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2008 Chevrolet Impala Review

This review was written when the 2008 Chevrolet Impala was new.

The 2008 Chevrolet Impala delivers a smooth ride and adequate engine performance, wrapped in a generously proportioned vehicle that seats up to six people. Handling is not on par with many other cars in its class and styling is generally considered bland and uninspired.

The 2008 Chevrolet Impala delivers competent engine options, impressive passenger and cargo versatility, and a simple well-designed interior cabin. However, unimpressive handling, emotionless exterior styling and the use of cheap interior materials detract from its overall appeal. The Impala, which is Chevy's best selling car, is available in five trim levels and three engine options, including a V8. The Detroit News notes that it "makes considerable strides in terms of performance, aesthetics and quality. But it's still far from perfect."

Because of the Impala's range of engine options, it's possible to buy one with good fuel economy for such a large car.  As gas prices rise throughout 2008, V6-powered Impalas are increasingly reasonable investments for those who need a spacious vehicle.

Little has changed in the Impala for 2008.  It is available in base LS trim, more powerful LT and LTZ models, and a performance-oriented SS edition.  Chevrolet has added satellite radio as standard equipment on all trim levels.  Stability control is now standard on all but the LS and LT trims, and the Impala's 3.9-liter V6 engine now accepts E85 ethanol.  If you're considering the Impala, you might also want to look at the Toyota Avalon, or the affordable Hyundai Azera.

  • "Six adults can fit in the Impala, but five would be happier, and four downright cheerful." -- Motor Trend
  • +"For V-8 fans (and who isn't?) best news is the delightful new Impala SS, which returns legendary small-block Chevy power to the once-legendary Impala nameplate for the first time since last decade's huge, blimp-like rear-drive Impalas."  -- BusinessWeek
  • The Impala is "a car that seems to have a split personality. ...  It wants to be a modern family car, but it also seems to reach back to the heyday of models that boasted powerful American steel.  In the end, it parks itself squarely in the middle."  -- Boston Globe
  • "Not much to complain or get excited about. The Impala LS is what it is, good enough to make the Impala easily the best-selling American-branded car." --  Orlando Sentinel
  • "It's a middle-of-the-road, no-nonsense sedan intended to meet the needs of families."  -- Car and Driver
  • "On the pavement, and in the cabin, the Impala stacks up pretty squarely against the Camry and Accord and other dominant sedans. Plus that lovely bench in the front lets it seat six, instead of a measly five! Now there's a selling point"  -- U.S. News
Review Last Updated: 2/20/09

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