounds like there may be some deals for the 2005s early on, however.

    You are so helpful, thanks to all of you!
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Thanks so much hvan,

    Do you have any dates and location for the LA auto show? Is it at the Staples Center, or Convestion Center? I might not be able to wait till May (my car dies out in hot wheater, especially if I uce AC. ).

    At least I'd get a non-pressured opportunity to sit in the car interiors to check them out. Then I could go do test drives. I wonder if any supermarkets will have discount coupons, or the next year's Entertainment book.

    I was feeling sad that I'd lose out on end-of-year clearances, but the best buy is made when the decision is reached, not before.
  • hvanhvan Posts: 56
    LA Auto Show is the first week of January.

    Right now, you can buy a brand new 2004 Impala with MSRP of $23K for around $16K. Check out the LA Times or Orange County Register Classified Ads.

    I strongly believe that the base 2004 rides better than my 2000 LS. Quality is much improved.
  • frankf3frankf3 Posts: 96
    Impala04 - Since your Impala is new, I wouldn't necessarily wait until 3000 miles to do its first oil change. I know there has been a controversy concerning break-in and break-in periods, but I have always thought that a little extra care now would pay you back over the long haul. With my 2001 Impala and 2002 Tahoe, I changed the oil first at 500 miles. As is comes out at this point the oil almost looks like "metal-flake" paint in the sunlight from all the metal particles. I perform the next oil change, 1000 miles later at 1500 miles, (the oil is a lot cleaner with a lot less metal particles). The last oil change I do is 1500 miles later at 3000 miles. I reset the oil minder at each change then I let the oil minder take over at this point. I figure that all these particles are splashing around and circulating around inside the engine, they can do no good. 14 quarts of oil and 3 filters are a cheap price to pay if it pays off in a long life with the engine.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Thanks, hvan!

    After reading your message, I checked online inventory of base Impalas near me. I'd like to go see what they look like. The thing that's disappointing is that the 2 that I found in one dealer don't have anti-lock brakes. I've been in a couple of skids on slippery roads, and thought that would be good to have. Is that base configuration usual? I thought you could get ABS as an option on the base , but I don't know if they don't usually come that way. The base has a 6-way power drive seat and lumbar support, which sounds great!

    I also found out that the Orange County auto show will be next week. It's a long drive for us, but we might go. Chevy is one of the mfgrs offering test drives. However, it's first-come basis, and I am not sure we can get there that early. Don't know what cars they will be offering to test drive, either. When I called GM last month, they told me about a San Diego ride-drive event, and they said they never know what cars will be there to test. So I don't want to go the OC and not be able to test cars I would like.

    Wish there was some way to test and compare cars w/o salesperson pressuring us. I thought about renting already. We have already rented one car, so I would like a short test drive before renting another car. It gets pricey. I would love to finally be able to decide. And then buy something, hopefully before I lose out on '04 clearance! I'll start keeping an eye out on those ads, Thanks for the tip. What a great price!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    When I got my 2000 Impala, the only way to get a bench seat and the 3.8l engine (and the extras that came with it) was to get a base model - the bench seat wasn't available in the LS. However, my understanding now is you CAN get an LS with a bench seat - it may be hard to find on the lot (or you may have to order it), but I'm pretty sure it can be had now.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    Gosh, till now I didn't realize that you could get either bench or bucket seats on the different styles! I thought that by looking at the base model, I'd automatically get the bench seat.

    So many trim levels, option possibilities, and now bench vs bucket seats! So confusing! I was looking on the GM buypower site, and you can check the window sticker of the cars. None of the window stickers tell you if the car is bench or bucket seats, however. :(

    It's good to know that the bench seats are available and that someone who is 5'11" enjoys them. I don't know how the 6way power driver seat works with bench seats, however. I didn't know that the back of the seat could move at all on bench seats. ???? Thanks for your help.
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    The bench seat is split 60/40, and there's a fold-down armrest on the driver's 60% portion of the seat. So the seat bottom I guess you could say is split 60/40, and the seat backs are split say 40/20/40 (driver's back - folding armrest/middle seat back - passenger's back). They changed the design of the folding armrest in the 2001 and later models, so it may be more comfortable when serving as a backrest now that it is in mine (I've got the flimsy fold-out cup holders; the newer ones are built in, and as such create a larger seat back area when folded up).
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    ok, now I see what you mean about the 60/40 split on the front bench seat. I went to a dealership after seeing your post. I was able to see two Impalas, side by side. One had bench and the other had bucket. I'll have to try both, if possible. I couldn't try it that day--it began to hail unexpectedly!

    Maybe I can get to sit in a car or two if we go early, before a dealership. I just hate being hassled by salespeople! We tried that last week, after reading about it in a book. I was amazed at how many people are out there before the dealerships open, so they can look without being hassled.

    If you are checking inventory online (you can do that at the GM site), how can you tell if the car has bucket or bench seats?

    Thanks so much for the info! Have a fun Halloween!
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Posts: 870
    If you get to the part at the Chevy site where you can see the dealer inventory, you'll have to look at the individual window stickers for each car. Check the "options" area first, and see if it says anything about "60/40 split bench" or "bucket" seats. If you look at the bottom area of the sticker where the standard "interior" features are, it may say cloth bench, but if it's different, it'll be listed in the "options" area at the top. For example, I just looked at a 2005 LS at my local dealer, and although the lower "interior" section says "SPORT CLOTH FRONT BUCKETS W/ FLOOR SHIFT & CENTER CONSOLE", the "options" section at the top says "LEATHER ACCENT 60/40 SPLIT BENCH SEATING(REPLACES STD/OPT/PKG SEATS)". So this is an LS that has a bench seat as an option.

    FWIW - I primarily got the bench seat because my garage is VERY tight, and it's almost impossible to get into my car from the passenger I got the bench seat to avoid the center console; MUCH easier for my wife to slide across a bench than trying to climb over a console (or having to stand outside in the rain while I back the car out). There have also been a number of times where I've parked downtown, and due to traffic found it much easier to slide out the passenger side than climb out into traffic. I also broke my right ankle about 6 months after getting my Impala, and was very glad I had the bench seat, so I could move my bad leg to the right and drive with my left foot when I had to; something I don't think I could have done with a console in the way.
  • bh628bh628 Posts: 100
    THANKS so much for your comments, everyone (especially nosirrahg)!! Yesterday, I was able to test drive both a base Impala with 60/40 seat and an LS with bucket seats. The base, with the 60/40 seat, is soooo comfortable for me! The base steering isn't as stiff as the LS--I felt like I was fighting the LS rather than a smooth turn. So now I know I prefer the base Impala touring suspension, 60/40 seat.
         The only thing is that the seats look ugly to me, but I can't ignore the comfort factor. This is the first car that looks promising! :D (HUGE GRIN!)
         The dealer has us working thru the fleet manager (thru a credit union), and he said that the '04 I test drove would be $100 over invoice. Is that good for an '04? I would imagine there would be the 3% holdback and probably a 5% carryover allowance on '04s. I don't know if it would be $100 over invoice for all his cars. Especially because I want antilock brakes on the base--hard to get--and he would have to bring the car from another dealer.
         If he can't do that pricing, I might do a fax attack to uncover where my car might be. Not sure.
     THANKS AGAIN for helping me find a comfy seat!

    I think that I will try a Taurus before I make my final decision.
  • Initially the only way to get ABS in an Impala was to get the 3.8l engine (along with the sport suspension); I went to the Chevy site and did a quick "build your own", and was surprised to see you can indeed option ABS (w/traction control and tire inflation monitor) on a 3.4l base model (at least on the 2005 models, I didn't try it on 2004s).

    Hopefully you can find one to your liking; I don't know much about current pricing - maybe somebody else can help you on that one. We know there's a new body style coming out in 2006, so that might give you a little more leverage.
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