I think I was particularly unlucky with the car I got, but this was the worst car I ever owned. In the 7 years I had it, I spent over $4,000 on major repairs, most of which came in the course of one year. By the end, it had rusted so badly that the fuel filter was rusted in place and mechanics couldn't put it on a lift because underside components were so corroded that they crushed. I didn't feel like I could leave town. The turn signal worked only intermittently for the last six months I owned it. I was so tired of dumping money into it that I just stopped making repairs.
I bought my Impala new at a Toronto dealership. I found the car to have good exceleration and handling. The 3.8L is bullet proof with over 360,000 klm on the original engine. The transmission has been flawless. The only issues I have had was with the computer which crashed right after the warranty expired. This was a $1000 repair. The wipers would not go into the park position, repaired several times. Most recently the gas gage went screwy and the turn signal shorts out on damp days. All in all an above average car that really doesn't owe me anything.
the passlock security system on this car has caused me nothing but trouble!! while edmunds review refers to the "float" like handling of this car as a bad thing, it's one of my favorite features. i love the way my impala rides! and i travel across the country for a 900 mile each direction trip 1-2 times per year and a few 300 mile ea way trips too... and its a comfortable a ride over any other vehicle i have traveled in.
I have the LS model and even with some frustrations.....overall it has been a very good car. Like many other Impala owners, I've experienced several common issues. Those are: catalytic converters wearing out, brakes, computers. For cars made during these year models, GM still had not perfected their hubless brake rotors meaning....they dont dissipate heat well and tend to warp causing premature wear, shimmying on the steering wheel, etc. Try installing high quality performance brake parts. I spent $250 on 2 new slotted & drilled front brake rotors plus high quality metallic pads. I quit having brake problems.
When I when to buy my next car I researched the internet extensively and test drove just about all the cometitors (Accord, Camry,Passat, Intrigue, Altima, Avalon, Sable, Intrepid). The Impala won my wife and my votes for comfort , power, handling , features and room to spare. Plus it has 87% U.S./Canadian parts content. Not to mention 5 star frontal and 4 star side impact ratings.