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#8

in 2011 Affordable Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $11,789 - $14,501
Original MSRP: $24,495 - $30,035
MPG: 19 City / 29 Hwy
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2011 Chevrolet Impala Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2011 Chevrolet Impala has decent engines, but they’re mated to an out-of-date four-speed automatic transmission when competitors offer five or six gears. When you add messy handling to the mix, reviewers say other large cars are better performers. Check out the Ford Taurus or Toyota Avalon for more power and a better ride.

  • “Impala LS and LT models ride softly with noticeable float and wallow." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Even though it lacks the high-rpm refinement of a Japanese multivalve V-6 and, like all Impalas, must make due [sic] with only a four-speed automatic, it offers a wide torque band and good fuel economy." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

Test drivers report that all Impala trims provide ample power, but complain that its four-speed automatic transmission is dated and impedes better fuel economy.

The Impala LS and LT feature a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 211 horsepower. The more powerful LTZ trim comes equipped with a 3.9-liter V6 engine that makes 230 horsepower. Of the two, reviewers recommend the 3.9-liter engine. All Impala engines are mated to a four-speed automatic transmission that reviewers say is in dire need of an update.

According to the EPA, when equipped with the 3.5-liter engine the Impala gets 19 miles per gallon in the city and 29 on the highway.  With the 3.9-liter engine, it gets an estimated 17/27 mpg city/highway.

  • "The 3.5 and 3.9-liter V6s provide similar acceleration in around-town driving, but the 3.9 has better passing response in the 35-55-mph range.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Other aces up the Impala's sleeve include a pair of V6s that strike a fine balance between performance and fuel efficiency…" -- Edmunds
  • "Fuel economy is respectable but would certainly be improved with the addition of a five- or six-speed automatic transmission in place of the Impala's aging four-speed unit." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

Reports on the Impala's handling dynamics are honest and blunt -- test drivers don't like them. Though the Impala offers a comfortable ride, it lacks road feel, doesn't handle curves well and some critics even note that the steering is not properly centered.

  • "Handling is not among the [2011] Chevy Impala's strengths due to its soft suspension tuning. The car does feel solid and substantial, though, and plenty of people will appreciate the big sedan's compliant ride quality." -- Edmunds
  • "Enthusiasts dismiss the Impala because, frankly, it's pretty boring to drive. The car provides a cushy highway ride-particularly in LS and LT forms, which have the softer FE1 suspension-but it wallows through the twisties." -- Car and Driver
  • "Any Impala is stable with good steering feel, though no model can be described as agile. Stopping control is good." -- Consumer Guide

Next Steps: 2011 Chevrolet Impala

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