By on July 17, 2019

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.

[Images: Chevrolet]

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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53 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2020 Chevy Impala LT...”

  • avatar

    I’d wager to say this was my favorite cruising car I’ve taken on a road trip, and I’ve had dozens of different rental cars in the past few years for such occasions. It does pretty much everything perfectly — quiet, nice ride, strong powertrain, sharp handling. Had to take it up and down a mountain and it felt more agile than my Mazda6, no joke. It’s a shame the Cruze and Malibu aren’t similarly refined. But I guess no one cares about cars anymore, so it doesn’t matter, does it.

    • 0 avatar

      I have noticed that several people I know have opted to buy a current-model Impala instead of the go-to Avalon or Buick, when they retired one of their old rides. Though not an Ace-of-Base model LT. IIRC, they were the LTZ variety, and All-White exterior color.

      Kinda makes me wonder, are there BIG incentives on the hood of the Impalas? It’s gotta be the value for the money that drives the sale of Impalas since both Buick and Avalon can easily top $40K, and then some, when similarly equipped.

      And for $40K+, there are a HUGE number of other selections better than low-rider sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        At one point, GM was offering a flat 20 percent off of MSRP. And some dealers had discounts on top of that. This meant that you could get a loaded-up Premier V6 for under $30K.

      • 0 avatar

        I haven’t looked online for Impala pricing for a year or so but they always bottom out at just under $20K. They have been that way for over a decade as I know a couple of people that got red tag deals at Christmas.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        HDC, you can find lots of Impalas on the rental lot which means you can find some spectacular deals on them when National etc are finished with them. Many of the ones I have rented were LTZ, hard loaded models. For 20k’ish these are hard to beat if one is looking for a quiet, powerful, efficient, & comfortable highway hauler.

        • 0 avatar

          Yeah, we rented ours from Enterprise. And they have been known to advertise direct sales to the public.

          Ditto with Budget.

          But for me personally, I have had bad luck with buying anything used. Used was OK when we needed a lot of cars for my kids, when they lived at home. And I did most of the repairs and maintenance myself back then.

          But today, at age 73, it’s hard for me to slither around on the hard concrete driveway, wrenching and tooling on my cars.

          So we resolved in 2008 that starting with the purchase of my wife’s Highlander, we only buy new, and keep it for the duration of the factory warranty.

          That works for us since we can do it now, financially, in retirement.

          • 0 avatar


            With Toyota and Lexus cars, you can usually keep them way after the warranty runs out. I do a lot of my own repairs, and for post-warranty stuff I don’t want to do, or don’t feel comfortable doing, there’s a local Lexus/Toyota-only indy shop about 30 minutes away that can handle everything else. They even have free loaner cars (Corollas) if a repair is going to take more than four hours.

            I’m 59, so I can relate to crawling around under vehicles (I use a creeper now). I’m still able to do stuff now, but I know that won’t last forever.

        • 0 avatar
          Greg Hamilton

          When someone drove the car into my wife’s BMW I was given a rental car for the duration of the repair. when I started up the Nissan Altima the dashboard warning light indicated that the car was due for an oil change. I shut off the car and went back to the office. I told them that the car needed an oil change. The young lady asked for the keys got in the car when through a few menu options and said “The car is ready for you sir.” Which is why I will never but a rental car.

        • 0 avatar
          Greg Hamilton

          When someone drove their car into my wife’s BMW I was given a rental car for the duration of the repair. When I started up the Nissan Altima the dashboard warning light indicated that the car was due for an oil change. I shut off the car and went back to the office. I told them that the car needed an oil change. The young lady asked for the keys, got in the car, went through a few menu options and said, “The car is ready for you sir.” When I got back in the car the oil change light was extinguished which is why I will never buy a rental car.

    • 0 avatar

      After giving up on US-based manufacturers in the early 1980s I purchased a loaded LTZ Impala in 2014. I test drove new Toyota and Honda models plus a nice Genesis but the Impala won me over. I was never disappointed with my decision. Not one issue after 78,000 + miles. A great car. Sad, the vast majority will only purchase those ubiquitous Crossovers/SUVs & trucks as sedans fall out of favor.

      • 0 avatar

        ” Sad, the vast majority will only purchase those ubiquitous Crossovers/SUVs & trucks as sedans fall out of favor.”

        Those are the automotive phases American society grows through. This, too, shall pass, maybe for Flying Cars, next.

        People used to buy Stationwagons. I was a HUGE fan. Then the stationwagons morphed into Minivans. And now into CUVs.

        SUVs are a different story, with the WWII Willy’s/Ford Jeep being the Great grand daddy of everything SUV today.

        People used to tow trailers with sedans and stationwagons. Now 4door pickup trucks have taken the place of the CrownVic, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Towncar.

  • avatar

    Last year I checked out a 2017 Impala with the V6 and 34,000 miles. I liked the drive and engine, but the interior quality was surprisingly cheap looking and feeling with a couple of pieces of broken trim.

  • avatar

    Such a handsome, unapologetically masculine car.
    If only GM made a two door variant of this car and called it a Monte Carlo. *sigh*

  • avatar

    I m in the minority maybe.
    I ve rented this Impala. But i prefer the previous generation. I dont know why that is. Visibility? Cant see the corners nor predict where they are?

    The 4 banger impala was a brutal ride.

    • 0 avatar

      I understand this. I also prefer the crappy old Chevy S10 Blazer to the superior replacements. The personality of a vehicle is very important to me, and is difficult to impart by designers and engineers.

      The old Impala had something compelling about it that’s hard to pinpoint. It was comfortable, welcoming to be in, simple, and familiar. It’s a true GM. The new Impala is superior in every way, but it’s just not as fun anymore. I don’t know how this happens.

      Disney can’t forcably create a good Star Wars movie with soul; even with limitless resources. Maybe it’s similar with cars. The newer Impala is dynamically great and slick but is lacking something, like the new Star Wars movies.

      It there a nostalgia factor here? Partially, perhaps.

      This is an interesting subject that should be explored here.

  • avatar

    I rented an Impala like this when they had just come out. I was biased against it, as I’m not too fond of it’s looks and it’s a big car.

    Well, I was very surprised. In a good way! I loved the ride and handling, and the car “drove” much smaller than it was. Engine was smooth and powerful, great seats, good mpg–I was doubly impressed it was a GM product! Turns out Consumer Reports was right in this case.

    Great car! My rental was loaded, so it must have stickered for $36-39 in 2014. Might be some great deals now, the ubiquitious 3.6/auto should be quite robust.

  • avatar

    We’ll have to see where pricing ends up on the 2020s. My ’14 has been a bit of a lemon but there’s not much else out there I’d have for a daily sedan, and it looks like GM ironed out most of the kinks after the first model year. I’d entertain trading in on a 2020 for the right price.

  • avatar

    …All LTs now have cloth seats but don’t be surprised to find some weird build combinations as the end of production draws near…

    Back in the day we bought a late production 97 MN-12 Thunderbird with what was offered as a “free” option V8, and well equipped. Although you could only get the LSD with the sport package and 16″ wheels, turns out our T-bird had the LSD.

    On the Impala, the 2020 was supposed to move to P2XX which the Lacrosse was built on. That would have updated mechanically about…everything (the 3.6L V6 in the Lacrosse was an updated version of the 3.6L in the Impala and XTS, the Lacrosse had a 9-speed auto instead of a 6-speed, has a different AWD system shared with the Traverse and Blazer versus what is in the XTS, adjustable dampers optional not found on either, etc. etc.).

    I have never driven the Epsilon II Impala but I haven’t read one bad thing about them when the 3.6 is under the hood.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This is one of the few GM products I would consider. They got the lines and proportions just right, and the drivetrain is solid.

    • 0 avatar

      I had one of these as a rental for a couple of weeks while in Tempe, AZ, for MLB Spring Training a couple of years back. If I were in the market for a sedan, I would prefer the Ace-of-Base Avalon.

      But that’s just me.

      My best friend has an Avalon he bought in 2015, it rides super-smooth, silky, and is as quiet as a tomb. And everything is soft-touch plastic.

      The Impala we had in Tempe had tinny-sounding doors, road noise, and lots of hard plastic, plastic, plastic everywhere.

      • 0 avatar

        Funny because I’m in my 2017 LT Impala and am touching plenty of soft touch areas even on the lower part of the dash so your obviously grossly exaggerating big time.

  • avatar

    I had a 2.5 LT rental to drive across the CA Central Valley last summer, came away completely satisfied, just a very competent sedan. 2.5 felt just a bit weak in the heavier Impala compared to something like a Camry/Optima, but by no means inadequate or slow. Very well muted at least.

    Only annoyance was the start-stop, as decently as it was implemented, it still annoyed me.

    With the 3.6L standard now? Wow, sounds like a winner!

  • avatar

    One of the few cars Chevy/GM got right, right out of the gate. It was even Consumer Reports highest scoring car for years and still is highly recommended today. Reliability has been very good too. A shame that GM, as usual, just let it die on the vine without any updates or marketing push behind it.

  • avatar

    Before purchasing my 17 Impala I test drove and sat in many different midsize cars on the market from Toyo Camry’s to Ford Fusions. And the Impala was and still is the best riding, most quietest and coolest midsize-large car in its segment. The 300 is right up there too, I just hate it’s crappy interior.

    The Fusion was and still is a good car, I just don’t like it’s 4 banger as vibrated a lot and wasn’t refined, plus it’s interior is rather basic. The Camry was a good car, it’s just that everyone on my block and everyone else on the damn road seems to be in a Toyota product which is just boring, and played out.

    Plus I really wanted a big car with a V6 and there’s simply not much choice out there anymore for big sedans, but the current Impalas have always looked really nice to me especially in Red. So i decided to test drive a used low mileage example and I was instantly surprised and impressed by the overall feel of the car and its quality. Sure there’s some cheap bits, but there’s literally soft touch padded materials everywhere. It’s nicer or on par with current BMWs and Benzes, especially the Impalas door panels which are nice feeling and looking for a non luxury sedan.

    Also for the price, you get so much car, the Impalas value is insanely good. After researching like crazy, I bought the Impala based on the wonderful reviews online from not only the media, but consumers alike.

    Now I know what they all mean. The Impala was and should have been the car that Chevy pushed hard. Unfortunately there was absolutely Zero marketing effort for the car, therefore nobody knew about them.

    I still love driving mine everyday, and it’s been trouble free so far with almost 70,000miles. No problems whatsoever with the car. Everything still works perfectly and I’m still on the original brakes! It’s been very reliable with the V6.

    The car has lots of power and rides very smooth with the right tires. I just installed a set of Continental Pro-contact tires and the Impala rides like it’s brand new again.

  • avatar

    One of the last full size decent, reasonably priced sedans. GM got this one right. How did they do that?

  • avatar

    The badge was ruined by the execrable POS W-Impala, but if you can look beyond that, this is a genuinely nice car.

    The problem is that the related LaCrosse is an even nicer car, for similar real-world money, at least if you’re buying new. (Used Epsilon Impalas with the V6 are very good deals, on the other hand.)

  • avatar

    GM made a decent car here. Decent. Decent enough to do what FCA is doing. Just let it ride with minimal updates regardless of how dated and uncompetitive it is as long as they can be bought or leased at a low cost and then be cast off to become the hoopties they always become. Fitting.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    $36,185 plus 13% HST per GM Canada’s website. 1.99% financing for 84 months available.

    Wonder how much leeway the dealer has to haggle?

  • avatar

    Was cursed with one of these in Vegas – it’s a general rule that I reject Guangzhou Motors (GM) vehicles even as rentals – but I made an exception for reasons I won’t elaborate upon.

    Color me unimpressed. It had a super cheap, China lowest bidder grade interior that we’ve all known to come to expect and loathe in Guangzhou Motors vehicles (the silver painted plastic ringing the gauge cluster is as cheap a material I’ve seen used in ANY vehicle, as just one example, and it’s also used in other Guangzhou Motors vehicles), it had spongy brakes, cheap knobs and switchgear, tacky illumination on the gauges and IP, an awful hollow feeling in terms of doors shutting, a wallowy ride reminiscent of a 2004 Kia Amanti, terrible steering feel with that god awful GM parts bin tacky steering wheel and was a POS in almost every aspect.

    I literally turned around about 20 minutes after driving off and returned to the rental agency and demanded a non-Guangzhou Motors vehicle.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Great platform, I have had the LaCrosse version for 2+ years now. Rides great and quiet, the mpg on the Buick with the AWD is not great, 21. If I had a redo I would opt for the FWD version only, the AWD was/is not necessary for us after all. Financially it makes zero sense to swap out or upgrade if you will for MPG so we will be ‘stuck’ if you will for quite awhile. My wife puts a whopping 6-7k per year on her car, I am interested to see how it holds up for the long term; it was in-serviced 11/13 as a MY 2014 and I bought 1/31/16; so we are knocking on the door of a 6 year old car and thus far it does not feel like an ‘old’ car by any stretch.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My wife and I rented a red LTZ Impala when I was in California 4 years ago and we both loved it. It is one of the few cars I have ever rented that I hated to return. The Impala is a better ride than an Avalon or most luxury cars. As for hard plastic interior bits it had more than enough soft interior bits to more than satisfy me. I doubt you will find any vehicle made today without some hard plastic interior bits. I might be buying a 2012 LaCrosse hybrid from one of my neighbors if he decides to buy a new Forester. I like both the Impala and LaCrosse (yes I know they no longer make the LaCrosse but they offer a lot a value for a low mileage used one).

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @brn–He hates anything GM and Ford makes, he is more of a Mercedes and BMW fan.

  • avatar

    Yes, every car regardless of price will have some degree of “cheap” plastics used. Even my fathers 2012 S-Class Benz interior isn’t all that for the price. My 87 Cadillac Brougham has a much nicer looking and feeling interior with real metal door handles, thick plush leather and way nicer trim compared to his S-Class.

    Also, the newer the car, the more plastics will be used in everything from engine parts, to interior bits and pieces, so there’s no avoiding it.

    Let’s not assume Toyota’s and Honda’s are darlings either and have the best interiors, because they don’t.. I would argue, Mazda has one of the best interiors for a non luxury car company. Toyota and Honda have declined, sure they might look nice, but once you start to touch and pressing up against certain trim pieces, they are no better than many other brands.

    The Impala is not perfect, but it does beat other sedans on the market in many different categories. Probably one of the only large American sedans to have one of the best reliability ratings among consumers.

  • avatar

    Too bad GM finally got their cars right at the time it doesn’t matter anymore.

    It would be like U2 finally releasing their first good album in 20 years before retiring. Or the upcoming “Rise of Skywalker” being great, now that people are finally losing interest in the franchise after 35 years of crap.

    What took them so long to get to the party, now that everyone’s left?

    • 0 avatar

      I know right? GM really did put a lot of effort behind the Epsilon II platform with the V6, 6 speed trans behind there cars. They are bulletproof compared to the crappy Cruze and ho-hum Malibu.

      The Impala, Caddy XTS and the LaCrosse were all built in Canada at the Oshawa plant before it closed. And the build quality of these cars are very good considering it’s an older platform now. I trust Canadian built vehicles more than Mexican built ones that’s for sure. If only Chevy truly revamped the Impalas interior, giving it a better looking steering wheel, an all new dash design and some other minor updates they could have competed better with say the Avalon and the Kia Cadenza since those cars were completely redesigned and updated.

      Point being, Chevy simply didn’t care to advertise the Impala. It’s a way better car than the Malibu as well so I don’t understand the minds of Chevy marketing. The Impala feels heavy, solid and very tight to drive compared to many midsize cars in the segment. It does weigh 3,800lbs, and you definitely feel it driving around which is definitely a good thing IMO.

      • 0 avatar

        I never understood what GM was going for with the market positioning of these, going all the way back to the W-Bodies. They kept up two lines of sedans where everybody else only had one. The Malibu/Grand Am/G6/etc, which was invariably a mailed in POS for the fleets. And its plus one which actually did a few things better than a Camcord yet didn’t get to compete with it because the little brother already had and already lost.

        Yeah at the end of the day the sedan is dead but how many million uncontested sales did GM hand to the Japs while they were still alive?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree, I don’t ever recall seeing an ad for Impala in several years. I would have never even considered an Impala or a Lacrosse until I road and drove both. I like it enough that I would put either at the top of my list. As I said a neighbor and friend is looking at new Subaru Foresters and waiting to get a deal after the 2020s are released and wants to sell his 2012 Lacrosse hybrid and his 2002 Tacoma 4×4 with 75k miles once he buys a Forester. I asked him to let me have first dibs on the Lacrosse and I would then give my 99 S-10 to my nephew. He currently has 3 vehicles and wants to get down to 2. The Lacrosse has been well maintained and looks and runs like a brand new car with about 40k miles and it is loaded. I drive 5k miles or less a year and normally I would not buy a used vehicle but I know the history of this vehicle and have ridden and driven it. With as little miles as I drive I would plan on keeping it 10 years.

    • 0 avatar

      Do you watch TV shows about scrap-booking or knitting? Receive AARP’s magazines? Read Chatham Consulting Inc’s newsletters? Chevrolet and Buick may well advertise, but we’re probably not their target demographic.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Yes I get AARP magazines and I have not seen an add for a Chevy or a Buick. I have seen adds for Chevy Malibus on TV but none for the Impala. You don’t have to be a senior to own an Impala or Lacrosse. Many seniors downsize to compact and subcompact crossovers.

  • avatar

    I love my 2017 Pepperdust LT 2.5 Impala. Bought it with 13K miles for under 20K and it was in perfect shape. It now has 34K and I love it even more having taken it on several 500 mile trips to Ohio. The 2.5 is very long legged and I have consistently outperformed the EPA’s ridiculous 30 highway rating by up to 6.5 MPG both on the DIC and hand calculated. It gives me an easy 600 plus miles of range, has more than enough power to keep up with fast paced traffic and remains liquid smooth when idling and refined enough in everyday driving.

    Zero issues to report thus far other than the original tires are quickly wearing out. When inspected the mechanic pointed out that despite having 33K miles the brake pads still had loads of life left. A fellow co-worker has a 2014 LT new style Impala V6 and his car went over 90K miles without ever touching the brakes so i’m hoping for the same.

    I’m also curious what makes the 2.5 so miserable? Is it the stop/start? I have learned to ignore it and rarely ever even notice and much of the time don’t hit the brakes too hard so it doesn’t shut off. Compared to other 2.5 liter 4 cylinders I have driven including a friends 2017 Subaru Legacy and a 2017 Fusion SE 2.5 rental my GM 2.5 is superior in most every way. It also outperforms another friends 2017 Camry 2.5 and has dispatched many a VW 1.8T Passat! Unless you routinely drag race Accord V6’s, Malibu 2.0T or Ecoboost pickup trucks it is more than enough power for an everyday driver, even with 3 aboard!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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