reviews

2011 Chevrolet Impala Walk Around

The Impala presents a clean, neat, pleasing design. It's an attractive car. Last redesigned for the 2006 model year, it is aging, however.

The big headlamps have a jeweled appearance with three independent lighting units and are smoothly integrated into the front end. The tail lights are nicely integrated as well.

We like the substantial grab-style door handles that won't pinch your fingers or snap away from your hand on a cold morning. Flat-blade windshield wipers provide consistent pressure on the glass, which helps eliminate streaking and wind noise. Build quality is good, with tight gaps of 3.5mm or less between body panels.

Aside from minor badging, the only exterior differentiations among the trim levels are the wheels and the standard rear spoiler on the LTZ.

Interior

Inside is a roomy cabin. The seats have fairly firm cushions and decent lumbar support compared to previous models. A twin-brow instrument panel wraps around into the doors. We found the instrument panel pleasing to the eye, colorful, entertaining and easy to use, with a nice all-of-a-piece unity and style to it. Interior materials are a grade above average.

The dual-zone climate control system is a snap to use, with large, round control knobs and good markings. It can support up to a 12-degree temperature difference side-to-side. 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 driver information center offers more than 50 different alerts, depending on the vehicle's equipment. The glovebox is large enough to actually hold stuff.

The base audio system comes with six speakers, AM/FM/CD/MP3 capability, and XM Satellite Radio. It features speed-sensing volume control and 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, FM music stations, and CDs. 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. Too many radios nowadays are too complex or have tiny buttons difficult to operate underway. Not so with GM's radios. The Impala sound system is sophisticated yet easy to operate. The optional system adds an in-dash six-CD changer. The premium audio system is Bose. All radios include a standard auxiliary input jack for external devices such as an iPod or remote cassette player.

The OnStar offers Turn-by-Turn navigation with the Directions and Connections service. Turn-by-Turn navigation directs the driver through the route by using the digital readout lines in the radio head. Directions are downloaded by the OnStar advisor to the vehicle and can be played back or paused anywhere from start to destination. Besides being easy to use (all directions are downloaded to the car by an advisor) Turn-by-Turn is less expensive than a GPS navigation system.

The back seat is roomy and comfortable for two adults or three kids, but not three adults. The forward-flipping rear seat cushions reveal a storage tub underneath that can contain spills or transport a variety of items. The tub also serves as a covered storage area beneath the seat with cushions down, and exposes convenient grocery bag hooks when the cushions are flipped forward. A generous pass-through from the trunk can be created by flipping the seat bottoms forward and the seat backs flat.

At 18.6 cubic feet the trunk is quite large and offers the additional convenience of a big opening.

The prices and incentives shown above may vary from region to region and are subject to change. Inventory is subject to prior sale. Vehicle information is based on standard equipment and may vary from vehicle to vehicle. Please contact us via phone or email for specific vehicle information. All prices plus tax, title, license, dealer adds and documentation fee.

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