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Avg. Price Paid:$7,916 - $10,754
Original MSRP: $21,975 - $29,355
MPG: 18 City / 29 Hwy
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2008 Chevrolet Impala Interior

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

The Impala's five-to-six-passenger interior cabin is praised for its long list of standard features and passenger/cargo versatility. Nevertheless, a bland interior design, limited personal space and some cheap-looking materials prevent it from being ideal.

"The Impala's interior is functional and straightforward, but it has all the visual pizzazz of The Wall Street Journal," grumbles Edmunds. Still, the Detroit Free Press says, "While it can't match the interior refinement of a Toyota Avalon, the Chevy's cabin looks and feels much more appealing than the old Impala." While Chevrolet asserts that the 2008 Chevy Impala can seat six passengers with a split-bench front seat and five with front buckets, Motor Trend claims, "Five would be happier, and four downright cheerful."

Seating

"We find the buckets to be as comfortable as our favorite recliner, " says Car and Driver. However, the optional front bench seat made available for the LS, 1LT and 2LT trims are what reviewers can't stop raving about. "The fact that the base Impala can seat six in a pinch makes it a rarity, as even the largest cars of today have front buckets and a console, limiting passenger capacity to five," says Edmunds. While some reviewers complain of a lack in lateral support, the Kansas City Star asserts, "But the longer I drove the car, the better they felt." In the front cabin, interior dimensions include 39.4 inches of headroom, 42.3 inches of legroom, 58.7 inches of shoulder room and 56.4 inches of hip room. Consumer Guide asserts that such space is "adequate."

"Those in the back seat will find a comfortable space that starts to feel small during interstate travel," says Car and Driver. Reviewers generally agree that in the backseat is where passengers really begin to feel a shortage in personal space. In fact, Edmunds reports that "the controversial interior element is how little room there is for a car this size." In the rear cabin, interior dimensions include 37.8 inches of headroom, 37.6 inches of legroom, 58.6 inches of shoulder room and 57.2 inches of hip room.

Interior Features

On balance, reviewers find the interior of the Impala well laid out and refreshingly simple, though many note that the materials are not up to the quality of a number of competitors in the class. Car and Driver observes, "The overall look is pleasing enough...and the control layout is wonderfully simple and logical." Also, the car is "well appointed, and comfortable," with "a thoroughly up-to-date interior."

On the less-flattering side, Consumer Guide asserts, "Hard plastic expanses dominate cabin," which "have budget look and feel." Car and Driver also notes the Impala's "less-than-pleasing" interior materials. While Edmunds agrees that the 2008 Impala maintains "subpar cabin materials," it concedes that it's still a "huge improvement" from what it once was.

Among the many standard interior features included in the Impala LS are cloth front bucket seats with manual lumbar and recline, a fixed rear seatback, woodgrain-appearance trim, single-zone air-conditioning, power-programmable and child-safety door locks, power windows, an analog four-gauge cluster, a manual day/night rearview mirror, tilt steering wheel and vanity mirrors.

Additional standard features found on the Impala 1LT include a dual-zone air-conditioning system and analog deluxe four-gauge instrumentation. With the exception of a flip-and-fold-flat rear seatback and a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio controls, which Car and Driver describes as looking like "tumor-like lumps," the 2LT is the same as the 1LT.

The Impala LTZ features the same standard interior features as the 2LT, but adds heated leather front-bucket seats; a Universal Home Remote transmitter, which can be programmed to operate a garage door and home lights, and auto-dimming rearview mirrors. These mirrors are included in the Impala's "Convenience Package" that only comes standard on the LTZ. With the exception of standard techno-metallic accents and a manual day/night rearview mirror, the SS is the same.

With the exception of the LTZ, all 2008 Impala trim levels come equipped with a six-speaker CD/MP3 sound system. The LTZ comes standard with a Bose sound system, which includes the strategic positioning of tweeters and woofers to enhance overall sound quality. Moreover, a three-month trial subscription to XM Radio comes standard on every Impala.

Additional Features

While a cloth front 40/20/40-split bench seat is optional for the Impala LS, those who purchase a 1LT may opt for brushed metallic accents, a power sunroof, heated leather front-bucket seats, a flip-and-fold-flat rear seatback, and a Universal Home Remote transmitter. In addition to the 1LT's available options, available for the 2LT is a heated leather front-bench seat and six-disc CD changer. Although the LTZ doesn't offer a front bench seat, it is virtually the same as the 2LT. In addition to what the 2LT offers, available options for the SS include woodgrain-appearance trim and a Bose sound system.

Lastly, while Impala's "Convenience Package" is available for the SS, its "Luxury Edition Package" is only made available for the 1LT. This package includes leather upholstery, heated front-bucket seats, a six-way power passenger seat and OnStar's Turn-by-Turn Navigation System (one-year paid subscription).

Cargo

Every 2007 Chevy Impala maintains 18.6 cubic feet of trunk space, which Consumer Guide describes as being "roomy." However, Edmunds complains that it "still lacks the immense trunk space of its crosstown rivals."

The big story with regard to the Impala interior is the innovative flip-down rear seat back, which provides a cavernous, wide and (most notably) flat storage area extending from the trunk almost all the way to the backs of the front seat. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution boasts that its "flip-and-fold rear seats expand the already large trunk to offer the floor space of a pup tent. You can't quite slip sheets of plywood back there, but there is room for a bundle of 2-by-4s or a dozen bags of cypress mulch." The Boston Globe agrees, stating that the fold-down feature turns the Impala into a "utilitarian sedan."

Review Last Updated: 2/20/09

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