Used 2000 Chevrolet Impala Review

It may be called the Impala, but this dreadful front-wheel-drive family sedan has little in common with the V8-powered rear-drive models of the past. Skip it in favor of the more refined offerings from Ford, Chrysle, and Toyota.




what's new

GM has resurrected the Impala nameplate (a staple in Chevy's lineup from 1959 to the early '80s and then briefly from 1994 to '96 ) and put it on an all-new full-size sedan body that rides on the Lumina front-drive platform. Although the Lumina itself is back for the 2000 model year, Impala will eventually replace it as Chevy's large-car entry to battle the likes of Ford's Crown Victoria, Buick's LeSabre and Chrysler's LH cars.

vehicle overview

The Chevy Impala is back again, this time as a front-wheel-drive, V6-powered spin-off of the Lumina chassis. Designed to compete in the full-size market, the 2000 Impala is more aggressive-looking than its Lumina sister, with smoked headlight lenses, large circular tail lamps, and a shape that creates a "frown" both front and rear. Stylists looked to Impalas of the '60s for inspiration here, but its C-pillar badges mimic the surprisingly successful and often-mourned Impala SS of the '90s.

Available in base and LS trim levels, the 2000 Impala sedan holds six good-sized adults and 17.6 cubic feet of their luggage. Inside, a clean, straightforward layout features large, easy-to-find controls and gauges.

The standard 3.4-liter V6 engine was borrowed from the Venture minivan, making 180 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 205 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. Step up to LS trim and you get a 3.8-liter V6 making 200 horsepower at 5,200 rpm and 225 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. Weighing just less than 3,400 pounds, Impala should move along with verve with either engine. A four-speed automatic is the only available transmission.

Structural enhancements make for a stiffer body, which allowed the engineers to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. It also allowed a more precisely tuned suspension to maximize both ride comfort and handling prowess. Standard 16-inch wheels and tires do much to help with both ride and grip, while Impala's standard four-wheel-disc brakes are rated for heavy-duty service in a new Impala police package. Antilock brakes, a tire inflation monitor and traction control are optional on base models and standard on LS.

Occupant safety will be a big selling point for the Impala. Head protection standards for 2003 have been met three years in advance, a side airbag is available, and rear-seat tethers will handle up to three child safety seats. Daytime running lights are standard.

Other standard equipment includes air conditioning with dual front temperature controls, rear defogger, rear-seat headrests, power windows and locks, and a Radio Data System (RDS) AM/FM stereo. Plus, the clock automatically adjusts when you drive across time zones, and Impala's remote keyless entry fobs can be programmed with the preferences of two different drivers.

Chevrolet has promised improved reliability, thanks to a simplified electrical system and fewer parts used in the assembly process. A coolant loss-protection system keeps the Impala moving even if all the coolant has been lost - just make sure to stop before you've traveled 50 miles. And, if you do get stranded, the available OnStar mobile communications system can help rescue you.

While not terribly exciting, middle-of-the-road buyers looking for a solid American sedan will likely be quite happy with this big new Impala.






edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.