2011 Chevrolet Impala Review


The Impala is a roomy, front-wheel-drive 4-door sedan that comes in LS, LT and LTZ models. LS and LT trims include a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 211 horsepower and is now FlexFuel-capable. LTZ models (optional on LT) get a 224-horse, 3.9-liter V6 that’s also FlexFuel-capable. Either of these engines is paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter engine has an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, which according to Chevrolet, allows a highway driving range of up to 500 miles.
With a rather conventional MacPherson strut-type front suspension and trailing-arm rear suspension, with a stabilizer bar in back, the Impala is tuned to bring a smooth ride yet handle reasonably responsively. The body and suspension systems were designed to include some significant sound-deadening measures, which make the Impala quiet on the highway and over coarse surfaces.
Depending on the trim level, the Impala comes with either a front bench seat or two individual buckets. In back, there’s enough room for three adults across, and the seatbacks fold forward for a full pass-through to the trunk for larger cargo items. There’s a storage tub under the rear cushions. And a sunroof is available. Side and side-curtain airbags are standard on all Impalas, along with GM’s StabiliTrak stability control system and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. There are LATCH child-seat connectors in all three rear seating positions. Even the base LS model includes keyless entry, cruise control, power windows and locks and air conditioning.
LT models get larger machined aluminum wheels, fog lamps, a remote start system, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth hands-free. At the top of the range, the LTZ comes equipped as a more sophisticated, somewhat sporty sedan, with upgraded wheels and W-rated tires, heated seats, heated mirrors, a universal remote, and Bose audio. All sound systems include an auxiliary input. The available remote-start system in the Impala is claimed to work up to 200 feet away, and will pre-heat or cool the vehicle. Also included in the Impala is the latest Gen 9.0 version of OnStar, with improved voice recognition, along with Direction and Connections services and Turn-by-Turn navigation, which allows you to beam route guidance from a call center into the vehicle.
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