2009 Impala New Car Test Drive
The Chevrolet Impala is a big, roomy sedan. While classified as a mid-size sedan, it's large for that class. Close in size to the Toyota Avalon, it competes with mid-size and full-size cars. Among them: the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima.
For 2009 the Impala gains significant safety enhancements: thorax side-impact airbags, seatbelt pretensioners for front-seat lap belts and anti-lock brakes with traction control are now standard on all models. Bluetooth is available, the Impala SS gets 18-inch flangeless alloy wheels and there are three new exterior colors.
We find the Impala's neat, clean lines pleasing to the eye. Its styling looks contemporary, handsome, and clean. Other people must think so as well, as the Impala is among the top-10 best-selling cars in the U.S.
This is a roomy car, in the front as well as the back seats, and getting in and out is easy. The Impala has a big trunk with a big lid that makes loading cargo easy, and it has a healthy cargo capacity. Optional flip-and-fold rear seats are exclusive in its class, and provide not only holding wells for groceries but a flat cargo floor that expands the trunk for long items.
On the road, the Impala is very stable, a nice cruiser. There's lots of low-end torque from the larger of the two available V6 engines, a 3.9-liter V6 with advanced technologies. Step on the gas and it goes. Given its size, the Impala handles well, and surprisingly so.
Several trim levels are available, ranging from a strong, reliable, fuel-efficient family sedan to a sleek and powerful performance car. Depending upon trim level, there are three engine choices, two V6s and a V8.
Chevrolet continues to improve and upgrade the Impala. We highly recommend the StabiliTrak electronic stability control. OnStar is standard, and in its latest version it will automatically communicate the nature and severity of a crash as well as its location to the 911 centers.
Overall, the Chevrolet Impala is a comfortable and convenient car, practical and enjoyable to drive. It also offers low prices.
The 2009 Chevrolet Impala spans a broad model range that includes the base LS, the mid-range LT (comprised of the 1LT and 2LT), the loaded LTZ, and the high-performance SS.
The Impala LS ($23,790) comes with a 211-hp 3.5-liter V6, a four-speed automatic transmission, cloth upholstery, a front bench seat with six-way power for the driver, dual-zone air conditioning, power windows, programmable power locks, AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with six speakers, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar, cruise control, 16-inch steel wheels, a tire-pressure monitor, and four-wheel-disc brakes with anti-lock (ABS) and traction control. Options include an engine block heater ($75), 40/20/40 front bench seat ($195) and a DVD player ($1,735).
The 1LT ($24,645) upgrades to 16-inch aluminum wheels and more interior conveniences. Options include leather upholstery ($1,125) on bench or bucket seats, eight-speaker Bose audio system ($495), sunroof ($900), universal garage door opener ($100), and rear spoiler ($275).
The 1LT Luxury Edition package ($2,465) includes leather trim, an upgraded OnStar with Directions and Connections and Turn-By-Turn Navigation, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, flip-and-fold rear seat, and a rear spoiler.
The 2LT ($27,110) includes the equipment of the previous levels, plus fog lamps, dual exhausts, Stabilitrak stability control system, remote starter, rear spoiler, and 17-inch machined alloy wheels.
LTZ ($29,630) comes standard with the 3.9-liter V6 and the same FE3 performance suspension as the SS model (see below). Inside you'll find leather upholstery, heated seats with eight-way power on the driver's side and six-way power on the passenger's side, upgraded audio with eight speakers, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. Standard wheels are 18-inch machined alloys with P235/55R18 tires.
The SS ($31,135) boasts a 303-hp all-aluminum 5.3-liter V8 with Active Fuel Management and a heavier-duty four-speed automatic transmission. The SS comes with 18-inch forged flangeless aluminum wheels with P235/50R18 tires, FE3 performance suspension, and leather-appointed bucket seats. An optional Convenience Package ($240) includes Homelink universal garage door opener and heated power mirrors.
Safety features that come standard on all Impalas include dual front airbags, side-curtain roof-mounted air bags for front- and rear-seat passengers, thorax side-impact airbags, and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and traction control. StabiliTrak is offered for the first time on an Impala and is standard on 2LT, LTZ, and SS. A tire-pressure monitor is standard.