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2006 Chevrolet Impala

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Comments

  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    Hope that they don't price the 09 Impala RWD out of the Camry/Accord price range.

    The Chrysler 300 is priced at $30K+ range and is not high volume vehicle eventhough it has been a very sucessful vehicle. GM should not be chasing the small volume with car like Impala. If the Impala moves upscale, and the Malibu does not take up the slack on size and performance as well as styling, Chevy will repeat the path of Oldsmobile : designed themselves out of the market with the elimination of their volume leaders (Cutlass and Eighty Eight)in favor of the pricier Aurora. Also with gas price heading up North of $3.00/gallon, the demand for ultra powerful engine in midsize vehicle could be limited.

    FWD is not what is limiting Impala. It is its aging platform (dated back to 90's)and conservative styling. Toyota and Honda are sellling their Camry and Accord with more than 40,000 vehicles/month vs. 25,000 for Impala.

    jt
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Cheers & Gears, chevrolet cars post #15. I might have misunderstood the post regarding front tires. Car and Driver magazine just tested the 2006 SS and it fell short in handling compared to the current Pontiac GXP that has firmer suspension and the larger tires up front.

    I don't know why we compare the Impala to the Camry/Accord. Both are a foot shorter and the same size as the Malibu. The next genration Impala should be in the large car catagory.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Its apparent Chevy isn't really after volume now. As we know they capped production of the 2006 Impala at 250,000 units. It seems they are in the process to make more money per unit then just flooding the market (fleet) with none profit cars. In order to keep prices lower when the next generation Impala rolls out they might offer a bare bones base model. Thats where most of their sales are now. The SS only accounts for about 10-15% of total sales.
  • quigquig Posts: 16
    Thanks alot Charts2 great info.
    Quig
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    I said a few posts back that the 2006 Impala is equal to the competition, even though I believe the Camry/Accord should compete with the Malibu. Longevity and resale value is what the Japanese cars are all about. If you trade an Accord/Camry within the first 5 years your will pocket more money in resale value then GMs comparable offerings. Check it out. If you keep an Accord/Camry long term their reliability outdistances the competition generally speaking. Check out the streets. How many Chevy Celebrities, Citations or even Luminas do you see around, but Hondas/Toyotas in large numbers from the 80s & 90s are still chuggin' along and are in big demand. Camrys/Accords don't win top sales honors based on their styling. Its their resale value, longevity and service departments that go that extra mile that has the american public buying Japanese again and again. Just reading a few posts here where already after a short time a few 2008 Impala owners with nagging problems vow never to buy again. Its too bad. Chevy has been in business for 95 years in America and its getting beat by companies that have been here only a short time on our own turf. Something Ain't right! I am not knocking the Chevys.....just telling it like it is.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,525
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Sure Hondas/Toyotas have issues, but that doesn't explain why the American public keeps these cars #1 and #2 in sales year after year. You tell me Imidazol97? Why does almost every car publication puts most Toyota/Honda products in the top catagories year after year. I know they are all biased, even though GM spends millions advertising every month in their publications. Whats your answer? It doesn't matter to GM or Honda or Toyota what you and I think or buy, its what the millions of other american consumers are buying. I have said before I have been driving chevys for over 38 years but not afraid to give credit to to car manufacturers that have stepped up to the plate in the USA and beating a company that at one time was the envy of all and is now just barely hanging on financially. Honda/Toyota have done their homework. while GM thought they were invincible. Within 2 years many new products will be coming out of GM. It will be a do or die situation for them. Lets hope they get it right!
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Instead of steadily making this Impala better year after year Chevy jumps all over the map. The 2000 Impala came out FWD with two engine choices....then a few years later tries a supercharged version, that lasted a couple years, now the small block FWD v8. A couple years from now that will all be dropped and a new RWD version of the Impala will be coming out. I am excited about that but it will take years again to build up a reputaton. Honda/Toyota have steadily improved their products over the years. They have been making Camrys/Accords/Corollas for decades steadily making small improvements every year, learning from their mistakes. As an example of my statement above. Chevy made a lot of models that came and went. The CHEVETTE,CITATION,CAVALIER,CELEBRITY, LUMINA etc. That had to cost them BILLIONS. Instead of a business plan in improving these cars they were sent to the bone yard early. It takes years to build up a reputation as in any business or product, and right now the only Chevrolet with a repuations & longevity and has done very well is the Corvette. GM has to build a car that the people want and to keep improving it year after year to bring the buyers back. Would I like to see the Impala the #1 car nameplate in the USA.......certainly! but making wholesale changes every few years on this model will never get this car to where it once was ......at.#1. Being #1 today is more important then ever........just my opinions.
  • Thanks charts2, much appreciated. Wow, now I'm glad I *don't* have the 3.9 with DOD/AFM. From several prior posts here, it sure sounds that real-life mpg should only increase 1-2 mpg with DOD. If you're mostly a city driver, then I seriously doubt you'll see any noticeable benefit, maybe 1 mpg more.

    I agree with you -- I don't like hearing the same 3 cyls will be deactivated, as that should cause uneven wear over time. I was hoping it'd be like the V8, and would only deactivate a different set of 2 cyls each time to keep it balanced. I'm now thinking that perhaps you don't see any real fuel savings until you deactivate half the cylinders. Running on 3 cyls just sounds odd.

    Since I generally keep my cars for 100K+ miles to get my money's worth, I'll gladly trade 1-2 mpg (even at $3+/gal) for an engine that sounds like it may provide the better long-term reliability. DOD is still pretty new, at least in this incarnation. I'd like to see the repair histories on those engines 5-7 years down the road.

    I'm not knocking GM for trying to increase fuel economy, but I'm not convinced it will provide the best overall customer economy once an expensive engine repair is factored in over the marginal fuel savings. Admittedly, this is all speculative on my part since they're so new. Who knows, perhaps GM will surprise us all as they generally build pretty good engines, even if they're not the quietest or the smoothest.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    I give GM credit for this technology breakthrough in a V6. Like you I hope reliability has also been built in. Time will tell.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,576
    see post 1485
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Thats correct for the 2006 Impala SS V8 post #1485. The 2007 Impala 3.9 will de-activate cylinders 1, 3 & 5. Making it operate on 3 cylinders is my understanding.
  • steve333steve333 Posts: 200
    My mother just traded in her 1987 Chevy Celebrity for her 2006 Impala. The Celebrity was still going fine.
    If you take care of your car it will last. Chevy engines last a long, long time.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Thats one!......where's the other million that they made... Just kidding! Your right about taking care of a car. I am into collector chevys and there are still many from the 60s still poking along with the original or second owners with the original clear plastic seat covers, and still haven't rolled over 99,999 yet. I wish your mother good luck with her 2006 Impala.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Y'all keep talking about uneven engine wear on the cylinders and pistons but I don't know why the deactivated cylinders would wear less since they are still moving, even while deactivated. The only thing that changes are camshaft lobes that stop activating the push rods and valves. I guess it's possible that the pushrods and valves of the deactivated cylinders may wear less but it's been a long time since valves and pushrods have had failure issues.

    I can understand your skepticism but your negative speculation doesn't help anything. Why not give it a chance and see what happens?

    As for Chevy starting and discontinuing model lines, it's all about the names; the same models continued on. The Celebrity was a transition to a smaller six passenger car. It evolved into the Lumina (never understood why that thought that name would sell) and later into the Impala. I would guess part of the reason they took away the famous old names was due to the backlash from traditionalists when the Nova name returned on a rebadged Toyota Corolla, the Cutlass Supreme was switched to FWD, etc. The revival of those once grand model names is a testament to GM's confidence that the newer versions do justice to the famous nameplates of old. I think they still have a way to go but I do believe they'll get there with the new RWD platforms. I would love to see new Chevelles, Camaros, Impala/Caprice Classics, even a nice new Cutlass Supreme (although it probably wouldn't work as a Chevy). Those cars really inspired people to love and bond with their vehicle, wash and polish them, etc. These days, the personal pride of ownership seems to have faded from most people. Cars are more like appliances to them and I think that's a major reason why Toyota and Honda have done so well. Chrysler has managed to tap into that old passion to a degree with the new Charger. Ford has managed to maintain it with the Mustang (although I am unsure how they managed to do it through the last couple generations). GM tapped into a bit of it with the new GTO but took the lazy approach they are known for and simply rebadged a lack luster model from Australia. The SSR is truly original but appeals to a limited segment. A more mainstream power house will sell much better and hopefully we'll get one or more in the next few years.
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    On fuel efficiency improvement, everything counts. The AFM gives ~8-10%. Now switching from 4 speed AT to 6 speed AT would give better performance and somewhere between 5-8% improvement in fuel consumption. Making vehicle lighter (using high strength steel)will do wonder too.

    That is how the Japanese improve their products: small increment improvement every year. After 5-10 years, the difference is startling.

    jt
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    When the Impala came out in 1958 it didn't take many years for the US public to make the nameplate #1 in America. They gave the public what they wanted. Sure competition then was basically between Ford and Chrysler but at that time americans would never buy foreign products of any kind. Today its much different. Their is very little loyalty. The Japanese caught on quick in the 70s-90s when they saw the junk the big three were making, and they made a lot of rust bucket junk. I owned a couple and saw the rest. You don't build a reputation on "LETS TRY THIS" well that didn't work thats make another car and call it something else, we can fool them. They continued making junk. A cars success is built on long term quality, reliability, warranty, customer satisfaction, dealership satisfaction, resale value and small accounts a nameplate. Honda/Toyota watched what the big 3 were doing wrong and continued making their nameplates better year after year. It doesn't matter personally what I like. The american public is the barometer of what works and what doesn't. and right now Honda/Toyota and the Korean cars have been given the stamp of approval by the car buyers of the USA. They offer better power train warranties, 5 speed and 6 speed transmissions (that the 2006/07 Impala doesn't offer) and solid reliability that goes back generations when GM was trying to guess what they were going to name the next car they made that would only last a few years and hit the scrap heap. I like the current Impala but I have been saying for a long time on this forum you have to stay fresh to be competitive today and right now I think Chevy is still chaseing its tail while the competition gets even stronger. Some of the proof is on this forum where already disgruntled owners are vowing to move to the competion next car purchase. GM can do a lot better.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,576
    “GM can do a lot better.”

    Although I think I understand what you mean by that statement, I believe that GM is actually doing all they can, from a product standpoint. I don’t think that, realistically, they can do a lot better – right now.

    Meaning: I don’t see how even investing more $$s more quickly will bring the production capacity for their 6 speed automatic transmissions (FWD & RWD) on line any more quickly. The ( long ) R&D cycle is done, but production capacity for such complex and heavy and expensive components as make up modern transmissions takes time to do properly.

    I doubt if anyone outside GM knows exactly what models are due for the FWD 6 speed automatics, in what order, as capacity ramps up. But I expect that GM would LIKE to put one in the Impala. Today. But I am not sure where the Impala is in the waiting line. Or even if the Impala is on that list.

    On the RWD side of the GM house, for example, the Caddy STS for 2007 is offering a new version of the six speed automatic. Only on the V8s. And to replace a pretty darned good 5 speed. ( I have driven a couple & reviews have been almost universally positive. ) Not a 4 speed. One could certainly argue that the V6 versions of the STS would take better advantage of the additional ratio and the substantially wider spread ( between first and sixth gear ) in ratios, given the lower HP & TQ ratings of the V6 vs the V8. But Caddy (apparently) reasons that the V8 is more premium and deserved the most premium ( ? ) transmission - first. Or something like that. I will be very interested to see what GM \ Caddy says about this in their marketing of the 2007 STSs.

    In the Impala context, my point is:

    I just don’t believe that GM right now has any more money to spend ( or that they could reasonably borrow more money, at their current debt ratings ) to throw at new product development or at increasing capacity for such component manufacturing enterprises as the transmission plants. They have clearly been badly burned by excess capacity issues. And continue to be burned. And even if they had more money to invest here, ramping up ANY production capacity any more quickly probably looks rather risky & fraught with potential peril.

    Would I like a six speed trans. in my FWD 2005 GP GXP? Assuming it was well sorted & durable, possibly. ( Clearly right now there is no reliability history at all for the FWD six speed automatic. At least one version of the RWD six speed has been used now for nearly a complete model year in the Corvette, with minimal reported issues. )

    Would I have preferred a V8, RWD, 300+ HP \ TQ sedan for my $27,000 when I bought it last June? Quite possibly – but GM certainly does not make such a beast, since the demise of the GTO. And I had issues ( including the old 4 speed automatic, with no manumatic function ) with the GTO beyond 2 doors vs 4.

    And, who does now market one in or near that price range? (Rhetorical question.)

    Would I trade my 2005 in on a 2008, if a FWD version of the six speed with sufficient HP \ TQ capacity was developed & available? Possibly.

    Public introduction of a RWD Impala is likely quite some time in the future. And more effort ( $$s ) may be thrown at the RWD Camaro. Again, no one outside GM likely knows the timing here.

    I am not convinced, based on what I’ve seen in the 2007 Order Guide, that the upgrade to a six speed for the STS V8s will prove sufficient ( and it looks like almost the only significant upgrade for 2007 ) to improve the STS’s sales numbers appreciably.

    We’ll see.

    If the new Saturn ( Aura ? ) with the first application of the FWD six speed is a huge sales success, will that be attributed largely to availability of the six speed? If it proves to be a slow seller, will that allow production capacity to be utilized earlier \ sooner for other candidates, like the Impala?

    Or will the Impala be considered not worth the time and effort to engineer this combination – as it will (apparently) be replaced by a RWD model – sometime?

    Dunno.

    My crystal ball is a little foggy. Humidity in the Atlanta area is rising, as Summer approaches . .

    But I do think we live in interesting times, automotively speaking.

    - Ray
    Watching & waiting . . and pretty happy with my current ‘ride’ . .
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    It wouldn't make sense to spend tech $$ on a 6 speed auto in the FWD Impala now that the focus is on the RWD model coming down the road. Bob Lutz says its coming. Your right about GMs financial situation. I can only say they have made mistakes in the past, and some things out of their own control such as legacy costs. Any US company in business more then 30 years is starting to accumulate legacy costs that down the road will hurt their ability to compete with companies that don't have such financial burdens. But thats business and good planning will allow the strong companies to survive. GMs US sales bread and butter is still the truck business. I look more to the future then the present, and anticipation of whats coming is where my focus is right now. I was going to buy a 2007 Impala SS at the end of 2007 but a short wait longer for what I believe is coming will be worth it to me. I am happy for those that are enjoying their current rides.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I disagree with your longevity comments. Chevrolet is well known for having long lasting cars. In fact I drive one with over 130,000 miles. My family has had 300,000 Chevrolets in the past as well as a close friends Caprice having over 200,000 miles. Japanese cars are known for fit and finish, and that is about it. I will take a GM car for longevity over your Japanese car any day. My neighbors Sentra's engine only lasted 116,000 miles. I live in Northern Illinois and it is very common to see 1970's and 1980's GM cars still running strong, where as it is rare to see a 1980's Japanese car. Are you from California where every body seems to think Japanese cars are hip or give some kind of statement about their lives. Sorry if I seem to be making this personal, but I am tired of these silly perceptions that people are falling for.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,525
    Right on point. The perceptions are hard to change.
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    I agree, the perceptions are deeply ingrained. I'm surprised I haven't heard any accusations about the UAW being the root cause of the Big Three's problems. If I'm not mistaken, the Japanese plants here are not unionized. That, in turn, has sheltered the Japanese automakers from the huge overhead that the American companies are forced to deal with today. The simplest argument to be made is whether or not the UAW is to blame for the situation the U.S. automakers find themselves in today. I don't know all the details but the case could be made that the union fought for and received pay and benefit packages that cut too deep into profits. But, it could also be argued that the non-union workers are eroding workers' rights and causing an erosion of wages. I'm sure there is blame on both sides but the fact is, the situation gives a huge advantage to the Japanese companies. It's not just that the Japanese are producing vehicles that are believed to be of better quality, they have the advantage of much higher profit margins due to lower salary and benefits overhead. That in turn gives them revenue to increase R&D and design. Has anyone noticed how many Toyota models are on the market these days? I haven't looked into it but I'm pretty sure Toyota has more models than any other company and possibly more than several combined. Due to their favorable circumstances, they are able to launch more product lines without the overwhelming concern of failure because they can absord losses. The American companies don't have that luxury and I believe that's why they play it safe on their bread and butter lines.

    I think it may be time to roll up some more GM divisions. I don't really see the need for Buick (which only has two cars, two SUVs, and a minivan), Pontiac (the performance division that is often out-performed by the other divisions), and GMC (which sells "blinged" Chevy trucks). The Japanese have succeeded with value and luxury divisions. It may be time for GM and Ford to reorganize, down-size, and fight their way back to the top.

    Just a thought...:D
  • With our recent discussion and speculation re: the forthcoming 3.9L LZ8 engine with AFM, I thought others would like to see a detailed explanation of the new engine's inner workings. Quite a few changes from this year's 3.9L due to the AFM. Interestingly, it says only the Uplander 3.9 will get E85, not the Impala.

    Read the details here.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    The Japanese plants in the USA pay almost identical wages/benefits to their FULL TIME WORKERS as the UAW workers receive. Check it out. Where they are ahead is that the Japanese plants have a substantial number of part time workers that earn a much lower wage with no or minimal benefits. Also the legacy costs are affecting the bottom line on most American companies that have retirees in large numbers. Not much you can do about that, we all want our pensions. The Japanese auto companies have very few retirees because they are relatively new to the USA. I beleive the latest statistics are that there are 3 retirees at GM for every worker on the assembly line. Those are staggering numbers.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    No I don't drive a Toyota/Honda. But its not hard to see how these relatively new foreign companies have evolved and kicked butt in the good old USA. I have been driving only Chevys since 1969. I haven't seen a publication yet in the past few years that puts a chevy ahead of the top Japanese cars, and there are hundreds and please show me one or two. I know you will say they are all biased, thats the easy out I hear over and over. I am not biased to any manufacturer and I will give accolades or criticism when warranted to any car company. I think the Toyota Camry is a very boring car, but for some apparent reasons its at the top because of Americans. A few examples that you give doesn't mean anything in the big picture. You would get the opposite answer on the Toyota/Honda board I am sure. I am probably more loyal to Chevys then you are but again I am not going to fluff off the big mistakes GM has made in the past few years (decades). The facts: Honda Accord. Toyota Camry #1 in sales year after year in the USA, bought by your co-workers, neighbors, friends. Fact: Hondas/Toyotas have higher resale value then american comparisons. The big question is why? You can't argue with facts. I just wish GM would find a direction. Its not my fault they are on the brink of oblivion. Its there own stupid mistakes they keep making. Again, I am a loyal Chevy fan, their products are getting better but so is the competition. I will be driving Chevys till the end, based on loyalty not anything else.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    You had a neighbors Sentra engine last only 116,000 miles. My wife had a 1987 Chevette bought it new. Never abused, changed the oil every 3000 miles. Engine seized up at 32,000 miles. No I don't live in California. I live in Ontario Canada. 90 miles from the Chevy plant in Oshawa.

    Recently Roger Penske the US billionaire business man stated part of GMs problem is they have too many franchise dealerships. Extremely costly. I agree with him. In our city of 500,000 we have 5 Chevrolet dealerships within 10 minutes of each other (does that make sense?) We have 4 Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac dealerships as well. The costs must be staggering to run each dealership. If half the dealerships were eliminated and put all of GMs products under one roof, it would make sense. You could have a mega showroom with Cadillacs, Buicks, Pontiacs, Chevrolets side by side under one roof and you could do your comparisons and test drives right there of all their products. Put a 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix beside a 2006 Chevy Impala where you get out of one and into the other doing hands on comparisons. I wonder how many people checked out a Chevy or Pontiac at their prospective dealerships and left unsatisfied to only go to a competitor from D/C, Ford. Honda or Toyota where under the same roof they could have made another GM choice. All GM cars now carry little GM logos on the front fenders, its a family affair put them altogether. Makes sense to me. Will it happen? I doubt it.
  • Has anyone else with the dual climate control experienced this, as the Impala owner's manual may be incorrect or incomplete:

    With the vent selector set to Vent (turned all the way to the left), and with the air conditioner OFF: Does yours automatically turn on the A/C when you press the recirculation button (cuts off outside air)? Mine apparently does as the air temp drops noticeably within a few seconds. Didn't notice this before because the outside temperature has been so cool, only getting warm very recently.

    However, the manual doesn't mention it (see pp. 3-19 thru 3-21 as I recall), nor does the A/C light turn on. It only mentions the A/C gets automatically activated in the floor or windshield modes. Pressing the A/C button manually has no effect while in recirc and dash vent mode -- the A/C just stays on.

    Just wondering if it's normal operation as my previous GM's didn't do this.

    Also, is anyone else less than thrilled with the A/C on the Impala? Mine just blows cool air, not cold air. Big difference. I remember when a GM A/C would freeze you and cool off a hot 95-degree car very quickly.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Sorry to hear about your Chevette. Our family inherited a 1976 Chevette back in the early 1980's from our grandmother in California. This was supposedly the worst year for the car (first), and other than replacing the single barrel carborator once or twice, it was a very reliable car and got a little more than 30 mpg on the highway. I used the car in the winter and stored my Grand Prix in the garage. What I didn't like about it was it had an automatic, no air conditioning, and only an AM radio. It had two interesting incidents. Once being knocked partially through the garage door when my brothers car brakes went out during the winter, just leaving scratches, and my mom hit a deer with it and dented the hood. It was in the family for 18 years and my sister took it with them when she got married. It was still running but in bad shape (accident, losing power), so they gave it away.

    Resale value for American cars has been hurt by; fleet sales, rental companies, incentives, and mass production. If most of the above were not factors, resale value would be comparable to the Japanese cars.
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    How about those old Japanese auto workers at home? Toyota and Honda have no obligation for them? Do they just just commit suicide after retirement?

    It is a always lousy excuse for GM, Ford managements for their incompetency. Even if the workers at these companies work for free, I doubt that these companies' fortunes will be any difference if they keep on offering the products that people do not want to buy. It is always Product, Product, and Product. Look at Chrysler, it is being burdened with the same obligations, but for the last 20 years, their market share so far has been constant (12-15% of US market). They innovate and make products that people lust after. Ford and GM keep acting like followers and they deserve their current status. Let's face it: Automotive technology has not changed its fundamental basis for the last 100 years. The Japannese are not genius. And the German engineering myth is so out of date. And last time I noticed BMW workers in Germany are not getting WalMart wages also.

    Running away from the most profitable land on earth (US market) is down right stupid for GM. Of total profit they made last year in China ( couple hundred millions on 600,000 vehicles) was equivalent to how much they made on selling 40,000 Corvettes. If all of their vehicles are designed to be world beater likje Corvette, they do not have to worry about the big B (Bankcruptcy). Ford, BTW, is not far behind.

    jt
  • nosirrahgnosirrahg Little Rock, ARPosts: 872
    Didn't Chrysler get bailed out by the government back in the 1970s? I was too young to follow things too closely at the time, but as I recall Chrysler was going under and the government stepped in and kept them afloat...don't know what kind of help they got, but that could have been the catalyst for turning them around (that and the K car and the minivan, of course).
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