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2006 Chevrolet Impala



  • The new Impala has been growing on me for awhile. It and the Buick Lucerne have piqued my interest (that and the substantially-below EPA estimate mileage I get with my '04 Escape.)
    I was dissapointed to see I could not build an SS w/ heated leather and heated mirrors. Really a nice feature for icy Pittsburgh. Possibly an option for later years?
    An LTZ w/ the silver dash treatment works too, but just doesn't have the excitement factor of a V8. (I've never been a fake-wood fan. Make it a texture, metallic, or piano black. . . )
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    Are you sure about the heated seats and mirrors? I just checked and it looks to me like you can have both the heated leather seats and heated mirrors on the SS without a problem. I have a black LTZ with ebony cloth interior and silver dash treatment - looks great, and has a nice amount of power. I'm REALLY happy with my new Impala!
  • yurakmyurakm Posts: 1,345
    Heated mirrors are included in Convenience Package UG1, MSRP $240, together with auto-dimming inside mirror.

    To my understanding, if Impala SS have leather seats, they are heated. It is not an option. The same with power seats, including the passenger seat.

    I would suggest to go to, search for Impala SS at local dealers, and click on "View Window Sticker".
  • axle52axle52 Posts: 36

    I mentioned that I have the same problem with the heated seats. It happened again tonite. The temperature outside was -6 C. I turned on the driver side heated seat and it turned off by itself after a few minutes of driving. I tried turning it on again but it wouldn't stay on more than a few seconds. After I turned the car off and retarted it, the driver side heated seat returned to working normally. Please find out for us readers what the problem is and how your dealer corrected the problem. Your reply will be greatly appreciated.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,933
    “How do you like your 05 GXP. I drove a 2006 GXP rental and I really liked it”

    It is a hoot to drive. I enjoy it a lot.

    Where did you rent a GXP?

    The differences between the GXP and the SS that I am aware of include:

    Number 1, the GXP drivetrain is ALMOST the same as the SS. For me, the SS lacks one critically important drivetrain feature. TAP Shift. This manumatic function is seen by some as a ‘gimmick’. I have this feature on my past 3 sedans. I find that (given I cannot and would not want to drive a car with a traditional manual trans. in 90+% of my driving) the additional control offered by this feature significantly enhances my driving enjoyment.

    Number 2: The Bilstein dampers are a significant (and expensive) upgrade to the ride / handling balancing act. I find that the ride \ handling compromise is particularly well done, given FWD and the extreme front weight bias – and Number 2.5.

    Number 2.5: The GXP’s wheel \ tire package represents a significant upgrade over the SS. These are quite aggressive. Particularly the 255 / 45 front Potenzas.

    Number 3: The brakes on the GXP are significantly upgraded (larger & cross drilled) vs the SS.

    Number 4: I prefer the bolstering \ lateral support of the seats in my GXP – they provide better comfort for me.

    Number 5: The HUD available in the GXP is very well executed. I appreciate it, and I rarely have to look to the instrument panel in typical driving.

    Does the SS have Stabilitrac Sport?

    I happen prefer the styling of the (forged, lightweight) wheels on the GXP. But whether or not that difference matters to anyone else is purely subjective.
    Like all of the other (interior and exterior) styling differences.

    To each his \ her own . .

    - Ray
    Greatly preferring the GXP’s styling vs the SS as well . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,933
    I have posted most of the on the GP board, so . . .

    My gas mileage is “fine”.


    First – highway MPG: I have achieved over 22 MPG for a full tank only twice in over 8,000 miles. Both were close to ‘ideal’ “real-world” conditions. (Sounds like an oxymoron, but what I mean is: In the “real-world”, I am NOT constrained by the EPA test limits on rate of acceleration when I merge or pass or leave a traffic light. In the real world, roads have at least some traffic and I am constrained largely (on Interstates) by local speed enforcement rather than EPA test max speed (still 60 MPH!!) and I am free to drive with my A/C on. ‘Ideal’ conditions mean relatively light traffic, cool enough ambient temps to be comfortable without the A/C compressor running, cool enough that the air is relatively dense, and mostly running on roads with little significant elevation change. And only me in the car, and a weekend case.

    My overall fuel mileage now stands at 19.1. But if I remove the 2 ‘best’ tanks from the spreadsheet, the average drops closer to 18.5.

    Second, I am satisfied with the overall fuel mileage, given the available performance & how often I utilize it. (Many smiles per gallon, thank you.)

    My “around town” MPG reflects the fact that I really enjoy the V8’s acceleration. And I use it whenever I (safely) can. And I use all of it. WOT. Often. Thus I do not achieve the EPA estimate there. No big surprise.

    [ The acceleration is really the one dynamic performance aspect where I feel like I can legally and safely utilize 100% of the available HP & TQ on public roads. Perhaps not for long at any given time, as more than 10 or 15 seconds of WOT will have this car moving faster than any open road speed limit in the US. But compared to lateral acceleration & braking, it is a thrill that I can regularly enjoy, asking it to deliver all the power that it has to give. This is something that I can enjoy - every time I drive it! ]

    Although I have seen (and quoted here) that GM states DoD can function at up to 80 MPH under absolutely ideal conditions, my feeling is that in the real world, the slightest headwind, acceleration to pass, or uphill incline, etc. will result in DoD = off.

    And the point in the fuel mileage vs MPH curve where above a certain MPH, under certain specific conditions, DoD will not engage - likely results in a sharp drop in MPG. In fact, it will result in a discontinuity (??) in the curve. Meaning a straight drop, where DoD disengages, then a continuation of the downward sloping curve – at a lower MPG level as speed continues to rise.

    For example. One might expect a somewhat linear drop in MPG as speed rises across the range of typical US highway travel. (Yes, I know, not really linear and not over all speed ranges, etc)

    But for purposes of illustration here - If I assume that at an absolutely steady speed of 60 MPH, my GXP can achieve 30 MPG, then at 65 it might be capable of 28 and at 70 it might be 26 and at 75 it might be 24 and at 80 it might be 22 and at 85 MPH, 20 MPG.

    If DoD is operable up to 70, but will not engage starting at say 73.14159 MPH for instance, the numbers might then look like this:


    60 – 30 (DoD on)
    65 – 28 (DoD on)
    70 – 26 (DoD on)
    75 – 20 (No DoD - instead of 24)
    80 – 18 (No DoD - instead of 22)

    I am making these numbers up, but I believe they are in the range of possibility \ reality for my GXP.

    This would mean that exceeding the DoD engagement threshold would cost something like an additional 20 or more percent (24 with DoD vs. 20 at 75 MPH without DoD and 22 vs. 18 at 80, etc.) beyond the expected decrease as speed rises beyond whatever that critical speed actually is. My driving suggests that the speed where DoD does not engage in ** my ** typical driving is between 70 and 75.

    But that’s just me speculating.


    - Ray
    Still enjoying the drive – and not obsessing about MPG . . (?)
    2016 BMW 340i
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    For what it's worth, I have a theory on what's causing the seats to spontaneously shut off. When I purchased my car(off the showroom floor), it's battery had completely discharged (due to constant door openings, etc.) After jump-starting the car, I took an extended test drive and tried to use the heated seats. They kept shutting off the way you're describing. From my experience with troubleshooting electronics, some switches (solenoids particularly) won't operate properly if the system voltage is low. In my case, the car battery had discharged but hadn't fully recharged after the jump start. The switches for the heated seats are electronic and I'm g€guessing they are turning off due to insufficient voltage. After my battery had fully recharged, I never experienced the problem again. Since you live in an extremely cold climate, your battery may be unable to supply the minimum voltage until after the car has warmed up. Hope this helps!
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,243
    As soon as the motor was started, the alternator would have been putting out 15.5 or higher volts as it recharged the battery. All things in the car should have operated correctly. As the battery was recharged the voltage would drop down to maybe 14.5 while it's running.

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

  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Has anyone had any problems with the new "Black Tie" stereo? Particularly, at anything below about 50% volume or even while the door chime sounds, I hear a background hiss. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds like a cassette tape without Dolby noise reduction. I have yet to address this with the dealer because it's only a minor annoyance but it is something I want corrected. My system is the Bose six-disc changer. Thanks!
  • quietpro, the hiss at lower volumes is now legend with '06 Impala Bose systems. You described it most adequately. Go back a few months in this forum (Sep - Dec), and you'll see a bunch of our posts on the topic. Haven't seen a single post on a fix, but if you're so inclined, see what your dealer says. Can't hurt.

    I usually have the volume somewhere around the middle, where it's not noticeable, especially when you're moving (road noise, wind noise, and dash blower fan all mask it).

    But I hear you -- shouldn't be there, not for the price they charged for the Bose upgrade. Otherwise, it's a pretty sweet system, with awesome clarity.
  • I went to and built an SS w/ convenice group and waddya know, heated seats and mirros on the "View Window Sticker" on 3 Impala SS's at a dealer in Pittsburgh. Fantastic! I think I found my next car . . .
  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    Congrats! I know how much I love my LTZ, so I'm sure you'll love the SS even more! Let us know what you end up taking home. :)
  • quietproquietpro Posts: 702
    Ivanadrivealot, thanks for the reply. I only wish I knew about this blog before I bought my car. I wouldn't have accepted it knowing this was a common problem. I was actually hoping mine was an isolated incident. Oh well...serves me right for assuming a Bose system would be quality controlled. I will seek a fix and will pass it along if I find it.
  • maku337maku337 Posts: 15
    The noise referred to in the TSB is different than what we've been working on. The engine tick will be heard at a regular rhythm on a cold engine; that's my understanding. The noise from the I/P will be heard when the car is warming up from cold temperatures, does not have a regular rhythm and will be heard across the top part of the IP. We believe the noise is coming from metal clips on the underside of the defroster grille panel. These metal clips hold the defroster grille panel into the IP top pad. Our current repair is to remove the defroster grille, (which requires the windshield garnish mouldings to be removed first), remove the metal clips and put an anit-itch material onto the clip towers. This seems to provide enough isolation to eliminate the clicking noises.
    To the owner who didn't want to trial the fix on their car; yes, I can understand your position. Don't mess with my car until you know what you're doing. At the same time, I appreciate those of you who contacted me and allowed this fix to be trialed. I know the people on this forum will not tell me a problem is fixed until it is.
    As for those who are concerned if it will cause a problem later on if not fixed, my opinion is that it will not cause any further problems. In time, it may go away on its own as the vehicle ages and parts shift due to their own aging.
    And by the way, thanks to all those who have purchased Impalas. There are many people here in Oshawa who would like to thank you.
  • charts2charts2 Posts: 618
    Its good to know that there are people who are looking into these problems with the 2006 Impala re clicking noises/ seat heater problems. The only way to get any response is to let your dealership service manager know that you are having these problems. Does anyone know if the Impalas that are rolling down the assembly line right now today, have they had these issues corrected at the factory? The 00-03 Impalas had there share of problems, and some were a long time in coming before proper fixes was made.
  • justgreat47justgreat47 Posts: 100
    it's not the charging citcuit or the battery that's the problem: there's a drain on the battery when the ignition is switched off: start pulling fuses at the fuse panel to isolate which circuit is the culprit. this is just the first step, but at least this way, you will know what fuse to pop at night so your battery won't drain. obviously, this is not the solution; the dealer will have to trouble shoot the problem to isolate the culprit.
  • jz68jz68 Posts: 61
    The overnight battery drain has only happened once. All other times the car starts strong with not even the slightest hint of a weak battery. I'm holding off taking it to the dealer unless it happens again.

    Thanks for the reply.
  • Thanks for the info Ray. I rented the GXP at Avis, got it as a free upgrade and it was pretty nice. Had been thinking about the SS and had forgotten the GXP had the DoD 5.3 as well. I like the styling slightly better on the pontiac. I am going to the auto show this weekend to look at them all in one place and see what happens. Have a gm card and they have top off rebates for the next month so will see. I am trying not to obsess about MPG, but the figures looked almost too good to be true, particularly some of the guys I am looking at have turbo fours and get much lower mileage. Do you always run premium? Is it required or recommend?

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,933
    From the owner's manual:

    "If your vehicle has the 3800 Supercharged V6 engine
    (VIN Code 4) or the 5.3L V8 engine (VIN Code C), use
    premium unleaded gasoline with a posted octane
    rating of 91 or higher. You may also use regular
    unleaded gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher, but
    your vehicle’s acceleration may be slightly reduced, and
    you may notice a slight audible knocking noise,
    commonly referred to as spark knock. If the octane is
    less than 87, you may notice a heavy knocking
    noise when you drive. If this occurs, use a gasoline
    rated at 87 octane or higher as soon as possible.
    Otherwise, you might damage your engine. If you are
    using gasoline rated at 87 octane or higher and you hear
    heavy knocking, your engine needs service."

    As there have been many posts elsewhere on Edmunds about the use of Regular or Mid-Grade vs. Premium in many cars designed for Premium, I will only add that given the GXP is a high performance car (low 14-s in the Quarter Mile qualifies in my book) and that I bought it specifically expecting to enjoy that acceleration performance whenever I want to or need to – I run Premium. And since I cannot reliably predict when I will want or need all the HP & TQ available, I run it all the time.

    There are lots of alternatives to the GXP with motors that are designed run on Regular. (Are there any with V8s making over 300 HP / TQ and such a sweet sound?) At 20 cents per gallon premium for Premium (I crack myself up) and an average fill of 15 gallons or so (for me) the additional $3.00 – out of over $40.00 / refill total these days – is worth it to me.

    - Ray
    Receiving at least an additional 3 bucks of enjoyment while burning through each tank . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • First, I was under the impression that the Grand Prix and the Impala would have the same size back seat. They don't !!! The Grand Prix's back seat (according to the measurements) is much smaller. This was important to me since I need to get 3 car seats in the back of my car.

    Second, there was some talk a while ago about the top speed of the Impalas. I haven't taking my SS past 90, but I did just notice that the car comes with W rated tires, which are rated up to around 149 mph....

    Since CAR AND DRIVER stated that the GXP had a top speed of 142, I'm again guessing that the SS will also be in the 140's.... Although I think the Speedometer only goes up to 140....

    I also run 93 octane in my SS, it's worth the extra $3.00 per fill up and I've noticed a 1 to 3 mpg increase over the 87 I used for the first 3 weeks.

    Just some random thoughts! :)

  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,933
    "W rated tires, which are rated up to around 149 mph.... "

    W = rated to 168 mph.
    - Ray
    Not ready to attempt that speed anywhere near where I live . . .
    2016 BMW 340i
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    Ivanadrivealot, thanks for the reply. I only wish I knew about this blog before I bought my car. I wouldn't have accepted it knowing this was a common problem. I was actually hoping mine was an isolated incident. Oh well...serves me right for assuming a Bose system would be quality controlled. I will seek a fix and will pass it along if I find it.

    The overpriced Bose Amplifier/Speaker system may not be the culprit of this problem. It is likely the cheap head unit (Made in China?) that spoils your experience.

    GM just announced that they will move their Electronics
    Purchasing Department to China to save money (they want to be the next Walmart). So cross your fingures.

  • There is a dealer note out that say's the heated seat problem is a software glitch that they (GM) are working on! They do not want dealers to do anything to help you out. I had them change my hardware anyway, and that did not work entirely. This problem is like the mileage and fit / finish issues - just a case of over marketing and releasing a design too quickly. Maybe the seats will work by summer! My best advice is to keep on them to do a recall and replace the seats completely. The 2006 Impala is the worst sales, marketing and production fiasco I have ever seen. Every issue I have had has not been resolved and / or put off because of the lack of available replacement parts. Some replacement parts even came in bad twice. The only things that have not been disrupted with this purchase is my regular hours spent at the dealership, on the phone (both 800#'s and corporate), and my payments for something that is not what I was sold! If anyone want's to contact GM corporate you need to know someone on the inside - the owners 800 line people are really clueless. Is it any wonder that GM stock and business is falling? Maybe they can sell some cars to China where they are taking the manufacturing.
  • nsbnsb Posts: 3
    What are owners of the '06 LTZ 3.9 getting for mpg ?
    Just took delivery and now have 400 miles.
  • zjimzjim Posts: 51
    I have a 3LT with the 3.9 engine that has approximately 1400 miles on it. So far, I have been doing only "suburban" driving on relatively busy streets and low speed highways while on my way to and from work. I've been getting anywhere between 17.5 and 18.5 MPG, depending on ambient temperature and how aggressively I drive the car. That is a little disappointing, since my 2001 Regal, with 57K consistently gets 19-20 under the same circumstances. I have to admit that the acceleration is better with my Impala, but, . . with all the technology improvements made in the last five years, I should be getting at least the same efficiency with the Impala. I'm really looking forward to doing a couple of trips to see if the Chevy can match the 29 MPG that I get with the Buick.
  • jntjnt Posts: 316
    The Regal with 3800 V6 has a lot less Horse Power (40 HP less). Besides, the new 06 Impala is probably heavier since it has more safety hardwares. HP and mass negate any gain on new technology. If Chevy offers 6 speed AT then may be they can offset the loss in MPG (10% better typically). DoD (Displacement on Demand or Cylinder Cutoff) may save another 10%.

    In addition, the 3800 engine is legendary for HWY mileage (30 MPG on large vehicles) since it has benefited greatly from decades of continuous improvement.It may take GM some more years to do the same thing on the 3.9 V6.

  • bh0001bh0001 Posts: 340
    I have about 4200km (about 2600 miles) on my '06 LTZ. Best tank has been 10.61 l/100km (22.16 USmpg). Worst has been 13.55 l/100km (17.35 USmpg). Average is 12.17 l/100km (19.29 USmpg).

    Mileage has been getting better as the engine gets broken in. All of my driving is mixed city/highway, with average speed per tank of around 55kmh.

    I am definitely a heavy-footed driver, particularly with the great acceleration of the 3.9 in the LTZ. It's so much fun to put it to the floor and take off. It will be interesting to see what the mileage is like when I do a cruise-controlled trip down the 401. So far any trips on the 401 have been fun dashes into Toronto with lots of to-the-floor acceleration.
  • zjimzjim Posts: 51
    Being the "gear head" that I am, I'm well aware of the "advertised" horsepower of the Chevy when comparing to the Regal. The Regal I have is a fully optioned car and weight is nearly the same, but the aerodynamics are not as good as the Chevy. With the experience GM obtained from what was considered one of the finest six cylinder engines ever built, that you would expect the 3.9 to perform at least as well. If you drive both cars similarly, over the same exact course, you'd expect the Chevy to deliver similar mileage. For example, the 99 Z28, 6-speed that I traded for the Impala produced almost 300 horsepower at the rear wheels, weighs only about 150 less than the Impala and got the same mileage (or better) over the same course, same driving conditions.

    There's no doubt that a 6-speed automatic and DOD (DOD is rumored to be installed as standard equipment on the '07's) would significantly improve mileage. Imagine how much better the 3800 Buick would be with those same improvements! Don't get me wrong. My Impala is a decent car and I knew going into the deal that it wouldn't get the mileage that my Buick does. My point is that with all the performance and mileage that some GM cars develop, you'd think the 3.9 would be more efficient, just on the motor alone.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,243
    SS showing off on I75 today. Changing lanes to pass people and I heard this loud muffler sound like something from the early 70s on a big motor and it was an SS-black passing at 80 or above. He had a cops emblem on his license plate so he can speed and nto worry.

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

  • You're right, my mistake. When I was posting I couldn't remember if it was in the high 140's or 160's so I went with the smaller speed.

    You're also right in saying that it is difficult to test top speed. There's nowhere around my area where I can (or desire to) safely go over 140 mph....

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