New Car/Review

Chevrolet

Chevrolet Impala LS

SEE ALSO: Chevrolet Buyer's Guide

By Matt/Bob Hagin

Chevrolet Full Line Video footage (23:22)
SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price              $ 22,365
Price As Tested                                    $ 24,715
Engine Type                OHV 12-valve 3.8 Liter V6 w/SFI*
Engine Size                                 231 cid/3791 cc
Horsepower                                   200 @ 5200 RPM
Torque (lb-ft)                               225 @ 4000 RPM
Wheelbase/Width/Length                  110.5"/73.0"/200.0"
Transmission                           Four-speed automatic
Curb Weight                                     3492 pounds
Fuel Capacity                                  17.0 gallons
Tires  (F/R)                             P225/60R16 Touring
Brakes (F/R)                          Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS)
Drive Train                  Front-engine/front-wheel-drive
Vehicle Type                       Five-passenger/four-door
Domestic Content                                 85 percent
Coefficient of Drag (Cd.)                               N/A


PERFORMANCE

EPA Economy, miles per gallon
city/highway/average                            20/29/24          
0-60 MPH                                        8.5 seconds
1/4 (E.T.)                          16.5 seconds @ 88.0 mph
Top speed                                               N/A

* Sequential fuel injectionn

(The Impala name took a hiatus in 1996, but Chevrolet brought it back for 2000. Bob Hagin remembers the Impala well, he's owned more than his share of them. Son Matt remembers it too. It was the car of choice for cruising in his youth.)

BOB - Impalas for 2000 have been completely redesigned bumper-to-bumper and they're now front-wheel drive. They're assembled in Oshawa, Canada, so they have a high domestic content percent. Chevrolet has had a great deal of success when reintroducing old models names on new cars and the Impala is an example. It left for a couple of years but is back now with big changes.

MATT - Vintage Impalas had a handful of V8s to pick from. It began with a storming 348 cubic-inch fuel-injected V8 in '58, the year the Impala debuted. Now the Impala has a pair of V6s offered with not a V8 in sight. Those V6 engines, front-wheel-drive, plus its unibody construction make the new Impala a poor choice for law enforcement. The EPA classifies it as a "Large Car" and I would have to agree with that. This traditional American "ride" still holds six occupants in Base form.

BOB - That's true, Matt, but our tester was dressed in LS trim and only held five people since it had bucket seats up front. It also had that ever-popular GM tilt steering, but I thought the front seats lacked enough side support. They were covered in leather accents, which is not my choice in seat coverings, but most buyers love it. The LS comes standard with heated seats, a feature your mom loves on cold days. The radio was a little tricky to use with lots of buttons, but the main controls were on the steering wheel, which helped. It also had a couple of other features that I liked. One is called the "Radio Data System" which identifies and displays the station on a small radio screen. The second was a traffic and weather report that interrupts listening to the radio or even the CD to give an update. Another great feature I liked came standard on our LS-trimmed Impala, but is offered as an option on the Base model, was the tire inflation monitor to warn of tire pressure loss. Proper tire inflation helps tire wear and fuel mileage.

MATT - The Impala uses an antiquated overhead valve configuration with two valves per cylinder in both engines but company rationale say "Why mess with something that works?" The LS comes with an iron block and cylinder head. Its cylinders are laid out at a 90 degree angle and it displaces 3.8 liter. This engine is used in quite a few GM products, but the Base Impala come standard with a smaller 3.4 liter engine of a completely different design. The Base Impala can be had with the bigger engine as an option. There is not a big difference in the power, only 20 more ponies, but that puts the LS right at the 200 horsepower mark. Both engines are mounted transversely in the engine bay and bolt up to an electronic four-speed automatic transmission.

BOB - The press package from Chevrolet states that the 2000 Impala meets the side-impact standards for the year 2003, but I didn't want to test that feature. The car rides on four-wheel independent suspension on four coil-over struts. Both Impala versions have four-wheel disc brakes. and our LS had an anti-lock braking system (ABS) as well as traction control. Both are standard equipment on all Impalas that carry the bigger engine. It also had those big P225/60R16 touring tires mounted on a set of aluminum five-spoke rims and I read that the LS has faster steering and tighter suspension than the Basic. Its a nice car, but it's a far cry from the Impala Super Sport we tried in 1994. That version was actually a police car in plain clothes. It was only made for three years but it already has its own following of enthusiasts.

MATT - The Impala name brings back fond memories of my brother Andy's '67 Impala SS. He had it all pumped up and it was really very fast. I think that was the car that got him his first speeding ticket.

BOB - Your mom is glad those days are over, Matt. She always worried about you boys driving around in those big, powerful cars.

MATT - She shouldn't have worried, Dad. Like all teenagers, we had everything under contro

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