By on December 11, 2019

You jokers should know by now that this author is an unapologetic truck guy. When something new in the segment is introduced, it is studied by these jaundiced eyes until all the details are absorbed. My browser history is a mash of truck configurators and off-road websites. Plus a few recipes for southern barbecue.

That sound you heard yesterday was your author crashing over furniture to get a good look at the new 2021 Tahoe and Suburban. Growing up in a 1978 Blazer, these rigs and their ilk have an unreasonable hold on my heartstrings. While pricing wasn’t announced, it definitely put this Truck Guy in a Chevy state of mind.

For the 2020 model year, let’s see what the soon-to-vanish Impala has to offer the Ace of Base shopper.

As you’d well expect of a GM vehicle that’s on its way out the corporate door, trims have been, erm, streamlined for this car’s final model year. Cut to just LT and Premier, the 2020 Impala has a host of equipment on the entry-level car that was reserved for big spenders in past years. Not the least of which is the venerable 3.6-liter V6 engine, making a healthy 305 horsepower. This bins the best-forgotten four-banger, an engine that should never have appeared in this big sedan in the first place.

Also expected for the final model year? A slashing of colors, though Cajun Red is still available for a $395 premium. The black hue shown here looks alright on this big car, especially with the IMPALA billboard along the flanks of its two front doors. Since GM is presumably trying to clear out the Impala parts bin, all hands get the likes of fog lamps and color-keyed trim. Those 18-inch alloy wheels aren’t too shabby, either.

The interior is typical GM fare, though your author never did cotton to this particular interpretation of the brand’s corporate steering wheel. It looks as if it has the world’s worst overbite. Those seats will be a cloth and “leatherette” mix, with black as the sole color choice. If some sort of terrible beige was the lone option, there’s a healthy chance you would not be reading about the 2020 Impala in today’s Ace of Base instalment.

Incentives and rebates generally aren’t spoken of in this series, but they are worth a mention this time around simply for their largesse. GM is slapping $4,750 on the hood of the 2020 Impala LT in an effort to move the things off dealer lots. This is a not-insignificant 15 percent off the original $31,620 MSRP, bringing the car in line with other sedans that are smaller and less powerful. I’d wager heavily that any shopper with even a modicum of negotiating skill could get far more than that sum hacked off the asking price.

A big, well-equipped V6 sedan at a cut-rate price? Works for me. Well, at least until they release pricing for the new Tahoe and Suburban.

[Image: GM]

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 – in this case, probably a lot less.

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48 Comments on “Ace of Base: 2020 Chevrolet Impala LT...”


  • avatar

    You might as well call this car the Toyota Impala. When it is time to trade in the Impala most buyers will likely gravitate to either the Avalon or Maxima. Foreign automakers are already seeing an increase in their sales due to GM, Ford, and FCA’s cancellations of their carlines. You know what is ironic the Impala and Lacrosse have never been more competitive against imports like the Avalon.
    In the future, you are going to see quite a few GM and Ford sedan trade-ins appearing on foreign car dealers lots.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      During GM bankruptcy the local Chevy dealer lost their Cadillac franchise.

      Those DTS are largely being traded for Avalons at the Toyota dealer next door. (No our Toyota dealer does not have a Lexus franchise.)

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Dang. I have stated that I am no longer interested in acquiring a sedan. But this could change my mind. I detest black interiors/seating. Otherwise I like this car very much.

    However Canadian prices are not in line with those quoted here. Making the Impala probably outside of my comfort level for spending.

    I wonder how driving an Impala is now viewed in Oshawa. There was a time when I would only feel comfortable driving a GM product in that city. Not sure if that is still the case?

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Yeah, I still don’t get why non-black interiors are shunned so hard. I despise the all-black interior of my Mazda6. My light gray 2000 Camry interior, aside from the light gray floormats, always looked clean and felt so much airier inside. Of course, the material quality helped as most of the inside (gray velour seats!) still mostly looked new after 15 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I prefer black interiors over beige and gray, for the most part. Makes me sad that GM full-size FWD is going extinct, they had their faults but generally drove pretty nicely. This is a heck of a deal, but i’m not in the market for a sedan unfortunately.

  • avatar
    quaquaqua

    I don’t even care how lame it sounds, I had an Impala rental in 2016 that I drove through a few national parks (with plenty of twisty mountain roads) from California to Arizona. I can’t remember ever being more comfortable driving any car, let alone a rental, and it felt more agile than my Mazda6. Rear visibility was atrocious and the car somehow didn’t have a backup camera even in 2016, but I will always have a soft spot for this car.

    • 0 avatar
      AA610

      I’ve had an Impala rental a few times myself, and I really felt comfortable in it. I actually was sad to turn it in.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Rear visibility is really a problem on this car. The decklid is super high and the rear window is a gunslit. I’ve had several as rentals and I haven’t gotten used to it.

      I agree that it is otherwise outstanding. Even with the four it’s slow by modern standards but still feels refined.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        Yep, the only thing I can ding the current Impala for is poor rear visibility. Aside from that, like you quaquaqua, it’s hard to find fault. Superb highway mile eater, ride/handling is on point, as is comfort. The V6 is of course preferred and better matched to just how capable the chassis is, but the 2.5L is perfectly tolerable and well muted in this application.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I’m not interested in big sedans, but what style of barbecue do you favor, @Matthew Guy. We make pulled pork, but somewhat heretically cook it on a gas grill. Turns out you don’t need a smoker to do actual barbecue (as opposed to grilling).

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    I love the Impala, and wish they were keeping it.

    Matt, you’re mistaken when you say “…best-forgotten four-banger, an engine that should never have appeared in this big sedan in the first place.” Having driven both six and four cylinder-equipped new Impalas for many months and thousands of miles, I can say that my dollars would actually go to the four. The V6 Impalas feel too nose-heavy in comparison, and while a hair breathless at the upper reaches of the tach, I found the four to pull surprisingly well. The Impala with a V6 handles like a W Body, which was fine in the mid 90’s, but now the chassis needed to compete with Avalons.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      YMMV, but going off C/D’s test of the 2.5L Impala, 0-60 in 8.7 and 5-60 in 9.0 would be unacceptable for me on a new full-size sedan.

      If GM requires people to choose between slowness or “nose-heavy” to compete with the likes of Avalon then they didn’t engineer a very good vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        cimarron typeR

        I had a 4cyl LT 2016 model as a rental .It really didn’t feel underpowered in the urban LA setting I was in. I averaged 27mpg , not bad for never leaving the city streets. Overall I was so impressed with the car, I tried to talk my in laws into picking a Certified LTZ, which could be purchased for the same price as an Ace O Base Equinox . Of course they picked the Equi. (fwd).

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        “If GM requires people to choose between slowness or “nose-heavy” to compete with the likes of Avalon then they didn’t engineer a very good vehicle.”

        And that would be why GM is throwing in the towel while crossing their fingers that they can move the last of production for transaction prices well into five-figures less than the Avalon’s. The question isn’t how much worse is an Impala than an Avalon. The question is whether or not you want a big V6 sedan for the price of Korean econobox.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        I hereby sentence you to a week driving an Iron Duke Camaro with an automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        That is a new no mileage test car. When I first bought my 2017 LT 2.5 if felt tight and less energetic. Now with 40K on the clock it is as lively as ever and seldom ever feels underpowered. naturally if your used to Ecoboost V6’s or turbo 4 bangers like in the current Accord or the 2.0t in the Malibu the 2.5 will seem tame. But consider this. Your average pre 2018 Camry is running around with a 178 HP 2.5 L4, your average CUV today is an 8.5-9 second vehicle and most mid size sedans on the marker are 7.8-8.4 second cars so the 2.5 Impala is hardly out of place. For reference I have stop watch timed mine numerous times recently at 7.8-8 seconds which is about what your average 3800 W-body did as little as 10 years ago in a vehicle like the LaCrosse or Grand Prix

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Yeah, it’s hardly a bad combo. You want to experience that motor in a bad light? Try a base model Acadia with the 2.5 (since discontinued). Now THAT is an unpleasant, frustrating combo. In the Impala that same 2.5 is much better insulated from the driver, so running it up to 3500-5000 does not sound at all unpleasant or like it’s stressing the engine.

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    I own this Impala with 76K miles. That chrome strip on the dash will blind one traveling eastbound in the winter (sun angle). Seats are comfortable. Preload the throttle (1/4”) just before a targeted lane change gets a grin. Drop the rear seat and fit a cargo bike in the trunk (front wheel removed). At speed limit you’ll get 32 mpg. Drop into manual, keep her above 3k and those big hips can hustle the curves. Where it falls short is rear hubs whining at 60k miles, My 63 Belvedere rear bearings lasted twice as long. Paint in the lug socket stamped made in China. Extracting my 6’6” frame via dual chicken wing is comical.

    Bottom line it’s a tool used for business and giving the sum of its parts, won’t purchase another. The next sedan will most likely be a 3.0 Duramax truck.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    $26Kish after the cash on the hood is a screaming deal.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    I like these, having owned stuff like a Bonnie SSE years ago I’m sure I’d like the experience. My problem with this gen Impala is the incredibly lazy effort they put into the taillights – plain ole 1940’s tech red incandescent (no LED, no amber signals) that not only looks incredibly chintzy, but always seems to have a few elements burned out on every one I see. I could not live with one based on taillights alone.

  • avatar
    heliotropic

    The chrome stripes on the steering wheel and gauge cluster makes it looks like its smiling at me and now that’s all I can see.

  • avatar
    detlump

    Too bad the Impala has the “venerable” 3.6L V6 with all the timing chain issues. Don’t have to go far online to find problems with this engine.

    It’s funny that the Ford 3.5L V6 has its share of problems with its internal water pump too.

    I’m glad we decided not to buy our Traverse lease with that 3.6 – dodged a bullet there!

    I’ll pass thank you!

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      When do the chain problems appear- at what mileage- and what is the cost to fix?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Timing chain issues appear to be fixed on the LFX, which is the second generation of DI 3.6 and the one that is in all of these cars.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        FWIW I did a deeper dive on some GM forums, there is credible evidence that all GM did for the LFX was a) shorten the recommended OCI from the 10k that it was, and b) software fix that extended the range that the cam phasers see as allowable: the chain stretches the same as it always did, it just won’t trigger a CEL until it’s well out of powertrain warranty. Seems their goal was to cut expensive warranty claims, not necessarily fix the actual problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike Beranek

      Maybe if Trump succeeds in rolling back fuel and emissions standards, GM could resurrect the best mass-market engine it ever made, the 3800.
      Or maybe GM could sell the Impala as a “glider kit”, like Fitzgerald does with semi tractors, and I can just drop a 3800 into it.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I’d take an LFX over any 3800, even a supercharged one, every day and twice on Sundays. The LFX is an outstanding engine and my second favorite of the big V6es, behind only Honda’s.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      You are aware that this is ancient history dating back to around 2011-2012 right? And you are aware that any modern DOHC direct injected engine that is neglected in the oil change department with low oil levels is suspect to chain stretch and cam phaser wear. GM did change to a different chain and shorten the oil change intervals because of this and surprise not one LFX engine I have seen the past 8 years has suffered timing chain issues. And I have seen a ton with high miles!

      I had a 2013 W-body with the LFX before my 2017 Impala and it had over 100K trouble free miles with 5K oil change intervals. My two close friends also owned the same year Impala’s with the same 3.6. One had 170K miles on the original chains with zero issues. The other had over 200k due to being a traveling salesman and surprise had zero issues with the timing chain.

      It should also be noted that even Ford Ecoboost V6 engines were having this same problem as noted above with owner neglect and overly long intervals and low oil levels. Changing the oil when recommended, not letting levels get low and using the correct oil and viscosity will keep these excellent mills alive and well way past 200k.

      Speaking of the Traverse you are worrying about the wrong thing. It’s not the 3.6 that is the issue. It is the newer 9 speed automatic that many customers have needed replaced that gives me pause on the 2018-2019 versions of these.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    A quick curious Googling turned up 10 Grand off this one:
    https://www.feldmanchevyofnovi.com/new-Novi-2020-Chevrolet-Impala-LT+1LT-2G11Z5S31L9102411

    …..pretty compelling at 23 Grand.

  • avatar
    Dan

    GM usually makes NVH a point of emphasis and these are good even by GM standards. I can’t think of anything else under 30K that even comes close. And these have been selling under 25 for years!

    GM ergonomics on the other hand are usually a clusterfsck and this is no exception. There’s a ton of fore-aft room but it’s a narrow bathtub otherwise with crap sight lines, a huge dash, and no shoulder room. A Charger or 300 feels much roomier. A Taurus didn’t, but the Taurus was awful. The chin air dam is so low it scrapes driveways and speed bumps. Big trunk though.

    I’d still drive one over an Accord.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I liked this car in its prime, but it seems outdated somehow. It’s a pity this market has cratered, I’d like to see the new Grandeur/K7 in this sector, as those are pretty stylish cars for the money.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Decent options, V6 only, somewhat reasonable starting price at 26,800.

    Hmmmm it sounds like the finally fixed it for the final model year. Playbook hasn’t changed much has it?

    • 0 avatar
      monkeydelmagico

      Yep and in the process cut the knees out from under anyone with a two year old 1LT or 2LT. Resale is going to be abysmal so better keep it for a LONG time. On the plus side it will probably last longer than you care to keep it.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    I can’t think of a sedan I would want less.

    I’ll take the lovely rwd Chrysler 300 Touring (base)in lovely metallic blue, for about $21-22k, at most dealers. A much more satisfying car in every way that matters to me.

    • 0 avatar
      MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

      F8 green on that 300, along with optional Hemi, and you’ve got a winner (I own a Hemi 300, sadly in gunmetal).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I like Nissan products less, but that isn’t saying much. These are a bad spin at rental car roulette for me. They aren’t terrible, but they aren’t that good either. I too much prefer the Chryslers.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I wanted to buy a 300 or Charger but after renting several I chose another Impala. The biggest issues with the Charger were cheaper plainer interior materials, less comfortable seats, less rear seat legroom and a much smaller trunk. It drive nice and the 3.6 was a great engine but the above kept me from purchasing one. The 300 suffered the same issues but did have a nicer interior than the Charger. It was also the costliest of the bunch at the time in 2017.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        I understand what you say about seat comfort. It is such a personal thing. I chose my 2015 Mazda6 over an Accord Sport for precisely that reason. My wife couldn’t even perceive a difference, yet for my gluteus maximus…it was the difference between 20 minute comfort vs 6 hour comfort.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Concern about LX interior quality is well supported. I have a strong preference for RWD however, and am willing to forsake some interior quality for it. We all have our own calculus….I do not intend to malign Impala…it just isn’t the car for me!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I like the Impala and having rented an LTZ in N CA 4 years ago I loved it so much I hated to return it. I bought a Lacrosse from my neighbor which is very similar and love it. Don’t want or need a rear wheel drive V8 especially living where it snows and as for Chryslers I had one before and don’t want another one. If I didn’t have the LaCrosse I might buy an Impala especially with the discounts on these and as for depreciation I keep my vehicles at least 10 years so resale is not that big of a concern.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    40K miles on the 2017 LT 2.5 and still loving it. This will be my 4th and final Impala since GM unwisely has chosen to cancel it. It will not be easy finding a replacement for it since it does so many thing well. It is more comfortable on long trips than the Charger/300, has a larger trunk, FWD traction for the Winter since I didn’t want to get into the added cost/complexity and weight of AWD on the FCA products and the trunk and back seat space are noticeably larger.
    In the 40K I have owned it not one single problem has come up and it has just been oil changes and tire rotations so far. The 2.5 engine has given me 600 miles of range on pure highway trips and is quick enough for 95% of the driving I do and easily keeps pace with 75 MPG traffic on the interstates including steep hills!
    Guess I will be keeping this one for a while.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    The current pricing would have made it tempting. Although I would have wanted a Premiere with everything except the sunroof.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Might be harder to find the Premier without a sunroof. Since I already bought the Lacrosse with 45k miles plan on keeping it for at least 10 years or more. I put between 3k to 5k miles a year on my cars in the past 15 years.

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