By on February 28, 2020

2018 Chevrolet Impala, Image: General Motors

Yesterday was a sad, sad day for lovers of the traditional domestic full-size sedan — a rapidly vanishing breed. The last Chevrolet Impala rolled out of Detroit-Hamtramck, and with it the last General Motors big car.

Chapter closed.

It’s a sign of the times. By the end of this year, Buick’s lineup won’t even play host to a single car, let alone a big, four-door one. Cadillac dropped its CT6 in January. But if you’re thinking that the Impala’s discontinuation will lead to immediate, juicy discounts, think again.

According to CarsDirect, buyers wishing to get into one of the final Impalas had best wait until GM gets serious about moving them off lots.

Or you should have already bought one, as up until 2 months ago GM offered a $4,750 rebate and GM Employee Pricing on 2020 models. That meant up to (and over) $7,000 in potential savings on a top-self Premier trim. Right now, there’s only a national $1,500 cash incentive on the table.

While the base Impala LT, which carried a standard 3.6-liter V6 for 2020, carries a fairly decent lease offer ($389 for 39 months with $1,899 due at signing), that deal factors in a $1,000 bonus available to existing GM lessees.

As Matthew Guy told you a couple months ago, the 2020 Impala is a sedan worth considering if you’re in the mood for a big base ride. With trim options limited to LT and Premier for the model’s truncated final model year, the new “base” model dons the aforementioned 305-horsepower V6, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, color-keyed trim, and cloth-and-leatherette upholstery. No longer does a base Impala buyer have to settle for a underwhelming 2.5-liter four-cylinder and bargain cloth.

Of course, this could well be the last opportunity any buyer will have to take home a new Impala, assuming their local dealer has no trouble moving the last of its stock. If bargains are your bag, you might want to risk the wait — March could bring spring flowers and discounts.

[Image: General Motors]

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40 Comments on “Dead Car, Dismal Discounts...”


  • avatar
    Mnemic

    They missed an opportunity by not making it RWD. It could have been GM’s charger. From mild to extremely wild, oh well.

    • 0 avatar

      CAFE drove this platform. Bob Lutz noted it over a decade ago.

      Lutz wanted RWD but said it depended on how tight the emissions standards would get.

      And it makes sense, at that time the Holden Zeta platform was still viable and being adopted for the 2010 Camaro reboot. Plus the G8 was in production for Pontiac. GM could’ve saved a few bucks and brought a pretty dynamic sedan to market. Although I’d bet they were probably looking at an entirely new architecture to be developed in Australia since at that time, Holden was kinda “in charge” of RWD platform development.

      But CAFE was tightened enough that they took RWD off the table. Interesting in this context that the Caprice PPV was ever a thing.

      I took one of the current gen Impalas for a spin and was impressed. This was everything the previous GM-10/W-body cars weren’t. It felt solid, was quick and comfortable. Only real complaint was the need for nannies to make up for the lack of rearward visibility. I also drove a 4-cyl model and thought it was adequate for the car…just adequate.

      Probably, FCA’s vehicle mix allows for the Charger/300 to continue to exist. That’s my guess. Shame GM didn’t make Impala their Charger but for a FWD vehicle, it still works quite well. I’d certainly own one if I were in the market.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      No it won’t. RWD is only going to matter little, meanwhile people are more into a taller ride from CUV / truck / SUV.

  • avatar
    Schurkey

    “…traditional domestic full-size sedan”

    No. Barely an intermediate. Chevy hasn’t had a “traditional domestic full-size sedan” since the B-body was murdered in ’96. The Ford Crown Vic hung on a few more years.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      And yet the difference in EPA passenger volume between a B-body Caprice (109 cu ft) and the Impala (105 cu ft) is minimal, especially when you take the Impala’s big center console into account.

      The old domestic full-sizers were enormous outside, but not well packaged.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        The Honda Accord is just as large inside as the Impala and is a better car in almost every way

        ok, every way

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          @thornmark,

          Every way except styling and top engine maybe.
          3.6 V6 >>>>> 2.0T all day.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I’d rather have a good 2.0T any day. But good, not Honda’s.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Honda has struggled with their turbocharged engines of late?

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            I guess you should read Jack Baruth at R&T

            he basically stated the Accord was the best family sedan bar none and there wasn’t anything the Germans could do that the Accord didn’t equal or exceed

            anyway, this Impala was a flop from the time it was introduced

            and the Impala styling was unfortunate from the start, the Accord is considered attractive by most

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            @thornmark,

            If you actually read that article by JB, you would know he is talking about the previous generation Accord with the V6 (the one he owns) not the 2.0T version currently sold.

            You are definitely in the minority if you find Honda’s current products attractive. The Impala is not a stunner but it’s a handsome conservatively styled sedan.

        • 0 avatar
          Peter Gazis

          thornmark

          I’m old enough to remember 5 years ago. When Honda was selling 380,000 Accords a year. Last year, Honda’s Accord sales fell to 248,000

          If car sales keep falling, It won’t be long until Honda is in the same trouble as Nissan is today.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            not really

            Nissan made junk and flooded the market

            the Accord and Camry will rule w/ some Korean action, but Mazda is dead in sedans (thanks to Nissan cheapening the market)

          • 0 avatar
            N8iveVA

            Peter…”If car sales keep falling, It won’t be long until Honda is in the same trouble as Nissan is today.”

            Hardly, Honda hasn’t lost the sales. The sales just moved from their sedans to their CUV’s.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          Except trunk space, certain interior features like a god forsaken rear seat power port, the clever hidden storage space that the Accord lacks (with a hidden USB port), lack of a smooth powerful V6 and the Accord is just weird looking. I would also take bets that my 2.5 will go 200k without any issues over Honda’s very questionable 1.5T that seems to have oil in gas issues that drastically shorten engine life. The claimed fix might help it through warranty but what about after say 75-100K miles?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The last B-body Caprice had an EPA passenger volume rating of 115 cu ft. I checked ’92-’96 just in case there was an error for a single model year.
        The B-body also had a 20cuft trunk. The passenger + cargo volume of the Caprice was greater than what even a 2020 Maybach offers (and the Mercedes is within an inch of the Chevy’s length)

        Click the “Specs” tab:
        fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=9092&id=41745&id=42248&id=42392

        And it could seat 6. And it could tow 5000 pounds.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Huh, I found my number on a different source, but I will trust the EPA. Still, if you sit in a B-body and an Epsilon Impala, it’s not like you feel the B-body is a lot roomier.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ ajla & dal – It also depends on which B-bodies were discussing. The ’77-‘90s were well packaged, being very true to the three-box paradigm. I also put a lot more stock in the “sit behind myself test” than in dimensions. I’d much rather be in the back of a ’77 Impala than a ’20 Impala, because the headliner and rear glass don’t encroach on my scalp and the C-pillar doesn’t encroach on my left (or right) temple.

            A six-passenger sedan criterion is a bit of a strawman. People are chunkier, and the borderline paranoid insistence on big child car seats means that the old use case of adult-child-adult abreast seating isn’t really feasible anymore. Don’t get me wrong. A pie-in-the-sky fantasy of mine is a sedan with a modern V6, FWD via a Unitized Power Package, flat floor (no pointless AWD option), and a StratoBench front seat. It ain’t happening though.

            OT: I find the author’s not-actually-correct use of “to don” cringeworthy. Perhaps some of the money that would have gone to Sajeev this year could go to an actual editor?

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            Huh. Both of my 1996 Caprice B-body’s felt noticeably larger inside compared to both my W-body and Epsilon current 2017 LT Impala. The trunk of the B-body was huge too with a far larger opening. Nothing today remotely compares to the interior room of these or the Panther cars unless it’s a foreign full size like the Kia K900 or Maybach or full sized Mercedes/Bimmer.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          It was also a massive, wallowing, boat of a car. No thanks.

    • 0 avatar
      Garrett

      A few more years?

      The Crown Vic lasted until 2011, which means its only competition was from the Grand Marquis and Lincoln Towncar

  • avatar
    mikey

    Yeah…. resale sucks! … But as a GM Canada hourly retiree, the Impala was just too sweet of a deal to pass up …Sorry to see them go .

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Good, should only be a couple more years of Hertz sticking me with these barges. They have such a sense of humor about what constitutes an “upgrade” sometimes.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    The Impala is a very good car but bland styling didn’t help it’s sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ Michael S6 – Honest question and not flaming you: What current, mainstream cars do you think are attractive?

      • 0 avatar
        Michael S6

        Accord, New Optima, New Sonata, Legacy, Fusion (getting old), Camry SE. There are some horrible new designs and the Avalon is prime example.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          They are all just automotive sweatpants…you put them on because they are comfortable and hope nobody sees you wearing them.

          • 0 avatar
            Michael S6

            I test drove the Honda Accord Ex with base engine and I can assure you that it is not sweat pants. It is a very good all around car with controversial styling and I would not mind being seen in it.

  • avatar
    brn

    Same thing happened when the death of the Fusion was announced. Prices went up. Consumers saw it as their last chance to get the sedan. Demand went up. The price follows.

    It’ll come back down.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Akear…WHAT A DISGRACE!!!

  • avatar
    cprescott

    I have long learned that GMphiles who can name the platform name that a vehicle is built on know absolutely nothing. Saying the name of the platform makes them experts in nothing.

    I also laugh at the extensive repeated blather by GMphiles that RWD is the savior and end all for almost every malady that GM faces. The problem is that it is an antique architecture and it has not benefited the most RWDcentric brand on the planet – Cadihack.

    There is nothing wrong with the current Impaler other than it is awkwardly styled. It is as competent of a sedan as GM has built in the last 20 years and was doomed because the segment in which it was designed to serve virtually has no marketshare at all.

    If we want to look at the pathetic RWD products that GM builds, the Shamaro and the late and not so great SS, we have a real problem – cramped interiors (Shamaro), horrible sightlines from the interior to exterior (Shamaro) and stale and antique everything – SS. RWD is not the end all for a great car – you can build awful RWD cars and the two above are examples of them – as was the ATS and CTS – which were cramped and hideous looking inside and out and not luxurious. At least the CHASSIS and ENGINE each was built was good, but the rest of the car ruined both. How you can build a four door car with no legroom in the back is beyond me, but Cadihack did it twice.

    Save the lectures on RWD being the greatest thing on earth. In a Chevrolet it would not have mattered a hill of beans. In a Cadihack, there is over a decade of sales performance that PROVES it doesn’t matter AT ALL.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Robert Yutz was also instrumental in the first generation Buick LaTosse and removing plastic cladding off of Pontiacs. He is also a documented liar and blowhard and padded his resume saying he had impact in advancing Cab Forward at Chrysler – he arrived after it had been greenlighted.

    And he is the father – the chief reason, why Ford had Merkur. And we know it was a huge mistake.

    Robert Yutz – a man of many claims – a man of no truth.

  • avatar
    Moparmann

    Since we now have the packaging efficiency of FWD, will someone please explain the need for INTRUSIVE consoles, and PLEASE don’t say for wiring , etc. The foot wells in some/most vehicles are very cramped, especially for those of us not blessed with dainty feet! :-)

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      There is little to no reason for the ridiculous massive sardine stuffed into a can feel of today’s center consoles
      just as there is little to no reason a family sedan that needs 20″ rubber band tires or gun slit windows that you cannot see out of. It’s all a current fashion trend fad that needs to go away!

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