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2006 Chevrolet Impala

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  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Over 40% of the Impala's sales are Fleet as I stated earlier, and thats one reason base Impalas have a very low resale value because thousands of these are dumped on the market every year Rentals, leased, Police etc. Cam/cords have much better resale values..(they don't sell many fleets)....The Impala SS (thats what we are talking about) will not sell 200,000 cars as you suggest

    Other main stream cars not going Retro? ........The Chrysler 300 is a design & name with a long hood and short deck similar to what Chryslers had years ago, selling very well, its just a modern version.......The new Dodge Charger is selling extremely well and its image is of the 60's Charger check them out. Chryslers sales have increased in the past few years much faster then GM. the Impala SS will be a competetor of the Charger, with Impala being FWD and the Charger, RWD. These cars have turned Chrysler around. The Impala SS wil probably sell 30-35,000 a year thats a long way from your figure. The Ford Five Hundred name is a retro name from the Ford Fairlane 500 from years ago.....The new Mustang has retro all over it, and inside even retro gauges from a 60's/70's Mustang. The car critics love that! PT cruiser is modern retro of a 30's sedan delivery, The HHR is a design from the 1948 Chev Suburban, it will sell well. The new Dodge Challenger coming (2007 or 08 is a throw back to the 60's challenger) it will be a big seller. I am not saying that this Impala SS should go retro but many would like to see a bit more heritage from a name plate Impala/ SS that at one time was the top selling name plate in the USA. To sell more cars you give more choices. Check out what others say, I'm not the only one! Maybe you should write to Motor Trend/Car & Driver magazines, and other car critics why the SS could have been a little bit more. See what they say.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Selling more cars is important to GM.

    Prime example: For those that remember Chevy spent a ton of money advertising the 1994 Impala SS when it came out. Had the detuned Corvette engine 17" wheels, RWD. people rushed to the showrooms to see the car. It only came in BLACK and had the shifter on the steering column, sales were disappointing, and the car was almost cancelled. A couple Chevy salesmen at that time that I know had people complaining that Black was not the color they wanted and it should have a console......1995 changes were made (Chevy listened) a console was added and I believe three more colors.....Sales picked up.....1996 Impala SS now offered a floor console shifter and analog gauges and a few more options.......the car sold extremely well. 1996 is the most desirable Impala SS cars in the collector market, of that group, because it was had a sportier interior and offered more options then the two previous years. The car was cancelled because Chevy decided they could convert the Arlington Texas plant to making trucks which made more profit per vehicle then the SS Impala. After a few years and many unhappy Impala SS fans, the car was reintroduced in 2004, but with FWD. Many of the sales of the 94SS-96SS were to men in there 50s' and 60's who remembered the SS from years before. I wonder how many 2006 Impala SS cars would sell if they were only black.....give the people more choices they will come........the proof is in this story.
  • ronhextallronhextall Posts: 37
    A 6 speed manual on the tree.
  • jae5jae5 Posts: 1,205
    that my and charts wanting a little bit more flash to the SS model would cause such a storm. Sorry about that.

    As with charts, one of my "wishes" with the latest SS, besides going back to RWD (another topic that doesn't need to be rehashed) is that I, me, myself, not speaking for anyone else, feel it should have been a little more sportier. As stated in post 401, in regards to the 94 - 96SS, each year it got a little more sportier each year, not with stickers and emblems all over the place, but with touches/changes that made it sportier, like back in the day: more instrumentation, floor shifter, more color options. But the basic core of the car remained the same. It was a little different than the Caprice, had a look that set it apart. For me, when I first saw it at the SEMA show, all I could say was, "Build it". It just had that "look", the "soul" of the original SS. Just as in the beginning, when it was first intro'd in 1958. The Impala took the place of the Bel Air, which was considered the top of the Chevy line. Again, the Bel Air was basically a trim package with a little more pizzazz, that separated it from the rest of the lineup. Wasn't until the tri-5s (55, 56, 57) that they were really differentiated.

    Again, these same things worked when the car was introduced back in '61. And remember, the base SS option was a trim package, available on any Impala, 2-dr or 4-dr, I6 up to to the 409. It wasn't until 1964 that the SS became it's own model, only on 2-dr hardtop/convertible. And even then, there were optional trim packages, so if you just wanted exterior scripts, you could just get them; if you wanted interior and exterior scripts, you could get it; different gauge packages, seating configurations, hubcaps. Even if you didn't get extra exterior/interior scripts, you could always tell an Impala from the other full-size Chevys by the taillamps, Impalas ALWAYS had three each side, the rest of the lineup had two. Plus, the Impala had the sportroof, while the others were posts (can't remember if the Caprice was a post when it came out in '66). But again, optional things that grabbed your eye, pulled your collar, made you take a second look. And if you look, some kats and kittens that own '94 - 96 SSs, add the flags, interior/exterior scripts, to there Impalas. Also, you see people "Impala-ize" their Caprices (some good, some horribly bad!), with wheels, emblems.

    As on my 66, the only way people know it's an SS is that it has the SuperSport scripts instead of Impala on the fenders. It has the cross flags on the fenders as well. That's pretty much it for the exterior. Interior-wise, has the same dash layout as a regular Impala of the day (which drives me nuts sometimes, but don't have the heart to cut it up or drop in a new cluster), with the only hint of it being an SS is the "Impala SS" emblem on the glovebox door. Is this too much? Do the supersport scripts make it a non-sleeper, causing me to get nailed and hounded by police all the time? No to both counts, again, my opinion.

    Again, sorry for bringing up such a hell-storm about badging and sportifying this latest SS.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Do you think you could handle that?
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,563
    “1996 Impala SS now offered a floor console shifter and analog gauges and a few more options”

    This is one of several cases where GM did attempt to rectify errors / address concerns by changing a model’s equipment and / or options over time, and finally ‘got it right’ – often with substantial increase in sales - only to kill it. The Caddy Allante comes immediately to mind.

    And not only GM. Ford / L-M’s Mercury Marauder had potential, but needed development. (More power, manumatic control for the auto. trans., and a few other things.) A half hearted attempt to address this ensued – and then it was killed. A mid-15 sec quarter mile was not enough ‘guts’ to back up the looks. And initially the only exterior color available was: black. Repeating one of GM’s earlier mistakes. Etc.

    Sometimes I wonder if the thinking is: “We tried that and it failed.” When the reality is something closer to: “We didn’t get it exactly right, out of the starting gate, but if we had done this or that slightly differently and / or done some other things better, it could have been a real sales success.”

    It will be interesting to see what the Impala SS (and my GP GXP) ‘morph’ into over the next couple of years. Or if they morph at all . .

    - Ray
    Happy with the ‘out of the starting gate’ GXP . .
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    I personally see very little in the Charger which resembles the old one. Looks like a melted old-style Durango/Dakota front end, with a 300C body.

    Retro sells, but only for awhile. The New Beetle and PT Cruiser were hot, but sales cooled after the gimmick wore off. And, it sure didn't work for the Ford Thunderbird. I expect Mustang sales will cool in a year or so - as supply catches up with demand - but I don't think sales will drop off as dramatically as they did for the New Beetle and the PT. Incidentally, I don't expect the HHR to sell that well - initial reviews aren't very good, and many people who wanted a vehicle like that, bought the PT. Only way they'll move them is to keep the prices low. Heck, that worked for the Aztek :-)

    Some people may like the retro interior of the 'stang but to me it's the weakest part of the car. I spend more time on the inside of the car than the outside, so having a clean, modern, well-designed interior (no cheap plastics) is high on my list of requirements. The Impala LTZ or SS would fit that bill should I be in the market (moreso than the Grand Prix GXP).

    Too much retro is a design dead end. Where does Ford go with the next gen? Do they copy the Mustang II? The early '80's Fox-body? Having said that, what could it have hurt Chevy to put the proper 3 round taillamps on the Impala, like in the 60's? I originally hated the 2 big lamps on the 2000-2005 Impala, but it grew on me. Interesting the Cobalt coupe carries this styling touch, but not the new Impala. I think that was a mistake...

    --Robert
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    Boy, I could write a book about why the 2004 GTO didn't sell. It was one of the worst product launches in GM history. Let's review the facts:

    1) Pontiac/GM/dealers expected the car to sell itself. Very little advertising (though how much is appropriate for a model that can only sell 12-18k per year?). What advertising there was, was pretty ineffective (still is). Dealerships refused to discount the cars at all - in fact, many applied $5k-$10k of price markup - and refused test drives without a purchase agreement - just diluting demand further.
    2) Distribution was based on sales volume. Dealerships in the upper Midwest, which sell a lot more Pontiacs than those on the east and especially West coasts, got the majority of the first cars... in December/January. Hello Pontiac!?!? RWD cars do not sell in January in the middle of winter!
    3) People who ordered their cars waited, and waited, and waited. Many gave up and bought something else. STS-V, 350Z, Cobra, you name it.
    4) Rumors of the LS2 and hood scoops for '05 dried up interest from a lot of the old Pontiac guys. Many of them didn't NEED a new car, so they decided to wait.
    5) Pontiac held off on incentives way too long, hoping they'd turn around. They were then forced to fire-sale the '04 cars at the end of the year because the '05's were built and on the boat. They came up with the idea of a Sport Appearance Package ('05 hood, autocross grilles and spoiler) for the '04's, but, by the time those kits arrived in February, the glut of '04 GTO's had been sold. They were then forced to dump these kits basically at cost (many dealers never read their bulletins/didn't know they were coming).

    The LS2 was coming with the C6 'Vette. The hood scoops (the '04 is the only GTO model to not have hood scoops) and revised rear fascia (the '04 has a true dual exhaust, it's just that both pipes exit on the left side) couldn't be done in time for '04 (remember, it was less than two years from the GTO announcement until the first cars went on sale - and there were over 400 changes that had to be made to federalize the GTO, including fitting the LS1/revising the exhaust, moving the gas tank, coming up with a revised interior that would meet U.S., not Australian, climate extremes). In retrospect maybe they should have waited 6-12 more months and shipped the '05, but then I wouldn't have had my car for 6+ months. BTW, the 2004 has the retro-inspired "GTO" badges, they just say 5.7 instead of 6.0 like the '05's have :-)

    The next GTO will be more retro styled (think 1999 GTO concept - hopefully not typical Pontiac excess). I still believe the car is thematically just like the '64 GTO - it looks like any generic Pontiac of its day, but it has a big (350hp) motor in it. Unlike the '64, the car can do more than go fast in a straight line, and the interior is unarguably one of the best, if not GM's best, sold in North America...

    Here lies another problem... who is the target market for the 2004-2005 GTO?
    Is it the guy who bought a '64-'74 new? He'd be in his late 40's to late 50's by now.
    Is it the '90s'-'02 Camaro/Firebird/Trans Am owner? Typically younger than above.
    Is it the former import (Honda, Subaru, Infiniti) driver?
    Is it the ex-BMW owner?

    Interestingly enough, on the other GTO discussion board I participate in, there are members of all 4 groups. I don't fit into any of those particular pigeonholes, though :-)

    This isn't the GTO discussion here on Edmunds - I strongly suggest we follow this discussion up there. Just wanted to reply to your post with some facts and insight, form my perspective.

    --Robert
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    BTW, John's complaint about missing underhood/interior/glove box lights/visor extensions/coin holders, etc. is a valid one. This is "decontenting" - a way to take a few $$ of cost out of a vehicle by removing standard features. GM used to make ABS standard on all of their vehicles, but Toyota and Honda kept it optional, so this was Lutz's reasoning why it was necessary to remove it - to be more "apples to apples" on price comparisons. The other interior deletions (i.e. no passenger-side lock mechanisms, etc.) were a way of getting cheaper. This annoyed loyal GM customers to no end - myself included. Throw in the cheapness of the interiors (my wife's former 2001 GTP/my sister's plastic 2003 Trailblazer LTZ interior), not-so-great exterior styling, and it's no wonder GM sales are down (I believe these are all contributing factors). It remains to be seen if they have enough religion to put more cost into the interiors and conveniences, not less. And, if I'm not mistaken, they will have stability control and ABS systems standard in all vehicles by some future date...

    --Robert
  • gxpgtodanmangxpgtodanman Posts: 210
    That was back in 2001. The interior on the GP has since been improved for it's 2004 redo. The 2005 GXP interior is pretty decent. I have to agree with interior on some such as the Trailblazer or even the new Avalanche, avg at best.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,469
    I keep looking into cars next to me at the quick market where I get coffee each morning. I don't see any cars with better plastic interior than the GMs I see parked next to me. What's the difference...
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    It didn't make any sense in removing the coin holder, PRNL markings, glove box light trunk net, etc....a negative marketing strategy, to save what $12.00 off the cost of a $28,000 car.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    and I'll say it again. It wasn't so much the things they removed that I COULD see...I just figured if they were shortcutting interior features like that, they may well be doing the same to the powertrain...a little cheaper part here, a little less durability there.

    And largely for that reason and that reason alone, I have now driven a Ford lately...in fact, it just brought me home! :)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,914
    Please. There are plenty of News & Views topics dedicated to GM, GM's future, and GM styling.

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  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I personally don't care for retro styling on most cars, I'm sick of the PT, Beetle and the 300s. Works ok on the Mustang for now though. What would I change, not much. Maybe a 5 or 6 speed auto, a slightly more aggressive nose and your suggestion of SS stitched into the leather optioned seats might be cool.

    GM has made this car accessible to a lot of people by keeping the base price low and not loading it up with leather and such. I like that.. and I think that's what Chevy is all about. Performance for everyone, value and fun.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I popped into another Chevy dealer on the way home and saw a black LTZ. It was fairly loaded up listed at C$33800. Had leather and a power roof. Great compromise between the LT and SS. I wonder how the sales breakdown will go, I think most people will either go base (ls/lt) or go all the way with the SS.
  • jcooleyjcooley Posts: 46
    Edmunds currently has the TMV price after the $1000 incentive pretty close to the Invoice price (for all trims). I checked the Employee price for a base 2005 Impala and you can get it $2500 below invoice. With that and the thought that GM is pricing the 2006s closer to the final price (i.e. less incentives), how much will a 2006 Impala cost in let's say mid January 2006 when there are a lot of 06's on the lot and all the 05's are gone? Basically, how much lower than invoice will it be in January 2006? Thanks and this is interesting reading.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Depends on the market, I don't think anyone can tell you what you will be able to get an 06 for in 6 months. I suspect the discounts will not be as big but the prices may be similar as MSRPs will tighten up to dealer invoices on most GM cars for the new model year.

    I would wait and buy an 06, it is a much improved car in every way and even worth paying a little more if you have to.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    . GM indicated last year that the 6 speed auto that they are working on is only capable to handle up to I believe 250 hp for front wheel driver applications, so that will probably be available for the 3.5 & 3.9 engines. not the 5.3 V8....
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    When calculating gas mileage of the Impala or any other Chevy determining your operating costs, you might want to factor in the residual value of these cars.....Edmunds listed The Cavalier, Aveo Malibu, Malibu Maxx, & Impala in 2004 listed in the top 10 with the worst residual value after 5 years of operation......there were 32 cars grouped in this top 10...there were some Chrysler & Ford products also listed........no Japanese cars made the worst list......a list like this hurts the sales of the big three, because eduacted consumers weighing the possiblity of purchasing a car take this into consideration.......I believe Fleet sales have hurt the value of all these cars listed. Fleets are sold by the thousands and are dumped on the market every year or two......The real winners are people shopping for a second hand car.......great deals can be found.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Popular Mechanics says the demographics of Impala owners.......Under 30 9.5%.......30-49 31.5%........age 50 plus.. 59% of sales - thats me!

    The Impala satisfies the needs of many across the spectrum but mostly owners over 40 who need a large roomy family sedan that can seat 5 or 6 comfortably. It will continue to do well if they keep it fresh......6 years was too long with the original style 2000-2005 models. The freshening of the 2006 Impala was way overdue.

    I personally like some of the retros PT, Bug, 300, Mustang etc.......cudos to those manufactures that have given us something more then the melting pot blandness of whats been on the roads for the past 20 years. These manufacturers took a business chance and it has been successful....If you don't take a chance you don't get a chance! The PT & Bug have sold well and will soon be refreshened. The 300 they can't make them fast enough...The Mustang is a huge hit and the Shelby Cobra GT 500 next year. These Halo cars also bring consumers to the showroom to see these cars and see the other models that the manufactures offer........A WIN WIN situation...The SSR from Chevy is a lame duck too heavy, to expensive, not practical when you can buy a Corvette for a few $ more.

    There is a huge segment out there that want the Impala to go RWD in its next format, or revive a Caprice type vehicle. Hopefully Chevy will check the pulse of the consumers and if it is warranted...... DO IT!!
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    ...that the Mustang is bringing others into Ford's showrooms to look at Five Hundreds or Focuses (Foci?), at least based on Ford's results.

    Back to the Impala... yes, there is currently a battle inside GM going about the next-gen. Rumors are of a new "Chi" platform for FWD vehicles (high-end replacement for the W-bodies; low-end will be the forthcoming Epsilon2 FWD/AWD vehicles (G6, Malibu, maybe a LaCrosse replacement). There is some discussion of a new RWD platform (cheaper Sigma or Americanized Zeta), rumored to revive the Caprice name...

    --Robert
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    You seem to have a lot of info on this possible future RWD......I am guessing that the Caprice will be larger then the 2006 Impala, is that the consensus?.....

    Your right about the Mustang......it will do OK on its own.
  • llumpirellumpire Posts: 5
    I'm in the process of buying 1 or more cars and I research as much as I have time for. The Impala is a car that always catches my eye every time it passes me by. Then I get the flashback of "Oh yeah, it's a FWD. NEVER MIND". As Radar O'Reilly would say, "Wait for it". On the horizon, you hear that GM is bringing in RWD models from its Holden car company in Australia. If you go to holden.com you might get a peak at some future GM models. They seem OK or better for someone who is starving to get back to grandpa's GM loyalty and say good-bye for awhile to European dominance (I have an Audi A4, nice car). The design of the holden's may need to be "AMERICANIZED" taste for sexy, fast and cool. I think we lost our cool trying to make aerodynamic a priority, which is what made all cars to start to look alike.

    Personally, I too like a couple of the retros. I've had my dad's Impala and my grandfathers Caprice. Nice roomy rides for those cross country trips. Too much money is being spent by the manufacturer's on the interiors forcing the overall price of cars into outer space. Give me a sound, large, powerful and well-built car. How about those flat bench seats. Cheap to make and plenty of room to stretch out on for all the right reasons.

    If the Impala ever goes RWD, and I hear it will soon, then there'll be one less to choose from. Otherwise, I'll wait for the Cadillac DTS to go and I'll be there instead unless someone comes out with an acceptable equivalent. Hopefully, it's before GM and United go bankrupt.
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    6 speed auto could be in the 07 from what I have read. I think the 6 speed in the Fusion comes from the joint venture between GM and Ford. Chevy should see an application from this venture soon.

    I don't care for RWD though for a 300 hp SS is would be better I suppose. Still, living in the northern climates, I prefer FWD in general.

    I'm 36 and well aware of Chevy's heritage and I still prefer the classics to redone retro vehicles. Mustang was well done but in general, BLA. I don't mind classic styling cues, but retro vehicles like the PT don't really do much for me.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    The 6 speed transmission in the Fusion/Milan/Zephyr is from Aisin, a supplier to Toyota. The GM/Ford 6 speed is due in about a year or so..
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    The Impala isn't going RWD soon, if ever. The rumors are that GM is developing a new platform called "Chi" to replace its larger FWD cars, and "Chi" will be FWD/AWD. There are no rumors of any additional RWD Chevrolets, except for possibly a new Camaro, but probably that won't even appear for at least 2 to 4 years.
  • hammen2hammen2 Posts: 1,313
    You aren't talking to the same folks that I am :-)

    Yes, there are rumors of a new large RWD sedan for Chevy, but we are not talking until 2010-2011 at the earliest. Whether or not this is named Impala or (more likely) Caprice, is yet to be determined... at today's GM, nothing is set in stone until you see the show car (look what happened to Zeta)...

    --Robert
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    You can probably find some rumors that the next Impala will be made in England out of cream cheese. Rumors, schmoomers.

    Reliable information is much harder to come by...
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Thanks for that info. I was wondering why Ford would get first crack at those transmissions.

    Personally, I don't care that much but a 5 or 6 speed is what some people want these days and they do have their advantages.
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