Miata. E30. Panther. Is it time to add another nameplate to the Used Car Hall of Fame? Because the 2012+ Chevrolet Impala looks like a sure-fire winner to me.
TTAC reader (and sometime contributor) Andrew Bell has been a tireless advocate of the W-Body Impala, to the point where even our own Zackman looks like a halfway-committed dilettante. While discussing the latest Kelly Blue Book Total Cost of Ownership study, Andrew laid out the case for a one-year old Impala as the used car buy.
Not much to break on it really. The design is ancient. The new one with the 3.6 is one of the greatest deals on the market. 300+hp, Bluetooth, decent stereo, 4 wheel discs, <3700lbs, 6spd auto, power everything (windows, locks, auto-start, remote trunk, seats), <$15000 (2012 LT with about 30000km). <9L/100km with 87 octane, unstoppable in the winter, and cheap to insure.
Pricing for one of these cars runs from $13,445 for a base model LS ex-rental with about 34,000 miles, to $24,995 for a loaded LTZ with half the mileage. Since these are Canadian prices, they will undoubtedly vary compared to the United States. As Jack noted earlier this summer, The Impala may not be the most sophisticated or engaging car to drive, but for the price of a stripped out subcompact, you can have a nearly new full-size sedan with plenty of standard equipment, a legitimately well-engineered powertrain and halfway decent fuel economy (18/30/22 city/highway/combined mpg).
The Impala may not satisfy our collective desires when it comes to personal transportation, but as a mode of transportation for a college-bound younger sibling, a grandparent on a fixed income or someone like Andrew, who needs to churn out hundreds of highway miles each week visiting rural job sites, it’s hard to think of a better fit than the ol’ W-Body. According to Andrew, the Panther was a close second, but in the end, the front-drive layout and superior fuel economy were better suited to rural Ontario’s climate exorbitant gas prices.