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2006 Chevrolet Impala



  • bigjaybigjay Posts: 26
    I need some honest advice...

    I am planning to buy a 2006 Impala SS but have some conflicts about it. My conflicts have a lot to do with professional image. Here's my deal...

    I am a car guy. I have a couple of show cars and grew up with Street Rods. Typically, I'm the guy that likes to buy whatever High Performance Sedan is being built by an American car company. For example, I've owned a couple of SHO's and a mid '90's Impala SS sedan.

    I currently own an Impala LS Sedan. It has over 140,000 trouble free miles on it. I hate to give it up, but cosmetically, it's starting to look kinda tired.

    When I saw the new 2006 Impala SS I decided to wait until it came out and see how I like it. Yesterday, an 2006 Impala LTZ was delivered to a local Chevy dealer and I drove it. Nice car! GM cleaned up the sheet metal and gave it 240 ponies...but, I'm, still holding out for the SS. They say it will be out in a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to driving that small block 303 hp V8!

    However, here is my dilema...

    I am an Insurance Agent, specializing in Commercial Insurance. All of my colleagues drive "prestige" cars. They all say I should too. They say I need an "image car" to "convey the right message." Personally, I think that's crap. I can't think of a time when my car closed a deal for me. At any rate, I want to buy the car I want, not the car my colleagues think I should have.

    So, whose right? Is it OK to drive a late model premium Chevy? Financially, I feel better about putting heavy mileage on a mid priced sedan, rather than on a pricey luxo barge every 3 years or so. Besides, with 303 hp, the new Impala is hardly a slouch! Besides, the guy sat K & N and Borla are already working on some bolt on go fast goodies to squeeze a tad more juice out of the stock engine.

    I plan to buy a Black on Black SS. My assumption is that it will be classy enough to do the job and more fun to get from place to place than an Avalon, a Maxima, a Passat, an A4, a 320i,a C Class Mercedes or an X Type Jag. Besides, an Impala is WAY more comfortable to drive than a Lincoln LS.

    I can't even consider a 300C. I don't care how much Mercedes content the sales guys say is in that car, it's still a Chrysler product. I'm just not that brave.

    What do you guys think?
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    I work in sales too, so I understand your situation. When my wife was looking at cars last year, we drove a 2005 Buick LaCrosse CXS. She eventually bought the LaCrosse CXL, and loves the car. The LaCrosse CXS is both sporty and upscale at the same time. It has 17 inch rims, an upgraded suspension, and the Cadillac 3.6 V6. I am not sure about the K & N filter or the Borla exhaust. This might be your car. Good luck!
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    As a professional who deals with a lot of sales people, I have some advice. It's going to sound silly, but I believe this. Stick with a black car. Preferably with a black or tan interior. Do NOT buy any other color. Otherwise, buy what you like and don't worry about it. Most of your clients will ignore a black car and pay little attention to what it is...another color they will start looking at. I've seen it time and again.

    And keep it spotlessly clean outside...a good waxing helps, too; and the interior free of anything not in use at the baby bottles, no unused sales cases, no candy wrappers. Seriously, that matters more. And have the car detailed about every six months or do it yourself.

    You'll be fine...
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I too am in sales although I don't use my car much aside from an odd client visit and I think there is no shame at all in driving a nice Chevy sedan. I have an Olds Intrigue and many people like the fact that I drive an American car, especially in an area with many jobs depending of the big three. Further, I think the new Impala looks pretty upscale, the interior is quite similar in look / shape to the new Caddy DTS.

    Personally, when I see a guy driving a 7 series Beemer and trying to sell me something I get the feeling I am paying too much to support him. As an example we ended up buying out home from a guy who drove a Jetta.

  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,721
    Vanman is right.

    The last two real estate agent I've dealt with, both were driving Lexus'. One was and LS430 and the other a LX470. While, I certainly enjoyed riding in these cars, I kept thinking to myself that maybe the commission rates are out of line.

    Don't worry about your peers, it's the clients you should think about. I believe most will appreciate you being level headed. My financial planner drives a 15 year old Oldsmobile and this is a guy that holds a PHD in finance/economics and previously owned a Old dealership and has millions of dollars in real estate.

    I feel more comfortable with him dealing with my money when I believe he is responsible with his.

    Bottom line, I don't think you will offend anyone driving and Impala SS while possibly impressing a few as well.
  • bigjaybigjay Posts: 26
    Hey everybody!

    Thanks for all the great feedback on the new Impala SS. You have all confirmed my plan and now I feel better about proceeding with that plan.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, in my business, I want to convey a sense of modern/contemporary thinking balanced against some solid, no nonsense business acumen. I would hope that after 20 years in business, a Master's Degree in Business, and a bunch of continuing education certificates, one would think these things would outweigh the car I pulled up in.

    In short, I think the new SS will be perfect for me. Here in LA, everybody drives an "image car" so I don't see the value of putting one more luxo barge into traffic. Personally, I think the SS will be cool because it is different.

    The best aspect of this new SS is the "punch" of that small block V8! That healthy 303hp V8 with a K&N Kit, and an exhaust system, should more than keep up with traffic.

    Again, thanks to all!
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    An Impala SS will probably stand out nicely since Japanese and German cars tend to rule the roads there for some reason. When I was a kid it seemed California was way cool American hot rod land, boy have things changed in 25 years.

  • To chevman1, You Said You Are (38) "I Am (72) Have Been Buying GM Cars For Over (40)Year's From The Early (30) Most Of GM Cars Had The Same Look.'Some Biger Than Some Others But Other Than Tail Light And Grill You Know It Was A GM Car.'The Same With Ford And The Others.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    When I see someone driving a high priced car, I just think that they are in debt and are show-offs. As A buyers, I would also think that salespeople with such things probably have higher prices than what I can get from a salesperson not driving such a vehicle. If you want to impress your clients, buy the Impala and tell them everything the new car has, then how little you paid for it.
  • bigjaybigjay Posts: 26
    Thanks again everyone!

    Oh, and regarding the comment about how LA used to be the center of everything cool car wise, you're right. Things aren't what they used to be. The fact is, there was a time when a lot of cool stuff did happen here, especially right after WWII and straight through the 1960's. But let's not forget, a lot of the iron we all liked here in California came from Michigan.

    "Back in the day," we did have a couple of advantages here in LA:

    1. Good weather. We could build cars and street race year round while our friends in The Mid West, and on The Eastern Seaboard had to sit things out for the winter. We also didn't have the rust issue here. Our junk yards were full of more usable stuff than other parts of the country.

    2. We had places to race, ie: our dry lakes. We could drive anything as fast as we wanted to and there was room to do it. And at the dry lakes, nobody got ticked or arrested for going fast!

    3. We had "post war" companies like: Rockwell, North American, Douglas, Hughes Aircraft, TRW, Garrett, and many, many others al over Southern California where returning servicemen could get good jobs and spend some of their money on their crazy car hobby and still buy homes!

    With all that engineering talent compacted here, some of that creative energy was bound to end up in their personal cars during their off hours. Thus, guys like: Iskindarian Cams, Edlebrock, Moon, Cragar, and many other "go fast hardware" guys had a natural market here in California.

    Beyond that we had Hollywood and guys like George Barris, Dean Jefferies and "Big Daddy" Ed Roth lived out here. They all had an unfair advantage as they had studio money behind them to build wild stuff and when they completed their projects, everything they made ended up in movies and television.

    Because of that, I think TV and movies gave the impression that California had some kind of leadership role in what everybody thought cool cars ought to be. But that's the magic of's all an illusion.

    I'll admit, at one time, we did have more than our fare share of notoriety regarding cars, but we never had a "monopoly" on cool cars. Having traveled some, I know there are some beautiful cars tucked away in the Hershey and Carlisle, Pa areas. There are some great cars in Ohio and even more hidden down South in Georgia and Arkansas. The Pacific NW has some great stuff and Arizona has it's share of great iron. That's why Barret Jackson is headquartered there!

    Today, just as you say, LA doesn't have the corner on cool cars it once did. Thankfully, due to easy acess to ground transportation and shipping channels, the hobby is now wide spread and people all over the country (and the world) are able to get the parts they want. With the advent of the CNC machine, anybody can machine just about anything they want, so custom stuff is no longer a regional thing.

    As a Californian, I'm glad to see so much equity in the hobby! I'm glad to see so many people in so many areas have such easy access to parts and creative technology!

    However, as an American, as a Californian, and as a Muscle Car Guy from way back, I have NO use for these new "tuners." With these guys, it's no longer about homegrown innovation, trial and error and self reliance in one's own garage.

    Now it's about the "bling!" It's about excess. It's about who can to spend the most money to "hire someone else" to bolt on on cosmetic do-dads and audio gadgets. In my opinion, the new generation of car guy are a bunch of wimps! They don't have a clue how to do anything themselves or how anything works! All they know is if it's shinely and looks expensive, it's automatically cool. Yet, when the hood goes up, all their eyes glaze over.

    Even the new technicians aren't all that gifted! For them, everything comes out of' a box. If it isn't "bolt on - plug 'n play" they're lost! There's no trial and error left in anything. No vision, no passion.

    Let's bring back "pretty cars." Let's bring back cars that are seriously fast and have real style. Let's show these young bucks that driving a performance car takes skill and not just wreckless bravado. Let's teach these "kids" that learning to use a gear box and a clutch takes finese, and "finding your line" is an art form.

    These goof balls in their "drifter competitions" are a sad lot. Then again, I guess when one has no real driving skills, then spinning in circles and chasing one's tail is all that's left for them to do!
  • I feel the exact same way. Last night I saw an 06 Impala SS on a dealers lot for the first time. The only thing I can say is maybe it will grow on me. Even being an SS model, it did nothing to get my blood pressure racing. In fact, I thought the styling was boring and very generic looking. It reminded me of a cross between a Nissan Altima (from the rear) and a Ford 500 from the side. Which not to say either one of those are bad cars, but come on, we are talking about the Imapala. It should be a style leader, not follower. To make that even more apparent, it was sitting right next to an 05 Impala LS on the lot so I was able to make a pretty good side by side comparison. The 05 just had a more edgy look to it that was differnt than anything else out there. I guess another thing that bothers me is it looks like the Imapala SS has the exact same front end treatment as the Monte SS and the Malibu SS. I guess each model is losing its identity in favor of saving design cost?
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    Anyone know if the SS required premium or is it just recommended?

    I noticed the GP GXP requires premium which will likely push me down to a LTZ if I went with an Impala.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I really don't understand why.

    Take your yearly mileage, divide by gas mileage expected, multipy by the price premium for premium. For most people, it is no more than $150 a year, and for by far the majority it is much less than that.

    Why do people who spend more than $30,000 on a vehicle then go ballistic when the engine is designed to perform better on premium fuel? It just seems to me to be a case of being pennywise and pound foolish...
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,398
    Note if premium is recommended or required in their terminology. You can always drop down one grade to Plus and probably not notice any difference. I had a loaner SC Regal a few years back that was used service loaner and people had been putting in regular. I ran normally like a 3800 until you stepped into it some and it didn't do better than my own 3800 and you could feel the fluttering as the spark retarded due to regular gas and then advanced again.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    Hi bigjay;

    Let me tell you a story that might help you solve your problem.

    Some years ago I was a salesman for a national medical supply company; and worked with reps of the 2 major national manufacturers of hospital furniture.

    One felt that he had to project a successful image; High line new car every year, sharp dresser, big spender and entertainer.

    The other drove an inexpensive car till the wheels fell off, bought his clothes a discount outlets and wouldn't spend a nickel on entertainment if he could avoid it.
    His objective was to present an "I need the order" approach.

    Both worked straight commission and were successful if they had 10 or 12 sales a year. Who was the most successful? Year after year the winner flipped back and forth and was decided by 1 or 2 sales.

    It's the product and sales skills, not the car.
  • jballjball Posts: 2
    well said bigjay!! The tinkering of yesterday has given way to computers controls.Even in ihra and nhra events every car has a computer controlling it. The boomer generation started the muscle car wars in the 60s, and 70s. It was cool then and is still cool today and there are many like myself who influence the market to design cars that bring us back to cars that we fast stylish and exciting. The USA invented muscle cars and they are coming back stronger than ever. How about a 400hp corvette, a 450hp charger srt, a 300hp mustang, or a 303hp impala. Only American cars have the exhaust sound and the speed and handling to make driving exciting cool and fun.
  • jballjball Posts: 2
    I opened the gas filler door and it didn't say premium so it must take regular fuel.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    GM states they RECOMMEND premium fuel 91 octane or HIGHER in the 5.3 V8. If I had this car I would use what they recommend. 2000-2005 Impala 3800 GM recommends 87 Octane or higher. I believe it has to do with the higher compression ratio of the V8.
  • mikalmikal Posts: 3
    Anyone know the specs on these new engines?Is the 3.5 just a redo of the ancient
    3.4.Is the 3.9 a chevy or buick,please don't say it's an opal.Are they 60 deg.or 90
    deg. quad valves,etc.I try and keep up with gm's engines,but I don't know anything
    about the 3.9.
  • jcooleyjcooley Posts: 46
    The LZE is the 3.5L.
    The LZ9 is the 3.9L.

    This explains them pretty good. When they say 2005 Impala they should say 2006 Impala.
  • From '97 to 2000, I drove a '97 Z28, which as I'm sure most of you know also required premium fuel. Really it wasnt that bad. I gues the little extra cost was worth having the car. One hint I recomment, pay attention to gas prices around your town or city. I was able to find one gas station not too far away that during one whole summer, every weekend they had their premium gas on sale for the same price as the regular. So every Sunday, I popped the t-tops out and headed over to fill up. I dont think I was really paying that much more for my premium then than Im paying for my regular now and prices were outrageous then also!
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    I'm not going "ballistic"?

    It's just another thing to consider. If your fuel economy goes down with the V8 and the price of each gallon goes up as well, it's a double whammy (not to even mention insurance and initial cost).

    My thinking is, 240 hp is plenty more than I need and will still make me smile. Maybe I can save some money with an LTZ and use the savings to buy a plasma TV, thats all I'm really trying to say.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    If you don't want leather seats, you can save even more by buying the 3LT. It will have everytrhing on the LTZ, except the leather seat package, the automatic rear view mirror, and the heated exterior mirrors. Why GM left those last two items off is a real mystery.

    Both the 3LT and the LTZ are available with a front bench seat if you need more space for people or things in front.

    I agree, the 240HP engine is plenty, it will save on insurance, and you avoid the harder ride of the suspension and wheel&tire package on the SS.

    John, I see that you are also paying attention to GM - nice to see you here. The Ford Five Hundred / Mercury Montego do offer a very large trunk and AWD, but the Impala has three engine choices, a front bench option, a 60/40 rear seat which folds to give a flat load floor (most other cares flop the seat back onto the bottom cushion, leaving a sloped load area), and an excellent price.

    A 2006 Impala 3LT with the front cloth bench and every option has an invoice price of just $24,200! The MSRP is $27,000, but there is no need to pay more than invoice.

    For really detailed information on the different models and options, I suggest going to the GM fleet website:
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I watch the Impala with great interest...after all I had a great experience with my last one....I wish they would make automatic climate control at least an option....

    I've got 35,000 miles on my Five Hundred already, and other than being slightly underpowered, I am very happy with it. When the 3.5L comes out, I may trade...

    But I still watch (and will test drive) the new Impalas. Especially the SS.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Yes, the SS is going to give a number of other manufacturers heartburn.

    At the rate you are going, you will have well over 100,000 miles on the Five Hundred by the time Ford adds the 3.5 engine option (apparently Spring of 2007 as a 2008 model).

    Did you notice that the Impala does have separate right and left climate controls?

    With the new prices and features, someone wanting a new larger sedan would be silly not to seriously consider the 2006 Impala.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I noticed the dual zone (my old Impala also had that...)

    I want fully automatic climate control, like my Five Hundred has (and my 98 Grand Prix GTP had). And no, GM, I won't be moved to a Buick Lucerne to get it...
  • bigjaybigjay Posts: 26

    It's COOL! I liked it!! It's fun, it gets up and goes, and it looks pretty cool too. The one I drove (actually the one I hope to take delivery of this weekend) was Black on Tan. Classy, Has neat SS embroidery on the front headrests. I was surprised to see so much fake wood trim inside, but it looks... OK. I though the SS was gonna have that brushed aluminum/faux nickle trim. Weird.

    Best of all, it has a nasty exhaust growl! Sounds tough. It's quiet as a tomb inside, but outside, it sounds like it has a couple 3 Stage Flowmasters in it!

    Oh, and the new Bose audio system doesn't sound too bad either.

    Now, it's not a perfect car by any means. But for it's price and when one compares it to it's direct competition, (Camry, Accord, Ford Five Hundred and others) it stands up pretty well unders scrutiny.

    As far as professional image, it's got it! The black on tan has become such a traditional color choice on so many mid to high end sedans, that it fools the eye into thinking the car was semi expensive. It's a little cozier inside the rear seat area than I'd like, but, it'll work.

    The thing I like best about it is when compared to the Pontiac GXP (which I like very much too) it doesn't have that silly "boy racer" look that some of the Pontiac's have. It's simple, clean and does it's job right!

    I won't however, be street racing any 300C's any time soon. It's not quite up to that task. However, the K & N guys say they are working on an intake system for it and the Borla guys (their CEO goes to the same dentist I go to) say they are waiting for a test car to practice on.

    I could make mine available to them....say... next week!
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,940
    "compared to the Pontiac GXP (which I like very much too) it doesn't have that silly "boy racer" look that some of the Pontiac's have"

    Um - I resemble that remark . .
    - Ray
    GXP driver - and card carrying AARP member . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    The gray SS I saw had brushed aluminum interior and no wood trim (or very little if it had any I didn't see). If you really want that, I would ask the dealer. Otherwise, good luck with the buy.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    For any that think the wood trim on the dashboard is too much, you can order RPO # B3B and have Brushed Metalic Film in place of it. The SS has Techno metalic (whatever that is)
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