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2004 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

4dr Sdn SS Supercharged

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 28 MPG Highway

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  • $27,595 original MSRP
Printable Version

2004 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

Printable Version

2004 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

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2004 Chevrolet Impala

Source: New Car Test Drive

Base Price (MSRP) - $21,485
As Tested (MSRP) - $28,085

Introduction

The Chevrolet Impala is a roomy and practical car, a mid-size sedan that handles well, yet rides more like a big luxury car. Acceleration with the optional 3.8-liter V6 is more than adequate. But for those who want more, Chevrolet has added a supercharged Impala SS model for 2004.

The Chevy Impala is calculated to push the nostalgia button. By any other name, it would be an impressive, significant car. But Chevrolet chose to honor an icon of the 1960s, not only with the Impala name, but with key visual cues.

From 1958-65, the Impala was the flashiest full-size Chevrolet, a real working-man's Cadillac, tame transportation in its base form, with performance options available to match its sleek styling. Among those performance options, starting with the '61 Impala, was the SS, or Super Sport, package, featuring unique, sporty trim inside and out. When ordered with a big-block V8 and heavy-duty brakes and suspension, an Impala SS was a formidable luxury-performance car.

Like its namesake, today's base Impala is tame and practical, but the optional 3.8-liter V6 makes the Impala quick. The supercharged 3.8 that comes with the new SS model makes it quicker still. In any form, the Impala feels more responsive than the six-seat sedans from Toyota, Dodge, Ford and Buick. All Impalas offers competent suspension tuning, distinctive looks, and plenty of interior room.

Impala provides contemporary safety as well, with a five-star rating (the highest possible) from the Federal government in both front and side impacts.

 

Model Lineup

Three models are available: Impala ($21,485), Impala LS ($24,585), and Impala SS ($27,385). The base Impala runs with a 3.4-liter V6 rated at 180 horsepower. The more up-market LS comes with GM's proven and highly competent 3.8-liter V6, producing 200 horsepower. The new SS uses the same 3.8-liter V6, but boosted to 240 horsepower by a belt-driven, positive-displacement supercharger.

All models come with an automatic transmission, air conditioning with separate controls for driver and passenger; AM/FM/cassette stereo; four-wheel-disc brakes; a rear window defogger; power locks, windows, and mirrors; remote keyless entry; tilt steering; front and rear anti-roll bars; P225/60R16 tires, and stainless steel exhaust.

The LS adds anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, a sport touring suspension, aluminum wheels, fog lamps, a tire-pressure monitor, bucket seats with a center console, a six-way power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear deck-lid spoiler and cruise control.

The supercharged SS comes with a performance suspension, P235/55WR17 tires, a heavy-duty automatic transmission, leather seats, graphite interior appointments and lots of unique trim and identification, inside and out.

A long list of Preferred Equipment Groups add amenities at every level, and special appearance packages are available to add further distinction to the LS or SS. ABS is available as a stand-alone option ($600) with the base 3.4-liter engine. A driver's-side side-impact airbag ($350) is available on all Impalas. The 3.8-liter engine is available as an option ($995) on the base model, and comes with the touring suspension, tire-inflation monitor, and ABS; with the bigger engine, however, you are required to order a fairly expensive Preferred Equipment Group, so at that point it may make sense to spring for the LS. XM Satellite Radio ($325) is optional on all Impalas. OnStar is available as a stand-alone option ($695), but comes with several packages.

 

Walkaround

The 2004 Chevrolet Impala looks bigger than it is, thanks to its upright windows and roof pillars and relatively long greenhouse. The Impala is shorter (by about 4 inches) than a Dodge Intrepid. The Impala matches the Intrepid in most front-seat dimensions, but comes up a little short in the rear.

The Impala's most distinctive styling cues are its headlight and taillight clusters, which use a unique combination of round lights clearly visible from behind trapezoidal covers. It's an aggressive look for a Chevy sedan, so you'll easily spot an Impala in traffic. Body-color side moldings (new for 2004), aluminum wheels and a small deck lid spoiler help distinguish the LS from the base model.

On the SS model, the rear light covers are masked in body color, so only the round lights show through. This conjures memories of the 1960 ('62-'63 particularly) Impalas whose round taillights were set in bright metal panels.

The reborn SS also wears a lowered front fascia with integral fog lights, unique "diamond-cut" wheels, dual stainless exhaust tips, and a racy airfoil on the rear deck lid. And the SS comes in any color you like, as long as it's black.

 

2004 Chevrolet Impala

Interior Features

The Impala is noticeably roomy inside, with 123 cubic feet of interior volume. Again, credit the high roofline with relatively vertical sides. The Impala's designers also carefully shaped the rear bulkhead, and moved the front seats slightly outboard. The noticeable distance between the driver and the front-seat passenger contributes to the impression that the Impala is huge inside.

The seats have been re-styled for 2004, with new upholstery for most models. Base models come with a three-passenger split bench seat in the front, with individual seats and a console offered as an option. At first glance, the individual seats look flat, like semi-benches, but when you sit in them they provide good support for the thighs and back. They feel like bucket seats. LS and SS come standard with the individual seats and console. Leather is an option with any of these combinations, even the bench seat in the base model.

The bench seat provides theoretical room for a sixth passenger, but there's a slight hump down the center of the floor to accommodate the exhaust, and it hampers legroom for the front-center passenger.

It's easy to orient yourself inside the Impala. The instrument panel gets more gauges as you step up from the base model to the LS to the SS. Exclusive SS instrumentation includes a boost gauge to monitor the supercharger, and the SS instrument panel is trimmed in graphite.

In all Impalas, individual temperature controls allow the driver and front-seat passenger to create their own microclimate. The controls have been redesigned for 2004 for a more contemporary look. Chevrolet claims that airflow is better, too, in both heat and air-conditioning mode, although we hadn't noticed that it was lacking before.

The Impala's rear seating position is comfortable and relatively high, which makes it easy to get in and out. The Impala has good shoulder room in the rear seats, but doesn't have as much headroom or legroom as a Ford Taurus or Dodge Intrepid. There are three shoulder belts in the rear, as well as LATCH child-seat tethers. In models with individual front seats, the rear seat is split 60/40 and folds down to allow bulky items to protrude from the trunk, handy for trips to Home Depot.

XM Satellite Radio is nice to have around town for listening to the 24-hour news and sports broadcasts, or for staying tuned into your favorite types of music (classical, jazz, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s), and there's no need to change the stations as you drive across the country.

OnStar works well as a navigation system because there's nothing to program. Press the button and a human operator responds, to provide directions and other assistance. OnStar always knows the location of your vehicle. The staff will notify authorities of your location if your airbag goes off and you do not respond to their calls. Or you can press the emergency button and they'll send out the troops. They can unlock your doors if you lock the keys inside. They can direct you to the nearest gas station or help find a good restaurant or motel. If your vehicle is stolen, OnStar can pinpoint its location and direct the authorities to apprehend and recover.

 

2004 Chevrolet Impala

Driving Impressions

The 2004 Chevrolet Impala feels like a big luxury car, even compared to a Ford Crown Victoria or Toyota Avalon. The Crown Vic seems unrefined when you drive it back-to-back with the Impala. The Toyota Avalon feels bland by comparison.

The view out of the Impala is good, helped particularly by the small quarter windows that split the rear pillars. The creases on the hood are useful for judging just where the front of the car is, which in turn is handy for parking a big car in compact spaces. The rear deck lid seems high, however, so care is required when backing up.

Handling is surprisingly quick and sharp. This is not the wallowing, live-axle barge from the 1960s. Yet the ride is well-damped and does a good job of filtering noise, vibration and harshness. One reason is the Impala's extruded aluminum engine-cradle subframe, which isolates vibration while allowing for a more rigid structure. A monster dashboard bulkhead made of light and strong magnesium further enhances to the Impala's rigidity, giving the car a robust feel. The engine cradle and dashboard structure lock the steering shaft down tightly, so there are no excess wiggly movements. Chevy says a novel link between the steering column and the steering gear contributes to better on-center feel at the wheel. All Impala models benefit from anti-roll bars front and rear, hardware associated with sports sedans.

On the road, the steering provides good feedback, better than the Toyota Avalon's steering. The LS we tested felt particularly precise, with its quicker steering ratio.

Likewise, the brake pedal feels firm and responsive. Braking is smooth and steady, and we applaud Chevy's decision to use discs at all four wheels, even on the base model.

Acceleration is brisk, especially with the more powerful 3.8-liter engine. Chevy claims the Impala LS can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, quick for this class. There's just enough torque steer, felt as a slight tug on the steering wheel whenever you stomp on the gas pedal, to remind you that this is a front-wheel-drive car.

The Impala is used for police duty and the police package includes higher-ratio gearing from the Pontiac Grand Prix for quicker acceleration.

The Impala SS is quicker, but we weren't all that impressed with the acceleration. The supercharger on this engine is a positive-displacement unit, which means that it pumps a fixed volume of air for each engine rotation; so there's no throttle lag, and performance does not drop off rapidly at low speed, as is often the case with a turbocharger or centrifugal supercharger. The Impala SS develops its peak torque of 280 pounds-feet at 3600 rpm. To handle that increased power and torque, the SS comes with powder-metal (rather than cast) connecting rods and a heavier-duty four-speed automatic transmission.

Compared to garden-variety Impalas, the SS also rides on stiffer springs, stiffer anti-roll bars, even stiffer mounts for the rear suspension. And of course its tires are wider, with lower and stiffer sidewalls. Even so, the SS suspension is well damped and filters out vibration and harshness. Overall, though, the Impala SS feels like the big, heavy car that it is, and I managed to heat up the brakes while driving hard on a twisting back road.

 

2004 Chevrolet Impala

Summary

The 2004 Chevrolet Impala delivers excellent value among mid-size sedans, with decent handling, immediately recognizable design cues, and a long list of amenities. It honors the heritage of the original Impala, without reviving the old car's excessive bulk. The new SS model recalls the original Impala's image of low-cost high performance as well. But the LS seems to be the best package, well-equipped, comfortable and roomy.


Model Line Overview

Base Price (MSRP) $21,485
As Tested (MSRP) $28,085

Model lineup: Chevrolet Impala ($21,485); Impala LS ($24,585); Impala SS ($27,335)
Engines: 3.8-liter ohv 12-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard): dual airbags, structural headliner, three LATCH rear child-seat tethers
Safety equipment (Optional): driver''s side-impact airbag, ABS, traction control
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Oshawa, Ontario

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Chevrolet Impala LS ($24,585)
Standard equipment: dual-zone climate control, ABS, traction control, aluminum wheels, tire inflation monitor, rear-window defroster, power locks, remote keyless entry, power mirrors, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows, variable intermittent wipers, fog lights, split rear seatback, 6-way power driver's seat, AM/FM/cassette stereo with RDS, rear spoiler
Options as tested: Preferred Equipment Group 1SB ($780) includes AM/FM RDS cassette and CD stereo, steering wheel audio controls, heated exterior mirrors, electrochromic inside mirror with reading lights, carpeted floor mats; Driver Information Center ($295) includes trip computer with outside temperature and compass, HomeLink transmitter, theft deterrent system; Comfort Seating Package ($445) includes 6-way power adjuster for front passenger seat and heat for both front seats; leather upholstery ($625) ;OnStar ($695)
Destination charge: 660
Gas Guzzler Tax: N/A
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine (Optional): 180-hp 3.4-liter ohv 12-valve V6; 200-hp 3.8-liter ohv 12-valve V6; 240-hp 3.8-liter ohv 12-valve supercharged V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 200 @ 5200
Torque(lb.-ft. @ rpm): 225 @ 4000
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 20/30 mpg
Transmission (Optional): 4-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 110.5 in.
Length/width/height: 200.0/73.0/57.3 in.
Track, f/r: 62.0/61.1 in.
Turning circle: 38.0 ft.
Seating capacity: 6
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.2/56.5/42.2 in.
Head/hip/leg room, r: 36.8/55.7/38.4 in.
Cargo volume: 18.6 cu. ft.
Payload N/A
Suspension F: independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension R: independent, Chapman struts, trailing links, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground Clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 3476 Lbs.
Towing capacity: 1000 Lbs.
Tires: 225/60R16
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 17 gal.

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of 21/Nov/2003.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-222-1020 - www.chevrolet.com


Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive

Printable Version

2004 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2004 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 6 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chevrolet Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

2-year/24,000-Mile1 CPO Scheduled Maintenance Plan.

12-Month/12,000-Mile2 Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty.

5-year/100,000-Mile3 Powertrain Limited Warranty for model years up to 2014.

1Covers only scheduled oil changes with filter, tire rotations and 27 point inspections, according to your vehicle's recommended maintenance schedule for up to 2 years or 24,000 miles, whichever comes first. Does not include air filters. Maximum of 4 service events. See participating dealer for other restrictions and complete details.
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2Whichever comes first from date of purchase. See participating dealer for limited warranty details.

3Whichever comes first from original in-service date. See participating dealers for limited warranty details.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2009-2014 model year / Under 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 172-Point Vehicle Inspection and Reconditioning
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program 3-Day 150-Mile Satisfaction Guarantee
Roadside Assistance Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2004 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

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