What’s the best advice we can give you about the 2011 Chevrolet Impala? Don’t go there. The cabin is roomy as affordable large cars go, and the gas mileage is acceptable at 19 city and 29 highway average, but those things don’t outweigh the poor quality of the interior materials, the mechanics that are just plain out of date, and the performance that under whelms. Even the Impala name, which meant something once, doesn’t justify buying this car, which sells in an MSRP range of $24,495 to $30,035.
There are three trims for consumers, the LS, LT, and LTZ. For fleet buyers there’s a specific FL trim. The two engine choices are a 3.5-liter (211 hp) or 3.9-liter (230 hp) V6. Unfortunately, they’re matched to antiquated four-speed automatics as opposed to the five and six-speeds the competition are using. (Seriously, test drive the Ford Taurus or the Toyota Avalon. You’ll be glad you did.)
Outside the Impala looks the way it’s looked for the past couple of years. With hints of Euro-styling creeping into sedan design, the only word for this car is plain. In terms of room, the Impala will easily seat six, but the cabin styling is filled with hard plastics that are serviceable but ugly. This feels like an interior on a budget, a tight budget. Even when faux wood comes into play, the key word is faux.
Standard features include dual-zone AC and satellite-ready AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 capability. You’ll have to go up to the LT and LTZ trims to pick up Bluetooth and remote start. If you want high-tech electronics in this class, go with the Ford Taurus. Cargo space is 18.6 cubic feet.
The Impala has always performed well in crash tests, but it’s worth noting that the Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon are both Top Safety Picks with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Getting the drift here? The competition outshines the 2011 Chevrolet Impala at every turn.
Bluntly put, this is a vehicle that’s just stayed on the market too long. Unless Chevrolet does a major overhaul and brings the Impala up to snuff, it will remain at the bottom of the heap. Where it is already. US News put the Impala in dead last out of seven affordable large cars reviewed. And they were right to do so. Pass this one up. It’s not worth the money.