The run down for my 2005 Chevrolet Impala base 3400:
The car was purchased in January 2008 with 65,000 miles on it. I paid $5,400 TTL and is now at 150,000 miles on the same engine, transmission, cat converter, ect. I have done the shocks, brake pads, and basic maintenance such as new AC Delco spark plugs, wires, radiator hoses, oil changes, transmission service (pan drop and filter change), coolant change, replaced the water pump, and I did a head gasket (my fault, I let the car get hot when I was in college).
This car is a very comfortable, reliable and all around grate value vehicle. It is my daily driver and I intend to keep it a while longer. It still drives great and I take in on my 'road trips' where I go see my family 250 miles away traveling on I-35 going 80ish mph here in Texas (speed of traffic). The ride is great, the seats are comfortable, the car is easy to work on, the car is comprised of 'old' technology making it cheap and a large comunity out there which has already encountered most of the problems you will find - see impala forums or other sites which use you engine - in my case the 60*V6 3400 3.4.
I will say the interior plastic feels cheap. The center console does squeak a bit if you use it to get yourself into the car. I have since cracked (small) the dash panel (which is also the radio bezel - it's all one piece) from taking it out so many times and not being careful - I changed the instrument cluster, and added a nice aftermarket radio as well as installing my old radio to program key fobs.
Which leads me to another point: You can buy aftermarket (cheap) key fobs and program them to your vehicle via the stock radio. I did this to program key fobs to my other w-body (04 Grand Prix GT) which was nice and saves me money. Also keys can be programed to the car very easily - I just buy cheap ebay keys with chevy logos and go to home depot and have them cut - yes they can cut them even though there is a chip inside. The fuel take has access via the trunk if you ever need to replace the fuel pump (I have not) so that's a plus - where I am going is that they did engineer this car the be worked on rather easily.
Cost and my 2c: Ok so here's the run down:
Car $5400 TTL Ins for 8 Years $500/year = $4000 Repairs to the car $3000
Tires in this time frame: $1000
I'm sure I'm missing a few small things here or there but look at the bigger picture:
Total over the 8 years $13,400 so 13400/8 = $1,675/year (but again this includes everything)
Now I got rear ended and they hit the frame so it totaled the car but I bought it back and I got $3,600 for it back (this is was in summer of 2014)
So total for me*** is $9,800 for the 8 years. You could this of this as you as well (as if you sold it - they valued it at 4600 and -1000 buy back) So 9800/8 = $1,225/year
:) great 'investment' I still have the car and it's running strong. If you don't like the interior, swap in stuff from a 2000-2005 monte carlo. I plan on adding a few things from one soon - I already took an instrument cluster from a monte carlo which had RPM.
MPG: I get what EPA says I should. 2016 Easter weekend, I got 32.xxxxx driving on the crumby I-35 traveling around 70-80mph (all highway and miles from trip divided by fuel into tank - I also always fill up and the same fuel station and fuel pump)
Seats: Cloth. Don't knock it! They still look great save for the drivers which doesn't 'look' bad but when your not sitting in it, you can see part of the lower cushion's cloth doesn't lay flat against the cushion.
I grew up in a Chevy family. I've owned so many and beat the heck out of them, especially in my teen years and early 20's, but they never let me down. Even if they blew up, I always got my money's worth and then some. This time I lose.
When my Cavalier broke down after over 10 years of faithful service of taking quite a beating, and right at tax time, I figured I needed to upgrade anyway. After all, our second child would be here soon, and we welcomed the extra space. Went and looked at the Impala, drove it and rushed my decision. The radio was the first to go, for some reason it locked, and wasn't worth the fee to unlock it, so we upgraded it. Then so much was going on with having a newborn and a toddler I didn't have time to have things checked out, like why it shifts so hard from second to third gear unless I'm flooring it. A few months after buying it, we found out the head gasket was bad...while stranded on the highway with two cranky children.
In the dozen years or so I've been going to him, he's never let me down...I should have called. My mechanic reminded me that he's always there to answer questions and give advice on cars to buy, and while this one would put money in his pocket, he would have told me not to buy it. Come to find out, the slight "airy" sound was also the intake gasket. Luckily, since you had to dismantle one to get to the other, it was next to nothing extra to do them both versus doing them separately. The transmission problem was also very common, and needed to be rebuilt. He recommended selling it immediately or driving it until it died and then getting something else.
I bought my '05 Impala 3.4 after losing my first car in an accident. I was quite surprised by how solid the car was. It had 139000 miles on it, and was mostly clean and cared for. Only had to replace a few things, as is normal for a used, ten year old car. My friends and I love the car, and it's far more comfortable than what they drive (One has an '07 Camry, which felt awfully stiff to me). The stereo is great and the sound quality is clear. It had an issue for a while where the CD would skip 5-10 seconds of a song. Drive it to college and work on a daily basis, and it just keeps on going, no matter what happens. Very reliable, although gas mileage could've been made better.
Pros: Feels like a couch Responsive and accelerates quickly (For gearheads) Great engine sound and pretty good performance for a sedan Great stereo Transmission is quick and smooth Looks great in gray
Cons: MPG is a bit sub-par Only one key, trunk needs a separate key. Probably can't get it when buying used. Can be a bit bouncy on hard bumps.
leased it new and was so pleased I bought it still driving and still very pleased.I have hit mid 30 hyw at 64 mph still org battery tires last wich means good steering geo never faild to start it looks great and ON Star is a safty feature that saves lives