by Amy Lillard
What drives car buyers in today's society? Smart sizes, efficient fuel use, practical capability and of course, the hidden perks and guilty pleasures. In our continuing series, we examine the most popular cars in America.
May 16, 2007 - While every car with a long history and multiple iterations (generations) has an interesting story to tell, the Chevy Impala may be one of the most iconic.
The Impala was introduced by Chevrolet in 1958 as a sporty coupe convertible. In the 1960s, the Impala reigned as the topselling car in the country. The SS model was introduced as a performance package with a formidable engine and appearance features. Since that time, the Impala has become the epitome of the muscle car, appearing in movies, songs and more as a genuine cultural artifact. Today these cars are prime candidates for restoring, traditional hot-rodding or modern customizing, usually involving powerful audio/video systems, massive wheels and/or hydraulic suspensions.
Beginning with the energy crisis in the 1970s, the Impala became smaller and more efficient. The model was dropped in the late 1980s in favor of the Caprice designation. It returned as a Caprice-based Impala SS in the mid 1990s with a Corvette-derived V8.
Today the car once again carries the Impala name, and consistently ranks in the top 10 bestselling cars on the market. It's considered one of the most attractive economy cars on the market, just in time for our new energy crisis. It's Chevy's main full-size sedan with front-wheel drive and V6 power on most trim levels. It continues a tradition of large, affordable Chevy family sedans, although with an economical twist for our current times.
The performance capability of the Impala lives on, however, in the police cruiser models. Police departments across the country rely on cars such as the Impala to provide safety and power for their officers.
The Impala debuted its fifth generation in the 2006 model. Available trim levels are LS, LT, LTZ and the SS. The SS still boasts power and performance, with a Generation IV small-block V8 that produces 303 horsepower, making it one of the most powerful production front-wheel drive vehicles in the world. The Impala also has significantly improved fuel economy from its days as a gas-guzzling powerhorse. The V6 has up to 31 miles per gallon.
The Impala was selected as the 2006 and 2007 Fleet Car of the Year by Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet magazines. It also won the 2006 Canadian Automotive Association Pyramid Award for Environmental Initiatives for the launch of its new Ethanol Powered E-85.
Impala prices vary according to trims, from as low as $21,000 up to approximately $30,000.
For a complete one-stop look at current Impala features and specifications, visit
A frequent contributor to ERATE® since 2006, Amy Lillard is a freelance writer specializing in turning complex information into useful tips and tricks for readers. For questions or topic suggestions, contact Amy at [email protected].
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