Ace of Base: 2020 Chevy Impala LT
Large sedans have been and always will be a favourite around these parts. For those who are new to the audience, simply search for the ‘ Panther Love’ tag to see what I’m on about. I’m still recovering from my Lincoln Stockholm Syndrome, by the way.
This full-sized Chevy has so far been resistant to the Ace of Base award, given that it was offered with a miserable 2.5L EcoTec as its base engine. Now, with the model seemingly about to be broomed, the four banger is gone for the 2020 model year, leaving the venerable 3.6L V6 as the entry-level mill.
Before you hammer your keyboards into fine digital dust down in the comments section — yes, I know that’s a 2019 LT shown at the top of this post. For the 2020 model year, Chevy has binned the LS trim for Impala, leaving just the LT and Premier models. We know this thanks not to any official press release but by pawing through the fleet order catalog, a source which is bereft of good product images. Use your imagination.
The V6 was but a $1,000 premium in 2019, leading your author to think that the 2020 Impala pricing structure won’t change a heckuva lot in its remaining time on this earth. The original plan was to cease production this summer but a stay of execution was granted until early in calendar year 2020. Is it a risk to buy a nearly out of production car? If we were talking about Peugeot in 1991, I would say yes. However, the GM dealer network is strong and these cars haven’t been changed since Adam was an oakum picker. Future parts supply shouldn’t be a problem, then.
For 2020, the base LT has the aforementioned 305 horsepower V6 as standard. In what can only be assumed is an effort to use up all the remaining parts in their bin items like color-keyed door handles and heated side view mirrors are included on the LT. Inside, the likes of dual-zone climate control and GM 8-inch jumbotron infotainment screen appear, along with several USB ports. One can no longer select a Sunroof & Spoiler package, however, and four colors have vanished from the options list. Hey, at least they all have twin exhaust tips now.
All LTs now have cloth seats but don’t be surprised to find some weird build combinations as the end of production draws near. Your author toiled at a Ford store when the Taurus was running out its days (the first time) and the sight of a leather-lined, spoiler-bedecked burgandy SEL with a column shift and tape player still keeps him awake to this very day.
As a fan of large cars (*looks at his well-worn Dodge Charger out in the driveway*), I’ve been wanting to include the Impala in this series for some time. The presence of a four-banger prevented that until today. You can bet that dealers will be eager to shift them off their lots in favor of yet another crossover, so chances are high customers will be able to bargain hard.
Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments and feel free to eviscerate our selections.
The model above is shown with American options and priced in American Dollars. Your dealer may sell for less.
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- JMII I drove a Dakota Quad Cab 4.7l for 20 years waiting for a replacement... well sorry Dodge/RAM but its too late - I bought a Santa Cruz and so far its been perfect as a replacement.
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New, these are well over $30k, looks like they average high 30s to $40k. But lightly used ones (like a year or so) are near $20k, or less! I had forgotten how terrible they depreciate.
Really late to this post but Arrived at Hertz Gold zone SFO. Told pick of the litter. Toyotas, Hyundais, Kias, GM, Ford and FCA products available. No Honda or VAG choices. One Mazda 6 which was snatched up by a customer somewhat faster than I was. Decided on an Impala since there had been good thoughts about the car on TTAC and it had been about 30 years since I had been behind the wheel of a GM product. I got a 2019 black LT with 12K on the ODO. 4 banger with stop start. Current build price seems to be about 29K with discounts. My first surprise was adjusting the weird shaped mirrors. Very poor rear and blind spot visibility. Rear window looked like a slit. Only apparent safety features on this 2019 vehicle were airbags, backup camera and ABS. It had onstar and I am sure a very detailed event data recorder. Car was spotless inside and out showing very little wear. Tires looked good. Seats comfortable and most touchable surfaces textured and soft. Basic HVAC controls were knobs which is a good thing. Infotainment/display choice settings very obscure. Cruise control intuitive. Started it up and watched various self checks. Looked at the shifter and was immediately taken back to my Mom's 1958 Impala with the simple non-confusing P/R/N/D selector. Only later did I see the M choice which did not seem to work. Out of the lot and was amazed at what a dog the drivetrain was. Absolutely no sense of torque or power. Seemed slower than my 95 Avalon with 170K miles. Tried the M transmission setting and it would lock into whatever speed I was going (1st at standstill 5th at freeway speeds). No control I could find to upshift or downshift. Shifter pressure forward, backward or side to side had not effect (perhaps it was broken or I was clueless). I went back to D for the rest of my trip. Had an instant fuel consumption reading and on level freeway at 70 mph with cruise control indicated about 26 mpg dropping to 18 or less on moderate uphill grades. Any firm accelerator pressure dropped consumption to less than 10 mpg. Had a ride reminiscent of any US standard sedan from 1980-2000. Very little feedback from the suspension and over boosted braking. Probably the worst ride I have experienced since getting 2013 Ford Fusion rental. Stop start seemed smooth. First car I had driven with it and it did not seem intrusive. Perhaps if I were a city, state or federal employee and this was in the motor pool I might like it over other possible choices but for a personal purchase I wouldn't buy it at $20K much less $29K. I can see why GM is dropping this model. If this is an example of current GM, Ford and FCA sedans they are due for extinction.