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2006 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

4dr Sdn LT 3.5L

Starting at | Starting at 21 MPG City - 31 MPG Highway

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  • $20,830 original MSRP
Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

Printable Version

2006 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

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2006 Chevrolet Impala

Source: New Car Test Drive

 


Overview
The Impala has been changing, morphing, and maturing with the vagaries of the market since 1958 when the first one showed up as a coupe and convertible.

Now, the Chevrolet Impala has been substantially upgraded for 2006. The 2006 Impala features new and very attractive exterior styling, a new interior, and a choice of three new engines.

The new Impala is a comfortable and convenient car, roomy, easy to get in, with big grab-style door handles. It's a practical sedan with Innovative flip-and-fold back seats and folding rear seatbacks. And it comes well-equipped with safety features, including side-curtain airbags. The Impala LT best exemplifies the model line, especially when ordered with the larger, 3.9-liter engine, which delivers responsive performance. The LTZ upgrades with leather, a very nice XM Satellite Radio setup and other convenience features.

An inexpensive pricing structure with loads of rebates on it puts the new Impala on the shopping list for family sedans. Impala competes with the Ford Five Hundred, Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima.

The SS stuffs a small-block V8 into this package. It sounds great and delivers strong acceleration performance, but it's a lot of power for this front-wheel-drive sedan.


Model Lineup
The 2006 Chevrolet Impala spans a broad model range and includes the base LS, the middle-range LT, the loaded LTZ, and the high-performance SS.

The LS ($21,330) comes with the 211-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6, and a four-speed automatic transmission. It comes with the bare essentials, such as air conditioning, power windows and locks, AM/FM/CD, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a bench seat, and 16-inch steel wheels. Anti-lock brakes are optional ($600).

The LT is available with the 3.5-liter V6 ($21,860) or a new 3.9-liter V6 ($24,760), which includes 17-inch alloy wheels. The LT comes standard with dual-zone air conditioning, bucket seats, ABS, traction control, dual exhaust, fog lights, remote starter, power outlets, and a rear spoiler.

The LTZ ($26,870) is powered by the 3.9-liter V6 and is upgraded with leather upholstery, heated seats, upgraded audio with MP3, XM Satellite Radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, and 17-inch wheels.

The SS ($27,130) boasts a 303-horsepower, 5.3-liter V8 with Displacement on Demand and a four-speed automatic. The SS comes with 18-inch wheels and tires and a performance suspension.

Safety features that come standard include dual front smart air bags, and side-curtain roof-mounted air bags. All but the base LS model come standard with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control.

     

Walkaround
It has been a long, long time since a Chevrolet sedan rang our design chimes, a long chain of cars with geeky, strange design licks all over, but this new Impala is a really clean, neat, pleasing design that's not so homogenized as to be boring.

The new Impala features bigger, more thoroughly integrated headlamps and taillamps. Underneath, it gets a stiff new body and chassis structure, retuned suspensions with a 10-mm wider track, and new 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels and tires.

The LS, LT and LTZ share one front end design, while the SS has a completely different nose architecture.

 

Interior Features
The new Impala has a lot going for it inside as well, with a completely new, cleaned-up interior, reshaped and reupholstered seats, and flip/fold rear seats.

We felt pretty comfortable overall inside the Impala. The seats have firmer cushions and increased lumbar support than previous models. We didn't find the SS seats particularly comfortable or supportive, with too much lumbar support and not enough side bolstering to retain the upper body in corners. Optional leather-covered seating has a new style of seams around the perimeter and French seams on the center sections.

The Impala also has a new twin-brow instrument panel design that wraps around into the door panels. LS, LT and LTZ models have a wood trim, with brushed silver trim optional. The Impala SS comes standard with metallic trim panels, with wood trim as an option. We found the panel pleasing to the eye, colorful, entertaining and easy to use, with a nice all-of-a-piece unity and style to it. We found the interior materials at least one grade better than the usual Chevrolet stuff.

The optional dual-zone climate control system can have up to a 12-degree temperature difference side-to-side. It's a snap to use, with large, round control knobs and good markings. The optional remote engine start system comes with a 200-foot operating range and automatic climate pre-conditioning to warm or cool the interior. The dashboard has an expanded driver information center, now with more than 50 different alerts, depending on the vehicle's equipment. The glovebox is 20 percent larger than previous models, which means you can actually put stuff in it larger than a ballpoint pen.

A new family of audio systems features radios compatible with the Generation 6 OnStar system. The base audio system includes AM/FM/CD and six speakers. An optional MP3/CD-radio is configured for XM Satellite Radio, with a two-line, 32-character display and the capability to select freely between AM, FM and XM. We really liked this system because we could set up all of our favorite stations in one row, for example, allowing us to quickly switch between AM news, XM news, and FM music stations. Setting these presets is as easy as holding the button down. A big round knob in the center allows quick volume adjustments. Presets for the equalizer let you quickly switch settings from rock to country & western to talk radio. The optional ICDX radio adds an in-dash six-CD changer. Impala also offers a premium Bose audio system. All radios include a standard auxiliary input jack for external devices such as an iPod or remote cassette player.

The rear seat is roomy and comfortable for two adults or three kids, but not three adults. The rear seat cushions flip forward to create a covered storage area under the seat (with cushions down) and grocery bag hooks when the cushions are flipped. The seatback also folds down flat to create a large pass-through port to the trunk.

Trunk space, at 18.5 cubic feet, is more than competitive in the segment, and it has a huge opening for easy loading.

 

Driving Impressions
The new Chevrolet Impala comes with a new generation of V6 engines. We found them to be smooth and quiet if not bristling with power. Variable valve timing is a first for the Impala's cam-in-block V6 engines. The system changes the orientation of the camshaft, automatically adjusting the timing of the intake and exhaust valves for better performance, economy, and emissions. Thus, a system that started out on very expensive imported cars has now reached down to the lowly Chevy V6 engines and made them better.

The 3.5-liter V6 that comes on LT and LS models generates 211 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque. The 3.9-liter V6 that comes on LS and LTZ models produces 242 horsepower and 242 pound-feet of torque. We're expecting both engines to earn fuel economy ratings of about 19/29 mpg city/highway.

With 303 horsepower, the Impala SS has more power and torque than any other entry in the class, but the chassis that comes with the V8 needs taming. The traction control system simply gets behind in its orders whenever you slam the throttle open at a stop in first gear, and lets the left front tire spin wildly for a few seconds until it finally catches up. While we appreciated the extra power and torque available in a kickdown or passing situation, and we loved the brawny, muscular sound of this engine at full throttle, it's a challenge to launch cleanly and quickly at the same time. Besides wheelspin, there's a lot of torque steering. Slam down the throttle and you'll feel a tug on the steering wheel as the powerful 5.3-liter V8 tries to put over 323 pound-feet of torque through the front wheels. The V8 features GM's Displacement on Demand system, which shifts between eight-cylinder and four-cylinder operation, depending on speed and load. This system helps provide up to 8 percent better fuel economy in light-load driving conditions. The V8 is EPA-rated at 18 city and 28 highway with the four-speed automatic.

The Impala offers three levels of suspension tuning, FE1 3.5, FE1 3.9, and FE3 for the V8, each designed to match the performance of the engines. However, there is a lot of pitch, dive, and body roll in this chassis, and a lot of uncertain driving moments with the added power of the SS. Steering is over-assisted, fairly numb and uncommunicative.

The Impala's front suspension is a MacPherson strut coil-over-spring independent design, with gas-charged struts and a stabilizer bar with new, taller jounce bumpers. The rear suspension uses a trailing arm, tri-link setup with gas-charged struts and coil springs. A rear stabilizer bar is standard on all models. On the SS, it seems, they needed a little more time to get it right, time they apparently didn't have.

We found the ventilated front disc/solid rear disc anti-lock brakes very much to our liking, powerful, direct, and linear, with a nice, progressive ratio of pedal travel to stopping progression. The Impala's four-wheel-disc brake system represents an improvement over previous versions, with new front brakes, improved rear brakes, and a new brake booster, designed for quieter operation, longer pad life, and more resistance to brake pulsation. The new ABS includes Electronic Brake-force Distribution.

 

Summary
The new Chevrolet Impala represents an improvement over previous models. The 3.5 and 3.9 V6 LT and LTZ versions are pleasing to drive overall. While the SS cuts a conservative but dashing figure with its quiet badging and giant five-spoke, 18-inch wheels, it's got more power than it knows what to do with, though we enjoy its loud, authoritative exhaust rumble. Overall, the new Impalas are much better than last year's models, but the Impala has a ways to go in sophistication.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Jim McCraw is based in Dearborn, Michigan.

 

Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Chevrolet Impala LS ($21,330); LT ($21,860); LT 3.9 ($24,760); LTZ ($26,870); SS ($27,130)
Engines: 211-hp 3.5-liter V6; 242-hp 3.9-liter V6; 303-hp 5.3-liter V8
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic overdrive
Safety equipment (standard): frontal airbags, side-impact airbags, front curtain airbags
Safety equipment (optional): ABS, EBD; traction control
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Chevrolet Impala SS ($27,130)
Standard equipment: air conditioning, power steering, power disc brakes, power windows, power locks, console, cruise control, message center, trip computer, floor shift and console, fog lamps, rear spoiler
Options as tested (MSRP): leather-trimmed heated power front seats ($1,125); Bose premium sound system ($495); XM Satellite Radio ($325); 18-inch polished aluminum wheels ($295)
Destination charge: 660
Gas guzzler tax:  
Price as tested (MSRP): 30030
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 5.3-liter ohv 16-valve V8 with DOD
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 303 @ 5600
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 323 @ 4400
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 18/28
Wheelbase: 110.5
Length/width/height: 200.4/72.9/58.7
Track, f/r: 62.4/61.5
Turning circle: 40.0
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.4/56.4/42.3
Head/hip/leg room, m:  
Head/hip/leg room, r: 37.8/57.2/37.6
Trunk volume: 18.6
Payload:  
Towing capacity: 1000
Suspension, f: independent, MacPherson strut, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension, r: independent, tri-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground clearance: 6.7
Curb weight: 3712
Tires: P235/50R18
Brakes, f/r: ventilated disc/disc with ABS, EBD
Fuel capacity: 17.5

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2006 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 Opt
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Opt
Passenger Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Std
Intermittent Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Opt
Printable Version

2006 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.

Miles

Months

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.

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

2006 Chevrolet Impala Sedan

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