The Impala is a large-size front-wheel drive sedan that comes in four different models ranging from simple to sporty. The base Impala LS comes with a 211 horsepower, 3.5-liter pushrod V-6 engine; optional on the LT and standard on the luxurious LTZ is a 224-horsepower, 3.9-liter V-6. At the top of the range is the high-performance SS, powered by a 303-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8.
With any of the engines, a responsive four-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. Both of the V-6 engines provide perfectly adequate performance for keeping up with traffic, even when fully loaded, but the V-8 in the SS yields exceptionally fast acceleration--with 0-60 mph times of less than six seconds.
The V-8, which is rated 16 mpg city, 24 highway, also comes with an Active Fuel Management system, which helps decrease fuel consumption during coasting and cruising. With the 3.5-liter engine, highway fuel economy ranges up to 29 mpg, while the 3.5- and 3.9-liter engines come with flex-fuel capability to accommodate up to 85 percent ethanol.
LS and LT models come with suspension settings that favor ride quality but provide good handling control, with rack-and-pinion steering, front MacPherson struts, and stabilizer bars front and back, with 16- or 17-inch wheels and tires. On these models the ride is especially quiet and well isolated. To take advantage of the added power from the V-8, the sporty LTZ and high-performance SS model also add larger stabilizer bars, a sportier, so-called FE3 suspension tuning, and W-rated 18-inch performance tires.
The Stabilitrak stability control system is offered on LTZ and SS Impalas, where it might most help to maintain stability and safety with the added power, but it's not available on 3.5-liter models. This year side thorax airbags for front-seat occupants are now standard, and full-length side-curtain airbags provide head protection. Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes are also included on all Impala models.
The Impala's interior makes the most of available space, with plenty of legroom for front and rear occupants and enough space in back for two adults of nearly any size--three in a pinch--to be comfortable. LATCH child-seat tethers are included in all three rear seating positions. In LTZ and SS models (optional on LT) the rear seat cushions can be flipped forward to reveal a 'hidden' storage compartment, and the seatbacks fold forward to allow a continuous loading space through the trunk. The Impala is also one of the few remaining cars in its class to offer an available front bench seat, to accommodate three across and six people total.
Base LS models of the Impala come with most of the conveniences that buyers expect, including power windows, keyless entry, cruise control, and air conditioning, plus dual-zone manual climate control and a six-speaker CD sound system with XM Satellite Radio. LT models get a number of appearance enhancements, plus a remote start system and cast aluminum wheels. LTZ models are the most luxurious and bring a long list of extras like heated seats, a universal garage door opener, Bluetooth hands-free calling, steering-wheel audio controls, and a Bose eight-speaker sound system. Nuance leather upholstery with French seams is also included. All sound systems now have an auxiliary input jack for other sources such as iPods.
Many of the LTZ features are also offered as options on the LT. The options list on the top LTZ is quite short, with a dual-screen rear DVD system and a sunroof being the only significant choices.
Engine, 3.5L V6 SFI (E85) includes (E85) FlexFuel (gas ethanol) capability, uses gasoline or E85 fuel (211 hp [157.3 kW] @ 5800 rpm, 214 lb-ft of torque [288.9 N-m] @ 4000 rpm) (Included and only available with (FE9) Federal emissions requirements. Available with (NE1) Maine, Massachusetts, New York or Vermont state emissions requirements. Only Fleet order type FNR, FBC, FGO and FEF may order with (YF5) California state emissions requirements.)
Axle, 2.86 ratio
Front wheel drive
Battery, maintenance-free with rundown protection and retained accessory power (600 CCA.)
Alternator, 125 amps
Suspension, 4-wheel independent Touring
Steering, power, rack-and-pinion
Brakes, 4-wheel antilock, 4-wheel disc includes (NW9) Traction Control
Exhaust, single stainless-steel
Wheels, 16" (40.6 cm) steel with deluxe bolt-on wheel covers
Tires, P225/60R16 all-season, blackwall
Tire, compact spare
Moldings, body-color rocker
Headlamps, halogen composite with automatic exterior lamp control
Glass, Solar-Ray light-tinted
Mirrors, outside power-adjustable, body-color
Wipers, front intermittent
Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD and MP3 playback seek-and-scan, digital clock, auto-tone control, Radio Data System (RDS), automatic volume, TheftLock and auxiliary input jack
Audio system feature, 6-speaker system
XM Radio. XM Radio includes 3 trial months of service. XM turns your world on with commercial-free music channels from Rock to Jazz, Country to Classical, Latin Pop to Hip Hop, and virtually everything in between, all in amazing digital sound. Turn on your favorite Sports with every Major League Baseball game from Opening Day until the World Series, NHL Hockey, the PGA TOUR and college football and basketball. Plus XM brings you the biggest names in news and talk, outrageous comedy, award-winning family programming -- wherever you go from coast to coast. Exclusive live concerts, Oprah and Friends, Radio Disney, and so much more. Find what turns you on (Available only in the 48 contiguous United States. Required $12.95 monthly subscription sold separately after 3 trial months. Visit gm.xmradio.com for more details.)
Antenna, integral rear
Seats, front bucket, 40/40
Seat trim, cloth
Seat adjuster, driver 6-way power
Seat adjuster, driver manual lumbar control
Seat, rear fixed bench
Shifter, floor console
Steering column, Tilt-Wheel
Steering wheel, urethane
Instrumentation, analog 4-gauge cluster with speedometer, tachometer, coolant temperature, fuel, trip odometer and Driver Information Center
Oil life monitoring system
Windows, power with driver Express-Down and passenger lockout
Door locks, power programmable with lockout protection and enhanced safety
Remote Keyless Entry
Cruise control, electronic with set and resume speed
Trunk release, remote
Theft-deterrent system, vehicle, PASSlock
Air conditioning, dual-zone manual climate control with individual climate settings for driver and right-front passenger and air filtration system
Defogger, rear-window electric
Applique, woodgrain on instrument panel and door
Mirror, inside rearview manual day/night
Visors, driver and front passenger illuminated vanity mirrors, covered
Assist handles, front passenger and rear outboard
Lighting, interior with center-mounted dome and rear reading lights
Traction control, all-speed
Daytime Running Lamps
Air bags, dual-stage frontal, and thorax side-impact, driver and front passenger, and head curtain side-impact, front and rear outboard seating positions includes Passenger Sensing System (Head curtain side air bags are designed to help reduce the risk of head and neck injuries to front and rear seat occupants on the near side of certain side-impact collisions. Always use safety belts and the correct child restraints for your child's age and size, even in vehicles equipped with air bags. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat. See the vehicle's Owner's Manual and child safety seat instructions for more safety information.)
OnStar, 1-year of Safe and Sound plan. Includes Automatic Crash Notification, Automatic Notification of Air Bag Deployment, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, a link to all Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance, Remote Door Unlock, OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, Hands-Free Calling and Remote Horn and Lights (OnStar services require vehicle electrical system (including battery), wireless service and GPS satellite signals to be available and operating for features to function properly. OnStar acts as a link to existing emergency service providers. Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance and Remote Door Unlock success varies with conditions. OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics available on most 2004 MY and newer GM vehicles. Diagnostic capability varies by model. Visit onstar.com or call 1-888-466-7827 for system limitations and details. For a list of vehicles with Automatic Crash Notification visit onstar.com. Not available with a ship-to of Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands.)
Door locks, rear child security
Trunk emergency release handle
LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren) for child safety seats