Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Chevrolet Impala is Roomy, Affordable
Buyers of large sedans generally want a car that is roomy, provides a smooth ride and gets at least reasonable fuel economy. With the 2011 Chevrolet Impala, buyers' desires are met, and at an affordable price.
The Impala is powered by a standard 3.5-liter, 207-horsepower V-6 engine that has flex-fuel capability, meaning it can run on E85 (that is, if you can find a station that's selling it). You may also choose a 3.9-liter, 230-horsepower V-6, but both power plants are linked to a four-speed automatic transmission. The front wheel-drive Impala gets 17-18 mpg in the city and 27-29 highway, which is certainly respectable for this size car.
The Impala seats five quite comfortably, and if you have a large amount of cargo to haul, you can fold the rear seat down to extend the trunk. Chevy says that will produce 18.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which is quite impressive.
Besides its roominess, there's not much that's remarkable about the interior of the Impala, as the materials and fit and finish are OK, but nothing special. Perhaps that's how Chevy is able to price the Impala so reasonably.
There are three trim levels, beginning with the LS, which features cloth seats, a one-touch power window for the driver, plus cruise control, dual zone climate control with air filtration, simulated wood trim, OnStar satellite communications, CD player and XM Satellite Radio.
Step up one rung and you have the LT, with an optional power glass sunroof, power front passenger seat and heated front seats.
On the high end is the LTZ, which has leather seats, heated power seats up front, leather-wrapped steering wheel and an eight-speaker Bose audio system that are standard.
Front and side safety ratings are good, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while rear safety is rated acceptable. The Impala has dual front, front-side and two-row head airbags, antilock brakes and traction and stability control systems.
Styling is pretty straightforward - you might not find anything in the Impala's design to go crazy over, but you also won't find anything that's a big turnoff.
Pricing is modest, with the Impala ranging from around $25,000 to just about $31,000.
Overall, the Impala presents a pretty good value for those seeking a traditional family car at a reasonable price.