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2005 and Earlier Chevrolet Impala

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  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    For those of you that travel into Canada often or on ocassion in your Impalas, this is the procedure to switch the odometer and Trip Computer (DIC) readouts from U.S. Imperial to Metric measuraments:

    At the DIC, press both (And leave them pressed) "RESET" and "MODE" buttons simultaneously.

    After 3 seconds you'll hear a 'Beep' tone that confirms that the measurament readout has been changed.

    Now your odometer, trip meter, and DIC will display the readouts in Kilometers, Liters or Miles and Gallons.
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    GM makes several modifications of, basically, the same car. Chevy Impala, Olds Intrigue, Buick Regal, Pontiac Gran Prix, etc.

    Impala have big trunk, rear legroom, and its body have better crash rating. Regal have the most comfortable seats / suspension, especially for longer highway trips. Intrigue and Gran Prix are more sporty.

    All trims of Intrigue have unique 3.5l engine, derived from Cadillac Norstar. It is optimized for higher speed, like passing on highway and on rural roads.

    The upper trim Regal GS and GP GTP have even more powerful, supercharged 3.8l engine. However, they needs premium gas. Roughly $200 extra per year for typical driver, more with your mileage.

    Impala LS, Regal LS, and Gran Prix GT have the classical 3.8l GM engine. Reasonably powerful, especially in city traffic, at low rpm.

    All of these cars are good. However, for long highway trips, I would look first at Intrigue and/or Regal GS.

    Base Impala, Buick Century, and GP SE have 3.4l or 3.ll engines and are somewhat underpowered.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Regal GS = Nice car, suffers from AARP looks but otherwise a sleeper. So-so crash worthiness but current incentives make it an interesting choice.

    Intrigue = 3.5L DOHC 215HP V6 engine, PCS and 3.29 ratio are its main attractions. Terrible crash testing results, horrible resale, spotty reliability and an orphan model and brand as they will be discontinued in 2002. 5/60 warranty and cheap financing makes them kinda tempting. Olds dealer service is on the lousy side.

    Grand Prix = Very sporty, sharp looking car. Supercharged GTP version is a must. Downs are so-so crashworthiness and cheap, creaky interior. If you can live with the cheap interior, you can get one with good finance incentives

    Century = 3.1L V6. This car is famous with rental agencies or the geritol set. Not worth it.

    Impala LS (3800 V6) is a fantastic car for highway travel and better than either Regal or Intrigue (have been in all 3).
  • gerry100gerry100 Posts: 100
    Thanks for the opinions, Decision time is still some months away.

    I'll keep you posted then.
  • 00impala00impala Posts: 474
    I read that they are producing the Olds Bravada? until 2005 and the Alero just about as long, From the sound of it one would believe that Olds is closing tommorow, they are doomed indeed, but will still be around a few years. Don
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Yes, but the Intrigue is scheduled to be discontinued after the 2002 model year. It will be the first Olds model to be axed.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,482
    The Grand Prix interior is no cheaper looking or less solidly built than the Impala's. I actually thought it felt and looked a little more solid than the Impala's.
    I doubt if Olds dealer service is really any better or worse than Chevy's, as a rule. Here in San Jose, Olds, Pontiac, Buick, and GMC are often sold and serviced at the same dealerships in some combination or another. I don't think they'd treat an Olds any differently than a Pontiac, etc.
    I think you may give GM a little too much credit in the brand differenciation dept. Many of the sister models are made in the same plants, with much of the same parts from the same vendors, sometimes on the same lines by the same people. Take a look at the Grand Amlero.
    BTW, the Regal doesn't have to look too AARPy with the right color, the right wheels and tires... maybe even a spoiler... ;-)
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    I beg to differ. the Grand Prix interior is aweful compared to the Impala. Not so much in the way it was designed but in the choice of materials. Just see how flimsy the front center console armrest/lid is in the Grand Prix and then compare it to the Impala. The black plastic bezel in the center of the dash of the GP creaks with the slightest amount of hand applied pressure. Imagine the *symphony* of creaks coming from that area of the dash at 10K or 20K + miles.

    In the ergonomics I dislike the use of the old 'Smart Stalk' (Roger Smith era device) in the GP. Cruise control/wiper/headlights all are crammed into the stalk. The Impala has more up to date steering wheel buttons from the Cruise and Stereo. They still use a mechanical odo versus the digital one in the Impala. I know big deal, but those little insignificant details do make a world of a difference in the way the interior is presented. The fit and finish of the GP GTP that I test drove was not impressive and it was below the quality of the Impala and the Regal which both are made in Canada while the GP is made in Fairfax, KS.

    Pluses of the GP is that it handles better than the Impala and it has the Magnasteer steering system. However my beef with magnasteer is that it is completely devoid of any road feedback.

    Don't get me wrong the GP is still after 5 production years a very nice car. But the interior bits come from the old GM parts bin school and the fit/finish is not its strong suit.

    Of course alll of this is just opinion.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    The impala has much more comfortable seats than the intrigue. Especially on the long trips. There is something weird about the lumbar suppoert on the intrigue. My back would usually start bothering me after about 45 minues in the intrigue and i would have to reposition myself to get comfortable.
    I have NEVER had that problem in the impala.
  • mediumfrymediumfry Posts: 239
    I'd never heard of a person getting hit more often in a red car. Seems like visibility should be better in something that blends in with the background as poorly as red does. Hmmm.

    My father had a medium brown car in the early 80's and got hit very often in that thing. We were guessing it was camouflaged very well, because the accidents seemed so stupid otherwise. Like having a car take a left into you as you go straight through an intersection. Seems like they wouldn't do that if they could see you...

    However, everyone knows Red is a big target for cops. Fortunately I don't speed. If I did, I'd never get a red car.
  • A used car manager at our store put an extra $100 in the appraisal of a red car. He would put the car in the front line or corner to bring attention to the lot. It worked well when surrounded by mud brown, lt. green and pewter gray.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,482
    That's weird. I didn't find the Grand Prix interior quality awful. Certainly no more awful than the Impala's. Of course, it was only a test drive. My Grand Am's interior quality is no worse than the Impala, though, and in some ways seems better. That doesn't include style, which is pretty extreme and open to criticism in all Pontiacs.

    I found the interior of the Regal to be much nicer than the Impala in terms of materials. I suppose craftmanship is probably about the same. Those two are made in the same plant, right? They make better beer up there, too. Mmmmmm. Beer. I'll be right back.
  • Holding reset & Mode will switch between metric & imperial on the DIC only it will not work on the odometer ortrip milage. BTW i found it very important to recalibrate my compass based on the zone setting for my area. Impalas are all calibrated at Zone 8 which is the zone they are built in. (Oshawa,ON)
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    If your looking for a vehicle with outstanding dash / interior design, then I think you can probably discard all of GM's offerings. That doesn't mean all of GM's cars are bad. My wife has an '01 Impala for a company vehicle. It's not a bad car, but I think the interior design definitely shows some cost cutting. It's already starting to rattle at 6000 miles. But I still think the Impalas are a good car for the $$ (just not my $$). I'm sure the resale values will be poor as is all american made cars.
  • rolegroleg Posts: 1
    Hello,

    Ever since I purchased 2000 Impala a little over a year ago, I've beenfighting with service people at both Anderson Chevrolet in Menlo Park, CA and at Ellis Brooks Chevrolet in San Francisco to look into some strangenoises that the car was producing. However, up until now, I did not check other Impala Owners' websites/discussion groups, as well as NHTSA website.After getting familiar with the current issues, these are the ones that I'm sure are the problem in my car:
    1) Warped Rotors
    2) Steering clunks
    3) Cradle clicks (clicks when accelerating/decelerating)
    4) There is also a clicking noise when I put the car in reverse.
    However, some (if not all) of these problems are not very easy to reproduce, especially if they occur under certain conditions.
    Ellis Brooks Service Manger told me that their mechanics will not even check any of the problem reports from GM Database until the problem is identified during a test drive (to save GM money). This does not make any sense since GM reports list the ways for mechanics to identify the problem without the test drive. Also, he told me that mechanics are NOT being subjected to any quality control.

    Please let me know if you know of a GM-authorized Service Center in San Francisco or anywhere in the Bay Area that WILL look into GM Database and that have a department dedicated to quality.
    I have no idea what to do next so any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Oleg
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    You must have been one lucky VW Jetta owner. Based on posts found in the Maintenance and Repair forum and VWVortex.com, the current generation Jetta/Golf/Beetle are autos plagued with several component quality control problems and dubious reliability. Interior rattles, failed engine oxygen sensors,unsolved electrical problems, automatic transmission problems, failed power window actuators (A Jetta Hallmark), factory glue dripping down the bottom of the front doors (Disgusting sight which I have seen occurring on a friends' 99 Jetta sedan)and other plethora of issues that include poor basic warranty coverage (Altough improved for the 2002 model year), terrible VW dealer service and uncaring VWOA customer care support.

    Don't get me wrong at some point I considered getting one and the Jetta has much going for it but quality and reliability (If you get past the looks and interior materials)don't belong in the standard list of features for the VW Jetta.

    Another gripe with the Jetta is the alarming lack of rear leg room space on a four door sedan, ridiculous.

    My friend is has had a lot of problems with her '99 2.0L Sedan and she is considering letting go of it very soon. Too bad is a nice looking dark green sedan.

    $17K for a car that stickered when new at least $22K or $23K? Hardly impressive. You can sell a 2000 Impala LS in pristine condition with 32K miles for around $18K to $20K in my local market. The base models sell for as much as $16K to $18K depending on condition, mileage and options.

    Anyway, you did the right thing by getting rid of your '00 Jetta GLS and getting an new Pathfinder..a much higher quality product indeed without the headaches and cost of VW ownership.

    My '01 Impala LS with nearly 4K miles, doesn't exhibit a single rattle anywhere in the interior. Before my '01 LS I had a '00 LS and at 15K miles it had no rattles either. While the interior might not have the *perfect* packaging of the Jetta or Audi products is still very good, attractive and functional and well screwed together I might add. I drive in roads that have a large number of pothholes, bumps, rough pavement and other imperfections....the car feels extra solid. In a Jetta? Probably by 1000 miles the thing would have already being rattling like an orchestra of Maracas...
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Did you keep both the MODE and RESET buttons pressed at the same time for at least 3 seconds?

    Did you hear the beep tone?

    In my LS the odometer, trip meter and DIC readings ALL switch from English to Metric and viceversa with no problems.

    Try again.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,482
    You can try Courtesy Chevrolet in San Jose, if you don't mind drivng the 20-30 miles from Menlo Park.
    I've basically had 3 problems with my Impala:
    1. Intermittant A/C temperature, which has apparently fixed itself.
    2. Engine hesitation, which they repaired with an injector flush.
    3. Loose driver's seat back, which they didn't correct, but did order the part and make the attempt.

    As soon as they finish their move to Stevens Creek and San Tomas, I will go back and ask for a whole new seat. I have a feeling they'll comply. They are very courteous and eager to please.

    They also have a cool '50's style cafe at their current location. I hope they'll have one at their new place.

    Just take I-280 South to Saratoga Ave. North(Left) on Saratoga. Right on Stevens Creek. Two blocks to San Tomas.(408)249-3131
  • cookie01cookie01 Posts: 369
    That in the Owners Clubs under Chevrolet there are many truck/suv forums, but only ONE car...Impala...

    Where are the Vette owners? In the shop?
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Nope, they are exiled in Yahoo same as the Montecarlo owners that abandoned Edmunds long ago...

    Malibu and Cavalier owners do spend a lot of time in the shop, however...
  • I had owned a 1998 Volkswagen Golf GL with the 2.0L and 4-Speed auto. This car had just over 50,000 miles on it. It was getting very expensive to maintain and repair, the only battery that could be found in my area for it was from the dealer (serious markup) as Sears in Tulsa did not carry that size of battery. This started to cause concern in me, if this car suffered a major malfunction, it would cost an arm and leg for the parts and to have the repairs made. This is a problem in an area that only has one dealer for the manufacturer; by the way the Audi customers were treated much better by the dealership than I was.

    In March we have the auto show and I was able to narrow down my search for a replacement vehicle quite a bit. I decided that the car I wanted to buy had to have more than one dealer in the area. This narrowed my choices. At the auto show I was able to compare ease of entry and exit from the various cars.

    On July 7th I went to a local dealer that I have been checking out and I had seen that they just received an Impala LS. On that day I test-drove the Oldsmobile Intrigue GLS and then the Impala LS. I found the Impala a little more comfortable and cheaper.

    I traded in the VW and drove off in a white Impala LS build date of 6/01 and the date that is under the drivers seat is 6/11 and the engine cradle is 6/8/1. I am very pleased with the Impala it has a lot of power and still gets good gas mileage, only 3 to 4 mpg less than the VW around town. I am planning my Thanksgiving trip to San Diego and I feel the Impala will get close to the same mileage as the VW on that trip. Just FYI the VWs EPA sticker listed the mileage at 23/28 and the Impala is 20/30 on the trip to California in the VW I would average 29 to 30 mpg.

    My Impala currently has less than 3,000 miles on it. The only things I miss from the VW is the 6-disc cd changer and the Goodrich Comp T/A tires.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Also the current VW Jetta and Golf are very small cars inside. While front room accomodations are OK, the rear and the trunk are typical subcompact territory. And all this for $20K +??

    I don't think that's a great value IMHO

    Czardale:: Welcome to the club. You'll have a blast in the Impala!
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,482
    Insult the Corvette? Blasphemer!!! Heretic!!!
    LOL

    Actually, it's one sweet car. I've always wondered why there's no Corvette discussions in TH. It's probably because there are so many Corvette specific web sites and clubs elswhere. Most Vette owners are quite fond of their little cars.

    My cubicle neighbor has a beautiful blue 1994 C4. Forget splash guards, floor mats, and K&N filter. He put in a whole new air intake, Corsa cat back exhaust, differential, nitrous, wheels and tires, etc. The amazing thing is he got it on eBay for $14K, and added about $3K in mods. $17K total for that car!!! Golly!
  • joelisjoelis Posts: 315
    You are correct about there being much more quality websites out there for cars like the Corvette. Edmunds did a very poor job with it. Part of the reason is that there tends to be a bias against the Corvette from some of the moderators on this site for whatever reason.

    I am here strictly for the purpose of finding my winter vehicle when I put my Vette to sleep in a few months here in the midwest. I tested the Impala's Traction Control system here last winter and was very impressed. I have been monitoring conversation here for a while now, but thought I would speak up on this, plus one other issue that was recently discussed regarding resale value.

    I have been monitoring this very closely in my area lately and have found that I can get a 2000 Impala LS with average miles (20-30k) for about $17k right now in this month of August. A standard Impala can be had for about $14k (rental companies are actually letting them go now for about $11,900, but that is a whole different story). By October, the prices overall will drop by another $1k to $2k lower yet, and I really have a tough time believing that anyone could get more than $18k for their used 2000 in any condition now or later in fall. Maybe its just my area that its a buyers market, but I doubt it.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,482
    The following are the residual values for a 2001 LS, as used by banks for leasing purposes:
    24 month: 45.0%
    36 month: 37.0%
    48 month: 32.0%
    60 month: 27.0%
    These numbers usually correspond to resale value. Because I leased through GMAC, I was able to get a 50% residual on a 36 month lease on a 2001 LS. If I went through a bank, my payments would have been higher than most foreign cars costing $1000's more.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    It certainly depends on the market. I have seen used 2000 Impala LS' advertised for around $18K. Perhaps these are fully loaded models. But I could be totally wrong in my assumption. The base models probably have a lower resale value due to their lower level of equipment and their heavy presence in the fleet/car rental market.

    Based on Edmund's TMV values provided for my zipcode, the Impala commands the highest resale value among all American midsize sedans. The worst performers on that appraisal were the Ford Taurus, Dodge Intrepid and Olds Intrigue.

    Since I keep my cars well beyond 3 or 4 years, resale value becomes a moot point. If I were to trade cars every 1 to 3 years, then I would have opted for a different route on an *import* vehicle.

    What are the specs of your Corvette model?

    I agree 100% with your comments regarding heavy bias against the Corvette from one of the moderators in the Coupe/Sports car forum. No wonder the Montecarlo owners decided to move away from Edmunds to make home at Yahoo Clubs.

    Hope that you can become yet another happy Impala owner.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    You got a good residual on that lease. Was it subvented?

    In reality, the residual value of the Impala LS at 36 months is more in the 40% to 45% neighboorhood, according to Kiplinger's.

    Generally speaking, I do not recommend leasing 'Bread and Butter' American cars because their low residuals make them very expensive to lease, but cheaper to purchase.
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,482
    I don't know what "subvented" is. Is that like "supercharged" or "normally aspirated"? :-)

    Actually, the salesman did say that GM gives a higher residual value to help move their cars, which makes sense.

    >"Generally speaking, I do not recommend leasing 'Bread and Butter' American cars because their low residuals make them very expensive to lease, but cheaper to purchase."

    NOW YOU TELL ME! ;-)
  • garypengarypen Posts: 1,482
    >"In reality, the residual value of the Impala LS at 36 months is more in the 40% to 45% neighboorhood, according to Kiplinger's."<

    I used the Automotive Leasing Guide, which is an industry standard, for the numbers I posted. My understanding is most banks use that.

    I just checked Kelley. The trade-in for a 2000 LS w/24K, excellent cond, FULLY LOADED w/leather, CD, premium sound, power seat, alloys, spoiler, etc in San Jose is $17,345. Of course, one wouldn't actually get that from the dealer, but it should be close.

    Hertz sells 2000 LS's for $15,000, 2001 LS's for $19K here.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Ok so then it is SUBVENTED =)

    This means that GMAC artificially *inflated* the projected residual value over 36 months, to lower your monthly payments thus giving you an added incentive to drive away in the car.

    My advice: When the lease expires return it. Let GMAC take a bath on it unless you want to keep the car and be able to negotiate the residual value at the end of the term.

    Same thing happened when I leased my '97 Acura 2.5TL for only $350 per month for 36 months with AHFC and only $1000.00 that were made up of the security deposit, bank fees and first month's payment. (Oh yeah those were the days of cheap leases on Japanese luxury cars).

    I had planned to buy out the car at the end of the lease (In despite of the jerky transmission I really liked the car and it was also in prestine condition) but the residual was way above the actual used market value and AHFC wouldn't bulge to lower the residual value. I returned it and AHFC took a nice cold water bath on it.

    Leases have an advantage only when the manufacturer's lending arm is willing to bite the bullet at the end of the contract and subvent the lease to lower your payments. Current leases are moving away from that costly trend and now you must pay for the depreciation or capitalization costs UP FRONT. Leases under those terms do not attract me at all.

    I financed my Impala for 36 months, have it free and clear in about a year or so, and have at least 3 to 4 years FREE from car payments. To me this is the cheapest way of car ownership. No more leasing for me unless I can get a BMW 325 for $300 per month for 36 Months and $500.00 down...wishful thinking ;)
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